Five Women Shaking Up Advice and Finance

International Women's Day: Here are five women whose work in financial advice has taken them beyond helping clients

Ollie Smith 8 March, 2022 | 10:08AM
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Men's Shadow

There are plenty of ways financial advisers make a difference, but these five women have focused their efforts specifically on empowering women, and helping a new generation of financial advisers and their clients embrace independence, confidence, and success.

Chanelle Pattinson, P&P Invest

26 year-old financial planner Chanelle Pattinson joined her father’s firm P&P Invest at the start of 2020, but her impact within the world of financial advice extends beyond the borders of the family firm. Alongside her day-to-day duties, Pattinson runs a financially themed Instagram page, and presents the Her Future Bright podcast, which is currently on its second season. Fronted by Pattinson, it aims to highlight the contribution to financial services made by inspiring women from the worlds of fund management, advice, accountancy, mortgages and banking. Forget blue branding and traditional serif fonts, Pattinson is building a brand that is modern, progressive and easily digestible for younger or less-experienced audiences.

Ruth Handcock, Octopus Investments

If there is a woman in financial services who embodies the concept of the portfolio career, it is probably Octopus Investments chief executive Ruth Handcock. At one time or another, Cambridge alumnus Handcock has worked as chief of staff at a banking startup, run a $2 billion dollar profit and loss account as global finance director at Bacardi, and worked as a political adviser for the Sierra Leone government’s department of trade. Now chief executive at Octopus Investments, Handcock is responsible for the company’s growth and innovation, including its financial coaching brand Octopus Money Coach. She has also not ruled out the business acquiring other advice businesses, so it could be that scale brings her an even bigger profile in future.

Charlotte Wood, Rosewood Financial Planning

Essex and London-based financial adviser Charlotte Wood is a chartered financial planner who prides herself on what she calls her “refreshingly open and honest approach.” Like Pattinson, Wood does more than just advise clients who are approaching or in retirement. Last year, she single-handedly arranged a conference for women financial planners. Over three days, attendees heard Ted-X style talks on a wide array of topics and issues, including difficult conversations, menstruation, and careers. They also had the opportunity to participate in CPD sessions. Amid a great deal of debate over the conference’s purpose online, Wood showed that there is a different way to do things, and that it doesn’t take a multi-million-pound piggy bank to put together an event with lasting impact.

Ruth Sturkey, Paradigm Norton

Having founded her own London financial planning firm and merged it with bigger Bristol advice business Paradigm Norton in 2019, Ruth Sturkey was not content with “just” being a client director for a successful and growing firm. Having stepped back into a non-executive directorial role at the firm, she has used her platform to launch the Money Espresso podcast, where she discusses money and life in frank and open terms with a diverse range of guests. Alongside that, she is also vice-chair for the Initiative for Financial Wellbeing, a member-led organisation intent on changing how people define money and happiness.

Anna Sofat, Progeny Wealth

Entrepreneur and campaigner Anna Sofat was best known for founding and directing Addidi Wealth, a boutique financial advice firm in London that put female clients at the heart of the conversation. But at the end of 2019 she sold the business, and began a bigger campaign in earnest. Now a prominent media personality, Sofat has found a media voice as a candid campaigner for women’s financial empowerment. Putting her money where her mouth is, Sofat launched the Are You In? movement, an initiative that asks participants to choose a “pledge” to uphold in the financial services workplace. There are six different pledges, ranging from “living the change” to “helping others” to get ahead.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Ollie Smith

Ollie Smith  is editor of Morningstar UK

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