At 17, I left school and joined the local TSB bank. At the time a monthly wage was more appealing than four years at university, and upon reflection I believe it was the best choice for me. The invaluable experience gained by working alongside more senior staff gave me a great grounding and no doubt helped my career progression, with many lessons and skills learned along the way! The real team spirit in the bank at that time also made my first venture into the working world very enjoyable, and at a time when banks had branches in every town ensured those working in the bank became part of the community.
I worked in the banking industry for 31 years before deciding to move. My career started from the humble beginnings of a Bank Teller, then onto Bank Manager and finally into Financial Planning, which I have done since 1997. Since 2007, Financial Planning sat in the Private Banking sector, dealing with high-net-worth individuals, which I continued to do until joining AAB Wealth in 2018.
I was aware of AAB Wealth through professional connections and working with some of the existing wealth team at various times throughout my banking career. Although, my route to joining the firm was a little different than most. Before joining the team, I was actually a client first, when I sought advice on my Bank pension. I really liked their approach to advice and the offering they had, so when an opportunity arose to join the firm, I jumped at it. Having seen it from the client perspective helped massively, in addition to knowing some of the wealth team already.
I wouldn’t say I’d always wanted to become a Chartered Financial Planner, in fact I kind of fell into it by accident. I went on a secondment to a bank compliance team reviewing financial advice and thought, this isn’t scary, I can do this and be a planner! After the secondment, I began doing my exams and moved from Bank Manager to Financial Planner within months.
Financial planning for my clients, means helping them achieve not only their own aims and goals, but those of their family and future generations too. The Lifetime cashflow modelling helps by creating a very visual picture of my client’s financial future, for example one client initially approached me with a desire to set up his own business incorporating his own hobbies and interests outside of work. Up to that point, he had worked with the same company for over 35 years. I began by gathering all the important factual information from the client, including his aims and objectives, but most importantly listening to and understanding what his priorities in life were.
Using a combination of his current financial affairs, aims, objectives and goals, and then prioritising these, I was able to build a Lifetime cashflow model, thus reassuring the client that financial planning would give him confidence to make the changes he had always dreamt of. He has since made the life changing decision to leave the job he no longer enjoyed and to follow his dream of owning his own business, doing something that he has a real interest and passion for. If anyone is considering seeking financial advice, I would say go for it. The resources and tools available to your Financial Planner are so good these days, let them worry about the planning so you can focus on enjoying life.
I became a Chartered Financial Planner in 2020, once I had completed the last of my advanced diploma exams, and was later promoted to Director of AAB Wealth in 2022. In my eyes being a Chartered Financial Planner demonstrates that I have achieved a high standard in my chosen industry, where I can become a trusted planner for my clients. A favourite aspect of my role is the satisfaction of seeing a client achieve their goals because of the financial planning advice I have given, which in some cases can truly be life changing.
So, what next? Just as I started out my working life learning from more experienced colleagues, well I am now that senior colleague, and hopefully I can support, guide and inspire the next generation working in AAB Wealth to pursue a lifelong career in Financial Planning.