Stephen Owen

Director – Finance Team at Generation Investment Management
Working at Generation has fulfilled Stephen’s high expectations.

Whilst many candidates at The Return Hub are female, we find both men and women are attracted by more flexible working patterns as well as the strength and quality of our client relationships.


Research conducted by The Return Hub in February 2020, revealed 74% of City men feel trapped by the pressure of being the main breadwinner in their family. Since the Covid-19 lockdown came into force, many are taking the opportunity to examine the balance between their lives and careers in more detail. It is becoming clear that the employers who create and maintain a progressive and inclusive culture have the edge in attracting and retaining the best people in this environment.


Finance professional Stephen Owen had already been re-evaluating his priorities for some time before reaching out to The Return Hub. As we often see with many of the busy candidates we meet, finding time to focus on how best to balance career and family life was challenging, often falling low on the list of daily priorities.


He came across The Return Hub online, and our focus on financial services together with a gender-neutral approach appealed. His interest was piqued by a  Director  within Finance role that we were helping our partner, Generation Investment Management with. This senior level opportunity drew upon his extensive experience, offered a competitive package as well as scope for development in a new area and uniquely, was part-time. Stephen is ambitious and very much focused on his professional life, but at the same time he is keen to spend time with his young family. This opportunity at Generation would maintain his career trajectory on the upward track, at the same time enabling a better family life balance.


Generation are an investment management firm, investing in sustainable businesses. The organisation is driven with a clear ethical purpose and they have a strong and progressive culture. Their values include Innovation, Diversity, Teamwork and Integrity, and these resonated strongly with Stephen when assessing a potential career move. Following an initial consultation with The Return Hub, he was submitted for consideration and then shortlisted for interview. The pace of the application process was swift and efficient, and during the interview process, Generation found Stephen to be credible, brave and articulate. They were impressed by his candour when sharing reasons for looking to move into a different role and working pattern and were quickly convinced that his personal value set reflected their own. He was offered the role and started in March, just two weeks before lockdown.


Working at Generation has fulfilled Stephen’s high expectations. The firm’s strong collegial atmosphere facilitated a warm reception during his first two weeks whilst office-based. This enabled him to rapidly forge effective working relationships, which has been so crucial in his managerial capacity. The onboarding experience reflected the efficient interview process, and when faced with lockdown, the rapid mobilisation of an effective technical platform for all employees allowed the smooth transition to remote working. The technology employed is impressive, ensuring Stephen has a clear oversight of the finance function, maintaining the ability to delegate tasks and to keep the team on track all whilst working remotely.


As a keen advocate of flexible working, Stephen is embracing the culture at Generation and appreciating the contrast to experiences within larger corporate organisations where remote working has historically been presented as complex and challenging.
It has been refreshing to experience this difference in culture at Generation whilst sensing a strong shift of opinion within society towards this kind of environment as the new normal.