Every day, with few exceptions, starts at 4.30am. My family and I live on a small holding in the heart of Somerset, where we breed Jacob sheep.
After tending to the flock, I am back in the house for an early breakfast with the family and every Monday and Friday I take my 12-year-old twins to school. This is a hugely important part of my week, real quality and cherished time with my son and daughter.
Monday is my telephone day. I spend at least an hour per call talking to candidates; financial advisers interested in joining Foster Denovo. I usually have four or five calls per day. This is the first stage of the process and, generally, the first time I will have spoken to the candidates in question.
It is up with a vengeance this morning, as I need to be on the 7.18am fast train from Taunton to London.
I am into the head office in Eastcheap by 9.30am, where I start preparing for a 'showcase' day. This is where we invite one candidate into the office to meet various team members – the head of training, head of paraplanning and the partnership support team. It is the second stage of the candidate process. Today’s candidate is an existing adviser with 200-plus clients.
The showcase meetings finish about 3pm. I then meet with the marketing team for an update. We have recently moved the induction material online, with individual candidates having their own access password and an ability to review their own bespoke training and induction plan. I am really pleased with the result.
I then have an update with HR to provide a progress report on incoming partners joining the business.
There are a numerous applications progressing – my job is to make this as efficient as possible. I am on the 6.06pm train, which means I am back home at 8.30pm.
After the usual morning routine, I am on the 7.18am train again.
Wednesday is the group session/showcase day for approximately five to six first-stage candidates. This session usually runs between 11am and 3.30pm.
At 4.30pm I have a meeting with my chief executive, Roger Brosch. This is my chance to update him on the recruitment programme's progress for individual advisers.
I have a lovely lie-in and I am in the office for about 7am. It is my chance to catch up with any early-bird partners, to hear about company updates and their own progress.
I use this day to meet with my recent joiners to the business, to hear about how they are getting on. I am keen to offer them mentoring; certainly for their first 12 months. Today's partner has been benefiting from our lead source programme and is delighted with the positive outcomes achieved.
I catch the 6.30pm train back to Somerset, then try to also catch the last of the daylight. It will not be long before winter and wetter weather sets in, when tending to the sheep is no longer such an appealing job – it is all eyes, bums and feet!