As we entered May, we gathered among the darling buds at the Four Seasons in Hampshire, for our annual Citywire South East Retreat. With more than 70 of the region’s finest financial advisers and wealth managers in attendance and 10 fund houses presenting their investment opportunities, it made for an engaging couple of days in the idyllic countryside.
Complementing the workshops were a number of keynote speakers throughout the event. Kicking things off on the Thursday morning was author and barrister Jamie Susskind, enlightening us on how technology will transform the way we live together in the future. Covering artificial intelligence and big data, he discussed how ever-advancing digital technologies will affect our democracy, our morality and ultimately our freedom as a society.
The afternoon was a change of pace, as Citywire online producer Oliver Smith headed a panel discussion on tackling mental health in the workplace, a commonly taboo subject in our industry.
Paul Feeney, CEO of Quilter, opened the debate with a heartfelt description of his own troubles with mental health, followed by an honest discussion about where our industry is failing in terms of treating mental health as the important issue it is. Thank you to all our panellists.
As evening dinner commenced, we wound down with a set by comedian Jo Caulfield, treating us to a hilarious after-dinner breakdown of some of our attending fund houses.
Our second morning brought about the final workshops, but was preceded by a fascinating talk from former RAF pilot Matt Lindley. He detailed how he has seen the aviation industry change over his time in the field (or, rather, in the air), using examples from his life to explain why employees make unintentional mistakes at work and how pressures have effects on employee performance and human error.
Once again, our South East retreat was a phenomenal success. Thank you to all our delegates who were in attendance, and we look forward to seeing you all next year.