This week we met with our fellow member Indre Butkeviciute, a financial advisor with a background in wealth management and a founder of LilyAdvisory.com, a wealth management and investment advisory company for women.
Indre is an incredibly bright and charming woman, who started her career as an investment advisor at Morgan Stanley and advanced to become Team Leader in Wealth Management for the Baltic States; however, she decided to abandon the corporate world and focus on her own business.
We asked Indre questions about the decision to run her own business and whether the rules of play to becoming an entrepreneur are different for men and women. The interview provides you with some tips for business networking as well as explaining why women tend to invest less than men.
What inspired you to make the jump from corporate to entrepreneurial life?
I always had an idea that I would like to have my own business since I was little. The inspiration came from my mum’s friend who was a very successful entrepreneur and now owns a chain of pharmacies. I remember every time mum caught up with her over a cup of coffee that I would sit in the room listening to her in complete awe thinking that’s what I want to have one day. That stayed with me throughout school and university, to my job. When the right opportunity presented itself I seized it. And 2.5 years on I couldn’t be happier for allowing myself to take that risk.
How has your routine changed since you escaped the 9-5? Is there anything you miss?
My working life and current routine have changed completely. Now that I am in charge of myself, I structure my time more effectively and wisely. I work a lot on the go from my phone and my tablet; in between meetings you will always find me deep into one of my electronic devices with a cup of coffee or tea next to me getting cold! I have become a lot more productive by escaping the ‘face-time’ culture of working in an office, which used to slow me down. However, I am a big believer in the need for work-life balance and allowing yourself to take time out to reflect, relax and recharge and now I can choose to do that exactly when I need to. I believe that it’s the result that counts irrespective of the hours you put in, so if you can achieve something in 5 mins rather than 2 hours, then so be it.
Being an entrepreneur and working on your own can be lonely at times and I do sometimes miss working in a team. To overcome that I attend a lot of focus groups and run a few of these sessions myself where I try to create a similar team environment to enable people to share their ideas and concerns.
Advancing your corporate career usually involves building a solid network around you, and for the same reason, women in corporate careers often struggle. They say, all those hours spent having drinks with colleagues is something women do not particularly enjoy. What are your thoughts about this?
If you asked me 3 years ago I would have completely agreed and I was one of those women: but today I disagree. Advancing in your business and career is all about relationship building. I do understand that it can be challenging and hard at times, but it is absolutely crucial for success. I also believe that there is always a way to leave an impression at these events without having to stay until the end. Once you learn how to approach networking you can have a big impact even if you stay for one lime and soda. It’s all about getting in the right mindset and approaching it from the right angle.
In your company you cater specifically to women’s needs. Does this mean you need to have a special approach to address matters?
I wouldn’t say it is a special approach, but it is a different approach. And that doesn’t apply only to women, it applies to all clients in the sense that each and every one of them is unique and I have always been of the opinion that there is no such thing as one size fits all. There are of course similarities when you deal with a specific group of clients. I don’t want to generalize, but women do tend to look at investments somewhat differently from men. They tend to be more risk-averse, think longer term, take their time in making decisions and understand what they are investing in. They appreciate welcoming, educational, compassionate and nurturing environments.
Women are typically a lot less likely to invest than men, why do you think this is and what needs to happen for this to change?
Historically women have not been as prominent in the world of finance as men. And that applies to both sides: working in the financial sector and as investors. So it partly ties into my answer to the previous question where I mentioned that women have a slightly different approach to how they think about investing and how they go about it: lack of female advisors means fewer female investors. I recently launched Financially Sound Woman masterclasses and what I discovered so far is that women are much more risk-averse and don’t like to invest if they don’t understand what they are investing in. It seems to me that we lacking the educational tools to encourage women to approach investment from different angles, not just the risk aspects. There are of course many other factors that influence this, but education is a move in the right direction and we have started doing that; Perhaps we just need to speed it up a little.
In what direction would you like to see Lily Advisory head, do you have any plans for the future of the business and how do you envision this happening?
I have big plans for the company as any entrepreneur would, after all, it is my baby. At the moment my focus is on developing a full selection of Financially Sound Woman masterclasses. As I mentioned previously, I believe education is key, so my next step will be to write the book on it. I also would love to launch a foundation in the next 3-5 years with the focus on education for underprivileged girls and young women around the world. On the advisory part, the plan is to focus on female-led investments over the next 3-5 years. I will concentrate on encouraging equality within the workplace, or otherwise contribute to promoting and empowering women.
I want to see Lily Advisory grow into a household name for encouraging women to take charge of their financial affairs with excitement and confidence.
Recently you joined ALFIES, a members-only network for professionals. How do you expect it to benefit your company development?
I don’t doubt that ALFIES will be a great way to expand my network, to enable me to meet interesting and like-minded people. I see it as a great medium for me to grow awareness for my brand as well as learn about other interesting brands and industry movers and shakers. I see it as a platform that will help me expand my knowledge on many different topics that would otherwise be difficult to find. I am a huge believer in teams and communities and I think ALFIES is exactly that. One mind is never enough so having an ability to tap into a large but focused professional network is a huge advantage.
You have just had a personal consultancy with Tilly Pearman, ALFIES exclusive nutritionist and dietary advisor. Did you enjoy it? Is healthy lifestyle something you personally care about?
I absolutely loved Tilly. She is unbelievably knowledgeable in her field and already gave me great tips and suggestions. I like her holistic approach where she took into consideration all the aspects that influence my health and didn’t simply produce a standard dietary plan.
I care a lot about healthy lifestyle. I have so many plans ahead, that I need to keep healthy to enable me to stick around for a long time and achieve all my goals in life. There’s no other way to do this other than through maintaining a healthy mind and body.
What type of lifestyle offers would you like to find on ALFIES.com in future?
Nutrition and dietary advice is a wonderful idea. I would like to see adventurous travelling ideas that would really interest me. I would like to see guides and for new and unfound places to eat and enjoy drinks, interesting networking events, of course, exciting things to see and do. I would say anything that is not mainstream and not easily found. I always like those off the beaten track sites and I hope ALFIES will provide memorable opportunities and adventures to its members.
Indre is stylish, confident and highly intelligent. She has taken the plunge from being an employee in a leading global bank as a private wealth advisor, to entrepreneur and business owner; with a vision to change women’s perceptions of investing. Indre understands and appreciates the importance of work life balance and networking through focus groups with like minded individuals. Indre’s meeting with Tilly, Alfies’ in house nutrition expert complemented her commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Indre is a fine example of someone who aspires to achieve by creating an exciting opportunity in a market that is clearly growing. We look forward to welcoming Indre’s professional opinion, with the first of her monthly articles available soon, exclusively at Alfies.com.
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