DACC – In Your Shoes – Sarah Peter
This article first appeared in the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce website, 30th October 2023, click here to view the article.
Monday 23rd October
First day back at work after a week’s annual leave (3 days of which were spent at home baking thanks to Storm Babet!) and a busy day ahead it is.
A good number of e-mails to get through, although my colleagues have been on top of my client work whilst I have been away so just a few replies to send and a couple of client calls to make before a quick coffee break.
Today we had one of our regular working lunches, an opportunity for the Portfolio Managers and Financial Planners to sit in a room together to discuss topical themes, assess our client propositions and discuss complex client cases to gauge views. It is also a good opportunity to have a general catch up as we are spread across three offices, and much better to see everyone face-to-face instead of on a screen (or is it?!).
I look at a few client portfolios and my list of valuations and reviews due this month and before I know it, it’s 5pm. With the remainder of the week filled with client meetings I head off home; an early night is certainly needed.
Tuesday 24th October
Today saw me take part in a roundtable to discuss the launch of our internal Training Academy. At Thorntons Investments we pride ourselves on the development of our employees and are keen to help them achieve their career goals. The Training Academy is designed to help with professional exams but also to provide mentors to colleagues who may be studying– something I feel very passionate about having had a mentor myself as I stepped into the world of Portfolio Management. So here I am volunteering to mentor the next generation of Portfolio Managers, Financial Planners, Paraplanners and Financial Administrators; here’s hoping I can provide the same level of guidance and support mine gave to me!
This evening we are hosting our annual quiz night in The Fort in support of our Charity of the Year – Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend as I have an exam next month and need to spend time studying. A shame to miss out on the fun times but a necessary sacrifice. Matt Strachan, I hope you manage a win again this year without me on your team!
My evening is then spent studying with my blue study companion. His name is Pops, and the answer is yes…he does like to pose for the camera!
Wednesday 25th October
Sadly, Matt did not keep up the winning streak and narrowly missed out on the top spot, however we raised in excess of £1,000 for our chosen charity – which is a massive success.
Today I am off to our Aberdeen Office with a few Dundee colleagues. On arrival we are greeted with pastries, and I wonder why I don’t get this welcome when I come into the Dundee office each day. We have recently welcomed Elmira Donald to the Financial Planning team in Aberdeen and it is important for us as a business to ensure that we are welcoming our new colleagues with open arms, so a lunch it is!
The afternoon is spent meeting new clients in Aberdeen, with a Financial Planning colleague, to ascertain whether our Bespoke Discretionary Service may be suitable for them. This is certainly the highlight of my job, meeting new people and discussing how I may be able to help them with their investment objectives by creating a portfolio tailored to their needs and requirements. Today has been spent talking about markets, our investment strategy, and how we run our client portfolios.
It has been a long day, and thanks to a cancelled train I don’t get home until nearer 8pm. Dinner is taking priority over the study book this evening!
Thursday 26th October
A relatively quiet day today, with one client meeting in the diary this afternoon. Most of this morning has been spent doing file notes and paperwork (the less glamorous side to my job, but essential nonetheless) and reviewing some client portfolios to ensure that they remain in line with agreed parameters. Markets have not been kind so far this week, in fact they haven’t been kind for a while now, so we need to be actively reviewing funds and portfolios.
The paperwork and form filling seems to be getting on top of me; I think it is OK to admit that we all struggle from time to time. I reassess, look at my workload, prioritise what is most important and delegate where I can. Getting my head down and getting on with things, I am feeling better already.
Pops and I are back at the laptop studying, and tonight he feels the need to sing whilst I study. Perhaps time to find a new, less noisy, study buddy. Or do I just join in?
Friday 27th October
Friday. It seems that this week has flown by, which is no bad thing as it is nice to be kept busy. Two clients in the diary today, one an existing client, another a prospect client. Again, a day spent in front of people is a day I enjoy.
As the day comes to an end, I reflect on what has been a really busy week. I won’t lie, I am looking forward to heading home for a glass of wine. I think one night away from the study books will do me good!