What is your title at Progeny and what does your role entail?

I am a Practice Manager. In this role you are an integrator between the vision of the business and the entire team and are responsible for ensuring delivery of successful outcomes based on the plan you are working to.

How long have you worked in your field?

I have been in the financial industry since 2005 in a variety of roles such as administrator, PA, Regional Sales Consultant, Office Manager then onto Practice Manager.

Why did you choose this profession?

When I first left school, I joined a stockbroker’s in Glasgow working in the mail room and quickly progressed to join the stockbroking team. It wasn’t something I had initially thought I would get into when I left school, however it quickly became apparent it was something I was good at and I loved the buzz and energy of working in a fast-paced environment.

My main career motivator has always been making a tangible difference to clients, individual colleagues, teams and the business I have been part of. Client and team satisfaction is of the utmost importance to me.

Tell us a bit about the education and qualifications you need to do your job.

I pride myself in having achieved a wealth of experience in financial operations and management in the various roles I have carried out through my career.

Whilst the roles that I have worked in have not required any professional financial planning qualifications, I am very much a self-learner and have educated myself in a variety of technical elements of financial planning, business management and leadership.

I am currently studying PRINCE2 having recently passed the Foundation exam, and I hope soon to pass the Practitioner level to become qualified in Project Management.

I am also a member of a UK Practice Manager Group where we share best practice and support each other as well as receiving 1:1 mentoring from the founder.

I love personal development and have attended various TED Talk Events, completed a Leadership & Management Course as well as completing a variety of training via financial product providers.

In addition to the qualifications, what further skills, experience and attributes do you think make for a good Practice Manager?

To excel in this role, you have to be passionate about what you do. Some of the key skills you need are: strong leadership; clear communication; the ability to adapt quickly to change; a positive attitude; innovative and creative thinking. Most of all, always be willing to assist others.

I am a people person and I thrive in a role where I am helping people as well as developing my own skills. I love making the workplace a fun place to be.

To be a great Practice Manager, you need an analytical mind, the ability to multitask and talk to people at all levels. Be able to clearly communicate, be well organised and be able to keep a cool head when the pressure is on.

What advice would you give to anyone wishing to follow in your career footsteps?

Believe in yourself. If you put the hard work in, it will pay off. Soak up all the knowledge and experience of those around you. Find someone in the role that you aspire to and ask if they will chat with you about it or even mentor you.

What do you see as the next steps in your career?

I want to be part of the bigger picture and be able to influence change for the better – whatever that may be.

Any last words of wisdom you’d like to add?

Always be open to learning and developing, enjoy what you do and most importantly be honest to yourself and others.

Donna Tollan

Practice Manager, Law & Tax

Donna has been working in the financial industry since 2005 where she has gained a wealth of experience in financial operations and management.

Learn more about Donna Tollan