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08 Dec 2020
Meet Michael Derbyshire
Sheffield’s Senior Investment Director reflects on a long and varied career
Michael Derbyshire is a Senior Investment Director in the Sheffield office. Here he shares a little about himself and the changes he’s witnessed over his decades-long career in finance.
My career in financial services started in 1976 when I began working for Barclays Bank, undertaking a wide variety of roles including foreign and securities work. In 1985, I moved into the world of stockbroking, joining the Sheffield-based regional stockbrokers Nicholson Barber.
Although I joined Nicholson Barber as a trainee stockbroker, I was thrown in at the deep end when I was asked to replace a dealer who had recently retired. This was an extremely busy time for the stock market, culminating in the crash of October 1987 which, in percentage terms, remains the deepest fall registered by the UK stock market in modern times. I was one of only two dealers at the firm and we were regularly conducting up to 700 transactions per day over the phone, as this took place in the days before trading became computerised.
Over the years I have built an extensive client base, comprising private individuals, trusts, charities, and pension funds and I am pleased to say that I have managed investments for some of these clients for more than 20 years.
As an indication of how far things have developed in the 35 years that I have been in the business, I have no recollection of any computers being in the office when I first started working at Nicholson Barber. There were certainly no PCs on the desks of the stockbrokers. Now, every employee has a PC on their desk and the ability to work remotely from home, which has been a godsend during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling business to function largely as normal. We can still hold meetings with clients, intermediaries, and work colleagues through video conferencing facilities, which would have been unheard of in the past.
Over the years I have built an extensive client base, comprising private individuals, trusts, charities, and pension funds and I am pleased to say that I have managed investments for some of these clients for more than 20 years. Moreover, I am now advising and managing portfolios for the children and, in some cases the grandchildren, of my existing or former clients.
The most notable change in recent years has been the digitalisation of many parts of the business that were undertaken manually in the past. Advancements in IT have helped to free up our time to be spent interacting with clients through whichever medium they prefer. Although I have seen and experienced major changes within the industry throughout my career, I am sure there will be a lot more to come!