‘From time-to-time financial markets get disconnected from reality’. This was the opening line to our Quarter two investment report last year. We’re now approaching the one-year mark since Boris Johnson announced to the UK that everyone must stay at home, thus kickstarting one of the biggest periods of global change in history. While the Investment Committee were referring to portfolio management and the challenging job they’ve faced in navigating the market climate at the time, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to apply it to each of us on an individual basis either.
Everyone has travelled their own personal journey during this period of change with highs and lows, trying to strike their own balance. Being a year on, we are still not out of the woods, though there is light at the end of the tunnel. Against this backdrop, we know it is always important to stop and reflect, try to gain a wider perspective, which in turn helps us make better forward decisions. In this sense, we can bring you up to speed on how the DB Wood team has weathered the storm and why we will be coming out of it better for the disruption.
I am not sure this applies to all, though I can definitely say hand on heart that 2020 was a year that felt like I had more free time than the rest of my other years put together. That said, whilst at the beginning it was a breath of fresh air to be able to enjoy this time, eventually it did start to wear pretty thin! Each of us have dealt with lockdown in our own way, and for some they have used their time very productively. Team members Joel Rollitt and Declan Gamble are great examples, as they successfully completed the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, thus progressing their journeys towards being a key part of DB Wood’s next generation of Financial Planners. There is no sign of stopping them either as their next plan is to continue to work hard and achieve Chartered status. With beer gardens due to open in April though, there may be some slight speedbumps on that journey…
Speaking of journeys, Julie Burrows started her DB Wood journey an incredible 25 years ago having joined the company in 1996. Throughout her time with us she has welcomed both children and grandchildren as well as being an integral part of our client services team. A quite scary statistic for some of us is that over 15% of our team have now worked here beyond 25 years, Julie being a prime example and she isn’t done yet!
In addition, in 2020 we were also delighted to welcome three new members into our team, Nick White, Ecaterina Armeanu and Alan Jackson. Nick and Ecaterina came through our graduate internship program, both studying Economics from the Universities of Sheffield and Loughborough respectively. Alan Jackson joined our client services team having spent the last 7 years within our commercial insurance division. All three will no doubt go that extra mile to continue to help improve the service we offer our clients.
Part of that service often revolves around planning for retirement. Coming to the end of your working life and embarking on a new adventure is something that comes to us all, and as of March this year our very own Krystyna Peace retires after over 12 years with us. We would like to thank her for her excellent work and commitment, and for her support and guidance in helping Alan get to grips with his new role as her very capable replacement. New opportunities for all concerned, and we wish them all the best of luck.
So, as we approach the end of this turbulent period, we will hopefully welcome our team (both newer and older) back to the office from mid-summer onwards, as we continue on our infinite journey! That team continues to build, both in number and in skillset, as we continue to strive to be better in 6 months than we are today. We hope you too can look back over the past year and reflect on the positives and negatives you have experienced, and that we can all reconnect with reality when it arrives, putting our new experiences to good effect in the years ahead.