Although the history of Equity Trustees dates back to 1888, the business is a modern marvel. Not only has the company embraced a changing market to enable large amounts of growth, but it has an enviable culture. While the finance industry is sometimes seen as a ‘man’s world’, the majority of staff at Equity Trustees—and the majority of senior management—are women.
“I have always taken the view that you want to get the best possible available talent, regardless of gender or background,” Equity Trustees’ CEO Robin Burns says.
“Having a workforce in which 55 per cent are women was not something we consciously set out to do. It is, of course, something we are aware of—and we also have a good representation of women at the board level—but it’s not something we manage as a goal in itself. I think it comes about simply because you should use the best brains you can find to be commercially successful.”
The culture at Equity Trustees is exceptional; Robin says that the company is constantly looking to develop an organisational culture that will embed high performance and create a workplace filled with the best and brightest. “We are looking at our culture and values for the long term,” he explains. “Of course, whether or not it is formally defined, every organisation has a culture, and we have a good, strong culture in critical areas like integrity and care for clients and long-term relationships. We look after other people’s money and in some cases we have been managing assets on behalf of a trust for more than 100 years, so we have a culture that firmly emphasises aligning our approach to business with our client’s interests over the long term. I believe this is a very positive attribute of our model.”