International Women in Wealth five minute interview: Fiona McClelland, Divisional Director Brewin Dolphin

Date: 02 Dec 2011


Are women really going to take over the world, if so how?

Probably not but we do not need to – just be an equal part.

What size of client do you generally work with?

The smaller end of HNW around £1m per account. We managed >£200m on our team (2 investment managers).

What lessons have you learned that you could share with women starting out?

Be seen, be noticed, work hard and do not take a ‘male’ no for an answer.

What initiatives do you have or do you think there should be for women?

Lots – we have a wonderful niche that can be explored and used to its potential. I am a member of numerous women-only networking groups (and mixed too)

Do you think the British government should legislate to bring women on boards?

They may need to do something but no-one wants to feel they are only there because a box had to be ticked.

If you had to win a wealthy new client where would you take them to impress them?

Fortnum & Mason private evening

What are your three USP’s for working with uhnw clients?

We care, we have continuity (coming up to 11 years working with the same colleague with the same clients, he has been here 17 years) and we have the research backing one would hope for and expect.

What is the best thing that has ever been said about you or you have done or won?

Getting promoted – ‘well deserved’ was the most frequent and kind comment, mostly from men in the office too.

What is your individual focus in terms of countries and uhnw clients?


What is the next big thing in private wealth management?


Will you still be successful as a woman if you don’t dress the part?

Some, seem to make it, for me though I think it is vital to give the right impression.

What would you tell a divorcing woman in the UK, whether she was British or International, and why?

I would try to offer comfort and recommend some excellent lawyers.

Is the glass ceiling still with us?

Always but then it is fun to try and hopefully succeed in breaking through – otherwise there would be no challenge.

What charities do you admire and why?

Ones that help those with nothing compared to us, those that help sick children and those that help those that want to help themselves e.g. Princes’ Trust.

What is the dummies guide to making it to the top in finance or pwm?

Work hard, get noticed, never give up, be personal and passion about your job – it shows.

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