Danielle Cottignies, Director, Crestbridge, talks to Tom Burroughes, WealthBriefing Group Editor, on the firm’s continued excellence.
What do you think gave you the competitive edge this year?
Our focus has always been on listening to clients and colleagues to develop bespoke, tailored and appropriate best-in class solutions, and that’s definitely shone through over the past two years of disruption as we’ve looked to adapt and respond to a rapidly changing environment.
We’ve also placed a focus on managing and motivating the team. That’s been really important, especially with remote working rapidly become the norm. We’ve been agile in our approach, ensuring that colleagues are supported and engaged, being flexible to their needs. Ultimately, our people are our key differentiator, and I’ve been fortunate to have played a part in delivering our learning and development program and our return to work and agile working policy in response to the pandemic.
Describe how your colleagues make a difference to your organisation?
Our combined success is really all about investment in our people and supporting each other – recognising and respecting our strengths, enabling career progression, offering training to open up new skills development opportunities and embedding new technologies to help us support clients. Again, remaining agile has been a fundamental part of our mutual success – it encourages us to work together and ensures we are ready to respond to the changing needs of clients.
Please describe the challenges you needed to surmount to reach your standard?
Keeping the team motivated and engaged was a significant challenge over the past year or so, given the shift to remote working. Finding creative ways to bring together the team remotely was critical. From a client perspective, face to face meetings were of course not possible either, and we adopted a flexible, creative approach to keep in touch with them. The key was to be proactive and we are actually now seeing an appetite for hybrid means of communication, both in person and virtually, to suit client needs.
How did your firm react to the pandemic and what lasting changes do you expect from this period. What might not last?
We were highly responsive to the pandemic – our technology infrastructure was already in place and able to accommodate agile working. A major and lasting outcome, though, has been the heightened focus on colleague support and staff wellbeing. Those are areas where I think we will definitely see a lasting legacy.
What do you see as the prospects for wealth management in general?
The world is definitely becoming more complex and the coming years will undoubtedly bring increased layers of complication, in a regulatory and legislative sense and in terms of geopolitical disruption. This greater complexity will mean that listening to client needs will become more important than ever, particularly as they move into areas like crypto currencies and digital assets, and as families focus more on succession and legacy planning and the needs of the next generation.
Whom do you look to for inspiration and ideas?
Our belief in the value of mentoring is really important, and I’ve been very fortunate to have had a mentor who has vast amounts of industry experience and is extremely well respected. Getting that sort of advice and guidance has been inspirational and instrumental in terms of my own progress.
What do you hope will be the result of receiving this accolade?
Recognition through these awards is essentially recognition for the team as a whole. To know that we are doing the right thing collectively for clients is really pleasing.