Women in Finance – series of blogs, episode 8

Colette Pienaar, Self employed Partner

In the latest instalment of our Women in Finance series, we had the privilege of getting to know Colette Pienaar, a self-employed Partner at Foster Denovo. In this eighth episode, Colette shares her remarkable journey on how she seamlessly integrated her expertise in Health and Wellness coaching with the intricacies of the financial industry.

Embarking on her venture with Foster Denovo just seven months ago, Colette is immersed in the challenging process of working her way through the FD Academy. Offering a glimpse into her journey as a self-employed Partner, Colette explains her experience of delving into advisory training while juggling her role as a Health and Wellness Coach.

Here, Colette gives us an insight into her journey towards becoming a self-employed partner at Foster Denovo.

“I currently devote two days a week to working through all the Academy modules here at Foster Denovo for Financial Planning.

The rest of the week I’m a Health and Wellness Coach where my primary focus is helping women navigate midlife and all the challenges that it brings. Most of my clients have reached out for help when facing changes during a significant life stage.

The truth is that not many people love change and there are usually barriers to making significant changes in life and ironically, we all need to embrace this to create the life we want. I have a unique skill set, and with my holistic approach to wellness, I decided to embrace the opportunity I have to help women plan the next decade of their lives in a very meaningful way.  As a result, I chose to train in finance as this opens more opportunities to help and support women at pivotal times in their lives.

My journey with Foster Denovo began when Stephanie Fortescue, one of the Practice Managers, intrigued by my ambitions, recommended that I connected with the Head of Talent and Acquisition to explore the possibility of kickstarting my training and achieving qualifications through the LIBF (London Institute of Banking and Finance).

Foster Denovo, a space with many opportunities, has proven to be a transformative organisation for my professional growth. The academy has provided me with a very thorough base to build my business on and is continuing to support me through the various modules I am currently working on.

With the start of a New Year one of my primary objectives, alongside working through the FD academy, is to continue building my wellness business. To do this I’ll be running a workshop in January which offers my current clients an opportunity to complete a life audit with me. We take the time to review the previous year and give ourselves a score for 7 key areas of life. One of which is finances. This workshop will facilitate an opportunity to plan ahead for that client, not only with health and wellness in mind, but now a consideration of how they will fund their goals going forward.

My reason for doing what I do is because I love helping people and problem-solving with them. There’s nothing more rewarding for me than supporting somebody who is feeling little lost and working together to identify their objectives and design a plan to get them there.

After working at Foster Denovo for a few months now, I have really found their company culture sets them apart from other organisations. And the people are lovely too!

Here, Colette shares her advice on getting into the industry and how she believes times have positively changed towards women in finance.

I think naturally more women are deciding on a career in financial services. In my mortgage and IFA training, more women were attending that course than there had ever been before, according to my tutors. They say it has been like this for the last couple of years which I think shows the positive changes being made”.

Although there is a lot of work involved and there’s a lot of learning to do, especially if you’re starting from scratch, I believe if you surround yourself with the right people and a firm that can support you through that journey, nothing can stop you.