In January 2021, Alastair shared an update on how things had changed in his career after achieving his advanced diploma in financial planning. Since then, Alastair has been busy, in fact he left AAB Wealth in November last year to return home to Belfast and just last month re-joined the team following the firm’s growth into Northern Ireland.
We are delighted to welcome him back to AAB Wealth and have caught up with him to find out about his experiences over the past few months and what he’s looking forward to most about being part of the team again.
During lockdown I spent a significant amount of time in my home city of Belfast and, like a lot of people, I started to reconsider certain things. I eventually decided that I wanted to live in Belfast on a permanent basis. Unfortunately, at that time, AAB didn’t have a presence here and as much as I enjoyed working with my clients and the AAB team, I made the decision to leave and move to a Financial Planning firm here in Belfast.
I kept in touch with Andy Dines and he reached out during the Group’s negotiations with FPM to chat me through the opportunity of returning to AAB Wealth within Northern Ireland. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at AAB and the only reason I left was to move home, so when the landscape changed and there was the potential of AAB having office locations throughout Northern Ireland, it made sense to explore the opportunity.
That being said, I am a firm believer in continually learning and picking up new skills and one of the benefits of working elsewhere was the ability to learn from other people in how they approach and deal with complex situations to provide clarity and value for clients. I was very fortunate to start my financial planning career at AAB, a supportive and growing firm, where I was continually learning from new talent joining the business. Having the time away working in the Northern Ireland market in a new team has given me great experience in the different ways teams can work together, and I’m excited to bring some new perspective to the AAB Wealth team.
Fundamentally my role as Chartered Financial Planner within AAB Wealth will remain the same, but I will primarily be based in FPM’s Belfast office, with a presence in their Newry, Mallusk and Dungannon offices as well. Prior to their merger with AAB, FPM did not have an integrated financial planning proposition, meaning a large part of my role as the first member of the AAB Wealth team to be based in Northern Ireland, will be to establish that within the business and provide clients with further expertise, synergy and value, giving them the best possible financial planning experience.
As I had only been away for 6 months and had kept in contact with a lot of the team, it was easy to settle right back in, it was clear that AAB and AAB Wealth have continued to grow over that time and it’s great to see the new branding reflect this growth. Fundamentally, however, what has not changed is positive client outcomes being at the heart of the firm. This is reflected in the team’s continued commitment to provide clients with the best possible experience.
There are so many things I’m looking forward to about being back at AAB – catching up with all my AAB colleagues, getting to know my new FPM colleagues and having the opportunity to grow AAB Wealth here in Northern Ireland and within FPM, by providing an integrated financial planning proposition which adds real value to clients’ lives.