This month I’ve been focusing on women in finance and what it’s like to work in their shoes. Hope you enjoy this interview with wealth management adviser Susie Foottit.
Susie, please tell us about what you do
I’m a director and wealth manager with Helm Godfrey Partners, a City-based firm of wealth managers. I have a combined role, corporately I help set the direction and strategy for the company whilst as a wealth manager I work with my clients on their financial planning to identify areas of weaknesses and strengths, whilst identifying realistic and achievable financial goals and then setting up a plan to help them achieve these.
How did you get into this career?
Following leaving school, I went straight into employment, working my way round a few insurance companies and broking firms until I identified the area I wanted to train in. I started my own business in the early 80’s in the City which I then merged with Helm Godfrey Partners in 2001.
Can you explain what a typical day for you might be?
A typical day is not something that I have many of! It all depends on what needs prioritising. It could be working on a corporate level or setting up my diary with client meetings. Some periods are busier than others – the summer is a little easier as usually no tax-planning deadlines occur but the rest of the year, I work flexibly – either from home or from my office.
What’s your experience from a women’s point of view? Is it a good job?
I think my job is a great career choice for a woman – once you’ve got all of the qualifications under your belt you can pretty much work to suit yourself and your clients. Certainly need not be a 9 to 5 existence although if you want a successful business, networking is a pre-requisite so this should be borne in mind. I managed to run my own business, combining this with being a mother (albeit with plenty of help at home in place) and never felt I had to miss out on important family events as I was easily able to plan my working life around these. I do not feel that I compromised my career one bit by working in financial services and the income enjoyed gave my family a financially-secure base.
What would your advice be to someone coming into this profession?
Join a firm that has a good training programme in place and get the exams that are needed done as soon as you can.
What’s your best financial advice for any woman?
My best financial advice to any woman is to start investing as soon as you can and as much as you can as there will never be a more ‘convenient’ time in the future! If you save some money, you will have some, if you don’t you won’t! In truth the vehicle (whether it be ISA, pension or whatever) is less important than actually committing yourself to a plan.
You can reach Susie at www.helmgodfrey.com/susie-foottit/