August 10, 2020 An Interview With: MD, Joe Woodward

Joe discusses his career journey and what makes his work interesting

An Interview With: MD, Joe Woodward

In this week's edition of our “Get to Know the Team” interview series, Joe Woodward, private wealth director in our Guernsey office speaks about his career journey and what makes his work interesting.

Joe is part of the team tasked with growing Oak's private wealth business in Guernsey, through both the expansion of the existing book and expanding new business through existing relationships with clients and intermediaries.

When and how did you begin your career in financial services?

I moved to Guernsey following my graduation in politics and economics from Cardiff University in 2006.  With my economics and business studies background, finance seemed a natural fit and the obvious choice given the industry/economy in Guernsey.

What interests you most about your work?

I love dealing with people.  If you deal with people (not just numbers or ‘things’) then you know every day will be unique because everybody is different and we’re all unpredictable.

Any interesting client instructions lately?

We are in the process of taking on the trusteeship of two large trusts for a wealthy family.  Simultaneously we are looking to refinance borrowing on a London property and sell a painting at auction through Christies, so busy busy busy!

Most recently, what challenges are you helping your clients overcome?

Like everybody, our clients face the uncertainty of what the world will look like post-pandemic, and when that will be!  One of the good things to come out of lockdown has been the slower pace to most things (clients seem much more patient and appreciative).  This has given us the time to catch up with them by phone and video, instead of just sending emails.

Proudest professional achievement to date?

Being appointed director at the age of 34.

In your opinion, how has the industry/profession changed from when you first started?

There is far more regulation, which is a good thing.  This has meant that smaller structures are no longer viable, so we tend to have fewer clients but with larger structures.  This in itself adds complexity to what we do, although it does allow for those client relationships to be deeper.

Alternative career outside of financial services?

I always wanted to be an architect but was never creative enough (that and the seven years of study put me off).

Outside of the financial services industry, who do you admire most and why?

Barrack Obama is a hero of mine.  To get to where he got to facing the obstacles he did was a feat that will never be repeated.  He is a truly inspirational leader.

Where was the last place you travelled for work or pleasure?

It seems a long time since any of us travelled!  The last time I left Guernsey was to go and watch my beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers play.  It was especially memorable because my two sons got to meet all the players (although I was probably more excited than they were)!

How do you relax after a long day and what do you do in your spare time?

In Guernsey we are blessed with such beautiful scenery and I like to make the most of it.  The most relaxing thing to do is walk the cliffs but if I’m feeling more adventurous I do like a bit of sea swimming (although not without a wetsuit)!

Inspirational quote/words to live by:

“Keep a good head and always carry a lightbulb”, Bob Dylan.  In other words, keep your mind clear and ideas will form naturally…you just never know when! 

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