Inspirational Woman: Nicola Horlick | High flying entrepreneur – City Eye interview

Nicola-Horlick-033b-smNicola Horlick, is the Chief Executive Officer of Derby Street Film, CEO of Money&Co, as well as Rockpool Investment.

Ms. Horlick served as an Advisor at Societe Generale Group since July 2003. Prior to this, she founded Bramdean Asset Management LLP in 2004 and served as its Chief Executive Officer. She worked in the fund management industry for over 28 years and has participated in the growth of some of the UK’s premier asset management businesses.

She serves as a Non Executive Director of the Basingstoke hospital. She has been a Non-Executive Director of Basingstoke and North Hampshire Foundation Trust since January 2008.

Starting a business you need a sounding board.

She has an interesting story. It seems a strong, and caring father may have been part of her path into the city.

I had actually wanted to be an actress. I acted in everything and anything. When I went to RADA they said go and finish your degree, and act every time you get a chance. But before I came to London, I was waiting for my husband to be. While I was waiting, I worked with my father. He gave me the opportunity to take a product to sale. It was actually something which binds animal feed into pellets which makes them easier to handle. I had to handle the input, the samples, the buyer. It was exciting seeing the sales grow.

My father would be my main role model. From working alongside him I saw so many of his qualities. He was a true entrepreneur. He would always try new things, a hotel in Scotland. Sometimes he’d lose out, but that didn’t stop him. He was quite remarkable with the family business. He was innovative, was kind to people, treated employees like a family, and hence earned the loyalty of his employees. Every Xmas he would great his employees, by name. He had gifts and presents at Xmas and would take time with them.

I have always been in a male environment, and I had a brother. At a recent meeting of my firm Rockpool, we had 24 people in the board room and I was the only woman. But completely on the same wave length.

Be brave, push yourself forward. Go for it. Be self confident. If you are not make sure you get a mentor, to support and train you.

I was lucky that I had several mentors, who frequently were older men. Peter Barton was my final chairman, and another mentor. Starting a business you need a sounding board.

I was lucky to go to Warburg, for my first job in the city. The other banks, Rothchild and Baring more of the same. All had grey suited men, but Warburg was only 40 years old.

Warburg had true diversity they had people from all over the world, a huge mix, of diversity, ethnic, gender, different education social background. I could see true meritocracy.

I believe the best board mix is 50/50.

I am on the board of an NHS hospital in Hampshire, where we have equal numbers of men and women.

Women do have a different outlook, men are often much more aggressive, and more outspoken. Women generally more thoughtful, and cautious,which can be very useful in terms of risk

I understand what risk is. I have a more tempered view than the average man.

Real diversity isn’t just about gender, it needs to be ethnic, educational, social. Diversity creates the best business, creates tension. As CEO I control the tension. We create business working together. A firm is rather like sibling rivalry, they’re all vieing for my attention.

Core Values:

My cores values are honesty, integrity, and enthusiasm.

I think that the UK is more friendly towards women than France of Germany.

Nicola is less concerned with the 30% women on boards, as the number of female executives. Not non- executives. We need more. I cal it the marzipan layer.   It is not always women’s fault, they often prefer to be power behind the throne.   Women are often self deprecating

Advice to young women starting out.

Be brave, push yourself forward. Go for it. Be self confident. If you are not make sure you get a mentor, to support and train you.

Learning and education are important.

Always be properly prepared for interviews, make sure you’ve done your research.

Research is important, but be careful of the source. The Economist is one I trust, and the BBC.

About the author

City Eye became interested in Overlooked and Overshadowed women, both in contemporary times and through out history. The former would include the women passed over for the Nobel in favour of their male colleagues. The later would be the wives of famous men, such as Mrs. Mandela. Her study of women written out of history, led her to interviews with interesting and inspirational women, (and some men). Extracts will be published in the articles. In no way is this men versus women, as to who is better. Simply that an overly macho, military, testosterone fueled environment, mainly men, needs the balancing attributes, often, though not exclusively, assigned to women: caring, conciliation, communication. Find out more: City Eye Blog ©christina

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