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Quilter chief: we should be open about mental health

In an exclusive interview with Citywire, Quilter chief executive Paul Feeney talks about the very personal reason he wants to see an end to mental health stigma.

Quilter should be a company where it is OK to talk about poor mental health, according to its chief executive Paul Feeney.

In an exclusive interview with Citywire, Feeney said Quilter had made great strides to change internal attitudes to mental health. He signed the ‘time to change’ pledge in July on behalf of the firm.

During the course of the interview, Feeney also revealed he has himself suffered from poor mental health.

‘I’ve had my own issues,’ he said. ‘I’ve had my own mental health issues in my life and it’s OK to talk about them.

‘I want Quilter to be a place where it’s OK not to be OK and people can talk about that. Given the nature of the people that we have and that we attract to our business, they create the culture. All I have to do is enable the environment where our people can thrive and then it will work.’

‘One of the things I’ve tried to do across the country is lead a lot on our cultural initiatives,’ he added.

‘We’ve put out a big initiative right across the country, which the company calls "Thrive." A lot of it is about mental health and speaking out.

‘We’ve signed the "time to change" pledge and we do "this is me" videos – I’ve done one.’

His intervention follows those of other chief executives in financial services.

They include Lloyds Banking Group chief executive António Horta-Osório, who described Lloyds’ new approach to mental health in an article for The Guardian in May.

Verve Investment Planning principal Steve Buttercase also recently wrote for New Model Adviser® about his struggles with depression, and how he has used life planning to battle it. 

You can watch part one of our interview with Feeney above. We will  publish further interviews with Feeney talking about the Quilter business this week.

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