What is your new role?
Director of human resources at Threadneedle Investments.
Where were you working before and what were your duties?
My previous role at Threadneedle was head of HR for London, where I looked after HR operations for all London and Europe-based staff and firm-wide compensation and benefits. I joined from Watson Wyatt, where I was an HR consultant, and before that, I worked on compensation and benefits at Prudential Corporation.
What will be the duties in your new role?
I report to the managing director, and also have a line into the chief executive on compensation and benefits issues. My role encompasses company-wide HR operations, compensation and benefits, training and development, IT and payroll, as well as HR strategy. I have a team of 19 based in two locations in the UK.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
To continue developing a business-focused, pragmatic approach to the delivery of HR solutions.
What are the challenges HR faces in the next five years?
Keeping abreast of the ever-increasing requirements of employment law while retaining a commercial outlook.
What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?
Get broad generalist experience first. Do your research, and understand your client base and the company’s products.
What is the essential tool in your job?
And the most overrated?
What is the worst thing about HR?
There are two: purists who only think in HR terms and not in commercial terms, and analysts who believe salary surveys give definitive answers.
Who is your ultimate guru?
Catbert – the evil HR director in the Dilbert comic series.
Who would you most dislike to work with?
A politician – you can never get a straight answer, and you never know where you are going or where you stand.
How do you fill your spare time?
Keeping tabs on two teenagers and providing a taxi service for parties, sleepovers and the like. I also play golf and squash, and have just booked my fourth beginners yoga class – another 12 weeks of pain and suffering.
What song gets you on the dance floor?
Anything by Bob Marley.
What would be your dream job?
Captain of Toni’s Tours – a little glass-bottomed boat that takes small groups of holidaymakers on short cruises in the Caribbean Sea off Antigua. The captain charges US$30 for two hours including free rum punch – one tour per day, seven days per week. That would leave plenty of time to enjoy the local surroundings and customs.
What is the worst office party you’ve ever attended?
A leaving party for a very unpopular manager – I was the only one who turned up.
Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Cameron Diaz – to engage in witty intelligent conversation to pass the time.
2006 HR director, Threadneedle Investments
2003-2005 Head of HR, London, Threadneedle Investments
1999-2003 HR manager, Threadneedle Investments
1993-1999 HR officer, Threadneedle Investments
1993 Compensation and benefits consultant, Watson Wyatt
1990-1993 Group compensation and benefits consultant, Prudential Corporation