Monday, 30 November 2015

Needs to recruit a client relationship manager


Wow, it’s been a busy month, following my last post, I did decide to accept the position as a Trustee to my company pension scheme and all is going well. There has been a steep learning curve for me to get up to speed with everything I need to know, but it is very interesting so far. Due to extra trustee responsibilities and a recent departure from my team, I now have to recruit a new Client Relationship Manager for the South region.

This has thrown a spanner in the works, as we have good relationships with recruitment consultants based in Manchester and the North and although sometimes they do have positions for the South, London, in particular, this is not their area of expertise. So – I have reached out to my London colleagues and they have put me in touch with a very good financial recruitment consultant that offers that bit extra.

They are called Noble Davies Search and they are a specialist executive search boutique in London and they recruit for distribution roles in the Institutional Asset Management space. I am looking for someone that has good experience of the industry and can hit the ground running, as I don’t have much time to spare to go through things.

My colleague in London has reassured me that Noble Davies have a long standing relationship with our company and know exactly the type of candidates we are after, so I am hopeful that they should find a shortlist of quality candidates quite soon for me to interview.

I am hoping that the new recruit will stay in this role for some time, as this will bolster the team and means that I can devote the time I need to my trustee role, as there seem to be several meetings that I need to attend at the moment.

Stay tuned for more updates…

Friday, 31 July 2015

Liposuction? Moi? Or should I try jogging to Sheffield?

Heeere's Jonny! Back again and bigger than before. Specifically, bigger around the waist, where I've gained some podge since my last post in May.

I used to have a housemate at uni who was studying medicine and doing some kind of project on fat. Sometimes he'd watch DVDs of surgeries, liposuction, fat removal, that kind of thing. I've never been that squeamish but watching films of people being cut open to have lipo didn’t appeal that much to me!

I've recently put on weight and I have to admit I started considering lipo myself. I was googling for some options and came across a place in Sheffield that offered 3D liposuction. No, you don’t have to wear special glasses to see it. 3D lipo is a way of getting your puppy fat removal without any invasive surgery and (even better) without any exercise! It involves a combination of freezing fat cells and stimulating them by ultrasound using a 3D Lipomed machine.

I have thought about doing some exercise instead. It's important to stay fit as I get older, and it’s a good way of fat removal. A lot of my friends in Manchester are into running these day, and marathons are all the rage. After all they do say that endorphins are addictive. But after a long day of working hard making money, it's not that appealing to slip on some running shorts and go dashing around Didsbury. Especially when it's winter and everything's cold and dark. But at least I’d have some pals to run with I suppose.

Might give the running a try, but if that doesn’t work out, don’t be surprised if you see me heading towards Sheffield for some 3D liposuction. By hook or by crook this fat removal is going to happen!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Pension Trustee - me!

It’s been a long time since I have last posted, mainly because I haven’t had many interesting things happen to me, but I have recently been asked to undertake a very interesting role that I wanted to share. Due to various work connections and commitments, I have been asked to be a Trustee for a corporate pension fund (DB and DC schemes) of which I work for the sponsoring employer. Before accepting the role, I wanted to clarify to myself exactly what is involved and the impact this would have on my day job.

The first thing to note is this is a huge responsibility I am about to undertake. ‘Trustees of a pension fund are the people, acting separately from the employer, who hold the assets invested in the scheme for the benefit of the participants’.

There are also different types of trustees such as individual trustee, corporate trustee, member-nominated trustees, employer nominated trustees and independent trustees. I fall in to the first category the individual lay trustee and would be part of the board of trustees.

Trustees play an important role in the proper running of pension schemes. The Pensions Regulator provides you with all the information and training toolkits that you need to be aware of in order for you to become a committed and conscientious trustee. On reading the site, the list of responsibilities is a long one...you are responsible for:

  • Contributions
  • Financial records and requirements
  • Investment
  • Your professional advisers
  • Scheme records
  • Members
  • Registration
  • Scheme return and collecting levy
  • Reporting matters to the regulator
It does make me wonder how I am going to do all this as well as my day job? Plus I am not an expert in all these areas, for example investment, I, and I’m sure most of the trustee board, would need help and advice on that.

I do know that other pension schemes use independent trustees to oversee their schemes as they offer vast experience and knowledge in key areas and can confidently challenge/speak to consultants and have a truly independent viewpoint which sometimes makes it easier to make decisions.

Also, I’ve heard a few stories where peers of mine have run into problems with their employer over conflicts of interest, and the independent trustee has helped to rectify the situation, for example a finance director who is also a trustee had to make decisions regarding deficit funding and employer contributions which led to conflicts of interest with the employer, as such the issue was passed to the independent trustee to tackle.

They are also very good at helping trustee boards to review the governance of the pension scheme. My company apparently uses an independent trustee from BESTrustees, a UK wide firm.

So after considering all the criteria, I now need to think about whether I am going to accept the position of Trustee. Sounds like an interesting challenge, but a lot of work and responsibility as well.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Financial Marketing


At work, we have recently been partnering with an external marketing company called HT Financial Marketing to help us with various projects. I must say, I was dubious in the beginning as to how a small company could help us with marketing projects as they are unfamiliar to the company and our processes – however I have been pleasantly surprised.

The main thing we needed help with was the planning and implementation of an integrated marketing campaign as we are short-staffed (and short on time).

One of the main reasons we chose HT Financial Marketing, is that they have several years experience in the financial services industry and this proved to be very useful. In our first meeting they initially listened to the objectives and aims of the campaign and quickly got up to speed on the product we want to raise awareness for.

They also gave us some good suggestions as to who to target and aside from the email campaign, ways to further expand audience reach via social media. They had to run with most elements of the campaign themselves, as I have only had limited time to oversee the project – what made this easier is that one of their team worked in our offices for two weeks, so that communication was a lot easier and that person became part of our marketing team.

We have now launched the campaign and I am hoping for some enquiries for our product to start to come in. Also very interested to see the first month statistics for the social media campaign.

It’s been an interesting few weeks working with HT Financial Marketing and I have learnt some new social media skills. To make the most of these though, I now need to work on my LinkedIn page!