by Theresa Mitchell
Prior to joining AAB Wealth my career was quite varied. I started off in secretarial or personal assistant type roles until I had my family and then retrained as a Fitness Instructor and ran my own business for 8 years before moving back to an office environment when I joined RSM as an admin assistant.
In this role I worked with Sarah Philliben until she left to join AAB Wealth. From the moment she told me about her interview process and their forward-thinking attitude, I was really impressed. The team’s approach and commitment to delivering the best service to their clients in addition to their “no ceiling” approach to developing talent within the firm really resonated with me. Luckily in early 2019, a position in the Wealth Department opened up which Sarah encouraged me to apply for.
I met Vikki our Operations Director and joined the team at the beginning of April the same year. Since starting, my job at AAB Wealth has evolved. Prior to the pandemic, my role involved contacting our clients and diarising annual progress meetings with our Chartered Financial Planners. We work with families and individuals and always aim to work around their family or work commitments, which typically means I get to speak to clients quite a bit before we get meetings booked in the diary! Prior to meetings I would “meet & greet” clients in the atrium at our offices at Kingshill View, take them for a coffee and get them seated in one of our meeting rooms, where we’d have a chat until one of the planners joined the meeting (when I quietly exit!).
It’s amazing how much we can cover within a five or ten minute chat. I love hearing all about their plans for the day, their children or grandchildren’s hobbies or adventures and, before Covid, any holiday plans. On the back of these meetings, I write up the notes for our client files and format correspondence which is sent out from the advisers, paraplanners and client service support teams. I really enjoy learning new things and getting involved with the whole team, and this includes engaging with our clients too! Speaking to them directly is great as not only does it put a face to the name of the person I’m calling or emailing but when we next speak, we usually pick up where we left off! For the clients I think it’s similar – they get to know the person coordinating their meetings, speak to another member of the team and hopefully can see that all of us at AAB Wealth are striving to provide a first-class service.
Considering my very sociable personality, leaving the office to work from home on the 23rd of March was a bit daunting to me. Along with so many of our clients, I had never experienced a Microsoft Teams meeting or even heard of Zoom. Aware that I was not the most technically minded, I knew I would have a massive learning curve ahead.
AAB have generally committed to using Teams, which is why I currently offer our clients a Teams meeting, Skype or telephone call for their annual progress meeting. It’s important to provide the widest possible choice to continue the level of support that we always strive to offer our clients. I empathised completely whenever I came across people in the same position as me, who were new to the world of virtual meetings and therefore a bit hesitant, but I am blown away by the success rate of continuing to touch base with all of our clients this past year. Some days I spent half an hour talking to people who may not have seen their family or friends for days or weeks at a time because they were shielding or effected by other Covid restrictions in the hope that I lifted their spirits as much as they did mine.
The best thing about working at AAB is the people. We all have a role to play in delivering for our clients (and each other) and I am delighted to play my part in this. I really enjoy not only interacting with the clients but also our wider team. In my role delivering to them is also contributing towards our entire team delivering for our clients. Knowing that we’re all working towards one goal ensures we deliver the best service possible.