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Wealth & Investment Management

Breaking barriers and building fortunes: IMpower digital panel

Posted by on 05 September 2023
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In a celebration of empowerment and progress, the Women Mean Business initiative took centre stage at IMpower Incorporating FundForum 2023. The aim of this initiative was to amplify the voices of remarkable women and recognising the trailblazing female-led high-impact teams, and bringing together visionaries, leaders, and change-makers.

Davina Goodall-Smith, Nikko Asset Management Group, Gillian Hepburn, Schroders, and Veronique Morel, Raymond James, joined us at the IMpower Studios to participate in an exclusive digital panel. During this discussion they dissect the current landscape of diversity within the wealth and investment sector, address the barriers and challenges that persist for women in the workplace, and delve into the crucial role of allies in the journey towards equality.

Moderated by our IMpower correspondent, Emma Walden, this group of remarkable women delved into existing gender bias in the industry, the opportunities presented by growing female representation within the industry and retaining women in the industry.

Throughout this panel topics such as mentorship, education and leadership development, the importance of a healthy work/life balance, enabling people to work in the best environment for themselves and more were unpacked.

These conversations not only challenge the status quo but also pave a dynamic path towards a more inclusive and equitable future.

Under the spotlight:

Davina Goodall-Smith

Davina Goodall-Smith is the Chief Operating Officer for EMEA at Nikko Asset Management. As COO, Davina is responsible for over-seeing all aspects of Nikko AM’s operational activities across the EMEA region, and ensuring that the firm has the global connectivity and processes required to achieve best practices. Davina is also a member of the Board of Directors, and Chair of the Stewardship Oversight Committee. She plays a key role in developing the ESG strategy for Nikko AM Europe.

Davina has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry with roles in Global Relationship Management, Operations and Change management across the UK, Europe, and Asia. Davina joined Nikko AM in 2020 from BNP Paribas Securities Services where her most recent role was as Head of Relationship Management. Davina holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of Bristol.

Gillian Hepburn

Gillian has over 30 years’ experience in financial services and is Head of UK Intermediary Solutions at Schroders. She is also a Non Executive Director on the boards of Benchmark Capital and Kore Labs. Gillian is also a member of the advisory board for Women in Asset Servicing and was named as ‘Woman of the Year – Investment’ at the Professional Adviser Women in Finance awards 2021. She is also on the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs one of the key initiatives of the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship.

Prior to joining Schroders, Gillian had an extensive career at Standard Life followed by consultancy positions with a range of platform providers, asset managers and financial advisers.

At Schroders, Gillian is responsible for investment solutions for the UK Intermediary channel which includes Schroder Investment Solutions, an award-winning range of model portfolios and multi-asset funds.

Gillian has an MA in English Literature and an MBA from the Open University.

Veronique Morel

Veronique Morel is a Fellow of the CISI institute and a Chartered Wealth Manager and branch principal at Raymond James. Previously, she was a vice president and European team leader at Merrill Lynch. She has over 20 years’ experience in the financial industry. Veronique was finalist wealth manager of the year 2020 and nominated as Professional Adviser award 2021.

She is on the judging panel for Sustainable and ESG investments awards as well as a judge for Women in investment award for investment week after being shortlisted for Wealth Manager of the year 2020. She is also a finalist for Professional Adviser for Investment manager of the year – UK and London and Women of the year – ESG.

Veronique has been appointed to the investment committee of the RCDOW and Holy Apostles church as the first woman to manage the charities assets. She manages assets for international clients in the UK and US platforms.

Find out more about IMpower here >>

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