60 second interview with Emma Woollcott, Mishcon de Reya
In our 60 second interview series, Citywealth speaks to Emma Woollcott, partner at Mishcon de Reya.
17 June 2019
In our 60 second interview series, Citywealth speaks to Daniel Freedman, managing director at London & Capital about helping clients through difficult periods, and his passion for fruit which in an alternative world might have seen him become a greengrocer.
Tell me about your role.
My role has changed over the years, from managing the day-to-day basics of the company alongside looking after clients, to now really concentrating on looking after our clients and developing new business for the company. I am also involved in the strategy and forward planning for London & Capital. The day-to-day operations are now run by our professional management team.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I get into the office at 7.00am, I like to review the previous day’s activities and review the day and week ahead. I tend to be in the office to meet my team, meet with clients and other introducers. My day generally finishes around 7.00pm at which time I go home and spend time with my family.
Tell us about interesting client instructions.
One of the most interesting client instructions I had was when I went to Denver to meet with one of our long-standing clients whose husband had previously died. When I met with her she was in a terrible state, she had not, after two years, taken her husband’s clothes out of the wardrobes and she could not face looking at her business decisions relating to her husband’s previous activities. I was able to introduce her to new accountants and new lawyers and sort her finances out in order for her to have a new start to her life. After seven years she is now happily in a new relationship and her business affairs have been well structured and her finances sorted out.
What challenges do your clients face and how are you helping your clients to overcome them?
Most of my clients are US people living in the UK and Europe, they face the dual problems of US tax and either UK or European tax. My role is to help them create a financial plan and wealth plan to enable them to manage their finances and their investments in a compliant way both for the US and the UK.
What is your proudest professional achievement?
I think from a professional view my proudest achievement is to see how I have been able to take younger people from within the business and develop them into highly valued professionals.
I can think of two examples where I have taken young people in their 20s/30s and developed them into my partners.
What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?
I think a leader has to have three important attributes. Firstly, they need to have a vision which they can communicate to their team. Secondly, they need to provide an example of how they are able to carry their vision forward in order to show their team how this can be achieved and thirdly, they need to have empathy for people and their problems. As we know life is not a straight line and it is always important to understand the different pressures and issues that affect people.
Who do you most admire and why?
I admire many people in the context of business and general life, but one of the real people I find truly inspiring is actually the Queen, she has reigned over a nation that has had various issues, she has had difficult family problems, and throughout all this she has been able to maintain her dignity and poise, which I think it is quite admirable.
Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure?
I do a regular trip to New York and Los Angeles to see our clients. Los Angeles is always an interesting place, it is so different to New York, and it’s amazing that one country can have two distinct cultures. California is quite a relaxed place and very diverse in terms of the types of people that live there, whereas New York is a far more bustling business city and quite amazing in terms of its architecture and business environment.
If you weren’t in the wealth management industry, what else might you be doing?
Actually, my true passion is fruit, and if I were not in the wealth management business, I would like to be a greengrocer, because I love good quality fruit, looking at fruit plants, and in fact I find the whole aspect of fruit amazing. I would probably have a little greengrocer shop at the bottom my road.
How do you relax after a long day?
Well I do two things, firstly I speak to my wife who is not in the financial industry and really calms me down and secondly, there is nothing better than a good Netflix boxset to take your mind a million miles away from the financial industry.