Phil Wood, head of UBS in the Midlands
Phil Wood, head of UBS in the Midlands, gives BQ an insight into his career so far and reveals what it's like working for the largest wealth manager in the world.
What does your role involve?
I lead a team of client advisors that advise wealthy entrepreneurs on all aspects of their financial affairs. As well as leading the team, I also look after a small number of wealthy clients – some for more than 20 years.
What is it the company does?
UBS is the largest wealth manager in the world. We are a Swiss private bank that has been around for over 150 years. We look after many of the regions wealthy individuals from our office in Birmingham. Each client advisor only looks after a relatively small number of clients so that we can offer a truly bespoke service in a highly personalised way. Our client satisfaction results for the Midlands team are amongst the highest in our industry.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
A great leader is someone that has a vision and can then lead a team towards the common goal – taking into account individual strengths and ambitions.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
My role is very varied and includes looking after clients but managing a growing and ambitious team. One minute I can be dealing with a complicated structuring issue for a client and the next minute supporting a member of my team through a difficult situation.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Family and leisure time is really important to me. On a day to day level I try to stay fit by running (I've ran several marathons to raise money for good causes). I take regular holidays and love to visit new and exciting places.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a barrister. I can be quite stubborn and reckon I can hold my own in most arguments!
Any pet hates in the workplace?
People not being polite – please and thank you cost nothing but mean so much to people
Where do you see the company in five years time?
The team has continued to grow each and every year and we are looking after more and more clients. I hope through organic growth and selective recruitment that we can continue this for many years to come. Continuing our outstanding client satisfaction results are paramount to this.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Be prepared to put yourself out and always take on additional challenges / responsibilities when you can.
Where did you start your career?
Many years ago I started my career at Lloyds TSB. I learnt the basic skills of good customer services.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.
Having started my career in retail banking I soon decided that I wanted to specialise in investments. I moved to a firm of chartered accountants and eventually became head of the PwC Wealth Advisory team in the UK. In 2008, myself and seven colleagues decided that we wanted to work for a global organisation that specialised in wealth management and UBS we felt suited us and our clients needs best.
Meet the rest of Phil's team at www.ubs.com/midlands-uk.