(Pictured above: Gillian Hibbert, left, Katie Gilfillan, right)
As I enter one of Nottingham’s oldest and most fascinating pubs, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, I cannot help but wonder how it got such an unusual name, writes Katie Gilfillan.
It’s not long until I get an answer from the landlord, who says that King Richard I and his men gathered at this historic royal dwelling before journeying to Jerusalem in 1189 AD.
Not one to shy away from history, I am meeting fellow history buff Gillian Hibbert, Brewin Dolphin’s Nottingham office head and divisional director.
After marvelling at the ‘haunted snug’ area we’ll be eating in, Hibbert tells me how excited she is that the office is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
‘To celebrate, we are going to “go ape” in Sherwood Forest,’ she says. ‘I loved climbing trees as a child, so hopefully I should be fine.’
She assures me that Wealth Manager won’t have to release a disclaimer after publishing this article to explain that her arm has been broken in a completely unrelated accident.
After ordering our mushroom risottos, I ask Hibbert how she got started in the industry, and she begins by discussing her time studying economics at Manchester University. ‘Back when I was at university, I showed an interest in the finance industry. I attended a milk round job fair with the big firms, and they all suggested I would be a better fit in HR,’ she says. ‘But that didn’t stop me.’
And thank goodness it didn’t, bringing to the table not only our lime and sodas, but her refreshingly modern mindset.
Being part of Brewin Dolphin’s diversity and inclusion committee is important to Hibbert. ‘It takes on so much more meaning than
just filling a quota of people. It’s more about being open and inclusive of people’s ideas as well.’
Echoing this idea of inclusion in the workplace, she describes the firm’s ‘incubator group’, which helps people in the office come up with new ideas and encourages them to challenge the senior management team.
‘It definitely gives a refreshing perspective on things and has fostered a more relaxed atmosphere,’ she explains.
As our food arrives, conversation moves on to what the Nottingham office has been up to lately, and Hibbert relishes telling me about the firm’s charity of the year, Rainbows Children’s Hospice.
‘On the hottest day of the year, my team and I went out and set paving down for the charity’s sensory garden.’
She jokes: ‘I almost passed out from the heat and the exertion but absolutely loved it – taking part, and all the camaraderie involved. It was a real team-bonding moment, working together for a good cause.’
‘It’s great to feel like you’re part of the local community. Community spirit is what it’s all about.’
I’m getting the feeling that her office is quite community-orientated, as Hibbert explains: ‘It’s lovely to build up a network
in your own town – I think people trust you more.
‘I love the aspect of my job where you see a client through the entirety of their lives – you know them and you know their kids. It’s very rewarding and it gives me a sense of the local community.’
Finishing our delicious lunch, I find out that Hibbert will be on the judging panel for The Nottingham Post Women in Business Awards. I imagine it would be difficult to pick a winner after hearing so many amazing stories. So, I wonder what she looks for.
She answers: ‘Perseverance and a drive to succeed is key.’
GLASS HALF FULL:
In wealth management, there is a drive to be more inclusive now. It isn’t a closed club anymore, and we’re open to everyone who we can help.
GLASS HALF EMPTY:
Trade wars have the potential to damage the industry. The uncertainty of it all means that it’s a difficult play when looking at investing globally for clients.
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