Following his appointment as Non-Executive Chair of MRM Group, we sat down with Nick Boakes and asked him a few questions…
- Tell us about your experience in communications.
I’ve handled all aspects from public affairs, corporate communications, investor relations, M&A and internal communications, to CSR, sponsorship, crisis management across a broad range of sectors both internationally and nationally and both as a consultant and in house.
- How do you think the industry has changed/is changing?
The industry has become recognisably both a lot more influential and professional. It’s also much more confident and seen as the key to effective reputation management. Most corporates now have a director of corporate affairs or communications sitting on the Executive Committee and they are really influential when on the same wave length as the CEO.
- What are the interesting new businesses emerging in the FS space?
The most extraordinary aspect of the FS space is it never stops developing and despite regulation can be incredibly entrepreneurial. Regulation and a risk-based approach can dramatically slow down the development of the large institutions within FS which often leaves the way clear for new companies to emerge, particularly in the financial technology space. So, provided the business is capital light, there is no limit to the new business springing up from lending to borrowing, banking to insurance, as the fin-tech revolution gathers momentum. For many, the banks in particular are a sitting target.
- If you could give one piece of financial advice to a teenage version of yourself, what would it be?
Realise life is a long game with many ups and downs. Try to lay the foundations for future financial security by combining job satisfaction and enjoying life, with a degree of financial planning and prudence.
- What three things would you do if you were head of the FCA?
Watch carefully the risks posed by international regulatory arbitrage sucking business away from the UK and in doing so damaging the UK economy. Focus on making competition do most of the regulatory work. And educate, educate, educate, so the knowledge disparity between financial services providers and their customers is evened out.
- What is your biggest pet peeve, or makes you angry?
Not taking responsibility for the consequences of decisions taken.
- Now, tell us a little about your life outside of work, do you have any hobbies?
Supporting minority rights, active involvement in my local community, skiing and music in general, opera in particular, and trying to learn German.
- What is the one column or website that you read every day?
- What would you do if you received a windfall of £10,000?
Take my husband to Venice and save the rest.