Heroes Work Here: Joanna Mulhern

22 March 2018

ZEDRA prides itself on its diverse, hardworking team of industry professionals; it is a team we’re proud of and we’d like to give you the opportunity to get to know us better!

Joanna Mulhern is Managing Director in our Isle of Man office, joining us in October 2017, having worked in the industry for over 25 years.

Jo started her career as a Personal Assistant aged 19, having taken a two-year course after school. It was a defining role for her, because it exposed her to the Trust and Corporate services sector. ‘I was very curious and working on the administrative side of the business really piqued my interest in the industry and I was very motivated to learn more about it,’ she explains ‘in one sense I fell into the sector because of my first job, but I was incredibly lucky to do so because I saw an opportunity to pursue work that really interested me. It pushed me to study further in order that I could move into different areas of the business – I really wanted to grow myself.’

Jo holds the STEP Diploma in International Trust Management as well as the Company Administration Diploma from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, of which she is also a member. In between studying Jo fell pregnant with her son, and after her maternity leave, she went back to work full time.  Shortly after she was offered a role at Jordans. ‘It was challenging to balance studying with having a young child at home, but I was at a point in my career where I was progressing and I really wanted to maintain momentum, so I was very motivated to push myself and make it work. I was really lucky to have such a supportive family who could help me with childcare and employers who were willing to be flexible when I needed to be with my son.’

Jo goes on to talk about what she sees as one of the Isle of Man’s strengths, ‘I think the island is a great place for working mothers and employers are very understanding of the challenges that being a working mum can bring – it means that there is a lot of flexibility which in turn helps women to balance things if they want to work. The island community really lends itself to this and recognises if there wasn’t flexibility for working mums, then they’d be losing a huge talent group.’

Her hard work and determination paid off, and Jo passed all her professional qualifications the first time, moving into a series of increasingly senior client facing roles over a number of years. ‘Meeting people is an aspect of my career I’ve really enjoyed. I think it is important to build meaningful relationships. The industry is personal and likewise very human, and I think clients are really looking for a person that represents a firm they trust to do business with. I work with clients who are looking to set things in stone for their families’ future – for example, they might want the comfort of knowing that their legacy is taken care of so that they don’t have to worry about it: I really value being part of building that trust with clients with the aim of offering a service that ultimately provides peace of mind.’

Jo is also passionate about the Northwest of the UK and she sees the region’s economy continuing to grow in the coming years. ‘Naturally when we talk about investment and growth in the UK, there is a London-focus, but increasingly I think there is a feeling that the Northwest offers fantastic opportunities.  I see a trend that people are starting to look elsewhere and the Northwest region has real potential. There is a chance to make great returns on investments up there and obviously that’s very attractive.’

Jo has worked with the Isle of Man Financial Trust and Equiom Group. Most recently she held the role of Managing Director at The Law Trust. ‘I’ve enjoyed all my roles, but when I was offered the chance to work with ZEDRA last year I was won over by the opportunity to be back in a role that meant I could have more interaction with clients and prospects for a global organisation. ZEDRA’s culture was also a real pull, there is a genuine family feel within the company and focussing on clients’ best interests is a priority throughout.  It’s been central to me to work hard – both for myself and to set an example for my family, but also enjoy life – I think that goes for everyone!’’

Outside of the office, Jo is an avid fan of musical theatre which she regularly enjoys alongside her family.  The family also has two German shepherds and when not at work Jo can usually be found taking them for long walks on the island. ‘I love animals and spending time with my dogs is something I adore!’.