In this series, we delve into life at the LSB by speaking with members of the team to understand more about what brought them to the organisation and the role they play within it. So far we have caught up with Compliance Manager Mark Walker, Insight Manager Jess Roberts, Policy Manager Justin Protts, and Comms Manager Olivia Bamber, and today it’s the turn of our Chief Executive, Emma Lovell.
How long have you been at the LSB and what was your background before?
I joined the LSB in April 2020 right at the beginning of the lockdown! Before that I was the CEO of R3, the UK trade body for insolvency and restructuring professionals. I started my career as a solicitor and held various roles before R3, including at the Insolvency Service.
What does your average day look like?
The great thing about my role is how varied it is, so the cliché of no one day being the same is honestly true. Essentially, my role involves making decisions on the strategy and direction of the LSB. I do this with our Board and Chairman, and by working alongside the LSB’s Senior Management Team. I am involved in setting the direction across all our functions, including Legal, Policy, Compliance, Insight, and Finance and Operations. Cutting across so many different strands of equally important work can be challenging, but it keeps every day fresh, and I’m always learning.
The operational leadership side of things has been a focus recently. Following the pandemic, we needed to decide as an organisation how we were going to work going forward. So were we going to go back to predominantly office based for our London staff, or have a hybrid working environment? Part of this involved thinking about the best location and space for us, and we recently moved our office as a result.
Stakeholder engagement is another vital part of the role, so this could include meeting with our registered firms, the FCA, UK Finance, the PSR, or HM Treasury to name but a few. Speeches, interviews, and media appearances also come with the territory. Fortunately I have a great Comms team to support me with briefings and background for these.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
I genuinely enjoy the whole role really, both the people and ambassadorial side of things, along with getting into the technical detail when required. I take a lot of satisfaction and motivation from working with the team and seeing it develop. The LSB has come a long way over the last two years and it has been fantastic seeing colleagues adapt and grow into changing roles.
It’s important that customers and firms know what the Standards and Codes do to improve outcomes, and so it’s rewarding to go and spread awareness of this. I’m very privileged in this role as I see all of the work come to life, for example, when I speak to a CEO of a bank who tells me they changed their approach as a result of a Compliance report we produced. That is always a very rewarding moment and shows the hard work from the team pays off.
I also really enjoy the strategy side, so thinking about what the future holds for the LSB. An example of this we are doing at the moment is a market sector analysis, considering where there may be territory for us to work in the future. The LSB has a lot of expertise so we can look at where there is room to grow and improve outcomes, for example, in currently unregulated areas.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced so far at the LSB?
Definitely starting in lockdown and going straight into the challenges brought about by the pandemic. Having to get to grips with a new role, with a new team and in this artificial, remote environment was tough. But individually and as an organisation, we got through it and I’m very proud of what the LSB and the team achieved over that period.
Do you have any tips for anyone reading from a registered firm?
I would just say proactively engage with us and all our work at the LSB. So this could include accessing Insight materials on our website, engaging with the Policy teams on consultations, or contacting your firm’s LSB Compliance Manager, for example, when implementing our Standards and Codes. We all love hearing from and working with our firms, and we can only deliver better outcomes for customers by working together.