Since the events of 2008, the financial services industry has not been held in the highest of regard. It’s the industry that Chirag, my fellow co-founder, and I called home for a lot of years. The cynicism around the sector is still very real.
It was therefore really refreshing to hear Stephen Webster, CEO of Thorntons Investments, speak at a Social Good Live event. He spoke with purpose on the development of young people and how the company he leads plays its’ part in the local community of Dundee.
We met for a coffee after the event and found that we shared many of the same values and aspirations. I was invited to their offices to meet the team, and luckily for me, I was right on time for the traditional bacon roll meeting to welcome new recruits. I shared the story of Know You More and the team appreciated the social impact element of our model.
Thorntons Investments is looking to do something quite different within financial services. They’re heavily invested in the development of their local community, had a shortlisted ‘apprentice of the year’ and are committed to stopping the flow of young talent out of Dundee to cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow by creating an engaging early career experience. It was in this area that we started to plan how we would work together. HR Manager Leigh Hudson identified members of the team that would be well suited and first on the list was Emily.
Emily has been the assistant for the compliance team for two years and aspires to hold the role of compliance manager. She is a valued member of the Thorntons Investments team and plays a key role in the development of internal policies to comply with the strict legislation in a highly regulated industry. Whilst Emily has a keen eye for the detail, her manager believed that she lacked confidence and a coaching approach would help to gently push her boundaries to use her initiative and believe in herself.
After a few months working with her Know You More coach Sarah, Leigh has already seen a positive effect:
“I’ve literally seen a new spring in her step. She was a happy person to have around the office before but I sense that knowing the Company believes in her and wants to help her develop her career has given her a new sense of purpose – and most definitely confidence in her own abilities. She’s not afraid to try new things and represents the compliance team, even presenting at meetings.”
The flip side of the work we’ve been doing with Emily is the opportunity for a third sector organisation or charity to benefit from coaching. For every coaching session, we deliver in a commercial capacity, we do the same for a charity partner. The team at Thorntons Investments wanted to further their support of Cornerstone, a Scotland wide charity that provides high-quality care and support to enable everyone to live a valued life. We look forward to building our relationship with Cornerstone over the next few months and share our progress with the team at Thorntons Investments.
This is really exciting for everyone at Know You More and a great example of our ‘Give and Get’ model in action. We believe it gives us the best opportunity to make a bigger difference, to individuals, businesses and our local communities. Investing our profits back into other community, society and charitable causes that focus on the development of youth. The more people we help, the more we can motivate and inspire positive change. We are delighted to work with companies like Thorntons Investments to help shape the communities in which they work.