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Gemma Woodward

Executive Director & Head of Responsible Investment

What attracted you to a career in wealth management?

I joined the financial services industry in 1994 with a history degree from Durham University, and since then have achieved a number of finance-related qualifications. From fairly early on in my career I was interested in what was then termed ‘ethical’ investment. This has evolved over time into what we now call responsible investment. For me, ensuring that we understand and can meet a client’s responsible investment preferences has always been interesting as every client is different and therefore understanding their specific requirements is a key part of that process. I have worked at various firms within the financial services sector and joined Quilter Cheviot in 2015 to develop its responsible investment approach.

What would you like to achieve for clients?

For many years I was an investment manager and I think having had the practical experience of interacting with and managing clients is a really helpful in understanding the real-life issues of incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors within the investment process and for client portfolios and strategies. I have concentrated solely on responsible investment since June 2022 and have built a team, who amongst many other things, works with the research analysts to ensure that our approach to stewardship and incorporating ESG factors is integrated within our investment process.

What else are you passionate about?

My experience in managing investments for charities has led me to take on a number of voluntary roles within that sector. These have included trusteeships, independent investment adviser roles and being the chair of a small charity focused on mental health. To be able to use my skills to help other organisations is extremely rewarding and, I feel that I have benefitted enormously by having exposure to the charity sector and different experiences and cultures.

The value of your investments and the income from them can fall and you may not recover what you invested.