Below are a few words from co-owner Matt Ralph, who was one of our Core Award Winners in 2020. We pick one person every quarter to receive this award, based on nominations from colleagues. We nominate not just for the quality of their work, but for the little things they do every day that make a difference to us all and keep our positive culture alive.
In a relatively short period of time, Matt has been promoted to the Board whilst remaining a well-liked and respected member of the team!
As I approach my third anniversary at Castlefield, there is much to reflect on. Three years seems to have flown by, and yet, since March 2020 life seems to have slowed down for many of us as we get to grips with the challenges that COVID-19 has imposed on our lives and work.
To rewind, I had been attracted by Castlefield’s approach to responsible investment and its (unique to me) employee owned structure, as many readers of this piece may also be. I initially began life at Castlefield as a ‘paraplanner’ (typical financial services jargon!). The role of a paraplanner is to support the financial advice team with product research and report writing, i.e. getting involved with the more technical side of advice (and looking for any excuse to make a spreadsheet!).
Since I joined, Castlefield’s growth has been, and continues to be, rapid. As with many of my friends and colleagues, my role has developed unimaginably since joining and I’ve been grateful for many new opportunities and responsibilities. I was initially the only the paraplanner and now I’m leading a small team. I was invited to join Castlefield Advisory Partners' investment committee which I have since been asked to chair. I’ve also been a member of our co-owners’ council; as an employee owned business, co-owners are represented on Castlefield’s board and the council is a great forum to generate ideas and to draw together our colleagues’ views on the direction of the business.
The last year has been a challenge, no doubt, and as I write this in early February 2021, Manchester and the rest of the UK are still under lockdown restrictions. Yet, to see the way Castlefield, our co-owners and our clients have reacted and adapted in difficult times has been a great source of comfort. Despite being out of the office since March 2020, we’ve all developed new skills to help us communicate with each other and to continue the comradeship of the office. And everyone is still patient as I chat away with my mute button on in Zoom meetings, which I continue to be grateful for.