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Holborn Africa empowering women

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Our own Cheryl Rosa, Operations Director Africa for Holborn, shares her views on woman empowerment and the challenges that women face every day. The article below was published in Christie’s International Real Estate Magazine.

“Let me introduce you to the new generation of beautiful, confident, and successful women. We are pushing the boundaries in wealth advisory. We dominate and shine in every key component of our business, from leadership, operation, investment, and administration. We share the same goal: a relentless obsession with being the best and doing the work to get to the top.

I believe we are in an era where women have proven and claimed their worth in the world of wealth advisory. For the past four years, Holborn’s top global advisor has been a woman. Within our particular team, we are 16 women out of a team of 20. This is incredible to me as when I qualified back in 2014, out of 100 newly qualified financial planners, only 4 of us were women. In what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, our women perform identically in close ratios and in many cases, outperform the men. Our clients want their money managed by us, by women. They seek our advice as we prioritise safety and security over unnecessary risk. We are the women who are trusted to ensure the protection and growth of our client’s assets.

To witness females rising in wealth advisory and the expansion of our team over the past few years is remarkable. There was a time when it was intimidating to be in a room and tell clients how to invest their money. It was never a question of whether I had the knowledge or skills to be in that room, it was just that clients were always going to the older man to invest. One of the top advisors in our team used to think that clients would not listen to her or invest with her because she was a girl. That noise is now gone. She pitches million-dollar clients regularly, walks them every step of the way, and closes with ease. There’s the rise of Michelle Pierucci, who came into the team as a graduate and has grown from shadow advisor to actual advisor to becoming Africa’s compliance manager.

Each woman in our team has her own story. All of them have enormous amounts of confidence and success which extend into every avenue of their lives. This is true power, this is real power, in the hands of women who have worked hard to gain the confidence, trust, and skills to manage wealth. It took me a while to understand what I want and what I deserve in my life. It took me a while to find myself. Through working with this team, I’ve managed to find my voice, to stand on my own, to be unapologetically myself.

I am turning 33 this year, with my second child on the way. At my age to be running the entire African finance function of our business, overseeing operations, owning property overseas, driving an Aston Martin, and living in a beautiful, top-class estate in South Africa is achievable because of my dedication and drive to be successful and move up in life. I really do enjoy hearing ‘if she can do it, I can do it!’ I hope that I can be a mentor to young women in wealth management. I hope my daughter can come into the world and say ‘my mom inspires me to be better and to accomplish the unthinkable’. I hope you look at this new generation of women wealth advisors and say ‘I want to invest my money with her…'”