Louise Hooper, Senior Associate, talks to us about her journey with Clearwater
Louise Hooper, Senior Associate, Birmingham Office
Louise joined Clearwater International in 2014, she has a First Class BA (Hons) degree in Accounting and Finance, specialising in financial strategy and advanced financial reporting.
Why did you join Clearwater International and what keeps you there?
I joined Clearwater 9 years ago as an intern on my placement year. I then re-joined in 2014 following my final year at university, first as an Analyst in the Healthcare sector, then in Consumer and now as part of the deal team working across numerous sectors. There are a number of factors that keep me here, but mostly it’s the people. Although not a small business by any means, we are still a size where we can know each other. Having a direct line to Partners and Directors, who I work with on a daily basis (and who are more than happy to answer my long list of questions to provide guidance and support) is something that you wouldn’t get in a larger business. Going to work is enjoyable when you have a team like ours.
How have you developed since joining the business?
I joined Clearwater at aged 19 with no previous corporate experience, no idea what it meant to work in an office, or really what corporate finance entailed (no matter how much I Googled it). Over the past 9 years, beside learning all the ins and outs of what it means to work in corporate finance, I have matured as an individual, becoming much more confident. My experience working with both colleagues and clients has also contributed a lot to the development of my business interpersonal skills.
What are your main responsibilities in a typical week?
Although every day is different, there are a number of things I spend the majority of my time on – project management of jobs, liaising with clients, liaising with bidders and lenders, producing marketing materials, technical work including modelling and valuation analysis, and networking. On any day priorities can change unexpectedly, and you have to be flexible and adaptable.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
Time pressure is probably one of the biggest challenges. Organising my time can be hard, especially when working on multiple jobs and pitches at the same time. It can be difficult when working for different Partners on different projects that have similar time frames; you can be unsure which is more important, which to focus more on, or how to ensure the quality of all projects are maintained to high standard when you have such tight deadlines.
What is the highlight of your time with Clearwater International?
Getting together every year for the Clearwater Conference, which is usually in Spain. It provides a chance to get to know the overseas colleagues that you spend the year working with in an informal setting (and over a few drinks of course).
How important is Diversity to you personally and to Clearwater?
Diversity to me is very important. From a personal experience, as a female in corporate finance, it is a more male orientated world, however Clearwater have always strived to hire women and we have a strong team of females throughout different levels of seniority.
If we embrace diversity, we can more accurately reflect the clients we serve. A successful working environment is driven by inviting a wide range of opinions and encouraging diversity of thought; something that Clearwater excels at.
What advice would you give to someone looking to join the Clearwater Team?
I would say Clearwater are very personality focused and so would advise that people be themselves and show that you are hardworking and ambitious. You should draw out any past experiences where you have done something from your own accord, to demonstrate that you can be a self-starter. Clearwater is a very team orientated business, so showing that you are a team player would also help.