What is your name?
Gemma Siddle (Gem)
What is your occupation?
Where do you live?
Eggleston (near Barnard Castle!)
When did you start your career in finance? How did you get into it?
Age 19 from my A-Levels. Following a summer-school doing Law at Cambridge I realised both Law and university weren’t for me. I wrote to a local financial planning firm that was expanding asking them to train me as an accountant (I didn’t know the difference!). The amazing MD there said he couldn’t help with accountancy training but invited me in to talk through what they did. He made me fall in love with financial planning on that day and I’ve never looked back.
What would be your biggest piece of advice to someone coming into the financial planning profession?
Meet others. I hated going out and about when I was young and shy; I was pushed into it by older, wiser colleagues and in hindsight I completely understand why. The breadth and depth of knowledge, learning and ‘seeing the bigger picture’ that comes from sharing ideas with others and listening to theirs is incomparable. It will help you find your own path and help you stay true to your own values without being in a ‘workplace bubble’.
How would you define your personal mission?
Make lives better.
How would you define your personal values?
First and foremost, I’m a great believer in humanity; people matter, connections are important.
Continuous development and learning are important to me; there is so much to learn and explore and love in this world and I want to make the most of that!
What is your greatest achievement outside of work?
This is cheesy but it is truly my husband and daughter (my family). It’s been a crazy few years for us and challenges haven’t yet stopped coming our way but we are stronger and more loving than ever. I adore them and I’m so, so proud of them and us all as a unit.
What is the greatest book you have ever read that helped you in your career?
I’m not a huge book reader when it comes to career. Give me a good epic fantasy and I’m there though! Running out of them now. Traction was impactful to say the least but I think The Top Five Regrets of the Dying (Bronnie Ware) really helped me to frame in my mind the importance of a life well lived many years ago, which I think has probably had more of an impact than anything on how I approach lifestyle financial planning.
What is your most valuable asset of being a NextGen Planners member?
Connections with like-minded people to go to with queries and hear what they have to say.
(Only answer this one if you truly want to…) Who is your favourite NextGen Planners member?
I think if I had to pick a name of a member who has inspired me the most then it’s Natalie Wright 😊