By Nicola Tempest-Hall, Financial Adviser at Mark McNally Wealth Management, Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth
My life today is very different to how I envisaged it would be. I am married to Lisa and we have three gorgeous children - Jack, Ellie and Ben. I am focusing on growing a business, doing something that I love – building relationships and making a positive difference to the people I work with. My life so far has been a rollercoaster of a journey that has shaped the person I am today.
I met my husband when I was 16, set up home together at 19 and was married by 24. We had our daughter within a year and our son followed two years later. During those early years, I accepted a retail graduate trainee position with B&Q before further developing my management career with Tesco. In hindsight, I was following a path I felt was expected of me. That said, I was happy to have security in my personal and professional life.
I worked hard, achieved promotions and changed roles several times to keep myself motivated but never felt fully satisfied in my career. I knew that I loved working with people, sharing knowledge, problem solving/solution building and I knew that I was capable of more, however, I didn’t have the courage to leave the security of doing something I knew.
At home my marriage collapsed. Whilst devastated, deep down I had known it was coming, so I’d mentally started to prepare. During this period, my children were my only priority. Although I knew I wanted a change in career in the future, I stayed at Tesco as it provided the stability we needed at that time…. I’m so pleased I did because that’s where I met Lisa.
Lisa and I had worked together a few times during our years at Tesco and we ended up in the same store again. This time it was different. When Lisa told me how she felt about me I felt a myriad of emotions - I was shocked, excited, nervous, scared and confused, to name but a few. I had a personal struggle admitting my feelings to myself without even considering the minefield of how to come out after such a long time leading a ‘normal’ life. Several times I concluded that it would be easier not to do anything about it, but the feelings didn’t go away. Eventually, I confided in my sister before gaining the confidence to tell family and then friends. I was surprised by the number of people who told me they already knew!! Tesco had for a long time supported inclusivity within the workplace and their “everyone welcome at Tesco” slogan was a great comfort. At home it was different and I was worried. I’d expected a tough time because of the difference in generations but it has not been as bad as I thought at all. I’m lucky to have family and friends who are supportive and recognise I’m still the same person. Lisa and I celebrated our partnership in a Civil Ceremony in 2014 and converted to marriage in 2015. I couldn’t be happier.
Lisa was aware that I was unhappy at work and she encouraged and supported me during my career change to become a financial adviser. I studied and completed exams whilst working at Tesco and then trained in Manchester following an opportunity to join St James’s Place Wealth Management’s Academy programme.
When I decided to leave to take a new career path in 2015, I was apprehensive especially as my perception of financial advisers was that they were predominantly middle age men in suits (couldn’t be further from my character!), and also that I had little experience outside of the Tesco workplace in relation to being lesbian. Looking back, the challenge was my own thought process and worry rather than any negative experience. Although St. James’s Place had very few female advisers and from what I could see also few LGBTQ+ advisers, I have never felt any different and actually feel I am genuinely in a position to support people, given my own life experiences.
The role of a financial adviser is one I find totally fulfilling. I achieve such satisfaction in being able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives. I get to meet, engage and build relationships with people from all walks of life. I work with them to understand, plan and realise their financial objectives and goals for their lives now and in the future. My approach to working with my clients is underpinned by my personal values and am proud that my life experience plays a part in building developing and maintaining relationships. Offering my service to all clients including LGBTQ+ clients feels like a natural direction in my journey because I understand the unique issues that can apply from a personal and financial perspective.
I feel that the fact Lisa is a woman and I am now totally confident with that, this has helped me grow personally and professionally. I fell in love with Lisa and above all else, that is what matters.
Mark Nally Wealth Management Ltd is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James's Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority). The 'St. James's Place Partnership' and the titles 'Partner' and 'Partner Practice' are marketing terms used to describe St. James's Place representatives.