Emma Roberts, Managing Director of Entrust and the Jersey Institute of Directors’ director of the month, talks us through her career defining moments and why emotion should always matter in business.
My family have all been hard workers, but it was my grandfather who best installed in me that ‘hard work reaps rewards’. He followed my studies closely and encouraged me to have a positive, ‘never give up’ attitude, which is reflected today in my love of a challenge.
I believe it’s important to pass on your learnings too, so I try to pay it forward through my mentorships, a learning model I greatly respect. Having had mentors myself I found they gave me the courage to takes risks as fear can so often hold us back. I’m now happy to be a guiding hand to someone from the Jersey Finance mentor scheme and a young solicitor working in London. We shouldn’t be scared of failure as its actually a chance to learn and grow. Now opportunity always excites me long before it scares me.
Having come from a legal background I have been fortunate enough to have experienced a wide variety of disciplines through my various roles. Working at Rothschild Trust in Guernsey where I became Managing Director for six years was definitely one of those pivotal decisions, where I had to run a business as a whole at quite a young age. It was here that I learnt that during the tough times, what mattered most was being kind and considerate to others. Gaining respect and building a rapport with your team and stakeholders will always produce the best performance possible.
I’m always the first to take a chance. After Rothschild Trust I set up my own business consultancy company which worked well during the pandemic as there were more than a few challenges! I was able to work with a variety of businesses to help them through difficult times. I also served as a Non Executive Director for a start up in Guernsey, all of which increased my learning and exposed me to different types of individuals and pathways to success.
To be asked to come to Jersey and set up what is now Entrust was a spine-tingling moment, the chance to build something from scratch and to have freedom and trust bestowed to do the right thing still feels like a real honour. It drew me directly back to the client relationships which was always what I loved, delivering high levels of service with complete transparency. I view my previous roles as important stepping stones, but Entrust as my greatest achievement as it has been a real labour of love. I’ve really taken time to enjoy the journey of building the business without compromising on our core values.
Establishing an independent trust company doesn’t happen often in Jersey and I was taken aback by the amount of support offered from the business community when we launched. Having this assistance when you’re new to an island is key, which is why I set up the Jersey International Legal Association having benefited from being President of its counterpart in Guernsey. We have quite a transient legal industry on the island, so networking groups provide an easy way to meet people, link up and learn quickly how the culture works. I’d like to see us working closer with Guernsey on this in the future, promoting the Channel Islands as a united industry and powerful finance community together.
I’m part of the Leadership Consultancy in Guernsey, a course which is also run in Jersey. It’s a mix of business professionals from all avenues, a real mixed bag of people, which fascinates me from a personality perspective. Being part of this course has led me to examine myself more closely and how I might be perceived by others. What type of person am I and how does a high energy person like myself best engage with others? This has really feed into how we grow as a business at Entrust, pulling our best skills and resources to come together as a tight knit team.
Success to me is happiness. A simple equation that requires so much hard work in the background. Happiness for myself, my team, shareholders and clients is quite an achievement, but from this solid base, I believe financial and repetitional rewards will flow. I view Entrust as a business of relationships, where the emotional output is just as important as anything else. We and always put our clients wants and needs first, and have demonstrated what a successful business model this can be.