Category: Communication and Partnership & Media
Company: Financial Conduct Authority
Five Words to describe Danielle Francis
Assertive, proactive, mentor, leader, flexible
Please tell us the key demands of your role?
My role is greatly varied and the most important aspect is balancing both my responsibilities and that of my Chairman to ensure we meet our objectives, especially as he is Chair for both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and also the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR). Key stakeholders for both companies range from Government officials, journalists, trade bodies, consumer organisations and all financial institutions. My key demands are managing the Chairman’s diary and inbox, coordinating regional and international travel, implementing his internal communications plan, managing meeting agendas, briefings and papers. I am the main point of contact for the Chairman and need to be proactive and confident when dealing with the business and making decisions on his behalf. I handle a great deal of highly sensitive information, following procedures and maintaining confidentiality.
I have been present in the Executive Office over a great deal of change including 4 CEOs, and 2 Chairman. Throughout this time I have stayed resilient and adapted to the requirements of each new office. I have maintained professional relationships with not only the banking and insurance firms we regulate but also our Board members, MPs offices, the Bank of England, HM Treasury, Financial Ombudsman, FSCS, to name a few. I do my best to ensure the Chairman is represented by myself and his office as reliable, professional members of staff.
Why do you believe that you should be shortlisted or, give us an example of when you have demonstrated the abilities attributed to your category?
I believe I should be shortlisted for continuing to be committed in delivering the highest level of support and service to my Chairman and the wider organisation. I take great pride in my work and am often called upon by internal and external stakeholders as both a source of knowledge and as a problem solver. I believe my job is 24/7 and therefore have a home laptop as well as a work mobile. At the end of each day I divert both my work phone and the Chairman’s office phone to my work mobile so the Chairman’s Office is always contactable.
Outside of running the Chairman’s office, I am creator and Co-Chair of the Professional Business Support Committee (PBS), which aims to give direction to all PBS employees by providing development opportunities and using our network and communication channels, in order to grow skills and embody our cultural characteristics. PBS covers all administration and secretarial roles at the FCA including PAs, Paralegals, team administrators and more. The Committee has PBS representatives from every division of the FCA and focuses on providing training and networking opportunities for PBS staff. The Committee also engages with senior management on PBS development and activity. I feel as though I really thrive at being a voice for the PAs and administrators throughout the organisation.
In addition, I am the events manager for the FCA Charity Committee, which has raised over £25,000 in the last 2 year for our nominated charities. I arrange and host Director PA meetings and awaydays, which encourage knowledge sharing and improve our internal network. For the last 3 years I have also arranged the Board awayday, and through my networking skills and contacts, have managed to seek new venues and gain greater value for money. I help run a volunteering programme in conjunction with Newham College, which not only gives our PBS staff a chance to showcase their own skills, share knowledge and improve their confidence, but also allows them to positively impact and encourage the students at Newham college. I mentor 5 PBS staff and aid with the recruitment of PBS staff throughout the organisation, a task that includes sifting applications and interviewing candidates.
If you had one superpower for your role as a PA, what would it be?
I would love the ability to mind read. I could always pre-empt what someone was going to do or say, which would help me stay one step ahead, proactive and deliver the best service.