Today, David Myrddin-Evans, head of Brewin Dolphin’s Cardiff office, is taking me to church, writes Katie Gilfillan. Well, more accurately, Chapel 1877. Now functioning as a restaurant, it is a gorgeously restored and exuberantly-decorated former chapel in the heart of Cardiff.
Myrddin-Evans is no stranger to change. After studying mechanical engineering at Edinburgh University, he spent four years at Sandhurst. He then entered the investment world by joining Kleinwort Benson as a sell-side analyst for another four years, before later moving to Smith & Williamson as an institutional investment manager for seven years.
He received a warm welcome to Wales from the business community when he moved to join the Brewin Dolphin team in 2005, so I wonder what changes he has made during his time here.
‘It has been a great experience to transform the office through a combination of vision, innovation and teamwork.’
He tells me the office is constantly evolving and its employee base has grown massively, having more than tripled in size from nine to 34 people. With such a huge growth rate, Myrddin-Evans stresses the value of being open to change.
‘It’s so important, failure to change means you fall behind and become irrelevant.’
‘It was a challenge to source qualified investment personnel, so we developed our own people, which has been hugely rewarding and led to a high quality team. We have different generations of people in the office who have different ways of thinking. It is important to recognise the diversity of thought this brings, as this helps to drive positive change in the office.’
Pioneering for diversity in the industry, it is a refreshing change of pace to see the passion Myrddin-Evan expresses as he discusses the talented people you would be missing out on if your workforce was not inclusive.
Following this, I am very impressed to hear about the gender equality this branch is striving for, and he expands on the diversity initiative Brewin Dolphin has launched.
‘Our focus on diversity has led to some remarkable speakers at our Women@ Brewin events. Last year, the first transgender pilot at British Airways addressed our office – she was very inspiring.’
As our delicious mains of a bacon burger with stilton and sesame chicken arrive, we talk more about his team. Receiving excellent leadership training in the military has put him in very good stead for being a head of office. It is plain to see how highly he thinks of his team and how invested he is in their future.
‘Personal career development is very important. There’s no point in taking a lot of financial exams and then being asked to engage with a client. Engaging, and engaging well, is a skill that takes learning. It’s very important to invest in your employees and to develop them.’
Alongside this, Myrddin-Evans believes blending personal development while helping out in the local community is key and mentions some fantastic charities in the area they support.
‘We encourage charity work in the office, as it fosters teamwork and connects different people across teams to achieve a single goal. In the last year, we have worked with the National Museum of Wales, the Cardiff Food Bank and Cardiff Dogs Home, to name just a few.’
Not content with sitting still, the office has also picked its own charity to support that is close to the employees’ hearts.
‘The office’s charity of the year is Dreams and Wishes. This is an amazing charity which enables those with a terminal illness to realise their dreams.’
GLASS HALF EMPTY:
‘We are late in the cycle, and things are slowing down.’
GLASS HALF FULL:
‘As people’s financial needs become more complex, they increasingly need access to trusted and expert financial advice in order to help them navigate the options available to them to enhance their financial wellbeing.’