Next Gen Profile: Gary Donald


What prompted your move to LGT Vestra in 2015?

In 2010 I took the opportunity to relocate from Glasgow to London with Barclays Wealth, moving from operations to a client-facing role. Despite working with great colleagues and clients, I made the decision to move to LGT Vestra. I wanted to further develop my skills through their fresh and entrepreneurial approach to wealth management. Shortly after joining LGT Vestra, I learned of their specialist subsidiary which focuses on helping clients with connections to the US. Not one to pass up a challenge, I made the internal move to LGT Vestra US in 2016.

We notice your Linkedin profile shows you have progressed within the company from Investment Assistant to Assistant Wealth Manager in the space of just 4.5 years. What is your key to success?

I've been driven by the entrepreneurial spirit of LGT Vestra US and its values as a business. I knew that by committing myself to the team and developing the business, I would be supported in career progression and that my achievements would be recognised. My constant drive to progress and develop has been further inspired by the commitment and attitude of both friends and colleagues. Their constant encouragement kept me going throughout the many hours of studying for my professional exams and continues to motivate me.

What advice would you give to a young professional looking to start a career in wealth management?

The advice I would give myself five years ago would be to stay committed to the process because a career in wealth management doesn't happen overnight. You need to manage your own expectations as it takes time to complete the professional qualifications. You also have to manage your time wisely - there will be days where you have to juggle work, study and home life. I would also say don't be afraid to make mistakes: if they happen then use them as an opportunity to learn. Lastly, I would recommend finding a mentor to help you on your journey. You can leverage their knowledge and experience to hone your own skills.

2020 has been a challenging year for us all; how has lockdown affected building/maintaining client relationships?

The absence of face-to-face meetings has definitely had an impact on how I communicate with clients. The adoption of technology and in particular video calls has definitely helped. I've found that virtual calls have strengthened my relationships with clients who live outside of the UK or who find it difficult to meet in person. In my opinion, 2020 and the pandemic has put many things into perspective: clients are more conscious of their time now than ever and conversations have become more focused with clear objectives.

With COVID-19 impacting social calendars and traditional methods of networking, have you found new ways to get to know your colleagues and develop new business?

Strangely enough my calendar is just as busy, if not busier! Technology has helped to reach a larger audience and on a more regular basis. During COVID-19, we hosted a number of unique events for our clients including virtual wine tastings, discussions with sporting legends and a tour in partnership with the National Theatre. It's been exciting to host creative virtual events in a relaxed and comfortable environment. I think virtual events are here to stay and as the world beings to return to normal, I see networking and client engagement as a combination of both traditional and online.

What's your top tip for working from home?

I prefer to have a dedicated workspace which doesn't infringe on my home life. After a few deliveries and the re-shuffling of some furniture, I was able to move from the dining table to a proper desk and office chair - two essentials in my book! Maintaining structure was also very important for me. I continue to set my morning alarm as if I'm heading into the office. Rather than my usual commute, I use the time to exercise and plan my day. Giving myself regular breaks from my desk and getting out into the fresh air (and away the fridge!) is also very helpful. Finally - it's good to talk! I try to call clients and colleagues rather than emailing whenever possible.

Sponsorship

Find out why leading brands in the private client industry are partnering with PCD to raise their profile, make connections and drive new business.

MORE INFO

Membership

Find out how you can participate in the leading club for international private client advisors and unlock opportunities around the globe. 

MORE INFO

MoST Content Management V3.0.7923