Women in Finance – series of blogs, episode 4

Helen Lovett, Chief Operating Officer

We’re excited to share our fourth episode in our Women in Finance series where we interviewed Helen Lovett. Helen has been with Foster Denovo for 11 years and is our Chief Operating Officer.

In this piece, she discusses her role, how continual learning has been a driver in her career and how employees can progress in their career with the support offered at Foster Denovo.

“Essentially, I strive to ensure that our people are able to perform at the top of their game and reach their full potential at Foster Denovo. I believe every day is an opportunity to learn, to support each other and create a stimulating working environment.

As a change manager by profession, a major part of my role involves running projects. I am currently running our Consumer Duty project, which involves a wide range of people coming together across their specialisms. Another example was our platform project, which grew into Clearview and the Dynamic Portfolios, the core of our investment division. Investment management wasn’t an area of financial services that I had been involved with previously, but now I wish I had found it earlier.

I completed the CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing during lockdown which was important to our proposition development, and also a hugely inspiring area for me personally. I absolutely love this area; if I had to re-start my career again, I would probably spend it all in this world. I enjoy taking on new projects that can move our business forward – if I’m not learning something new, I’m a nightmare!

Here, Helen shares her advice on how and why people should take ownership of their own careers.

My advice to anyone, is that you’re responsible for your own career. You should receive support along the way, but ultimately take the initiative if you’re looking to progress.

I was lucky in a sense that at an early stage in my career, my then boss had seen the potential in me, so when he was promoted, it gave me the opportunity to start my progression. However, he didn’t ask where I wanted my career to go, or how he might support me in achieving my career aspirations.

I fully expect my management team here at Foster Denovo to reach out to their teams and ask them ‘what do you want to do?’ and ‘where do you want to go?’ And, where we see potential in our employees, encourage and support them to try something new or take on more responsibility.

It’s hugely important that we encourage and mentor our people as this has a direct and positive result on career progression. And, we have examples of this within our business; Helena Bogdanovski joined us as a recruiter and now manages our employed advisers and Jo Butler was originally in marketing, but now runs our client facing operational teams.

These are just some of the examples of supporting and encouraging women within the financial services industry through Foster Denovo.

You’ve got to prove yourself in your role, and if you’re ready to progress, then Foster Denovo provides the right support to advance your career and learn new skills.”