Y FactorFebruary 21 2024

A Minute with Peter and Michelle

3 mins read

I sat with Michelle and Peter whilst they reminisced about their fifteen-year careers at Yealand.

Both have been with Yealand since it’s inception in 2008.  They remember Yealand being set up with a client centric ethos, different to what was being offered to clients at the time.  Peter remembers thinking of Yealand as an industry disruptor.  At a time when existing Fund Administrators were off-shoring activities, Yealand was setting up in the UK with operations based in the UK too. Michelle reflects that 2008 was a bizarre (or maybe brave) time to form a business; the country was in economic downturn and was in the midst of a banking crisis.  However, she had faith in the ability of the founding Directors and believed in their vision.

The intention was for Yealand to support one client – The Scott Family.  Peter remembers having six weeks from Yealand being registered as a company to servicing their first client.  Data was migrated, systems were set up, parallel runs were created, and processes and procedures were documented. Peter remembers that the depositary review and sign off was carried out by Sam Jackson, who is now Yealand’s Chief Risk Officer.

“A positive mindset is imperative to success” – Peter Wallace

Michelle reflects on the magnitude of the achievement, only possible because everyone pulled together and were determined to succeed.  Peter learned that a positive mindset is imperative to success. The experience at the beginning of his career at Yealand taught him to never be put off by potential or perceived challenge. Michelle admits that there were times when the challenge felt too much, although she is pleased that she persevered and is proud of where Yealand is now.

Over time and with the backing of The Scott Family, Yealand took on more clients and began to grow.  Michelle and Peter recollect that the business had a cautious ambition to grow steadily.  Never would their growth be at the detriment of existing business.  Michelle points out that a high standard of client service was, and still is, at the heart of Yealand.  In her role as Head of Client Services, she knows that our clients value being able to directly contact our staff – our clients know the names of our staff, have direct contact details for them and they trust them to do a great job.  It’s these service standards, she believes, that keeps us focussed as our business grows. 

Peter and Michelle referred to the business going through different eras.  Throughout each era, those in executive positions have known what good client service looks like and have had high expectations of how the business was to operate.  Peter and Michelle agreed that these high standards remain today. They say it has never been about being the first, rather about being the best. 

Reflecting on the changes Peter has seen in his 15 years of employment with Yealand, he notes that remote working has changed the way we work.  It has enabled us to acquire skilled colleagues who we previously wouldn’t have been able to consider.  Our remote working arrangement works because we maintain the same trusting culture that has existed since day one.  Michelle and Peter trusted one another and could rely on each other for support.  They are grateful that they’ve maintained their strong working relationship and have noticed that this culture is still prevalent within Yealand.  All staff have a mutual commitment to one another. Transparency and openness, Michelle points out, is key to our success. It is these fundamental principles that are used to build trusting partnerships.

“Never stop learning or asking questions, and to remember that what makes you unique will form part of your success”
– Michelle Gordon

When Yealand was formed and in the years following, Michelle and Peter enjoyed getting involved in all aspects of the business and learning as they went along.  Their proudest moments include developing staff and building teams, something which they continue to do now.  They each enjoy supporting newer members of staff, as they too grow their careers at Yealand.  Peter hopes that his positive mindset rubs off on others, it’s important to believe in yourself and it’s just as important to have faith in your colleagues too.  Michelle’s advice to others is to never stop learning or asking questions, and to remember that what makes you unique will form part of your success. She feels like she has more to learn and more to achieve.  Peter agrees and is excited about Yealand’s future – they both have faith in their colleague’s ability to contribute to Yealand’s continued success.