10 in 10: Victoria Hicks, director The City & Capital Group
Victoria Hicks, director of Leeds-based The City & Capital Group is the latest regional business professional in the hot seat as The Yorkshire Times gives just 10 minutes to answer our 10 burning questions.
What does a typical working day for you involve?
We assist financial organisations with their growth or succession plans through recruitment and acquisitions, so I spend a lot of my days with clients at their office. We believe it’s important to really understand a firm and their culture, to be able to provide tailored support – and the best way to do this is to be on site.
Being quite new to the family business, I try and spend as much time as possible with the team to find out what drives them, and what training we can offer to enable them to reach their goals.
What makes your company special?
We have a truly team-based approach – without strict targets – to create a working culture that we believe best serves our clients. We recognise the different strengths and specialities of each individual, and we draw upon these to provide a quality service. This is not only a breath of fresh air for our customers, but the team also benefit from an inclusive culture, and feel comfortable taking their time learning about the people and companies we work with.
Since The City & Capital Group was established at the start of 2017, we haven’t had one staff member leave – which suggests we’re doing something right!
Do you have any business rules that you swear by?
Set expectations clearly with the companies and people you deal with. If you can’t offer the service required, be honest and tell them! There is usually always a way forward, so provide solutions not problems, and if you drop a clanger, hold your hands up straight away.
We all make mistakes – we’re only human – and I know that I’ve made a few during my career, so learn from them.
Do you dress up or down for work?
A bit of both. If I’m attending a first meeting with someone, I’ll dress up and then judge what to wear from then on. I’m always mindful when I’m at a business’ premises that they may have clients popping in, so I dress in a way that promotes their firm.
In our office we don’t mind what people wear, as long as they feel comfortable. All the people I work with dress respectfully, so we haven’t had to put in place any guidelines!
What piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Be an 18-year-old! The decisions you make at that age don’t dictate your whole life. It’s fine not to have a career plan and to make mistakes – personally and in business.
However, if 18-year-old me was reading this, I wouldn’t pay any attention – I knew everything already at that age, of course!
What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?
I love going to the local beer festivals with colleagues and other professionals
I work with. My favourite is the Wharfdale Beer Festival in Grassington. I’ve had some great times at this event and met some amazing people, who have become good friends. Getting a double decker bus from Ilkley train station starts off the day, and makes you feel like you’re going on a school trip!
How do you prefer to travel for business?
I spend a lot of time in my car, but I love it, as they’re the only moments I get alone – and I enjoy my own company, so it allows me to escape!
Sometimes I sing at the top of my lungs, other times I drive in silence and on occasions, I simply end up talking to myself.
What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?
My house! It’s such a happy place to be. My husband, the boys and I have similar interests, so we spend as much time together as we can. I live to the north west of Leeds, so we have beautiful spots like Horsforth, Ilkley and Otley on our doorstep, which we visit frequently.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you
I love independent cafés with mismatched cutlery, a relaxed atmosphere, and big portions! There’s an amazing spot in Horsforth called The Greenhouse. It’s a vegan restaurant, with lovely owners and everything is ethically sourced.
Their hummous and avocado on toast is simple, but amazing. They use a homemade pesto drizzle and cherry tomatoes, which all comes together for one delicious combo!
What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you are away?
It just feels like home to me. When I’ve been away a while, I stare out of the window like an excited child when I’m nearly back. I’ve lived in Yorkshire all my life – my parents will kill me, as I was actually born in Cumbria, – but call myself a Yorkshire lass, with the exception of some time away for uni.
Yorkshire is where I met my husband, started a family, and where most of my friends live. If you want a dynamic city, Leeds is right up there, but if you want the countryside, we have it in abundance!