King’s Lynn, Norfolk
Married with four children
Started JM Finn & Co
April Fool’s day 1997
Senior Investment Manger
A wild Cocker Spaniel and an unruly Norfolk Terrier
London: Coq D’Argent;
Suffolk: Pea Porridge, Bury St Edmunds
You moved to our Bury office from HQ in London several years ago. How has this changed your job?
I am very lucky to be able to work close to home without it impacting on my day to day work. Being born and bred in Norfolk, whilst working in London, Suffolk was the perfect ‘midpoint’ to live and the opportunity to work there as well has been fantastic. Thanks to improved systems and communications with internet, email and video conferencing, along with a proactive team around me, Bury St Edmunds doesn’t feel like a satellite office. A main advantage, of course, is that my daily commute is much shorter, allowing me to spend more time both looking after my clients and with the family.
Does being in a regional office mean you mix you work and social life much more?
Yes, of course. I often find myself on the touchline at school cheering on a team alongside a fellow parent, or grandparents, who might be a client. Being based locally does allow us to develop relationship further and for those clients less willing to travel to London, being able to pop into our branch office in Bury St Edmunds is very convenient.
In the last issue of Propsects we reported on the satisfaction level of our clients. What’s the most important aspect of your job that makes clients happy?
Because we focus on getting to know our clients we have a full understanding of their investment needs and therefore, we do not ‘pigeon-hole’ them. I think this is one of the main reasons our clients have said they like what we do and it’s what I find most rewarding about the job. Each client is different and we treat them accordingly.
As a protégé of our Chairman, James Edgedale, what did you learn from him?
I worked with James for over ten years, in the days when we were sent off to the City Library to research companies on a microfiche. I helped him look after his clients whilst building up my own client base and experience, before branching out on my own. As well as making the job great fun, he taught me to focus on providing the service that the client expects and ensuring that when you say you’ll do something, making sure you do it. I also learnt to communicate with my clients – being in touch at every opportunity can really help cement the relationship.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It was to follow Warren Buffet’s mantra about not following the herd: “Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well”. The doctom boom of ’99, when I was just starting out as an investment manager, was a perfect example of this.