Meet Troy Bruce: Taking the leap from Oil & Gas to Financial Services

We are delighted to welcome Troy Bruce to the team as a Financial Planner. We caught up with Troy to find out a little more about his career up until now and what led him to joining AAB Wealth. In... Read more

Blog30th Jun 2022

By Troy Bruce

We are delighted to welcome Troy Bruce to the team as a Financial Planner. We caught up with Troy to find out a little more about his career up until now and what led him to joining AAB Wealth.

In my time thus far at AAB Wealth, I have been really impressed by the culture of the business. Not only from the professional side of absolutely having our clients’ best interests at heart in all the advice we provide but also from a social side. Everyone is really approachable, and the flexible working approach is great for someone like me who has two young children at home. The encouragement to continue to develop and complete more professional examinations (which we receive study leave for) is impressive and a real change from my previous role.

I always had an interest in financial services. My dad was a Chartered Accountant (now semi-retired) so I was brought up in a house where I understood money. It wasn’t until I started working and earning money that I looked at investments and budgeting – probably without realising that those are key parts of financial planning. The pandemic and uncertainty it brought gave me the push to make a career change and follow my interest in Financial Services.

Prior to pursuing a career in financial services, I worked in the oil and gas industry with various engineering roles taking me across Europe and Africa. Just as the pandemic hit, I landed a rewarding corporate role but unfortunately just five months later, I received my notice of potential redundancy.  We had just found out my wife was expecting our first child and I was struggling to think how I was going to support a family – I didn’t know what I was going to do.

Crunching numbers seemed to be in my blood and I had always had an interest in investments and financial planning. After some research I applied and was accepted into the St. James’ Place Academy Career Change Programme. I then went onto do my Diploma in Regulated Financial planning. Taking on the challenge of a six-month programme with minimal income whilst studying full time was a big step which I could never have taken without the support of my wife and family. Their encouragement and belief in me combined with my forward financial planning, made the opportunity to change possible.

I came out of the Academy and worked as a self-employed Financial Planner for 10 months before joining AAB Wealth. I had always been aware of AAB having grown up in Aberdeenshire and staying in the city for 10+ years. My basic understanding was that it was an accountancy firm, but it wasn’t until I started to look at other options in financial services, I realised it was much more than that and it had a Wealth department. Ian and Andy were happy to meet with me, and things moved quickly after that.

Since joining, the key aspects of my role involve helping people to understand their circumstances. Whether they can retire now, if they need to spend more, or if they need to spend less. Many individuals can be unaware of their options until they have talked through their aspirations, which also helps us understand our clients’ goals and objectives so that I can set out a robust plan to help them achieve what they want, from leaving a legacy for their family to taking a once in a lifetime family holiday. Being a Financial Planner means to give clients reassurance, peace of mind and make sure the clients outcomes are always at the front of everything we do.

One of my previous clients came to me for retirement advice as she was looking to reduce her hours per week and wanted to know if she could start drawing on her pension. I met her for a coffee to find out more about her circumstances, what she was looking to do and talk through what I could do for her. I then conducted a full fact find with her and got all her pension information. She had paperwork for 3 or 4 plans, but not all of them. She was sure she had a plan with an old employer from around 1995 and so I encouraged her to sign some letters of authority that allowed me to gain information on her behalf to find the provider. A few weeks later, I received a response that there was in fact an existing pension worth around £70,000.

Had I not reassured her that it was worthwhile searching for, the pension it would have likely remained lost and unclaimed. Once completing a review of the pension, we decided the best course of action was to leave it as it was and ensure she had access when required. The value of advice can be easily underestimated but there are numerous reports and studies which support the benefits of seeking advice and I would encourage anyone uncertain on their financial future to do so, whether you think your need is too small or too big.

Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it is about having a lot of options and it’s my job to present those options to my clients in a way that benefits them most, no matter where they are on their financial journey. I look forward to the opportunities that being part of the AAB Wealth team will bring and following the recent arrival of our second child, I hope to continue my development and work towards further qualifications in the coming months.

By Troy Bruce

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