COFFEE BREAK WITH... Shaun Watts, Director - Christie Finance

Coffee Break with… is a Christie & Co series showcasing the brilliance, expertise, and diversity of our network of over 200 employees.

When did you join Christie Finance?

I joined Christie Finance on 2nd Aug 2017. My daughter was born on 3rd August 2017 which made for an interesting first week!

Where were you when you accepted your role at Christie Finance?
In the board room at Carmelite Street.

What was your first job?
My first job was working as a junior football coach, teaching 4 and 5 years old the basics of football in schools.

In a couple of sentences, can you tell us a bit about your job at Christie Finance?
I head up the Unsecured Loan and Asset Finance Division at Christie and Co. This division didn’t exist prior to me joining the business, so my day-to-day role includes supporting my team in sourcing new business and converting opportunities while making our funding panel, reviewing compliance and managing all aspects of the team including recruitment. I also try to keep my hand in doing deals where possible.

What’s your favourite thing about Christie Finance?
The atmosphere and supportive nature of the organisation. The business as a whole has a very dynamic environment, “work hard, play hard” is the motto. We don’t take ourselves too seriously despite being (arguably) the best at what we do.

What's a favourite project that you’ve worked on at Christie Finance so far?
Being involved in Project Afternoon was particularly rewarding and I felt we added real value to the wider business offering.

What’s been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Probably leaving my previous job to join Christie Finance, the move was challenging with the logistics of my wife being heavily pregnant with our first child. I was well established in my previous role and Christie Finance was a leap into the unknown to launch something new - looking back it was the best thing I’ve ever done!

What’s been a highlight of your career so far?
Seeing the team in Chester grow and develop with individuals setting record performances on several occasions, all done with a smile on their face.

How has the industry changed since you started at Christie Finance?
The market has changed significantly post-pandemic with increased interest rates and other financial and operational challenges faced by businesses. This has been both a challenge and an opportunity for the team.

Who in your industry do you feel most inspired by?
I take inspiration from seeing newer members of my team completing their first deal, developing their knowledge and confidence, and flourishing in financial services.

Tell us a bit about your life outside work – what are your hobbies?
In the past, I played football and cricket regularly but since having children (Hattie 6 and Jack 3) my hobbies are dominated by them, although I do like cooking where I can.

What’s your hometown? Where do you live now?
I live on the Wirral so halfway between Liverpool and Chester.

Where’s the best place you’ve been on holiday?
The West Coast of America (where we did some travelling for our honeymoon) but if you ask my wife Nikki or the kids they would say Florida.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

If you could live and work in any city, where would you go?
Either San Francisco or Barcelona.

What would be your desert island meal?
Probably Pizza.

What’s your favourite film?
It’s between Con Air and Face Off.

What is one thing on your bucket list?
To watch the Boxing Day Ashes Test at MCG (Melbourne).

What is your biggest fear?

What news source do you read every day?
A quick glance on BBC News (or more likely Sky Sports News) while checking emails in the morning.

What’s your social media platform of choice?
I flick between Facebook and Twitter.

To read more of our “Coffee Break with…” blog posts, click here.