How I made it featuring Sam Turvey, Partner at Maitland
For our latest inspiring stories series, 'How I made it', we're interviewing the cream of the crop across all facets of communications and marketing. This is where you'll learn about how the best in the industry got to where they are today and hopefully pick up some tips along the way to help your own career progress.
We sat down with Sam Turvey, Partner at Maitland, to find out more about his career and how he made it in the financial PR industry.
Sam is a globally-minded communications advisor, specialising in building strong corporate profiles and guiding senior leaders through critical situations including M&A, fund raising, market entry, crisis and internal change. Sam started his career in London as a press manager at the British Chambers of Commerce before joining Maitland where he advised FTSE 350 firms and foreign asset managers on gaining access to the London stock exchange.
Sam’s career subsequently took him to the Middle East with Bell Pottinger, where he worked with multinational businesses to raise their profiles across the GCC. He then transferred to Hong Kong where he advised local and international businesses with challenges such as a complex cross border transaction, litigation, or raising brand profiles in a new market.
After six years abroad, Sam returned to London and rejoined Maitland as a Partner in January 2018, with a focus on the firm’s financial and corporate teams, global client portfolio, and advising companies on communicating within overseas markets.
Read on to find out all about Sam’s journey in financial PR globally.
How did you get into the communications industry?
As a fresh grad in London, I was trying to find a way into a political or journalism career. It wasn’t easy. After dabbling at a health policy charity, interning in the City and doing some freelance writing, my break came thanks to Baroness Evans and Sally Low of the British Chambers of Commerce. They thought I’d be a decent chief of staff for then Director General, David Frost.
I was in that role for about a month or so before Nick Dines, then head of comms, spotted that I liked writing and chatting to people came easily. He took me under his wing as a press officer focused on the lobby and business media. It felt like a great combination of the two areas I wanted to work in.
And the rest is history: I went from press officer to press manager in-house at the British Chambers, to consultant at financial PR agency Maitland, then associate partner and partner at Bell Pottinger in Dubai and Hong Kong, and now I’m a partner back at Maitland again.
Do you have a mentor or someone who inspired you to succeed?
I’ve always relied on my wife and parents for core advice and motivation – the big stuff – but I’ve had some great bosses too. Nick Dines and Fiona Hill at the British Chambers of Commerce taught me a lot about the PR fundamentals in a busy political comms environment, while Liz Morley and Neil Bennett at Maitland broadened the skill set and introduced me to agency life and big corporates.
What three words best describe you as a communicator/leader?
Reassuring, perceptive, compelling.
With the knowledge you have now gained, what career advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
I guess the challenge for most young people not going into an obvious vocation like medicine or law, is getting some useful experience under your belt so you can convince an employer to hire you full time. In my view, throughout university, college or even the end of school, you should already be seeking to build your CV with meaningful internships, part-time jobs and work experience. The more good stuff you do earlier, the easier it is coming fresh into the competitive jobs market.
Unfortunately, I learnt this lesson the hard way, and ended up spending a year post university trying to scramble enough useful experience together to appeal to someone.
Name one technology you could not live without?
I won’t say iPhone because that’s boring. At the moment, it’s my Huawei fitness watch/band thingamajig. It’s determined to tell me that I need to stretch more.
Find out more
Find out more about our financial PR recruitment offering here: Hanson Search Financial PR Recruitment