Vikki Venerus

WHO I HELP

Everyone within the Wealth team.

HOW I HELP

Recruitment. People Training and Development. Operations. Compliance.

“My passion is people.”

Vikki Venerus is Operations Director for Wealth. She has been a part of the company since day one, when she joined as an Administrator. So has seen it blossom from nothing, into the successful business it is today.

Based in Aberdeen, Vikki oversees the day-to-day operations, while taking responsibility for compliance – a crucial task in such a highly regulated sector. But undoubtedly the part that she enjoys the most, is growing and developing the team – a role which takes in recruitment, training, mentoring, coaching and wellbeing. She’s dedicated to bringing on the next generation of financial planners – and it looks like nothing will stop her.

FINDING THE RIGHT FIT

“Culture is always at the front of my mind, especially when I’m recruiting. I see plenty of people who are really interested in numbers, analysis and the tax side of what we do. But that’s not enough. In a job like this, you also have to be a people person.”

Yes, the numbers are important. But I always think the most important factor is how that helps clients – because ultimately that’s our end goal. Building relationships, delivering sound financial advice and giving clients peace of mind. That’s what it’s really all about.”

SUPPORTING THE TEAM

“Whatever my team need, I’m there for them – whether that’s guidance, support, direction or empowerment. I don’t expect them to check in with me on everything – they can just get on with the job themselves. But I’ve put strong systems and controls in place to make sure that nothing falls through the net.

Having said that, I always make sure I check in with my team. Just to make sure they’re ok. Wellbeing is so important, if we don’t get that right, there’s no way we can do a good job for our clients. And it’s really important to me that everyone feels like they have a voice. Because in a team, everyone’s views are important.”

EMBRACING THE FUTURE

“A big challenge in our industry has always been the technology side. Getting tech speaking to tech. But compared to a lot of other financial planning firms I think we’re very progressive. In fact, you could say we’re early adopters. If there’s anything coming down the track, we’re always open to finding out more, especially if it will lead to more efficient ways of working. Anything that makes our clients’ journey a little bit smoother, like being paperless or using tools like MS Teams or DocuSign, is worthwhile.”

LEADING BY EXAMPLE

“I came into the business as an administrator many years ago. But soon I wanted to know the ‘Why’. Why was I doing what I was being asked to do? That’s what drove me to study, do my exams and became a qualified Chartered Financial Planner. Now my mission is to give that opportunity to other people.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing people grow and progress. In fact, nearly everyone on my team is studying for one qualification or another. Being able to bring good people through from your own talent pool and see the future open up for them is just incredible.”

Beth Welsh

WHO I HELP

The Wealth team.

HOW I HELP

Training new starts. Reviewing documentation. Overseeing the Wealth workflow. Keeping and preparing the KPIs for the board.

“The most satisfying part of our client work is knowing we’ve helped.”

Beth Welsh is the Client Service Support team lead. Based in Aberdeen, her role involves heading up the Client Service Support team who provide support to the Financial Planners, and Financial Planning Associates.

She provides training for CSS new starts, prioritisation and delegation of tasks, oversight of the workflow within the team and assists with the Wealth ‘housekeeping’.

GOING BEYOND

“An ideal relationship with a client is when they are comfortable asking any and every question they have, they know we are here to support them with all their financial needs, and they are engaged with our services. A lot of the time clients like to discuss far more than just their financial situation, so you really feel like you are building a strong relationship that goes beyond financial advice.”

COLLABORATIVE CULTURE: KEEPING OUR CLIENTS IN MIND

“Clients expect robust advice that gives them confidence in their financial future, and reassurance that they can live their desired lifestyle. The most satisfying part of our client work is knowing we’ve helped, whether that be through consolidating a client’s plans to help with the administrative burden, giving them the confidence to retire early, or by improving the tax efficiency of their holdings.

With colleagues, the teamwork aspect for me is the most satisfying part. It is a great group of people to work with, and there is an extensive amount of knowledge and experience within the team, so with the collaborative culture we have, you are constantly learning and improving.”

SHORT-TERM PAIN FOR LONG-TERM GAIN

“AAB has a reputation for being disruptive, which resonates with me as AAB Wealth like being at the forefront of change, and we embrace this whenever we think we can be doing something better. We are not afraid to change things up, so will happily accept a short-term pain of getting a new piece of software up and running, or a new process implemented, as we look at the long-term gain.

