Meet the team – Associate Director, Natalie Walker-Owen
From turning businesses around to seeking out adventure, find out more about our Associate Director’s role and her pursuits outside of work
What do you do at Growth Lending?
I work in our portfolio management team, specialising in investments that need financial or operational restructuring. I work very closely with our clients’ management teams to develop turnaround plans and restructure businesses so that they can emerge stronger – no day is ever the same, which keeps me on my toes!
What attracted you to working at Growth Lending?
For me, it was the culture and the people. During my interview process it was clear that culture was a priority at Growth Lending and I couldn’t wait to join such a forward-thinking team, where authenticity and collaboration are so integral.
How did you get into this field?
After doing a degree in chemistry, I did a U-turn and started a graduate scheme in audit. I had my eyes set on moving to restructuring once I qualified, as I saw it as an opportunity to really add value to businesses.
After three years in restructuring advisory I wanted to work more closely with companies and on a longer term basis, so I could be involved in the restructuring implementation and see the outcomes. That’s when I decided to move into a restructuring team at a debt fund and I haven’t looked back since.
I love helping management teams rise to challenges and seeing them evolve and emerge stronger.
How did you end up in Manchester?
I went to university in Manchester and fell in love with the city. I spent four years living and working in London and although I really enjoyed my time there, I was eventually drawn back by the charm of the North. Manchester developed so much in the time I was gone and it feels like I am rediscovering a new city all over again, with hundreds more restaurants and bars to tick off the list.
If you could have any job in the world, what would you choose and why?
I once met someone whose job was to plan group adventure holidays. She would choose an exotic holiday destination, plan out an itinerary and then go out to that country for a few weeks to test it all out – I don’t think it gets better than that!
What does a typical weekend look like for you?
We’re lucky enough to live right next to the Peak District so a lot of my time is spent hiking and wild swimming there.
I’m also a big foodie, so every weekend usually involves trying a new restaurant or hosting dinner parties with friends.
Where possible, you’ll also find me jetting off on long weekends in Europe when I’m able to squeeze a trip in.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I would travel the world and fly all my family and friends out to join me for epic holidays. Then I’d probably buy a few holiday homes and do something sensible with whatever is left.