What attracted you to a career in financial services?

I didn’t have a clear plan when I left school. In fact, I initially wanted to be a vet so I did all three sciences for A-Level, but changed my mind and ended up reading Zoology at Uni and it was there, talking to friends and family, that the idea of doing something in the financial services industry came to me. I followed that up with work experience in the City in the holidays. So I sort of fell into it and feel especially lucky to have had a 20+ year career doing what I love.

What do you do in your current role?

I’m a senior investment manager at JM Finn, a London-based wealth management firm that helps individuals meet their financial challenges. Essentially, I am responsible for managing investment portfolios on behalf of my clients to help them meet their goals.  It’s a very privileged job as people invest an enormous about of trust in us to look after their financial affairs – and as such we get to know our clients extremely well, which helps make the job a good mixture of having to develop one’s people skills combined with investment knowledge.

What are the most challenging/ most rewarding aspects of your work?

The most rewarding aspect has to be the fact that we are constantly trying to improve people’s financial situation. Whether that’s helping someone get a foot on the property ladder, have a more comfortable retirement or allow them to pass on more wealth to their beneficiaries, the job is always rewarding. On the other hand, you do feel a huge responsibility and when markets are challenging, such in 2022 when we saw supposedly one of the safest investments (UK Government debt) become a lot more risky, it does weigh heavily on one and requires a calm disposition.

What are the major changes/ opportunities/ threats for your sector at the moment?

There are always things going on in the sector, which is why it’s such an interesting place to work.  But some of the bigger challenges include: the huge wealth transfer that is in train, as the baby boomer generation look to pass on their wealth; the likelihood for a changing tax regime, particularly if we have a new government at the next election; increasing interest rates, as consumers adjust to the new normal; constantly evolving regulation, as the industry works hard to help improve investor understanding.  On the stock markets side, there are a number of key themes which will both provide threats and opportunities, including: the energy transition, as the world looks to decarbonise; demographics, as western economies get older, whilst the spending power of younger generations in emerging markets is growing; automation, as factories increasingly look to make their goods faster and cheaper, to name a few.  An enduring challenge for the industry is diversity. We are paying the price for many years of ignorance but I’m delighted and proud to say, that there are a lot of initiatives in place to broaden the appeal of the investment management industry as a place to work for everyone. I like to think I’ve played a small part in this regard as I’m certainly a firm believer that it’s a great place for a career. 

 Do you have any advice for those considering a career in the financial services sector?

Yes – go for it.  Start reading books about investing early.  At JM Finn we have a book club for new joiners; see the insights section of our website for some titles to whet your appetite. We also host a Young Women in Finance day every summer to introduce young women to wealth management.

Iona Garton, Senior Investment Manager

The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns.

JM Finn is a trading name of J.M. Finn & Co. Ltd which is registered in England and Wales with number 05772581. Registered office: 25 Copthall Avenue, London EC2R 7AH. J.M. Finn & Co. Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Understanding Finance

Helping clients understand what we do is key to building relationships. To explain some of the industry jargon that creeps into our world, we’ve pulled together a section of our site to help.

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