nijobfinder Activity Bar

advertise a job
Audrey Spence

Audrey Spence Managing Director

Be Inspired Series

Judith Totten

Managing Director
Keys Commercial Finance Limited

Judith heads up Keys Commercial Finance Limited part of Keys group of companies


What does your job entail?

Listening to, sympathising with and supporting our clients and business owners through often stressful periods during the growth of their businesses when they need funding and fresh ideas of how to achieve their goals. 

Is it 9-5? 

Ask any of my team, clients or business contacts – no! I am often e-mailing and writing reports into the ‘wee small hours’… but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

How did you get into this line of work?

Luck and circumstance I guess – I never planned a career in finance but I always loved dealing with people, finding out what their financial needs were and then delivering on that – and more.

Outline your career to date?

Following school and a short period in general financial services I had a 20-year career in Northern Bank spanning various sales and relationship roles in the working capital and trading business sector. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the bank and I still have many good friends and contacts there. But it was definitely time for a change and to do different things on my own.

Tell us about your qualifications/training. 

Apart from the usual bank exams and various IT and credit related diplomas, I left school and went straight to work. 

What do you like most about your job?

Every single day is different and challenging but the adrenaline rush in meeting deadlines and giving my client what he or she wants and needs, in a creative and flexible way, is the real driver.

Where is the most interesting place your job has taken you? 

I have travelled a lot during my career but I guess a property related seminar in Dubai was the most bizarre. One of those, ‘How on earth did I get here,’ moments!

Are there any other projects you are involved in at the minute, which you are particularly proud of?

We are working on creating a strong and viable cross functional brand through Keys Group and I am really focused on providing a full suite of independent funding options for our NI clients. I am really proud of my team in Keys as they are as determined and driven as I am. We won’t stop here and that energy and belief really motivates me. 

What qualities are required for your job - personal and professional? 

Patience, tenacity, empathy and great communication skills – knowing when to talk and more importantly when not to.

What is the best advice you ever received?

I think these two: ‘It’s important to know what you know, but more important to know what you DON’T know – so ask!’  And my personal favourite:  ‘Have one good belly laugh a day  as life is too short not to.’ 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have two children – a son of 21 and a daughter of 12 - so lots of family stuff along with singing, travel, skiing and the gym when I can manage a spare hour …

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I have sung on stage at the Royal Albert Hall! 

Who has inspired you most in your life?

My family – they have supported me from day one. There are many great people in the world of business who have inspired me for different reasons but after a long hard day, it’s always good to go home, close the door and be ‘mum’ again


Part of the Independent News and Media group