International Women in Wealth five minute interview:Joan Major, Partner and CEO, New Quadrant Partners

Date: 02 Dec 2011


Are there any private clients in the world you would really like to work with?

Not specifically. Our clients come to us because they like us and our approach. If there is no empathy or a “connection” between us and a client, no matter who they are, there will never be a satisfactory relationship.

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

Women could take over the world but in doing so should be well aware that there is place for men. Men only controlled boards and companies do not necessarily have a fully rounded view. Women only board would lose the male viewpoint as well.

What is the most interesting or unusual private client deal you have ever been involved with?

I worked on a transaction and then supervised funding for a condiments factory in Ukraine and separately a champagne production company in Russia.

What lessons have you learned that you could share with women starting out in the finance industry?

Be determined, be good at what you do, use your network and make a point of connecting and introducing others within your network to each other.

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

As a firm we are quite female orientated and try to be flexible if asked but apply this to both men and women.

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

To a degree – perhaps not in a prescriptive way. It would be excellent if the Government could think of ways/incentives to encourage businesses to take more women onto boards.

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

Listening to what the client wants, providing excellent client service and we develop relationships with clients that trust us and share our values.

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

Whilst working for someone who often appeared at the top of the Times 100 Rich list – I had the comment – “it is not often I meet someone like you, with personality, intelligence, humour and a will to achieve”.
What is your individual focus in terms of countries and uhnw clients? We work with clients from both the UK and overseas.

How much do you travel on business and where do you tend to go?

Mostly Europe.

What is the next big thing in private wealth management?

There has been a move in the wider wealth management industry to boutique firms. Whether this trend will continue in the current economic environment is a real unknown.

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

It no longer seems necessary for experienced females to power dress to impress clients.

Is the glass ceiling still with us?

To a degree – I feel it is becoming easier for women to progress – though this may be a function of my age. I think there is a tremendous opportunity for young women today.

What charities do you admire and why?

Breast Cancer Campaign – it carries out extremely valuable research.

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

Work hard, do the very best job you can and don’t have a chip on your shoulder. If you expect to be discriminated against it will become self fulfilling.

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