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A Day in the Life Of… Nicola Firth

My alarm goes off at…
…6.30am, but it can be earlier if I have to be on the early train to London. That first hour in the morning when no one else is around is precious – just me and my coffee – and I get through a lot of emails and messages.

I cannot leave the house without…
…saying goodbye to our two black Labradors – although they often spend the day with my parents while we are at work, taking advantage of lots of attention, walks and treats.

I travel to work…
…by car. Our offices are only around eight miles away, so the journey usually takes me around 20 minutes. As it is a short journey, I usually spend it singing along to the radio – with the windows up, of course.

The main purpose of my job…
…is to head up the teams and drive the company forwards to ensure that we continue to be the largest criteria search system in the UK. When we created Knowledge Bank there was nothing like it. It is great to see that we have led the revolution on criteria and continue to be at the forefront of this type of technology.

I joined…
…in August 2015 when the company was incorporated. At this time I was still also working as a mortgage broker and running my own
brokerage. I saw my last client in May 2017 to concentrate solely on Knowledge Bank and gear up for our launch in September 2017.

My typical day…
…is very varied. There really is no such thing. Some days I am in the office, meeting with the teams and catching up on my own work. Other times I am out and about in meetings with lenders, networks, clubs and other partners that we work with. I love attending events and speaking to brokers, and I am often asked to speak at or sit on panel sessions, which I thoroughly enjoy.

People may not know that I’m responsible for…
…pretty much everything. As the chief executive, the buck stops with me.

A common misconception about my job is…
…that I do everything. As I am the founder and often the face of Knowledge Bank, people may not realise that there is a team working in the background on broker support, lender relationships and, of course, the technical side of the business. I am incredibly proud of the work they do and the passion they have for their jobs.

My favourite work memory is…
…I have two real stand-out moments. One being the Financial Services Expo in London in 2018. We chose that event to celebrate our first birthday and our stand was bursting at the seams the whole day through, with brokers discovering us for the first time and brokers who use Knowledge Bank and wanted to come up and meet the team and shake our hands… testament indeed to what we have created.

The second was winning Best Technology Provider at the Mortgage Strategy Awards earlier this year. To have launched just 18 months prior and have been up against some of the industry’s biggest names in mortgage sourcing, it was amazing to win the prestigious award.

A perk of this job is…
…being in the position to genuinely make a difference to the intermediary mortgage market. And being invited to meet with the Financial Conduct Authority and various government bodies with regard to their reviews of both the mortgage market and fintech I consider to be more of a privilege than a perk.

To unwind after work I like to…
…cook and bake. I also enjoy getting out in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside walking with our dogs and, in the winter months, there is nothing like cosying up with them and my husband in front of the log fire and catching up on some of our favourite TV programmes.

My role in five words is…
…exciting, challenging, demanding, rewarding and inspiring.

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