Explorer Ann Daniels’ trek to the North Pole – with a Tilney flag in tow!

Explorer Ann Daniels’ trek to the North Pole – with a Tilney flag in tow!

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Published: 05 May 2017 Updated: 13 Jun 2022

When Ann Daniels agreed to speak at our event in Exeter this year, we couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Ann is one of Britain’s leading explorers, a world record holder and an inspiring woman. In 2002, she became the first woman in history to ski to the North and South Poles as part of all women teams. She has encountered some of the most difficult and testing conditions on Earth, experiencing temperatures as low as -50°C and stand-offs with polar bears.

An inspirational speaker

Ann’s story with Tilney goes back to last autumn, when she met our financial planner, Emma Falconer, at a networking event. Emma says, “I’d been asked to go to the event at the last minute. I was making small talk when I turned round to Ann and asked her what she does – she said that she’s an explorer and a motivational speaker. When she took to the stage I felt slightly embarrassed!”

Any embarrassment faded when Emma realised how much she and Ann have in common. “We are both from Bradford, we were both great at maths in school and both started our careers at NatWest.” By the time Ann had finished speaking, Emma felt that she’d listened to one of the most inspirational people she’d ever heard and they stayed in touch afterwards. Ann recognises the importance of good planning, hard work and a positive attitude in challenging circumstances, which are understandings that Tilney shares.

When Emma started organising a Tilney event for women in business, she knew that Ann just had to be on the bill as a speaker.

The expedition

That event was planned for 2 May, but there was the small fact of an expedition to get out of the way first. The expedition left on 1 April and lasted just short of a month. The expedition was all in the name of science – Ann and her team worked with NASA and the ESA to measure ice thickness and take snow measurements as they skied north.

When Emma and Ann met before the expedition to discuss Ann’s talk at Tilney’s women in business event, Ann came up with a fun idea – how about she took a Tilney flag with her to fly, surely making us the only investment and financial planning company with a presence in the North Pole? You can see the great picture from this historic moment below.

‘Talk’ doesn’t do it justice!

Despite not having long been back from the expedition, Ann still gave a motivating, enlightening and inspirational talk in Exeter. Emma’s event brought like-minded women together, empowering them to achieve their goals and aspirations. Ann discussed how she came to be an explorer by answering an advert asking ‘ordinary women’ to go on an expedition – as Emma says, “I think we can all agree that she is anything but ordinary!” Everyone in attendance agreed that it was great to hear about her inspirational adventures – one of our investment directors said describing it as a mere ‘talk’ doesn’t do it justice – and we are very thankful to have hosted her.


This article was previously published on Tilney prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.