Nicola Horlick is a world-renowned British investment fund manager and mother-of-six to Georgina, Alice, Serena, Antonia, Rupert, and Benjie; her eldest daughter, Georgina, died of leukaemia in 1998 when she was 12 years old. Born in Nottingham in 1960, Nicola worked for her father’s business before joining S.G.Warburg & Co, as a graduate trainee, and being appointed director in 1989, by which point the company had become Mercury Asset Management. Since then she has made her name as a “City Superwoman”. She is currently Chairman of Rockpool Investments LLP and the CEO of Money&Co; has a film business, Derby Street Films; and is Chairman of film finance fund, Glentham Capital. Her second husband, Martin Baker, is a financial journalist, they live in Barnes, South West London.

How did you get to the career position you are in today?
Hard work. I haven’t found any short-cuts in life.

You are the mother of six children and a world-renowned business figure – how do you balance both without the roles conflicting?
It is much easier now as my youngest child is nearly 16. When they were little, I had a full-time nanny and a housekeeper. I was also fortunate as my mother was only 47 when I had my first chiild and she helped me a lot. I always kept an open mind and would have stopped working if I had felt that the children were suffering, but they all seemed happy. Also, I was a UK fund manager with clients in the UK and so I never had to travel or work in the evenings or at weekends. Every Friday, we went to our house in Hampshire and came back on Sunday night. The children roamed free in the countryside and I cooked them enormous meals. We always had another family over for Sunday lunch. The children loved it there – until they became teenagers and wanted to stay in London at weekends and go to parties!

Do you ever feel over-loaded, and if so how do you remedy that?
I frequently feel overloaded. There is no remedy. I am very good at delegating, but there are some things that I just have to do myself.

Do you feel there a pressure on women today to ‘have it all’?
Yes. The major problem is that there is a financial imperative on everyone to work because of the high cost of housing, especially in the South East. This is compounded by high travel costs and childcare costs. Most women are working to help pay the mortgage with very little left over for themselves. In terms of aiming high in their careers, if women want to work then they should. If they want to stay at home to look after the children, then they should – but if they are thinking of returning, it is best to work part-time when the children are young. It is very difficult to get back in at the same level after a career break.

Tell us about the charity you are supporting, Just a Drop
Every human being needs access to clean water – this is particularly important for mothers and babies. I have spent a great deal of time in Africa and have watched mothers with babies strapped to their backs walking for miles with pitchers on their heads to get clean water. It is vital that every village has clean water and so I am happy to support the international water aid charity Just a Drop which is raising funds and awareness for mothers in developing countries who face a daily struggle for safe, accessible water.

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