Five Minutes With . . . Phil Mackintosh


1. Please, can you explain a little about your role at James Sharp?

Much of a typical week will be spent communicating with clients by telephone and email. In addition to dealing with any queries, I will discuss developments at the companies we follow and provide suitable investment advice.

The actual job of dealing (i.e. buying and selling shares) is still a major part of our role and we will deal directly with London market makers in many of the smaller less liquid stocks. Getting to know the companies we work with is another aspect of the job I enjoy. From time to time, we get the opportunity to meet with the Company Directors to discuss a set of results and gauge the outlook going forward. Sometimes, this might include a site visit. For example, over the last couple of weeks, I have visited James Cropper plc and Scapa Group plc.

Other times, Directors will come and meet us at our offices. My former role as ISA manager included a number of administrative tasks, and I still have a small number of duties in this area to look after.

2. What sets James Sharp apart from other stockbrokers?

James Sharp is one of only a handful of small stockbrokers still operating independently. As a small firm, we punch well above our weight by having a fully integrated experienced back office and a wealth of investing experience on the front office side where most of us have worked for many years.

I myself will celebrate 18 years at James Sharp & Co next month and am by no means one of the longest serving members of the team. I believe our clients prefer to speak to the same advisor over the long term and value the relationship that comes with this longevity.

3. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? In and out of work . . .

Financially, the best advice I received was to learn and understand the value of compound returns and the ability to grow your savings over the long term, usually from very humble beginnings.

Outside of work, good advice is that you should never regret the things you do as much as the things you didn't do - so I like to give things a try when I can!

4. James Sharp and Co.'s office has a spectacular panoramic vista of Bury. What can you see from your desk today?

The views from our offices are terrific these days. Far better than the barred windows of our old office on Knowsley Street!

We have wonderful views of the Pennines to the East, Scout Moor to the North and Holcombe Hill to the North West.

I still find the steam trains trundling in and out of Bolton Street station to be quite magical, especially on a cold winters day.

5. Tell us something your clients and colleagues may be surprised to learn about you.

When I was younger, I took some time out to go trekking alone in Western Nepal. It was a fantastic experience to meet local people and fellow hikers and walk in the foothills of the Himalayas. I would love to go back to Nepal one day, maybe to see Mount Everest in the East of the country.