Joanne O’Keeffe – 60 second interview
Joanne O’Keeffe joined Finance Wales in January this year
having spent her career in commercial banking. Bringing her
business development skills to our New Investments team she’s keen
to explain to more Welsh businesses what Finance Wales has to
What is you role at Finance
I work in a business development role in Finance Wales’ New
Investments team and it’s my job to help more Welsh SMEs and their
advisers understand how Finance Wales could help them.
Where were you before?
Before I came to Finance Wales I spent 31
years in commercial banking at NatWest and in my last role there I
was a Business Development Director. I’d worked with Finance Wales
on various investments, so I was very interested when an
opportunity came up to join their New Investments team.
Having known Finance Wales beforehand
what is your impression of Finance Wales now you are part of their
I knew that Finance Wales has a streamlined
investment model and it’s been very refreshing to see investment
decisions being made on such a local level. A lot of this relies on
Finance Wales’ regional teams who regularly meet SME owners and
managers face-to-face to get a true understanding of the
Having worked in a large national bank
for so long, what’s it like to work for a company like Finance
Working for the largest retail and commercial
bank in the UK has many advantages, but I’m enjoying working for a
company of Finance Wales’ size. While it’s big enough to have
specialist teams, it also has a close-knit culture and great team
ethic. Everyone is very supportive and pulls in the same
How would you describe Finance Wales’
approach to investing?
Flexible! With so many different funds under
management, Finance Wales’ Investment Executives can structure a
deal to suit an SME’s needs. If an Investment Executive really
believes in a business and buys into its vision, Finance Wales can
usually find a way to provide suitable funding and that way they're
more likely to have a better chance of success.
Finally, what has been your highlight
The working environment here is great and
people make it what it is. There are a lot of diverse backgrounds
and specialist knowledge to engage with on a daily basis.