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Nathalie Sims

Nathalie Sims

Nathalie Sims, Head of Strategic Pension Relationships at LCP

  • Location: London, UK 

  • Title: Partner, Head of Strategic Pension Relationships 

  • Company: LCP 

  • Sector: Pensions advisory, health and energy analytics 

  • Degree: BSc in Finance from Cass Business School

How does your usual day look like?

I start my day at 6am.

When I am not on the school run I head to my local gym and make it to the office by 8h15am. My workout time is sacred as it gives me headspace for my day ahead and I usually get my best inspirations & ideas before I start the day.

I get a different kind of inspiration on Wednesdays (my favourite day of the week) as I get to enjoy 30 mins of pre-school breakfast in our local Hampstead café with my 12 year-old son before heading into the office for 9am.

Once in the office I catch up on my emails before a jam-packed day, often filled with interesting conversations with clients, prospective clients and colleagues. The nature of those conversations varies from new developments in the market and how we respond to those, thought leadership pieces we are writing, events we are organising or pitches we are preparing for. About once a week I also fit in at least one coaching session with a colleague or industry peer. I qualified as an executive coach during lockdown and enjoy the diversity this brings to my role.

Lunches are either with a client or a sandwich and juice from Joe and the Juice. My family mocks me about how often the Joe and the Juice app makes an appearance on my phone!

If I’m not entertaining clients or out with friends, I typically try to leave the office around 6h30pm to make it home for dinner with the family where we get to catch up on the highlights of our days. It does help our logistics that my husband works from home and is often charged with various after school rotas…I probably don’t tell him enough how much I appreciate it!

A quick catch up on emails, text and other modes of communication post dinner, followed by a good book or a series – Succession is currently high on our list – and lights off by 11h30pm.

What are the things you like the most about working as Partner and Head of Strategic Pension Relationships?

I love interacting with interesting people and learning about new things, whether it’s skills, solving problems or coming up with new strategies. I am lucky that my colleagues inspire me and teach me new things every day. Apart from the people it’s just as important to work for a company with a purpose that means something to oneself personally. Ours is: ‘fusing human experience with analytics to create a positive future’ what is there not to like about this purpose!

What are some of the skills you utilise the most in your day-to-day at work?

My role is very personable – I interact with people all day long and therefore I’d say it’s my interpersonal skills I use. I love connecting people and solving challenges. But most importantly I love seeing people succeed. There are so many ways to help people achieve their goals – whether it’s a personal chat, a longer session with them or a project we work on together.

What was one of your happiest days in your career and why?

Given my role is often around expanding and retaining clients, I’d say that one of my happiest days was probably when we won one of our largest clients which I had been working on for years.

On a personal level my happiest day was the day I was told I had been promoted to senior partner. As the first senior partner in a non-fee earning/actuarial role it felt like an unachievable goal but am so grateful for the recognition from my colleagues and clients – that meant everything to me!

What was the toughest career decision you ever made?

I started my career at Goldman Sachs – a job I loved because of the culture, but dreaded because of the long hours and longevity of the role as a woman who wanted to balance work and life with a family. I knew that I had to leave at some point but making a jump to join a pensions start-up (my last career-move before reaching LCP) a few weeks after the Lehman collapse was probably one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. I’ll never forget the day I resigned: the team were so supportive of me and what we had been through together – I had a standing ovation when I said my goodbyes and still remain friends with quite a few colleagues from that time.

What is something you had to learn to become better at your work?

As someone who loves to solve problems I have always been quick at telling people what I thought the solution was. When I qualified as a coach I had to learn that the best way to help people is by letting them make their own conclusions and decisions – holding back still doesn’t come naturally to me but I do have to remind myself that it’s such an effective way of helping people to grow.

How did you get to become a Partner and Head of Strategic Pension Relationships?

When I joined LCP 8 years ago, I was the first junior partner in my role. I wanted to create a blueprint for others in this role for years to come. The story is quite similar for my senior partner promotion as the first of my kind to receive this recognition. I suppose it was a mix of skill, luck and being in the right place at the right time which has led me to where I am today.

What's the one piece of career advice you have for anyone interested in becoming a partner?

Find your passion and be comfortable being uncomfortable. If you don’t push yourself beyond your comfort zone you’ll never grow.

What's your number one productivity hack / when or how are you most effective?

I am a morning person and work best when it’s quiet around me – so on days where I have a huge amount of work I get up very early, lock myself into a room and start the day hours before anyone else – not only does it give me a head start – it makes me feel like I am in control of my work and able to start the day.

What makes you gracefullyBOLD?

Being a positive role model for other women in our industry.

How do you spend your weekend or downtimes?

I love walking my dog Simba, play boardgames with my kids (my favourite game is Rummikub) and spend time with my husband. Cooking is my creative outlet and I often come up with Morrocan concoctions (my mother is Moroccan so I am used to a diverse cuisine).

How do you deal with stress and build resilience?

My biggest stress busters are the gym and my family & friends who have always supported me throughout my career, lifted me up during stressful periods and given me the pep talk when I needed it the most.

My biggest inspiration is actually my Dad – as a qualified psychologist, he always keeps a cool head, always knows what to say and gives me the wisest of advice on anything!

What would have been your alternative career path or alternative University degree?

I would have LOVED to have studied medicine and become a doctor. At the time I felt that a business degree was probably quicker and I could stand on my own two feet (financially) in a shorter period of time but I regret not having studied medicine. There is something magical about healing others.

What is it like as a woman to work in such a male dominated industry like pensions?

As a minority – I’d say that it’s one of our superpowers – we should use it to our advantage, find other women in our industry who inspire us and create an inclusive environment that promotes diversity.

What is the last thing you learnt?

I am writing this during Coronation weekend: there was an eerie connection between the anointment of the king and the weekly portion in the Torah this week where it talks about the Priests being anointed.

One word answers & quick fire round. Let's go!

  • Your superpower: my energy – always positive (well mostly)

  • Favourite restaurant: Any Italian restaurant serving a dish with aubergine

  • Favourite fashion brand: Claudie Pierlot

  • Favourite beauty product: Obsessed with Beautypie

  • Favourite perfume: Le Labo

  • Book recommendation: Lessons in Chemistry

  • Next holiday destination: Egypt

  • Your hobby: cooking, drawing, singing.​

  • Who inspires you: my children

Thank you Nathalie for sharing your journey & wisdom with us!

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