From Investment management to Retrofit Assessor!
Meet the newest member of the Retrofit Support Team, Nicos Arnaouti! He recently joined the team on a part time basis and we’re thrilled to have him join us at this exciting time in the retrofit world. But it’s not been your typical journey to working in energy efficiency…
You haven’t always worked in energy efficiency. What did you do before?
I started my career in investment management with Barclays. I would spend the day chasing brokers and placing trades, that sort of thing.
Was it like Wolf of Wall Street?
Not quite, no! I have seen the film, however I didn’t get involved in any of that.
What made you consider a career in energy efficiency?
I was at my last company for nearly 15 years but then it closed down and I was made redundant. I thought I’d give banking one more go but my heart wasn’t in it; it was during lockdown, and I just realized I didn’t want to do it anymore. But the million dollar question was ‘what will I do now?’
Now, if you’d asked my friends they would have all said ‘property’ because I’m always talking about it (either that or running). I’ve also been a landlord for over 25 years and I’m very hands on; I take an interest so I know how things are built and I do a lot of DIY.
The only thing was, I thought none of my skills were transferrable to the property sector.
So what did you do?
My dad is a structural engineer and architect by trade. As a child I used to go out with him onsite and saw him working. He was the one who suggested SAP calcs.
I did the OCDEA course online during lockdown, and, truthfully, I found it a struggle but plugged away. I thought: ‘I’ve just paid a lot of money – I really have to make this work!’
After I qualified I did a few jobs my dad had been involved in. Later on though I did the DEA course because the social side appealed to me (which I found much easier) – probably because I’d done the OCDEA course. And after that I did the Retrofit Assessor course.
Why did you move into Retrofit work?
I think Retrofit is very topical at the moment and it’s an area that’s growing a lot.
When I saw the position advertised with Elmhurst I thought it was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and learn from more senior people in the team.
Working part-time also means I can still work for myself and complete assessments, and bring that experience to the team. So far it’s been great and everyone’s been really friendly! I definitely don’t regret working in investment management for over 25 years, but lockdown was definitely the catalyst for re-evaluating what I wanted out of life and I’m glad I made the move.