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Q&A with networking group, ‘XY’

In 2017 Lucy Anderson (Numis Securities) and Shelley Goff (Cytec Solutions) set up XY, a new industry networking group. We speak with Shelley about the group and its aims.

What is XY?

XY is a networking group established in 2017 aimed at professionals working in Company Secretariat and Share Plans sectors, who are in the formative stages of their career.

How did XY come into existence, and what is it aiming to achieve?

When I started out in Share Plans as an administrator I had limited exposure to the industry as a whole. There were very few events specifically aimed at someone of my level and whilst organisations such as ICSA, GEO and ProShare run fantastic courses and events, as an administrator, I was often not aware of these or found that more senior colleagues were attending. As I progressed in my career and began attending events on a more frequent basis, I found them daunting as I wouldn’t know many people in the room. I wasn’t making the most of the events, or the business opportunities they provided, and my confidence was taking a knock.

Of course, as I attended more events and completed industry courses, such as the ICSA Share Plans qualification, I began meeting more people and successfully built up my network. The difficulty I felt in getting to this point, however, stayed with me especiallyas I could see others experiencing something similar. I began to wonder if there was something I could do to get people involved in the industry at an earlier stage in their career.

As luck would have it, in 2017, I met Lucy Anderson from Numis. We found we had a lot in common and had been through many similar experiences. For us relationships are at the heart of most businesses, and the benefits of being able to share ideas and ask questions with your peers are huge. So, together we began working on a networking group, aimed at involving individuals working in Company Secretariat and Share Plans at an earlier stage of their career.

How have the industry responded?

We have been blown away by the industry response to XY since its launch at the end of 2017. Issuers, Providers and Advisors alike have been incredibly keen, not just to enlist their up and coming talent to the group, but to provide sponsorship for our events (special thanks to Solium, Numis and Cytec for the 2018 summer drinks!) as well as present on topics.

This incredible support has allowed XY to grow from an initial 11 members, to over 80 and demonstrates the real need for such a group within the industry.

What comes next?

We are in the process of developing the XY brand, with a new logo and LinkedIn group which we hope will increase our industry presence, allowing us to reach more people and build the XY network.

Our events are often oversubscribed, so another key aim for us in 2019 is to increase the number that we run, as well as looking at events outside of London to cater for those who aren’t based in the city.

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