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Cherie-Anne Baxter

Cherie-Anne is a Chartered Marketer, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Marketing & Strategy Director for Unividual.

My Credentials

Qualifications: BSc Hons Business Studies, Professional Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Marketer

Awards: Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Member of Chartered Insurance Institute, Insuring Women’s Futures Ambassador, Women In Finance Charter

Office Address: Sterling House, Bath, BA1 3AN

Contact Details: 01225 427 474 | 07904 676 901

Links: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook| Testimonials

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A little bit about me

I joined Unividual in 2014, at a time when we were a very small family-run business. I will never forget my first day, plonked in the corner of the office with no clue where my computer was or how to set it up. The first thing I wrote on my pad was “implement IT infrastructure and induction program”. At the time the office was in the attic of mum and dad’s house. I remember thinking “I am literally sitting in my old bedroom”. Coming from a very successful marketing career in recruitment I did have a moment where I thought have I made a mistake? From that first day I have never looked back. I joined as Unividual’s Marketing Director but in fact I manage every element of the operational side of the business: Marketing, HR, recruitment, operations, strategic planning & implementation, organisation of training and events, setting and reviewing budgets and targets, monitoring finances, forecasting and cashflow.

Since joining, a great many things have changed. Unividual has transformed from the small entity that it was to a progressive organisation that now employs 25 people and houses 6 financial advisers, with another 3 advisers in the wings waiting to start in 2022.  We look after around 600 clients each year and we take care of over £170m of assets under management.  A large proportion of this progression has stemmed from the launch of Unicademy, Unividual’s very own in house academy that trains up aspiring finance professionals. It was probably one of the very first things that my brother and co-director, Lewis Baxter, launched. Unicademy was created for the sole purpose of serving our loyal clients, to ensure their family, for generations to come, will receive an ongoing level of advice tailored to their individual needs.

Women making their mark in finance

This business was established over 20 years ago by my father and founding director John Baxter. He always had a vision to create a business that allowed people to prosper irrelevant of background, gender or ethnicity. The world of finance was very different back then, ofcourse the world of women in work as a whole was different. In both my upbringing and at my school in Bath I was always made to feel I could achieve and that nothing would hold me back. After graduating I started my career in recruitment, a very female-led industry, where I was quickly promoted through the ranks. My final resting place in recruitment, before joining Unividual, was at a firm that was ran by two women who again fostered and mentored my abilities. Here we took a micro business, and through my marketing expertise and their leadership, transformed it in to the largest privately owned education recruitment agency in the UK. So, when I joined financial services I had a huge wake up call.

I had realised that all my life I had been lucky enough to be around people who valued my worth. Financial advice is a male-dominated industry. It is estimated that female advisers are outnumbered by male counterparts by a ratio of anywhere from 10:1 to 6:1. Many still view finance as a man’s world yet 80% of women are solely responsible for their household’s finances at some point. Women will inherit 70% of the wealth passed down over the next two generations – which means they will control ⅔ of household wealth by 2030. In fact, about 53% of UK millionaires will be female by 2025.

As a novice to the industry this just made no sense to me when current estimates suggest that female financial advisers account for just 15% of the total adviser population. So mine and Lewis’s goal from the outset was to ensure we did everything we could to give entrepreneurial people, irrelevant of their age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background or class, a place they could learn, grow and thrive. As a women in finance I owe it to our clients, consumers, employees and local community to change the industry from the grass roots up. I dedicate my time to ensuring I am that role model and mentor to other women and men that I was so lucky to have. So not only do I create that platform for the people in our business but I sit on the Development board of a female led domestic abuse charity called Southside in Bath. I also drive the development of women’s football through my involvement of being on the Board at Swindon Supermarine Football Club.

Mine and Lewis’s goal is to ensure we have diversity in the business so Unividual can provide adaptable financial advice that truly reflects society. It hasn’t been easy. This profession doesn’t make it welcoming for anyone who doesn’t represent the stereotypical adviser. So we have made adjustments to the culture of the business, communications and how people can progress in their career at Unividual to ensure everyone can prosper in our business. This work was recognised by the government a few years ago when we proudly became one of few firms in the country to be awarded with a place on the Women In Finance Charter and the Chartered Insurance Institute made us an ambassador of Insuring Women’s’ Futures.

Our first female financial adviser on the horizon

We were proud to promote Ruth Stainer through our academy, when she became a Team Leader, managing 6 other trainee advisers. Cherise Tsang could be our first female financial adviser, she too talks passionately about her role in inspiring others: “Young women like myself, may have the perception that most financial advisers have a stereotypical ‘alpha-male’ nature. Although that is absolutely not the case with any of Unividual’s advisers, it may be the reason that some people do not seek advice in the first place. Therefore, I strive to break down those stereotypical barriers to make the industry a more approachable place. My training program will take 3 years from start to finish, after which I will be a Chartered Financial Planner and one of the most highly qualified financial advisers in the country. I hope to inspire other women in our business.”

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