High Flyers: The day Hugh Jackman came to Claudine's 27th birthday
In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Claudine Owens, HBAN Ulster coordinator region and investment manager at Clarendon Fund Managers
What was your first job?
Shop assistant in Neesons in Newcastle aged 13. Most new staff didn’t come back after their first lunch break. I lasted three years before I was poached by Dunnes Stores across the road!
What qualifications do you have?
I studied accountancy at Queen's and trained with PWC Manchester. Currently studying for corporate finance exams.
What do you attribute your success to?
Hard work and getting on well with people easily. I am always willing to take advice and learn from others.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
Bubbly, energetic, always busy, thoughtful with lots of quirky boots!
Who do you look up to in business?
I admire all entrepreneurs and business owners – they have taken their idea/dream and work passionately and tirelessly. Also the role angel investors play in bringing through exciting companies is substantial and there is a real need for more of our successfully exited entrepreneurs to invest in and offer guidance to younger companies as angels as the economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I treat everyone the way I am happy to be treated.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
Having worked in many great places including Manchester, Melbourne and London what I love about Northern Ireland is everything and everyone is so accessible. The start-up community is very collaborative - I wouldn’t want that changed but would love to see more female angels.
What website or app could you not do without?
Whatsapp. It has my kids’ football diaries and allows me easy contact and humour with lots of friends groups here and overseas!
What was the last book you read?
Prisoner at Birth by Jeffrey Archer – fantastic twist!
What car do you drive?
Wish I could say something sleek, sassy and convertible but as a mum of five it’s a Seat Alhambra!
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I went travelling alone after completing my training contract with PwC in Manchester. I travelled through South East Asia and on to Australia where I stayed and worked for three years. I loved the way of life in Oz as the weather was fantastic and the people were so inclusive. One of my highlights was when a friend in Melbourne brought Hugh Jackman to my 27th birthday dinner! Unfortunately he brought along a girlfriend too!
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Fashion, friends, food and footwear in no particular order. I’ve also recently taken up cycling – only the parks or country roads near me but it’s a lovely way to start the day.