“There is always something new going on, challenges to face and surprises around the corner. No two days are the same.”
I joined the firm in 1997 as a newly qualified Audit Senior. I was attracted to the firm by its presence in the market, the breadth of service it offered to clients, its ambition to grow and the consequential career opportunities available.
I am a Partner in the Family Business team. With help from the team, I support a broad range of business clients, the owners of those businesses and their families. I tend to provide the strategic advice these business owners and their families need, acting as their ‘trusted advisor’. I also keep an eye on the compliance work in the team to ensure it is completed at the high quality we and clients expect, and have overall management responsibility for a team of about 30.
I enjoy working with the team, supporting them when they need it, and enabling their development. My client work is varied and there is always something new going on, challenges to face and surprises around the corner. No two days are the same.
I work in the Exeter office, which is a large office, and always busy. I am very aware that when new starters join us it can be a daunting place (no matter whether they are school leavers or experienced accountants). However, the culture of the firm is friendly and inclusive, so people quickly settle in and feel part of the team.
We are a ‘people’ business, and key to that is supporting our staff, enabling them to develop knowledge and skills, so that they can help and advise clients effectively. The business is a partnership, and we understand the need to work together, so that individuals’ skills and knowledge can be used to solve problems in a complementary way.
I joined the firm as a newly qualified audit senior in 1997. I was promoted to manager in the following year. Shortly afterwards I moved teams (out of the audit team and into the family business team). I was invited to become a partner in 2006.
In work? Becoming a partner in the firm.
All team members have a role to play in enabling me to provide the service clients expect, from the newest trainee to the senior managers in the team. The managers, in particular, enable me to spend time with clients, but they would not be able to do that without good quality help and support from the entire team. I am very appreciative of the support I have!
Skills that drive success in the firm vary by role, and the reality is that no one individual has the perfect blend of skills. We work hard to support everyone in developing their strengths, but also to help them manage their development needs. I would say that core skills are – communication skills, a willingness to learn, adaptability and resilience (nothing goes right all the time!).
Invite new challenge, and seek out opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills, even if that puts you outside your comfort zone.
Friendly, Supportive, Challenging.
Arthur C Clarke (for his contributions to genuine science as much as the writing), Richard Feynman and my wife (because I’m pretty sure she would like to meet them too).
The Galapagos Islands (but I’m worried that by visiting I would be damaging the very things I want to see).
The Hobbit – it’s a lovely book, and much easier to read than Lord of the Rings!
It varies over time depending on my mood, but I’ve just rebought ‘The Joshua Tree’ (U2), which is a bit of a nostalgia trip. Other than that, anything that Damon Albarn is involved with. My choice probably reflects my age!
You aren’t responsible for your parents’ decisions, so don’t let their mistakes negatively impact on your life.
The windexe on my sailing dinghy – it tells me which way the wind is blowing, which is kind of important.
A sunny day either on the water or at the beach.
When your children go to University you don’t hear from them as often as you would like (but that probably means they are doing fine).
I sail when I can, both for leisure and competitively (although not very competitively). I prefer to be outside, particularly in nice weather, but I’ll enjoy a good storm if one comes along.
I would like to be able to play a musical instrument. Even a recorder would be nice.