In the fifth of our series of special II Leadership Summit 2021 - 'Meet the Panel' interviews Graham Sheward, CEO, Hansard, takes the hotseat.
Graham joins five of the industry's biggest names (see below) at our inaugural II Leadership Summit 2021, which is set to be broadcast on Monday 11 October, 2021 at 1pm (UK time), to discuss 'leadership in international financial services', 'how to lead through a pandemic' and the future of the international advice industry.
In this interview below, Graham speaks to II's Gary Robinson about his leadership style after joining Hansard Group earlier this year.
GR: Can you describe your leadership style? What works for you? And how would member's of your team describe your style?
GS: I like to lead from the front and set an example with clear messages and behaviours designed to create a sense of business ownership with specific focus on improvement and success. I also like to find time for some fun along the way and believe in celebrating success. My new colleagues and I are still getting to know each other since I joined Hansard Group in May this year, so you'd need to ask them !
GR: How important is leadership to a successful International financial services firm and how does it manifest itself across all levels of your company?
GS: It helps to have international business leadership experience, having worked overseas and led multi-jurisdictional, cross-border companies and teams. This provides an appreciation of different cultures and hopefully the glue that makes us all feel as one no matter where we are in the world. I've also enjoyed meeting every Hansard Group employee face-to-face or via video call.
GR: How important has strong leadership been during the pandemic and how did your role change as a result of of covid?
GS: I was fortunate to join Hansard Group when most pandemic restrictions had been lifted in the Isle of Man where our main office is located. But travel and restrictions in our other operating countries have prevented me from visiting colleagues until now. I've used a weekly blog and regular video calls to stay in touch with remote colleagues to ensure consistent messaging, and host floor talks with local colleagues in the Isle of Man.
GR: Tell us about your day to day role as a leader within your organisation. What does your role entail?
GS: I'm responsible for leading and managing the delivery of our strategic business objectives, working closely with my executive colleagues and their teams, so I spend a lot of my week in 1:1 meetings or team discussions. Having recently moved into fantastic new offices, we have designed a Collaboration Room for informal group discussions too.
GR: What challenges are there in dealing with different people across different time zones managing an international business?
GS: It's important to recognise and understand different cultures; we've recently invested in providing specific country culture training and education for team members that interact with our overseas colleagues, for example in Japan. Whilst video calling has become the norm by necessity over the past 18 months, there is no substitute for meeting colleagues, business partners and advisors face-to-face in their home locations.
Graham is part of an exciting and exclusive specially-selected Q&A panel discussion which will recorded in our new Incisive Studios in Covent Garden, London with some participants in the studio and others appearing on the studio's high-tech video walls.
Panellists include industry big hitters: Sean Christian - MD of Wealth Management Division- Canada Life; David Kneeshaw - CEO, IFGL Group (inc RL360) ; Graham Sheward - CEO, Hansard (above); Ariel Amigo - Chief Marketing & Distribution Officer, Investors Trust.
And from the international advisory world: Nigel Green - founder and CEO of DeVere Group and Robert Parker - CEO Holborn Assets.
The II Leadership Summit 2021 will be premiered on www.internationalinvestment.net and will be followed by an ezine edition of the event, including an edited highlights of the panel session, a leadership feature and further individual interviews with each of our leaders.