One of the biggest challenges in financial services is integration of software – we have many key pieces of software which all play their part in our job but trying to get them to interact with each other so you are not duplicating work can be challenging, however it is something we are always looking into and trying to improve.

It’s been amazing seeing how much the firm has grown since I joined in April 2018, and I’m excited to see how this continues.”

 

Ross White

WHO I HELP

A wide range of clients from high-net-worth individuals, people who have recently retired, and business owners, to younger clients at the beginning of their working lives – we provide advice and support across a broad range of demographics.

HOW I HELP

I work with the advisers to implement any recommendations we give to clients to ensure they can enjoy the money they have worked hard for. We put in place a strategy to meet any ambitions they may have, and in turn the peace of mind and reassurance that they can achieve their goals without worrying about their financial situation.

“It’s our job to reassure clients that we will always have their best interests at heart.”

Ross White is part of the Client Service Support team. Based in Aberdeen, his role involves working closely with the team to provide excellent service to clients. This can involve sitting in on meetings with the advisers to help assess clients’ aims and ambitions, gather information on any existing policies a client may have, cash flow modelling, setting up plans, payments and withdrawals, and helping with any projects the team are undertaking.

Always willing to go the extra mile

“I am always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that we do best by our clients. I also strive to continually increase my knowledge and look to draw on the experience of my colleagues to help better my own knowledge bank so that I can help our clients.”

AN IDEAL RELATIONSHIP

“An ideal client relationship is built on mutual trust and understanding what their goals and ambitions for the future are. It is our role to ensure that the client trusts us to implement a plan that lets them live their lives how they want to live it.

Our clients will expect us to have their best interests at heart, and we have a duty of care to continually review their circumstances, so we know they are still on track. This is why we meet with our clients at least once a year, so we keep up to date with any changes and can tailor their plans accordingly. One of the most satisfying aspects of my role is getting to see clients face to face on a regular basis, getting to know them and hear about their life experiences, families and what their plans are for the future.”

A TECH-ENABLED APPROACH

“We are very much hands on with our clients and being in touch with them regularly is where our value is to them. Technology plays a part in simplifying the process for both clients and the team.  Whether its electronic signature software for processing paperwork, and online client portals for them to update their financial details. We also use cash flow modelling software which allows our clients to visualise their income & expenditure throughout their lives, and it forms the basis for a lot of the discussions we have with them.

 

Kirsty Young

WHO I HELP

Clients of the firm: Individuals, Families, Business Owners & High Net Worth Individuals.

HOW I HELP

I assist the Financial Planners with their work in helping our clients achieve their financial objectives. Utilising cash flow modelling, we create personal financial plans which allow our clients to visualise their future and help them to realise their short- and long-term goals.

“Providing clear and valuable advice from the outset.”

Kirsty Young is a Financial Planning Associate in the Wealth Team. Based in Glasgow, her role involves preparing client reports and letters which summarise our recommendations and advice. This involves cash flow modelling, undertaking analysis of clients’ current financial situations and ultimately, assisting the financial planners in helping clients reach their financial goals and objectives. She is also involved in the compliance side of the Wealth Team.

EVER EVOLVING WITH CLIENTS IN MIND 

“Clients expect us to help them achieve their goals by providing them with clear and valuable advice from the outset and continuing to provide support and further advice when needed, throughout the working relationship.

We are always adapting and updating our processes and methods as required to provide the best service that we can to our clients. We are open to new ideas from all members of the team and are encouraged to question anything we think could be improved.

A TECH-ENABLED APPROACH

“The adoption of a more tech-enabled approach has streamlined many of our processes, especially when it comes to sharing documents and information with clients. This has led to us being able to process and deliver new business more efficiently, which is ultimately beneficial to both us and our clients. Being able to effectively collaborate online with colleagues based in different locations has given us greater flexibility and has led to me being able to move from our Aberdeen office to now be based in our Glasgow office.”

lasting relationships

“Clients often express their appreciation for the work that we do as a team, especially when we manage to meet short or last-minute deadlines. The fact that we have so many long-standing client relationships is a compliment in itself.”

 

 

Jack Swan

WHO I HELP

The AAB Wealth team, primarily working with our Financial Planning Associates and Financial Planners to deliver robust advice to Private Individuals, Families and Business Owners.

HOW I HELP

Supporting the delivery of Financial Planning, Cash Flow Modelling, Investment and Legacy Planning.

“A team with strong collaboration.”

