In the sixth of our series of special II Leadership Summit 2021 - 'Meet the Panel' interviews Robert Parker, CEO Holborn Assets, takes the hotseat.
Robert 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, Robert speaks to II's Gary Robinson about his leadership style and his day-to-day role.
GR: Can you describe your leadership style? What works for you? And how would members of your team describe your style?
RP: I have always adopted an open door policy and democratic leadership style in Holborn - in fact we are well known for it.
I lean more towards the servant leader - the reversed pyramid - in our business the CEO is not at the top like some Athenian God sending thunderbolts down from Mount Olympus - we have a symbiotic relationship with our Advisers - they are not only Advisers but business people in their own right - as their business grows so does ours.
I recall many years ago being informed that our job is to create the right atmosphere, the right soil and the right fertilizer the growth will then happen. Note that it is us that provides these.
GR: How important is leadership to a successful International financial services firm and how does it manifest itself across all levels of your company
RP: It is hugely important because as the leader of Holborn I have to set the course the strategic plan, I need to be aware of change and all things affecting our future and adopt and adapt to that change and I don't have all the answers, so I rely heavily on my Executive to come up with the solutions.
GR: Tell us about your day-to-day role as a leader within your organization. What does your role entail?
RP: Every year we set out our annual plan based on a three year strategic plan. It is my role to ensure that we keep to that plan and I have my management team to push the plan through - they are measured against their part of the plan - frankly it is management 101.
The key to our success is I offer a transparent leadership style with honesty as core - you cant hide in the light.
GR: What challenges are there in dealing with different people across different time zones managing an international business?
RP: The world is very small in post covid Zoom times. 0800 in Florida is 1.00pm in UK it is 4.00pm in Dubai and 8.00pm in Hong Kong so the only challenge is someone on the Executive monthly meetings has a late evening or early start! If you are in the middle it works well.
All flippancy aside, we are in a fast communicating world and I never consider time zones an obstacle.
Robert 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 (above).
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.