Rosemary is currently a NED on the board of four financial services companies – St. James Place, Willis, Vitality and Record, following a distinguished career at the Bank of England, the FSA and TSB.
As a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant, Rosemary worked at the Bank of England and FSA for 25 years finishing as Chief Internal Auditor. In this role she had a coach but that relationship had come to its natural conclusion. Rosemary had ambitions to become a NED, so was looking for a new coach who would be able to offer insights into how to go about it. A colleague at the FSA, who had already worked with Bridget before, suggested to Rosemary that Bridget would be an excellent executive coach for her.
Rosemary worked with Bridget for 6 years from 2010 and during that time Bridget was able to coach her through her various transitions, discussing and suggesting options.
After 25 years at the regulator, Rosemary needed a new challenge and when the FSA changed structure, splitting into two separate organisations - the FCA and PRA - it was an opportune time for Rosemary to resign and move onto a new role. Rather than go straight into a NED role she was advised by a head-hunter to broaden her experience and secure another executive role first. She had the option of three roles and accepted the role of Chief Internal Auditor at TSB in 2013. The TSB was at an interesting stage of its own development as it had just split from Lloyds Banking Group, so in effect it was an incomplete bank. Rosemary was on the Executive Committee and, as she didn’t inherit an Internal Audit team, she had to build one from scratch. Later, she was heavily involved in TSB’s IPO. At TSB, Rosemary was again entitled to have a coach so she continued to have regular coaching sessions with Bridget.
The coaching sessions with Bridget were quite situational, rather than having particularly big objectives to address. Both organisations were going through huge periods of change through the financial crisis and Rosemary found it extremely useful to discuss in each session with Bridget, the different circumstances and challenges facing her. For example, discussing how to handle situations when colleagues were under extreme pressure and helping her understand why people react in a certain way when they are stressed and tired and how to influence more effectively to get the desired result.
It’s often lonely being at a senior level in an organisation as one can’t always confide in the people around, due to confidentiality, integrity and protocols. Rosemary found it helpful to have someone to talk to who understood the issues and had been through similar scenarios. It was invaluable to have a non-judgmental, experienced coach that would challenge her, discuss options and act as a sounding board. Although Rosemary didn’t have any official profiling with alitus, she had been through profiling exercises previously and Bridget had her own unique way of weaving the principles and lessons into their conversations. Their sessions also covered self-awareness, how to manage conflict, stress and internal politics.
Rosemary left TSB after 2 ½ years as she was approached by head-hunters suggesting various NED roles. After working her six months notice period, she left TSB on the 31st March 2016 and started as a NED with the Pension Protection Fund the following day.
Bridget was already a NED of various companies so was able to offer Rosemary interesting insights into what worked and pitfalls to watch out for. She helped Rosemary understand the exact type of roles that she wanted. Rosemary was a trained accountant so understandably would sometimes get pigeon holed into those type of roles although she also chairs Risk Committees. Rosemary is now very happy with her varied portfolio NED career in financial services companies. She has been able to draw on her coaching experience and lessons in all of her roles. Although Rosemary doesn’t have coaching with Bridget anymore, they remain good friends.