Jack Swan is Technical Lead in our AAB Wealth team. Based in Aberdeen, heading up the Financial Planning Associates team.

He supports the Financial Planning Associates and Financial Planners to undertake detailed analysis and planning, enabling the delivery of tailored financial plans to help meet clients’ needs and objectives.

Clarity over current circumstances

“It is incredibly rewarding to give clients clarity over their current circumstances, the options they have, and to give them the reassurance and confidence to enjoy their money.

AAB Wealth is a team with strong collaboration and continually pass knowledge to help each other grow, and ultimately deliver the best outcomes for clients. There are always opportunities, challenges, and a path to progress through the team. “

TECH ENABLED

“Tech has enabled us to engage with clients in different ways during COVID, notably the way we interacted as a team, with clients, how we share documents and content with them, and now have almost all our paperwork signed electronically.

With the nature of our business, many of our clients would choose to see us ‘in the flesh’ but tech has given us the flexibility to engage with clients on the go, whenever and wherever is convenient for them.”

THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

“When it comes to my strengths, I enjoy thinking outside of the box, finding solutions to problems and supporting others. I’m organised, methodical and continually deliver under pressure.

The greatest compliment we receive is that clients trust us fully with their money, and therefore their future.”

 

Sarah Philliben

WHO I HELP

We help a variety of clients from working professionals who want to ensure they are prepared for retirement to individuals who are nearing or have already retired as well as people who have inherited funds.

HOW I HELP

We help them establish their retirement goals and objectives by creating retirement planning for them that is robust as well as achievable.

“Providing reliable, honest and trustworthy investment advice.”

Sarah Philliben is a Financial Planning Associate in the Wealth team. Based in Edinburgh, her role involves preparing the reports, compiling the analysis and researching behind the advice that the Planners give to clients.

NEW WAYS OF WORKING

“The Wealth department is always open to new ideas and new ways of working. If a process can be amended to work better or new technology is going to improve the way we work, we will utilise and implement this.

As I now live in Edinburgh, I have had to adapt to the virtual way of working with our clients that are in Aberdeen. I like that I am still able to maintain the relationships I have built over the years in Aberdeen, through the technology we now have access too. However, I do enjoy the face-to-face interaction that comes with a client meeting.”

ANTICIPATING CHANGES

“Legislation within our field of work often changes and therefore it is important that we maintain our technical knowledge by attending seminars, completing continuous assessments as well as ensuring we keep up to date with any up and coming changes.”

BREAKING THE MOULD

“Our industry is quite male dominated from a business and client perspective. I feel AAB Wealth are breaking the mould as we have a lot of strong female colleagues who are contributing to the industry as well as more female clients approaching us to secure their futures.”

Kerry Holden

WHO I HELP

Individuals, Business Owners and Trustees.

HOW I HELP

Wealth Planning, Cash Flow modelling, Pension Planning, Investment Planning, Estate Planning and Tax Planning.

“We have A genuine interest in our clients.”

Kerry Holden is a Financial Planning Associate in the Wealth team. Based in Aberdeen, her role involves working closely with the financial planners to help clients achieve their goals and objectives. It is important to tailor a plan for our clients that is personal to them, which gives them the choice and options for their retirement that perhaps they did not think was achievable.

STRIVE TO ACHIEVE

“Just as AAB has a reputation for being disruptive, feisty and assertive, I’d like to think that I also strive to achieve the best possible on a daily basis and hold myself accountable to the high standards that I set for myself.”

NEW WAYS OF WORKING

“I think it is good to build up relationships with clients and this is easier if you meet them in person, especially for new clients. For existing clients, it could be a combination of both, depending on how busy they are. We issue most of our reports and paperwork digitally now and have seen a significant difference in the timescales for clients to send these documents back to us when we have issued these digitally, opposed to by post.

The Same client focus

No client is ever the same and the challenge is to design a financial plan tailored to them. To overcome this, we establish open, consistent lines of communication with our clients. We have a genuine interest in them and their personal and financial circumstances in order to build their trust and tailor a plan that is personal to them.”

Claire Marston

WHO I HELP

We help a broad range of clients. These include clients who are working, saving for retirement and raising children. We support clients who are transitioning from working into retirement. We also support those clients who are no longer working, and are instead drawing down on the funds that they have worked hard to build up and are thinking about leaving a legacy for their loved ones.

