Each month we are introducing you to one of our colleagues at Chase de Vere. We’ll tell you a bit about their background, what they do and how their work helps us to provide you with a better overall service. This month we would like to introduce you to Laura Garry, who is our Head of Risk and Compliance and is based in our Manchester office.
Laura works within our Legal & Regulatory team and has been Chase de Vere’s Head of Risk and Compliance since October 2019. She reports into Gavin Chapman, our Legal & Regulatory Director, and is responsible for ensuring that Chase de Vere complies with all regulatory requirements and consistently delivers good client outcomes. Laura leads a number of functions within Chase de Vere, including Compliance, Risk, Business Quality and Complaints and is supported by a team of 16.
Her professional background
Laura has worked in the financial services sector for ten years, starting her career in Bank of New York Mellon, as an Oversight Manager, where she oversaw a team responsible for ensuring trustee accounts were managed compliantly.
She moved to Marlborough Fund Managers to manage their Compliance Department, where her initial focus was to overhaul their anti-money laundering processes from paper-based to online. As the Head of the Compliance Department, she worked closely with fund managers and operations to ensure the products offered were appropriate for clients, provided training to the business and conducted monitoring of the different functions in the company, to ensure they were compliant with all relevant regulations.
From there, she became Chief Governance Officer for an online financial advice firm. In this role, she directed the Compliance, Risk and HR departments, and her responsibilities included designing and maintaining a compliant ‘customer journey’ across the websites and apps, ensuring that customers were treated fairly thoroughout the advice process and working closely with the regulators to ensure all permissions and authorisations were in place.
In October 2019, Laura joined Chase de Vere.
Her professional qualifications
Laura is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI). CISI is the UK’s leading securities and investment professional body, and Laura has attained their highest accreditation level.
She has attained the CISI Level 6 Diploma in Investment Compliance, CISI Advanced Investment Operations Certificate, CISI Client Money and Assets Certificate and the CISI Certificate in Financial Crime.
She has an Executive MBA (Masters of Business Administration) with Distinction, which she achieved in 2019, studying alongside working full-time, and is currently studying for a PHD in Gender Equality in Financial Services, which she is halfway through and due to complete in 2025.
Laura has had a number of articles and books published, which are mostly in academic publications.
She was also a finalist in the Advocate of the Year category, in 2020, and the In-house Adviser Support category, in 2021, at the Women in Financial Advice Awards.
How Laura and her team help our clients
Laura and her team have a wide-ranging role, with a major focus on achieving the best outcomes for our clients. No areas are off limits as they ensure that we are ‘Treating our Customers Fairly’.
Her team is involved throughout the client journey, from the first contact a client has with us, through all of their ongoing engagement and ensuring that the financial advice they receive is not only compliant, but also in their best interests. They also have responsibility for ensuring that all documentation and communications sent to clients are clear and understandable, so that clients are able to make informed decisions in the pursuit of their financial objectives.
Laura and her team speak with Chase de Vere’s Advisers and Senior Managers every day and monitor their activity to make sure they’re doing what is right for our clients, delivering the agreed level of service and charging fairly.
This includes ensuring that all transactions are executed in a timely fashion, having robust systems and controls in place to protect clients from cyber-crime and fraud, adhering to data protection requirements, and conducting ongoing risk assessments to ensure that we are looking after vulnerable clients properly. There are many types of potentially vulnerable clients, including those with health conditions or those who have suffered a major life event such as having a deceased partner or going through a divorce.
Laura and her team are also responsible for ensuring that our Advisers and other employees are appropriately qualified, authorised and maintain their necessary level of ongoing training and development. This includes writing company policies, for example on how we protect our clients’ data, delivering training, undertaking assessments and monitoring activities throughout Chase de Vere.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our advice and our service, but we do take any complaints seriously. Laura’s team is responsible for ensuring that these are handled fairly and in line with our regulator’s rules.
Outside of work
Laura chairs a Committee for the Fawcett Society, which is the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights. She has been a Trustee for Daisy Chain, a charity for children and young adults with autism, and a Mental Health champion where she ran groups through Mental Health Mates and provided support for women after abuse.
Laura is an active fundraiser and has raised in excess of £1,000 for each of Target Ovarian Cancer, Macmillan and Daisy Chain.
She enjoys hiking, having climbed the UK’s 3 Peaks, completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks and many other challenging routes. As part of her fundraising efforts, she enjoys running, including completing two marathons and countless half marathons, and she is also an avid baker, and has made wedding cakes for some of her family and friends.
Laura is married and she has two pets – Elwood, a French Bulldog, who is named after the Blues Brothers, and Cash, a Tortoise, who is named after Johnny Cash.
“While my team and I don’t have very much direct contact with our clients, we are working diligently behind the scenes to ensure that Chase de Vere is doing everything properly and that any actions which the Company takes are treating our clients fairly and are in their best interests.
“I’m privileged to lead an experienced and incredibly knowledgeable team, and while our clients may not actually see us, they can feel confident that we are working hard to ensure that they, and Chase de Vere as a whole, are fully supported.”