Helping people thrive

Q & A with our Trustee, Rick Watson

Sep 2018

In conversation with Rick Watson, Managing Director (AFME), who joined us as one of our Trustees in November 2017

Rick Watson is Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets, Membership and Events at AFME, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe. AFME is the trade group for the pan-European wholesale financial markets industry. As a member of AFME’s senior management committee, Rick leads staff whose member committees include all the main fixed-income and equities-related cash products across Europe. These include government bonds, covered bonds, investment-grade and high-yield credit, securitization, equities trading, corporate finance, ECM, post-trade and prime services issues. He also leads AFME’s growth-related initiatives, as well as AFME’s investor and corporate relationships. Previously, Mr. Watson was Managing Director, Structured Finance, for FGIC UK Limited and he also held positions as head of securitization origination at HSBC Bank plc and Bear Stearns, UBS Limited, Morgan Stanley and Freddie Mac. Rick has received an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is married with two children, and lives in London.

What made you get involved with EECF?

In my job, I work alongside the largest global and European banks active in the pan-European capital markets.  Many of them have their UK headquarters, which in many cases is also their pan-European hub, at least for now, in Canary Wharf or the City.  It is important for me as well as our members to be able to support an active and well managed community foundation such as EECF. I have seen some of their projects and how they have impacted the local community. As a trustee, I am now involved with the overall activities of the EECF board and also lead its business development initiatives.

What social issue interests you the most?

It is difficult to point only one of the wide range of initiatives that EECF supports but some of the key social issues that interest me personally include:
1. Support for immigrants
2. Isolation amongst elderly
3. Training and employment opportunities for young people
EECF is very well placed to cater to needs of all age groups and due to their active local presence can help groups that others can’t reach as an individual or a business.

What do you think about the ASB model by EECF?

I think anti-social behaviour amongst young adults is a grave cause of concern for many local areas. EECF’s model is a perfect example of how we can tackle ASB in an innovative and tangible way. It really sets the stage for the young people to gain employment. I am very pleased to know that EECF has made such a great contribution to the local area. I wish them all the best and hope other organisations would be open to liaising with EECF so they can duplicate this model in other areas too.

Do you have any ideas about how EECF can increase corporate engagement?

I think EECF has a fantastic corporate engagement plan. Newham Giving Day is a great way for corporate groups and organisations to get involved and support the Newham Giving Fund. Such funds enable us as the grant maker to concentrate the effort and channel into the right direction.

What has your contribution been so far?

I have been focused on raising awareness of the EECF within the banking community, building relationships and new engagements with local organisations. I also am working with EECF staff to utilise AFME’s network in the financial services industry to raise funds for EECF.

What are your hopes for EECF in the next 5 years?

I believe EECF will definitely benefit from more visibility. They have a fantastic team that are committed to the mission. They use targeted approach, in that, they are identifying the needs of the local people and channelling the money and the efforts towards meeting the needs of the local community in a tangible way. More awareness about their work and project delivery can attract more sources of funds.

Do you have any advice for us?

In 2017, they touched £1million mark, which is tremendous success. Given the small staff, I think EECF does a remarkable job at what they do and they make immense impact to the local community. With Tracey Walsh as Chief Executive, I believe EECF’s operation is in very capable hands and their model is well established and most importantly, it works. I think they are also utilizing their connections and gaining support from all their donors and trustees, which is great. Personally, I hope to create more income generating opportunities for EECF by networking with financial services and other potential donor companies.

 

Rick Watson

Managing Director

AFME