In your Shoes

A week in the working life of David Holmes, Head of Business Development

In your Shoes

In your Shoes

David Holmes is Head of Business Development at Thorntons Investments.

Based in Dundee and Edinburgh, Thorntons Investments provide both Financial Planning and Discretionary Investment services. David is responsible for the distribution and marketing of their  investment services to financial advisers across the UK and for relationships with key partners and professional connections.

This article was written for Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce – click here to view the article on their website.

A week in David’s working life

Monday, 24 February: good performance – on or off the pitch 

The obligatory cup of tea kicks off another busy day. First things first, and being a Monday our Chief Investment Officer, Matt Strachan, is straight down to important business, asking how Dundee United performed that weekend!

In the investment world, good performance is important too. Over the longer term, we don’t expect to win every game, but we do aim to finish well up the table.

We market our investment portfolio services to financial advisers across the UK, and managing relationships is a key part of my job. I spend time on the phone to Nick (the Lawrence Shankland of our sales team) discussing the week ahead and make preparations for upcoming meetings of my own.

On leaving the office I make a mental note to buy a card for my wife’s birthday on Saturday.

Tuesday, 25 February: breakfast tee 

We are in St Andrews this morning hosting a breakfast seminar on retirement and Inheritance Tax planning at the British Golf Museum. There are one or two calls offs which is par for the course, but our presenters soon find their swing.

Inheritance Tax is sometimes described as a ‘voluntary’ tax as there are a number of well-established estate planning solutions available. Our core investment service helps investors to pass on more of their wealth to the next generation.

Yesterday was a difficult day for the markets, so I send advisers an investment update before my regular weekly catch up with our CEO, Stephen Webster. He’s just back from the rugby in Italy and jokingly suggests wearing a mask, but the only one in the office is of Donald Trump from a Halloween party. It’s a strange meeting.

I completely forget to buy a card, but hey, there’s plenty time.

Wednesday, 26 February: why does it always rain on me? 

I’m in Glasgow this morning and no surprise it’s wet as it seems to rain every time I’m through (cue for a song!). I’m presenting to a group of financial advisers and paraplanners on the use of business relief in financial planning. The session seems to go well as a few are still awake at the end.

I stop off on the way back to grab a bite to eat and make a couple of calls. A quick detour to Tannadice to pick up my tickets for Dunfermline then it’s back to the office.

I meet with our Financial Controller, Tim Ritchie, who is quite possibly the world’s cheeriest man, despite being an accountant.

I complete my prep for tomorrow then it’s a sharp exit as I have a parents evening.

No time to buy a card as I can’t be late for school!

Thursday 27 February: it’s a wrap 

Driving to our Edinburgh office this morning I’m reminded why I always allow myself plenty time, as there are not one but two separate breakdowns past Barton. A third, and I’ll have a nervous one!

I meet up first with our Investment Manager, Ciaran Garvey, before we head out to present to the sales team of a large investment platform.

Many investors choose to hold their investments together on a platform, or ‘Wrap’ as commonly known. They are important distribution channels for our model portfolios services, and we work with a number of the leading platform firms.

Meeting over, Ciaran and I put the world to rights over a bowl of yellow split pea soup before I head back up to our Dundee office to catch up with Matt.

I miss the chance to buy a card at lunchtime, but that soup was good.

Friday, 28 February: keep smiling

I’m down in the Midlands next week for adviser meetings so have a lot of prep to do in the office. I ask our brilliant numbers guru, Catherine Jackson, to run off some risk analysis reports (and if she will be kind enough to decipher for me!).

It’s been a difficult week for the markets, which have seen their sharpest falls since 2008. Matt prepares a market commentary which I email out to advisers.    

Being a Friday afternoon there are a few smiling faces around the office! Quite apt, as the evening sees the Holmes family at the Rep to see ‘Smile’. It’s a brilliant play, and I reflect on the importance of having a good team around you if you want to achieve success.

On the way home, thoughts turn to the weekend and my wife’s birthday….. and to wondering what time the local Co-Op shuts!



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