We persuaded Amanda, who has been with Church House for 22 years, to tell us a bit more about herself.
What inspired you to work in the world of investments?
My mother’s family has a history of involvement in banking and founded Wilkins Bank, the first bank in Brecon, going on to open several other branches in South Wales. Lloyds Bank took over Wilkins Bank at the end of the 19th century, and both my great grandfather and one of my great uncles subsequently served as directors of Lloyds Bank, so an interest in the world of finance was obviously in the blood.
What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning?
My two lockdown rescue kittens demanding their breakfast.
What would you tell your 21-year old self?
A career in finance, working in a predominantly male world, will be much more challenging than you could ever imagine. I could also never have imagined the massive impact that technology would have on our industry. When I started, the only machines we had were a telex machine, no calculators, fax, mobile phones, and computers took over the space of a small flat!
What is the most common question you get asked?
Should I be worrying at the moment?
What is your favourite source of entertainment?
Books and music. They provide me with a degree of escapism, and I love to read with music as a background. I have a very eclectic taste in both, so I can always find something to suit no matter what mood I am in. I have a particular passion for opera and have an extensive collection of opera CDs. My Kindle gives me an extensive portable library, but there is nothing to beat the smell and feel of a real book.
What qualities do you believe make a good adviser?
Our clients need to trust us, and we need to communicate and explain the complexity of the financial markets in a way that is easy to understand. My mantra is that no question is a silly question, and if you don’t know or understand, you must ask me. We must be sympathetic, empathetic, patient and never patronising.
What are you most looking forward to doing when all Covid restrictions are lifted?
Meeting both my friends and clients face-to-face and hugging. There is no substitute for either.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to those contemplating investing?
You much trust your chosen adviser and feel comfortable talking to them. If you have any hesitations, find someone else you like better. Don’t be intimidated or condescended to; that is not a relationship that will work in your favour.
Who is your hero, and why?
I admire the pioneering women who refused to be typecast and insisted on living life on their terms. There were so many of them in the 18th and 19th centuries that it is difficult to name one, but they all battled to overcome male prejudice and make their way in male-dominated professions.
If you were a car, what would you be?
I have little interest in cars beyond having a car that is efficient, reliable with a bit of power when needed! If you pushed me, I would say something well suited to the outdoors, like a Landrover Discovery.
Finally, what do you think sets Church House apart from the competition?
I believe we provide a personal and caring service, and we go the extra mile to ensure that our clients receive the service they are seeking. We are happy to work with other professional advisers to help provide our clients with all the help they may need with their financial affairs. Ours is a holistic approach, and I believe the success of this approach is reflected in the loyalty of our customer base and the level of referred business we receive – to quote a client, ‘We are the human face of financial services.’