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Next Gen: Rosie Cook

Rosie Cook, Investment Analyst, Our Support Team

What first attracted you to the world of wealth management?

I’ve always enjoyed puzzles and tend to think of portfolio management as a never-ending puzzle to solve – trying to piece together the right asset allocation and security selection to get the desired result, but also tweaking it as times change and circumstances evolve. Financial markets are a complex and constantly changing environment but this is what makes it so interesting; the opportunities to learn are endless and it is so relevant to what is going on in the real world.

 

Who is your investment hero or someone you admire in the industry?

I really admire Amy Browne, Stewardship Lead at CCLA Investment Management, and all she’s done to spearhead their industry wide stewardship initiatives such as the Mental Health benchmark and the Modern Slavery benchmark.

 

What is the biggest issue facing this generation of wealth managers?

Over the next few decades there will be a transfer of trillions of dollars ($84.4 trillion according to Forbes ) from the baby boomers down to younger generations. Whilst this ‘Great Wealth Transfer’ is an opportunity for wealth managers, it is also a challenge, particularly with the rise of TikTok investment influencers and the surplus of information available online which may lead individuals to think they can do it better themselves and don’t need to seek advice.

This issue is exacerbated by the complete shift in the traditional life and financial milestones targeted by millennials (and younger generations) over their lifetimes. The industry will need to adapt solutions to address this changing target market and their evolving financial needs.

 

What were your first, best and worst investment decisions?

Best – self-funding my first two CFA levels
First – buying Fundsmith (admittedly on someone’s recommendation) back in 2012
Worst – withdrawing all my premium bonds to go travelling. The experiences were amazing but my net worth would be better off today if I’d stayed invested.

 

What advice would you give to young people interested in working in wealth management?

There are a lot of different roles in the industry so try to get as much work experience as you can – it’s the best way to figure out which areas you’re interested in (and, more importantly, not interested in). Build a network and don’t be afraid to ask someone you look up to in the industry to mentor you throughout the early stages of your career.

 

In what way does being of a younger generation help you in your role?

Being of a younger generation does tend to mean we are more comfortable with technology, and therefore more likely to embrace AI and use it to our advantage rather than shun it. I was recently struck by the quote that AI won’t take your job, people who know how to use AI will take your job – so accepting it and learning how to utilise it best will be essential going forward.

I also think that younger generations are more likely to care about how we look after the planet since we will be living in it for longer. I strongly believe this personal investment in sustainability is an advantage as it is a structural trend in the investment industry that will be around for years to come.

 

What is the biggest social issue surrounding the wealth management industry? (eg, gender equality, ethnic equality)

Lack of diversity within the industry remains a big problem. A diverse workforce leads to greater variety in thought and challenge – which is so important for better decision making and better outcomes. However, I still regularly attend fund events where less than 10% of the audience are women and very few are from ethnic minorities. This is a systemic problem which isn’t helped by low financial literacy in the population and low financial confidence, especially amongst women, perpetuated by society.

The FCA’s financial lives survey conducted last year found that more women (21%) than men (12%) lack confidence in their financial ability, and minority ethnic group adults were over one and a half times more likely to say they were not coping financially.

This low confidence is sadly reinforced by the current media landscape, which doesn’t speak to women as if they are investors. Starling Bank conducted a study of 300 articles aimed at men and women from a variety of media outlets and found that 65% of articles advised women to limit shopping, save small sums or depend on financial support – whereas 70% of articles aimed at male readers emphasised that making money is a masculine ideal and that monetary success and financial literacy are essential to enhancing personal status. Is it any surprise that there are less women in the industry when they grow up around this dialogue that they should focus on saving and limit their financial decisions?

The lack of financial education on the national curriculum compounded by this type of cultural narrative only serves to reinforce these low levels of confidence and financial literacy. In turn, this helps perpetuate the pay, pensions and credit gaps experienced between the genders. Until these can be improved, I think there is a long way to go for true diversity within the wealth management industry.

 

What has been the most significant moment of your career so far?

Attaining my CFA chartership in October 2023 after much time spent studying was a satisfying milestone!

 

What’s the perfect tea and biscuit combination?

English Breakfast tea with Border’s Dark Chocolate Ginger biscuits.

 

You are marooned on a desert island: choose one book, one album and one practical item.

Book – Persuasion by Jane Austen
Album – The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg by Beatenberg
Practical item – A guide to edible plants in the region.

 

You have a time machine: do you go to the future or the past? When and where?

I’ve always been fascinated with the Regency era of Britain and would love to travel back to that moment in time to see how London blossomed with the Prince Regent’s ambitious building programme.

 

You can live in any country in the world from tomorrow, but you can never leave that country: where?

It would have to be Italy with its beautiful language, great fashion, and delicious food. You can enjoy the alps in winter but also the coast during summer – not forgetting all the incredible art, culture and ancient Roman architecture to explore.

 

Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party? And what would you cook?

Princess Margaret – apparently she was the life and soul of every party and would entertain by singing songs on the piano at the end of the evening
Florence Pugh – for the gossip from all of the fabulous film sets she has worked on
Oscar Wilde – I would love to hear the legendary author’s perspective on life today.

I’d cook the linguine alla cecca from Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, followed by my Mum’s lemon compote recipe – light, fresh and delicious.

 

You are granted one mild superpower: what do you choose? (eg, the ability to fly but only about six feet above the ground)

I would love to have a photographic memory.

 

Article published by Citywire Wealth Manager, Cansu Akkus.

Rosie Cook, Investment Analyst, One Four Nine Group

Find out more about Rosie on the Group website here.

I was recently struck by the quote that AI won’t take your job, people who know how to use AI will take your job – so accepting it and learning how to utilise it best will be essential going forward.

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