Inspirational Woman: Chioma Patrick | Financial Planning Specialist, Coutts

Chioma Patrick

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am a Nigerian-born, Sheffield-raised, British woman living and working in London. I am married, own an adopted greyhound and I am expecting my first-born in March. I have worked within the financial services sector for virtually all of my career – initially providing advice on mortgages then in the latter stage of my career providing financial planning advice.

I work at Coutts as a Financial Planning Specialist within the Sports, Media and Entertainment client group. My day-to-day involves advising our clients around their holistic financial planning areas focusing on key financial planning needs such as retirement planning, tax structuring, family protection and inheritance tax planning.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I did not plan my career because unfortunately things did not go quite to plan when I almost failed my degree! I knew I wanted to work within financial services – and financial planning seemed to be a good fit. I focused on obtaining qualifications and gaining experience within financial services that would help towards my goal of providing financial planning advice to high-net-worth individuals. This just goes to show that if you have a goal, and a focus, it is possible to achieve it, even if things don’t initially go to plan.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

In addition to what I mentioned above with respect to my degree, I have suffered setbacks like any other in respect to being made redundant, not being successful in applications for a role/interviews and imposter syndrome at various stages of my career – which never really goes away! It is a cliché to say, but these setbacks have made me stronger and more determined, and that’s something that I would say to others too.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

It is very hard for me to pick one so I will name a few. Each job I have managed to secure throughout my career has been an incredible achievement for me because each time it has been a role I have really wanted. I have also been very proud when I have obtained key qualifications, or I have been recognised for outperformance in various roles. And lastly – I have challenged myself in recent years to put myself out of my comfort zone to take on more presentations and public speaking challenges and I have been proud of the progress I have made so far.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

I have been incredibly lucky to have a network of colleagues throughout my career who have provided guidance, coaching and sponsorship to enable me to progress. Without the input and support of my senior colleagues – I would not be where I am today. This is something that I really try to pay forward too in my career – helping others learn from my experience.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I am incredibly passionate about mentoring because of the impact it has had on my career. I seek out mentees, I currently have mentees, and I have personally had mentors throughout my career – both on a formal and informal basis. One of my passions in life is seeing people I have a connection with achieve their goals – whether professionally or personally. It is something that makes me very happy and so therefore I will do what I can to help people towards their goals.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

Be part of a movement to empower the next generation of women to relentlessly pursue their goals and equip them with the confidence and skills to do so.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Do not be afraid to fail. It will all work itself out in the end!

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I would like to help improve the participation of women in their finances and improve their overall financial capability. Financial planning is not the most interesting of topics – that is a hurdle in itself and so for me the goal is to make financial planning more accessible. I am not quite sure myself on what would make the biggest impact and of course there are many ideas out there. My challenge is to find a way that works for me in my current role, and make as large as an impact I can on the female population in this respect.

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