Role: Head of UK Wholesale Distribution
Business Area: Distribution
How did you come to work at AXA IM?
The majority of my career has been sales-focused. During the early 1990s, I sold financial products through a bank and worked on a broker desk making outbound calls. The first of these roles was 100% commissioned-based which really helped hone my sales skills and accelerate my career. I then moved onto other roles which involved selling a variety of products such as OEICS, unit trusts and offshore funds; building and managing sales teams and developing and implementing marketing initiatives for various asset managers in the UK. In 2003, I was appointed as the UK Sales Director at Framlington Group Limited. Since AXA IM acquired Framlington in 2005, my responsibilities have evolved into my current role.
What do you currently do?
Like all of us, my main priority is to help make the business successful – by its nature my role means that I need to engage across the business, but there are three areas that I have at the forefront of my mind. Firstly, I work with the Distribution management team to set our strategic direction. Secondly, I manage the sales team which includes providing guidance and support to ensure we hit our collective sales targets. Thirdly, I partner with Marketing, Broker Desk and my other colleagues across the distribution landscape to ensure that we deliver upon the business development initiatives.
My day varies and often involves meeting with clients. The spectrum of our client base extends to a wide base of different businesses, including Independent Financial Advisers, Global Financial Institutions, Discretionary Fund Managers and other entities within the AXA Group who invest in or promote our products. I meet regularly with the sales team to share updates, as well as our fund managers who will often accompany us on sales calls. Organising and participating in sales conferences, working with my peers to pro-actively address emerging regulatory changes and chairing the UK Product Committee are some of my other responsibilities, as well as having membership of the UK Executive Committee.
What do you like most about working for AXA IM?
AXA IM has a great group of people across the business who I enjoy working with. Our fund managers are very talented which translates into an excellent range of funds to sell. The sales team has worked hard to build a successful track record and momentum which has led to a real sense of camaraderie. I enjoy building rapport with new clients and the challenge of bringing deals to a successful conclusion. If you are self-directed, driven and have a desire to push yourself, AXA Investment Managers gives you the opportunities to progress and develop which is crucial to me and I believe pretty much everyone within the organisation.
Interview led in 2013.