Sharon Rogers is enjoying blazing a trail in her new job as an independent financial adviser for leading Cheshire-based firm Innes Reid.
Managing Director Mark Reidford had been frustrated in his bid to recruit a female financial adviser to join his team, and had gone on record saying it was an industry-wide problem which needed to be tackled.
After months of attempting to find the right person, Sharon Rogers, 45, joined the firm in early April and has quickly settled into her new role.
Sharon, who lives in Vicars Cross in Chester, said: “Since I have been here I had started networking on behalf of the company and joined the women’s networking groups and it has proved to be a very positive experience for the company – before there was no way the company could do it.
“There are times when a woman would prefer to talk to a woman about her business affairs, so now we as a company can offer this service.”
She says she hadn’t thought about the scarcity of female financial advisers in the industry until she spoke to Mark about joining Innes Reid.
But she added: “When I spoke to Mark and began to think about it, I realised I was the only female financial adviser at my previous employers. When I was going to meetings the majority of people there were male.”
Mark said: “Sharon has met expectations perfectly since she joined us, opening doors we felt had previously been closed to us.
“She has been a good addition to the staff at Innes Reid, bringing a different skills set, a different outlook and has made the team look more rounded and balanced. It is everything I had hoped for.”
Sharon has worked in the financial industry for 25 years, at first as a PA and then as a para planner before finally studying for exams in 2015 to qualify as a financial adviser.
She says the chance to join Innes Reid came at the right time for her.
“It was perfect timing because I had made the decision to leave my previous job and saw the opportunity with Innes Reid and everything just slotted into place.
“I’m really enjoying the role. Everyone here has been great and I really like the set up with everyone helping everyone else. You have the admin staff, the para planners and then the financial advisers who all work collaboratively. The technical skills and levels of customer service are very high at Innes Reid, but I am happy to take on the challenge”
Since she started at Innes Reid, Sharon has found a positive change in her work-life balance which she thinks has helped her settle in quickly.
“I am only a 15-minute walk from the office rather than having a 25-minute drive.
"The majority of clients come in to see me rather than me having to go out on the road. Before I was having to make appointments to go out and see people at evenings and weekends which wasn’t leaving much time for a home life.”
“Now, although I often start early and rarely work beyond professional hours, I have my weekends free so I feel I have a great work-life balance.”
Her arrival comes at a time when Innes Reid is growing which has necessitated the acquisition of the former guest house next door to convert into extra office space.
Mark said: “It is exactly ten years ago that we moved into our offices with no expectations that we would ever outgrow it.”
“But in the last 18 months we have become increasingly aware that the continued growth of the business has started to put pressure on the size of the building.”
“With the deal now agreed, we are waiting on permission for a change of use of the building from a guest house to offices, and we see it as a six-month project for a full restoration and conversion to office space.
“We plan to create a great environment to work in which will allow us to deliver positive advice experience to even more clients.”
To speak to Sharon contact 01244 347583 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"There are times when a woman would prefer to talk to a woman about her business affairs, so now we as a company can offer this service."
Sharon Rogers, IFA, Innes Reid
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