Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Five Minute Abchat: John Peat, Seymour Pierce

John Peat
John Peat, Director of Equity Sales at Seymour Pierce and long-time friend and business associate of Abchurch, takes a few minutes for a five minute Abchat and explains what it takes to be a great salesman.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Either the Army or farming, but ended up reading Law at Oxford, so there you go.

How did you get in to Equity Sales?
I was working in the Trust Department of Withers Solicitors, and had to raise some money from a Trust. I rang up the broker, who said his assistant had just left, I suggested myself, we had lunch, I was offered the job and the rest is history.

Describe your role in 20 words or less.
Trying to add value and attempting to get my clients, institutional investors, to buy or sell stocks on my humble advice.

If I wasn't talking to you now, what would you be doing?
Depends on the time of day! Speaking to clients, in meetings, talking to colleagues or possibly, if I am lucky, lunching.

What is the most interesting thing about your work?
Every day is different and a challenge. Whatever anybody says, there is always something going on. Who couldn't love a job which is affected by politics, economics, weather, you name it. Also you end up making some very good friends, whose friendships last longer than your career.

Is there a common misconception about Sales?
Probably, and usually from a position of ignorance. Any salesman realises that irresponsible advice will eventually find them out, and it is much better to work from the basis that your client's success is ultimately your success.

How has the industry changed over the past couple of years?
Having been in this industry for over 33 years, I would find that an easier question to answer. The last couple of years have been particularly tough compared to those glorious years prior to the credit crunch. These last years have been a huge challenge, and have really tested one's confidence, ability and optimism, though we must always, in our job, imagine that better times are just around the corner.

What do you expect to see in the City within the next twelve months?
Unless we see a dramatic pick up in volumes and politicians both domestically and internationally taking positive action, I can see further pain and further mergers between broking firms, and in some cases firms throwing in the towel. Always remember in our industry where you have a merger between two broking firms, one and one makes one.

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