My cousin, Margaret Holt, who has died aged 76, was a portfolio manager with a Manchester stockbroker in 1972 when she became the first woman permitted on the trading floor of the Northern Stock Exchange, almost a year before female members were admitted to the London Stock Exchange in 1973. It was reported in the national press at the time that Miss Holt “demurely denies that women have any special role as stockbrokers – rather she admits that investors usually have more confidence in male stockbrokers, but hopes this will change”.
Margaret was born in Liverpool to Frederick Holt, an accountant, and Millicent (nee Stewartson), a secretary. In 1948, at the age of four, she accompanied her parents on a round-the-world trip, visiting relatives in Canada before continuing to Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the Canaries, and returning to the Woodvale and Ainsdale area of Southport, where she lived for the rest of her life.
In 1955 Margaret became a boarder at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and then studied English and drama at Manchester University, graduating in 1966. She subsequently decided to follow her interest in law and finance, working initially at the Liverpool office of the investment management company Tilneys and eventually becoming a portfolio manager and associate of the Manchester stockbrokers Charlton, Stott, Dimmock and Co. Later she retrained in law, subsequently working for the Cooperative Wholesale Society and as the borough solicitor for Knowsley council before becoming a barrister specialising in property law.
Margaret supported a wide range of charitable organisations. She was a director of the Abbeyfield Society in St Albans, Hertfordshire, which provides residential care activities for elderly people and people with disabilities, and she did voluntary work with the Salvation Army, St John Ambulance, Methodist Homes for the Aged, Ainsdale Methodist Church, the Halewood Youth-in-Community Centre, and St Hilda’s East Community Centre in the east end of London. In addition she was an active member of St John’s Anglican church in Ainsdale, and looked after her mother as she got older.
Margaret is survived by her cousins, Ann, Ruth and me.