Empowering and Encouraging Women in Finance: an interview with Ruth Sturkey  of

Ruth Sturkey co founded her Accredited and Chartered Financial Planning firm, in September 2007. Following the retirement of her co director, as managing director, she now leads The Red House team. Ruth lives in north London and spends her free time living a very fortunate life surrounded by friends and family.

Ruth, tell us about what you do

I am the founder of The red house (TRH) and leader of the team. TRH is by design a boutique financial planning firm focussing on a select number of wealthy clients who “get what life’s about”.

In reality our firm provides much more than wealth management. To our clients we are their financial guides and confidants. We change people lives. The feedback we get indicates that the value we provide cannot be measured in monetary terms alone.

We don’t specialise in any specific sector but all of our clients have a certain ‘x factor’; they are interesting and successful people with strong core values and a desire to delegate the management of their wealth to us so they can get on with living their life.

How did you get into this? Did you train straight out of school/Uni or was it a more roundabout journey?

Like many of my vintage, my arrival in financial planning followed a rather circuitous route…from nursing, to drug sales (legal of course!), to car sales and finally entering into financial services in the early ’90’s. I worked as an IFA from 1994 before I stumbled across financial planning proper in 2007 when I took my certified financial planner (cfpcm) certification. what an eye opener that was; from believing that I knew how to provide advice and write a financial report I suddenly found that I could provide answers to questions that previously I had not even known how to articulate.

Can you explain what a typical day might be for you?

  • 0700 bus or cycle to the gym for some exercise to get my endorphins circulating and keep gravity at bay

  • 0830 to the office for breakfast and a chew over the day ahead with my team

  • 1030 to 1500 client and potential new client meetings, maybe a spot of lunch with a client or potential introducer

  • 1500-1700 reviewing client reports and catching up with and mentoring the team

  • 1800 sometimes a networking event but most likely dinner, theatre or drinks with friends followed by the bus home, (favourite seat, top floor, front right!)

What’s your experience from a women’s point of view, would you say it is a good job for a women?

Financial planning is superbly suited to women. The job requires care, empathy, relationship building, clear and practical thinking, technical knowledge and a desire to see the job through. These are all skills that women have in abundance!

What would your advice be for someone entering this profession?

Get a training contract with a Chartered and Accredited Financial Planning firm with a commitment to a three to five year training plan. The training plan should take you through the journey from the ‘back office’ to ensure you have a great grounding and understanding of the bones of the job to becoming a Chartered and Certified Financial Planner.

What’s your best financial advice for any woman?

Work our your budget, protect who (or what) you love (partner, spouse, children, pets….) work out what you can afford to save for the short, medium and longer term and get going! You can never start saving for tomorrow soon enough. If you can afford to engage a financial planner to help you do so.