Cefinn Sirens - Nadia Manzoor

Nadia, listed by Forbes as “Finance’s Number 1 Rising Star”, is a partner at boutique investment management firm, S. W. Mitchell Capital. Nadia also sits on the board of FTSE-250 company, J.P. Morgan American Investment Trust. Nadia made world history at 30 years old as she became the youngest ever woman to sit on the board of a company listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange - she is half the average non-exec age. Nadia lives in Holland Park, but spends a great deal of her time in the US.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
The things that I’m most proud of and mean the most to me are the times that I can help people. I volunteer with a mental health charity - helping a 55 year old lady who has had an incredibly difficult life to go on her first holiday was pretty special.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Reality is created by the mind, we can change our reality by changing our mind. It’s my motto... but I’ve taken it on a sort of unofficial loan from Plato!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
When I was 14, I got a job on a farm picking strawberries for two days - just long enough to earn £65 to buy my heart's greatest desire: a long-sleeved Manchester United shirt with Giggs on the back! Aaah!

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO TRAVEL?
I love travelling and experiencing different cultures, but the older I get I’m just really enjoying being a little more still, and spending time in the places that feel like home with the people I love the most: Yorkshire, where I grew up and where my family are; the South of France where I’ve had many happy holidays and still takes my breath away every single time; New York which is almost like a symbol of hope and opportunity to me and has become my second home through work.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WARDROBE ITEMS?
Overflowing maxi dresses and super comfy trainers. Usually worn together!
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
A lot of yoga. Not enough meditation. Chill with my sister’s puppy. Chill with myself. Long salt baths with a good book. Not so-long walks bopping along to some terrible music!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?

So many, but the first that comes to mind - “She didn’t look pretty, she looked like art and art wasn’t supposed to look pretty, it was supposed to make you feel something”. It’s from a book called “Eleanor & Park” and gives me goosebumps.

WHAT IS YOUR BRUNCH ORDER?

Soft boiled eggs with whole wheat soldiers, a side of avocado and a freshly squeezed OJ or green juice. With any left over soldiers getting them drenched in chocolate spread or strawberry jam. Yummy!

WHAT BOOK DO YOU ALWAYS RECOMMEND TO A FRIEND?

I literally tell everybody I meet to read “An End to Upside Down Thinking”. It’s all about consciousness - it basically analyses evidence and theory based on quantum physics to really challenge some of our most fundamental beliefs as human beings. I’m completely captivated by what it means to be fully present and connected, and the impact that has on pretty much every element of our lives - you don’t want to get me started on this topic, but seriously, you have to read it!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO GIRLS LOOKING TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL CAREER?

At the moments that feel the hardest, when everything feels as though it’s going against you and you just want to give up: find the strength deep inside of you, and keep going. I used to think I was working towards an end point, but now I think of success more as journey than a destination - and what we perceive as failures are an important part of that journey. I'm trying to stop seeing things that happen as good or bad - because the supposedly “bad” things are actually opportunities for a kind of exquisite growth. So my advice is take something from every bump in the road, from every stone thrown at you and use it to build something better. I often remind myself that Bill Gates dropped out of university and failed with his first company before he launched Microsoft and became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.

WHAT SKILL DO YOU FIND MOST USEFUL IN THE WORKPLACE?

I really value, and am constantly working on, listening. That probably sounds rudimentary, but most of the time we don't listen with the intention of understanding, we’re only listening with the intention of replying. You might be the most knowledgeable person in the world on a topic, but how can you help a client unless you really know who they are? How can you solve a problem unless you understand it from every perspective? Dale Carnegie's books are interesting on this stuff. One of my favourite anecdotes is when he meets a distinguished botanist at a dinner party who later tells the host that Carnegie was the most stimulating, interesting guest - but Carnegie had hardly said anything, he’d just listened.