Category

Employee Spotlights

Employee Spotlight – Rachael Mason

Each fortnight we will be spotlighting a member of the team so that you can get to know the people behind the Pacem brand. This week we feature one of our Paraplanners, Rachael Mason. Rachael joined the firm as a placement student in 2017 while completing her Degree in Business Studies, achieving a First-Class Honours. Now a full-time Planning Analyst, she is completing her Level 4 Diploma and supporting our Financial Advisory team to assess and advise our clients on all their financial needs.

Rachael tells us a bit more about herself below.

Employee name:
Rachael Mason

Your role at Pacem
Trainee Paraplanner

How long have you been with Pacem?
4 years in January 2022

What does your day-to-day role entail?
I train and mentor our analysts and interns, helping them to write reports and complete client work. I lead on some of our software system initiatives, including a back office system to hold all client data, which ensures client details are kept up to date and accurate. I assist team members with technical queries for clients, liaise with clients about meetings and attend some client meetings to take notes and help our advisors in any way I can.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Bubbly, determined and meticulous

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
 I like to do things in twos; I got married twice in one year (well kind of…)! My husband and I had a small wedding in September 2020 and had our big wedding celebration in September 2021, due to COVID-19. I also have a twin brother (he’s just 10 minutes older than me!)

What do you like most about your job?
Everyday is different which makes it extremely interesting. I have been given the opportunity to mentor some of our analysts and interns and this has been very rewarding as I get to see how they are progressing first-hand and share some of my own experience. My role is so varied that I am constantly learning on the job and gaining experience in a range of different areas. We are a great team at Pacem and get on very well, which makes it good fun.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? 
I’ve always loved baking; growing up I helped my mum to bake all the time (this mainly consisted of licking the spoon!). I would love to be a professional baker and go on the Great British Bake Off.

Favourite food:
I love seafood.

What is something you learned in the last week?
We got a puppy last week and so I am learning that the night time whining, constant chewing and difficulty toilet training are all worth it for the cuddles! (I think!)

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?
We always did jigsaws growing up and I have rediscovered how much I enjoy these over the past few years. I am a very active person; I play hockey every week for Holywood Ladies and over lockdown I picked up cycling, which has been great fun getting to discover new routes and places.

Employee Spotlight – Lesley Irwin

Each fortnight we will be spotlighting a member of the team so that you can get to know the people behind the Pacem brand. This week we feature one of our accounting & tax directors, Lesley Irwin. Lesley, based in our North Coast office, ran her own practice for over 15 years and has recently merged her firm, Irwin-McAfee Chartered Accountants, with Pacem. Lesley is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Advisor and plays a key role in servicing our accountancy clients.

Lesley tells us a bit more about herself below.

Your name:
Lesley Irwin

Your role at Pacem:
Director of Accounting and Tax – based in the North Coast office.

How long have you been with Pacem?
I’ve been part of Team Pacem for almost 5 months. I ran my own practice for over 15 years when a chance phone call with Elizabeth Crossan lead to a merger with Pacem.

What does your day-to-day role entail?
I oversee the provision of a wide range of compliance and advisory services for my clients including annual financial accounts, personal tax returns, payroll, VAT returns and corporation tax.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Determined, organised, control-freak.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I have a full-on obsession with Formula 1 and have done since I was ten years old. Twenty-two weekends a year are filled with watching fast cars racing all over the world. I do not maintain an allegiance to any team but avidly follow a couple of drivers each year based purely on who seems the most fun, their social media posts and the livery of their cars. At the minute it’s all about McLaren.

What do you like most about your job?
I deal directly with the owners and decision-makers within the business. As an accountant I get to see the internal workings of all types of businesses and all sizes of businesses. There is a wide diversity of clients – from farmers to personal trainers, engineers to close-protection officers and opticians to mechanics. It is absolutely fascinating to see how clients in the same businesses with the same circumstances make completely different decisions, have different goals and different levels of tolerance to their tax bills. Over the last 15 years I’ve been able to see some businesses move on to the next generation when directors or partners retire, and new partners join. Other clients have started their businesses around the kitchen table or spare bedroom and quickly grown to be a success. I get to help and advise clients through pivotal moments for their businesses such as the property boom, recession, Brexit, HMRC digitalisation and now Covid-19. I really enjoy the fact that no two clients have the same approach or outcome. Every workday really is different.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Part of me thinks the first thing I would do is speak to Daniel and invest the winnings through Pacem wealth – planning for long-term security and growth while providing a solid income. The more realistic part of me thinks I would book some time off work to interview for a personal assistant, chef, chauffeur and glam squad. Then we need to consider the more practical things like mansion on the beach or apartment in a Mediterranean city? Yacht or plane ? Aston Martin or McLaren ?

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I am doing my dream job at the minute 😊. However, if it doesn’t work out, I’d like to either drive a supercar for a living or become a pilot [preferably of a fighter jet].

Favourite song
Everything by Avicii or Coldplay or Kygo !

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I would love to be able to speak another language fluently.  This has been on my list for years but with little progress.

What is something you learned in the last week?
I have less patience than I thought.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work
Covid-19 highlighted that my daily life had become not all that different from lockdown as a busy home life and work life had left little time for other things.  I enjoy reading a good book, swimming or a walk with the dog.  I really look forward to our Summer family holiday each year – it’s great to get all four of us away from the routine and emails to enjoy each other’s company and try out new places, new food and new activities.

Employee Spotlight – Gemma McShane

Each fortnight we will be spotlighting a member of the team so that you can get to know the people behind the Pacem brand. This week we feature Operations Manger, Gemma McShane, who has been a core member of the team since 2015. Gemma joined the team as a placement student, before completing her degree in Finance & Investment Analysis achieving a First-Class Honours. Gemma completed her Level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning in 2018 and is now responsible for the smooth daily operations of Pacem.

Gemma tells us a bit more about herself below.

Your Name:
Gemma McShane

Your Role:
Operations Manager

How long have you been with Pacem?
6 Years in April past

What does your day-to-day role entail?
My role entails helping with the smooth daily operations of the business; preparing and presenting team meetings, supporting the team with any queries they may have on processes or procedures, attending interviews, helping with induction & training plans for new team members, preparing for management meetings and overseeing ongoing projects. Every day is different – which is why I enjoy my role so much.  

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Organised, diligent & a control-freak! (I sound delightful!)

Tell us something that might surprise us about you…
I’m due my first baby in October – counting down the weeks now!

What do you like most about your job?
The team and the culture within Pacem – every team member is very approachable, which makes working with them very easy!

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Give half of it to charity & split the rest between our immediate families… after we build our dream home of course!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I would love to be an Interior Designer – I would need to scrub up on my skills first!

Favourite food
Italian… pizza/pasta

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work
Having overnight stays at the Galgorm (too often some might say) & attending weddings of family & friends. I also enjoy minding our two-year old nephew – he likes to keep us busy and helps us focus on the more important things in life.