This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Laila Charlton-Meyrick, experienced strategic advisor to UHNW clients and now Impact investment consultant.
Current job: working on a new project to provide “purposeful” wealth management
One word that best describes how you work: collaboratively
Current mobile device: iPhone and MacBook Pro
Favourite website: https://theconduit.com
First of all, tell us a little about your background and your work experience
I am originally from Iran and came to the UK with my parents and brother over 30 years ago, in order to escape the war back in my country. I arrived with almost no knowledge of English. I left my home, my school friends and more importantly my extended family, who play a huge role in my culture and in particular in my family. I went on to finish my secondary education in the UK at Francis Holland in London and got my degree in Finance and French at Santa Clara University in the USA. I went on to build an international professional career in Finance, which over the last 20 years has had me working in a research role at Cross Border Capital, in management consultancy at McKinsey & Co and as an advisor to several HNW/UHNW individuals at UBS AG and Credit Suisse more recently. I am a mother of 2 beautiful daughters and married to a loving husband who is English by blood but has lived almost all his life outside the UK.
What are your plan for your future?
I have recently left my career in banking, with a mission in mind: “shift the mindset” of private asset owners towards investments and initiatives that make a positive impact on our world. Impact investment is the future. In the face of social and environmental challenges that directly or indirectly will affect us all, wealth holders around the world are increasingly drawn towards investments that generate not only financial returns but also benefit people and the planet.
Why did you decide to move from conventional to impact investment?
Having spent almost two decades advising clients to invest in the conventional way to achieve the financially optimal portfolio, I have learnt that this type of investment is not always the best solution for a “real person”. Humans have emotions and they are influenced by context and environment, and their best portfolio isn’t just financially efficient, it also needs to be one that feels emotionally comfortable.
What motivates you?
The endless possibilities of life, people connections’ and my desire to make a change creating an impact on the world around me. Last but not least being a role model to my daughters it’s a constant motivation.
Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work
Although stepping outside of the large organisations where I have been working for the last 20 years it wasn’t an easy decision, it has given me the opportunity to be more creative and focused on my agenda and although unnerving at times, I strongly believe that I owe it to myself, my family and the planet. I live on to play my part and use my skill set to mobilise funds towards investments and initiatives that make a positive impact on our world.
How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?
I LOVE being outdoors and particularly being by the water. My family and I live in West London and lucky enough to be by the river. We get to enjoy lots of walks, cycle rides and runs. Given the pace of life these days, I am a strong believer in creating peaceful time for oneself that promotes creativity, which I thrive on.
What book are you currently reading?
Factfulness by Hans Rosling. My sister in law told me about this book. I was instantly gripped as it is an incredibly written book. It’s about our world and it provides factual information to help understand what we have achieved so far and what more we need to do on the urgent issues we face today such as poverty and climate change
What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?
I would most certainly have lived a more mindful life and by that I mean I would have taken a more active and conscious approach to manage my personal and professional life. I feel I could have begun this journey that I am embarking on now a decade ago at least. Having said that it is not too late and I believe we can always reinvent ourselves and redefine our goals: that is life.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Diana Verde Nieto of Positive Luxury answer these same questions.