Gaynor is managing partner at Equilibrium, an award winning chartered wealth management company. With over 15 years' experience, her passion for helping business owners has been a continuous thread throughout her career. She has worked with a variety of business owners to help them understand that while the solutions to breaking the success barrier may not always be easy, they are simple.

Was being named in the top 5 small businesses to work for a shock?

Myself and Colin had discussed possibly coming in the top 20 but we would have been delighted to be anywhere in the top 35. It was the first time for us entering The Sunday Times Best Companies survey so we were initially just thrilled to find out that we were in the top 100 best small companies to work for.

Sometimes life sucks.

People who are normally focused, dynamic, highly competent and energetic can lose their mojo, seem lost and can flounder due to things happening outside work.

Equilibrium, the Wilmslow-based wealth management firm, recently topped £500m worth of assets on Nucleus.

Founder Colin Lawson puts their growth over the last five years – which has seen them win £400m of new assets – down to a strategic decision to delegate the running of the business to Gaynor Rigby as managing partner. Here Gaynor explains their approach.

Over the years I have interviewed and hired lots of people. I’ve made mistakes, hired bad eggs, forgot to ask important questions, not followed my gut and been so desperate that I’ve just hired anyone.

In more recent years other people in the business have also had a hand in hiring and we are now at a size that we have the luxury of a full-time person whose role (amongst others) is to find us great team members.

It’s Equilibrium’s 21st birthday this year and at the end of year team briefing our founder, Colin Lawson, gave a fantastic talk about his journey into entrepreneurship and the ups and downs of the business to date. His eloquent speech was punctuated with the 21 lessons he has learned along the way and it got me thinking about my career. What have I learned? Do I have any pearls of wisdom?

I have learned a lot - across three countries - and maybe I do have some wise words. So here goes...

Gaynor Rigby explains the importance of a solid fiscal plan to allow effective decision-making.

I am very proud of the fact that we run a good, healthy and financially responsible business. For our team to feel sure that their jobs are safe and for our clients to be confident that we will be around in the future to look after them, we need to have a solid fiscal plan that allows us effective decision making.

Eight questions to ask your new members of staff once they pass probation

So, you have hired someone, their probation period has ended and you are having a meeting to ask them how they are doing and to let them know they are now an official member of the team (yes, you really should have a meeting to confirm all of this!)

Having had to do a few of these recently, my meetings went a little bit like this…

Our industry has been rife with people playing by the rules but shafting people, for example phoenixing your advice firm. Advisers should right their moral compass and stay clear of the bad eggs.

We’ve all been there. Had to deal with the person who stays within the rules, who follows the guidelines but doesn’t exactly do what is ‘right’.

I’ve crossed paths with quite a few of these people along the way (and more recently more than I’d like) and it really bothers me. In fact, it drives me nuts, I am incensed.

‘Referability’ habits show the kind of person you are, the kind of business that you run, and with how much respect you view your clients and team.