Niamh Brennan

Supporting our own on their career path

 

9 June 2021

 

‘Being friendly and a team player are the big things at Saltgate. I’ve never known anywhere be such a team-focused environment.’

 

Niamh Brennan, Client Reporting, Senior Administrator, has been with us throughout her university journey to now being a permanent member of the team.

 

We spoke to her about her day-to-day responsibilities in her new role, the advice she would give her younger self, and why Saltgate is right for her.

 

What did you study?

I did English Literature at University of Birmingham.

 

What’s your role and what do you do on an average day?

My role is Client Reporting, Senior Administrator and focuses on managing our teams’ performance statistics and processes.

 

This includes preparing reports for managers and the client-facing team, managing data in our systems, updating statutory registers, checking client due diligence and tax status, and updating external client portals. I also have annual projects, such as annual confirmation returns and tax returns, etc.

 

My role is very varied – as well as working closely with the client-facing team I work with due diligence team, compliance and other internal departments.

 

Before my current role I was involved in client-facing operations, corresponding with clients and lawyers throughout busy transactions. Now I take on the necessary tasks before and after the work is undertaken on the client side, so that transactions can run smoothly.

 

What made you choose to work for Saltgate?

I did a few interviews with different fund administrators for a job before university. Saltgate was the most friendly place I interviewed for and I picked up on the relaxed atmosphere they had.

 

Everyone was so lovely making effort for me despite just being out of school – there was no pressure to know everything already as they knew they would be training me up, so they made a lot of effort explaining what I would get out of it, which made the whole process less overwhelming.

 

What’s the best part of your role?

A lot of my role is project work, so the best part is when you’re working on a project for ages and you finally start to see results – the organisation, planning and hard work pays off.

 

What professional training have you done?

Since returning to Saltgate from university I have not yet started my professional qualifications, but the opportunity to pursue a professional qualification is always an option for me at Saltgate.

 

I do a bit of everything training-wise, as everything is applicable, and I need to know how all different areas and processed throughout the business work. I enjoy all the variety that this provides.

 

What’s the biggest misconception about your job?

Because my role is new within the team, people don’t really understand what I do or think it’s all reports, but there’s loads of getting involved in transactions and helping the team with their work. I get to do a bit of everything and help others with what they do.

 

Why did you go for the role you are in?

I’m generally quite organised and enjoy doing things in a certain way, so when the opportunity came up for a role on my team that was entirely that, without having to be client-facing anymore, I said: ‘that’s for me I’ll do it!’. I wanted to take on that challenge!

 

What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s happened to you at work?

A few years ago, one of the clients gave someone in the office cakes for an anniversary. They had been delivered by courier from Switzerland and were put in kitchen for everyone to help themselves. After a week someone had realised there was mould under the icing of the cake after everyone had been tucking into it!

 

What trait in a person do you most admire/dislike?

I most admire people who are willing to get stuck in and help everyone around them. I feel that if people are hard working then you can’t fault them! I dislike the opposite – someone who doesn’t pull their weight or isn’t a team player.

 

What did you want to be when you were 8 years old?

I wanted to be a teacher – I used to hold pretend lessons when I was younger. I moved schools quite a lot, so I experienced different ways of teaching and the role appealed to me as a child. I also wanted to be a forensic scientist to help solve crimes.

 

What’s your favourite way to relax?

I love to read and enjoy meeting friends – we always have big food nights together.

 

What’s your favourite place to eat in Jersey?

Casa Mia - I love Italian food and the staff are always really friendly there.

 

What do you do for fun?

I read a lot, probably too much! I love meeting with friends, and I’m also learning how to sew – definitely a challenge.

 

What’s your hidden talent?

I make the world’s best white chocolate chip cookies – I was once told my cookies were better than M&S ones!

 

What’s been the highlight of your week?

When I got to see my dad’s new puppies – a cockapoo and a cavapoo. Three weeks ago I didn’t like dogs and now seeing them is the highlight of my week.

 

What advice would you give yourself as a graduate considering the experience you have now?

I would say really pay attention to areas you enjoy and do well in. I realised I preferred doing back-office tasks and that’s where my skills lay, so look at what you enjoy and don’t be afraid to mention it to people, as there may be room to progress in that direction.

 

There could be a role out there for you that really complements your skills and what you enjoy, so really take time to consider what these are and where your next step could be.

 

What is your favourite possession?

My book and record collections. I love my Penguin Clothbound Classics, Charles Dickens and Wuthering Heights. I get my books from independent book shops and charity shops – I re-read books and don’t like to throw them out so I collect as many as I can.

 

I’ve got a lot of my dad’s old records from the 80s and 90s. They hold a lot of sentimental value as well as being good records! I get new ones from R L Record & Memorabilia Exchange in Jersey.

 

Who’s your favourite author?

Margaret Atwood – specifically the MaddAddam trilogy, but don’t read it in a pandemic! I also love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her novel Americanah.

 

What’s the funniest joke you know by heart?

What do you call someone who is allergic to fun?

Laugh-tose intolerant!

 

What is your next step?

My main focus over the next six months will be on establishing my new role and figuring out exactly how this will interact with the client-facing team and the business as a whole.

 

There is a lot of opportunity within my new role and I’m excited to see which direction this will take.

 

What makes someone succeed at Saltgate?

I think being friendly and a team player – they’re the big things at Saltgate. I’ve never known anywhere be such a team-focused environment!

 

What’s your favourite part of Saltgate culture?

Everyone seems to be on same level, no matter where you work in business. Everyone is approachable and will have a chat. You never feel like someone is more junior or senior than you.

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