We are delighted to announce that two of our team members – Gillian Shirt and Liz Townend – have been shortlisted for the prestigious 2020 Women in Financial Advice Awards! Gillian is in the running for ‘Financial Adviser of the Year – North’, while Liz is a finalist for ‘Woman of the Year – In-house Adviser Support’.
These awards are fiercely competitive and candidates enter from firms across the UK. Specifically, they seek to champion women whose achievements have ‘enhanced’ the financial services industry, or helped to ‘raise the profile of financial services as a career for women – whether through education, training, leadership, mentoring or acting as a role model’.
What have they accomplished?
With 20 years’ experience in the sector, Gillian has been with Robertson Baxter for 7 years; starting as a report writer then progressing to managing the report writing team before fulfilling her ambition to be an adviser with the firm. Her feedback on the independent adviser directory VouchedFor speaks volumes:
“It was a real pleasure to meet Gillian; she was very kind & helpful in advising us on how to organise our financial plans for our future. We can now go onto enjoy the rest of our lives, knowing that our financial affairs will be well looked after by Gillian & the rest of her team at Robertson Baxter.”
Gillian’s empathy, integrity and commitment to ‘doing the right thing’ have no doubt been fundamental to her success. She takes pride in going over and above for clients providing a listening ear when needed and supporting them to reach their goals and aspirations.
In addition to her values and strong interpersonal skills, Gillian also is very pragmatic, focused and has a ‘can do’ approach. She has a strong ability to translate her wealth of textbook financial knowledge into practical terms, which is an invaluable skill not necessarily commonly found within the finance industry. Gillian has worked tirelessly to make her dream job a reality, and she hopes that her example will inspire other women to consider entering the profession, whatever career stage they may be at.
Liz meanwhile is our Financial Controller, and she has been with RB since it began in 2007. She has worked in almost every role in the business before evolving into her current position, and what stands out is her adaptability and determination to teach herself any skill she thinks may benefit RB. She doesn’t wait for change; she makes it happen, proactively seeking out new and better ways to do things so that the business can continuously perform and improve.
The directors Greg and Stephen rely on her completely to manage all of the company’s financial affairs, compiling board reports and assisting with regulatory reporting, amongst the many other things. Her thorough, focused approach, hard work and penchant for accuracy and detail means that we are in a very safe pair of hands.
Liz also has strong personal values of integrity, loyalty and kindness. She works closely with the senior management team and is relied upon to offer her good sense and judgement, challenging them (on occasions!) when she feels it is appropriate to do so. She can also be relied upon 100% as a colleague to make time to help others. She has a wicked sense of humour and is also big on the social side of things, encouraging the team to make time for fun activities and social outings out of hours.
Having great people on board like Liz and Gillian has proven especially valuable in our current times. The fantastic team we’ve built is key to why our temporary transition to remote working has been so effective.
The financial services sector is known for lagging behind the times in terms of women in senior and leadership roles. Robertson Baxter is proud to buck this industry trend, where women are represented at all levels of the company and supported to achieve their long-term career goals, whatever direction they may take.
We feel fortunate to have Liz and Gillian as female role models; they are different people, bringing their own personalities to their roles, but have some traits in common: no ego, authentic, strong, kind, hard-working, ambitious, pro-active, talented team-players and they have not had to compromise who they are to achieve success.
The winners of the 2020 Professional Adviser Women in Financial Advice Awards will be revealed at a special ceremony in London on the 8th October 2020. Well done Liz and Gillian, you deserve this public recognition and we wish you the very best of luck.