HOW I HELP

I help our clients by explaining and illustrating the advice that they receive, ensuring that they understand why our recommendations improve their financial situation. This is important as it gives them piece of mind and removes the stress of managing their finances.

“Reducing uncertainty by providing clarity quickly and directly.”

Claire Marston is a Financial Planning Associate in our AAB Wealth team. Her day-to-day role involves preparing reports and cashflow models that explain and illustrate the recommendations made by the Financial Planners to their clients. Additionally, she is a point of contact for clients to provide support and answer their queries.

KEEPING CLIENTS IN MIND

“I think clients expect honesty and efficiency. They expect me to deliver what I’ve promised and to keep them updated along the way by explaining the process and guiding them. They want me to answer any queries that they have quickly and directly, to provide clarity on anything they feel uncertain of.

The relationships that I build with clients in my role have always been the most satisfying part of the job for me, especially when I am able to help them with a problem or put their mind at ease in relation to their finances.

I always approach work with the client in mind, ensuring that they receive what they expect and efficiently.”

LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITY

“AAB is a great place for professional development. I’m excited to complete my chartership and to train to be a Financial Planner. Some people assume that financial services is an ‘old boys club’ and is resistant to change, but AAB is constantly changing and evolving and it’s very exciting to be part of. It feels like there’s limitless opportunity.”

 

 

 

Fintan McKenna

WHO I HELP

A wide range of clients from business owners, recently retired individuals and couples, to younger clients at the beginning of their working lives, we provide advice and support across a large range of demographics.

HOW I HELP

Provide support services and assistance to the Financial Planners and Paraplanners. This facilitates effective and efficient analysis, implementation and maintenance of detailed financial plans specific to any client’s needs and circumstances. The CSS team are also on hand to assist with any queries clients have, ensuring they are dealt with effectively and directed to the appropriate member of the team.

“Putting our clients’ best interests first.”

Fintan McKenna is part of the Client Service Support team. Based in Aberdeen, his role involves providing process focused assistance and support to the Financial Planners and Paraplanners so that they can give the clients the best service possible. This encompasses a wide range of tasks, from preparing reports before and after client meetings, to gathering information on a clients current financial situation and existing policies, to implementing the detailed financial plan that our planners have recommended.

AN IDEAL RELATIONSHIP

“An ideal relationship with our clients would centre around clear communication and trust. Our clients put a lot of trust in AAB Wealth, and as such they should feel that they are able to come to us with any question or concern, big or small. It is our job from there to make sure clients know that they will receive clear, consistent advice that always puts their best interests first.

I find so much of the work we do directly with clients rewarding. Being able to see clients face to face, the tangible impact of what we do as a team is constantly evident. We get to see how our advice has helped our clients in any range of circumstances, from earlier retirements, to house deposits, to even paying for the holiday of a lifetime.”

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE AND COLLABORATIVE CULTURE

“My academic background is in investment management and portfolio construction. I feel this allows me to bring a slightly different perspective to the team. The financial markets can be a confusing and even intimidating subject for some, so having an ability to understand and explain them will always be valuable. In saying this, the opportunity to learn from my colleagues at AAB Wealth is brilliant. Every member of the team is so supportive and encouraging when it comes to personal growth, which has helped me settle into the role and the industry as a whole.”

EVER-INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES

“AAB not only has a strong reputation of facilitating further study and career progression but is also known for actively encouraging it. This was a large motivating factor in choosing to begin my career with the firm and I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

At the firm level, I’m excited for the ever-increasing opportunities our growth will present. The AAB Group has expanded even just in my time at the firm, and with this our reach will also grow. This will allow us to engage with a wider range of clients from different backgrounds, ultimately allowing us to help more people reach their goals and achieve financial freedom.”

Theresa Mitchell

WHO I HELP

I work mainly with my Team in AAB Wealth, but have interaction with other departments if the client is also a client of the larger firm, i.e. if we handle their personal tax or corporate tax affairs, and another member of staff needs to meet with the client as well as the adviser.

HOW I HELP

I help our client base to arrange a face to face or a Teams meeting with their Financial Adviser which suits their lifestyle, working around their personal commitments with work, families and holidays.  I send our clients paperwork via Docusign, which is our electronic mail service and, if our clients are unsure of how the system works it’s my job to try and help them navigate through it until we can both reach the end goal of getting all paperwork complete so they can achieve their aims.

“Building relationships year on year.”

Theresa Mitchell provides Admin Support within the Wealth Department. Based in Aberdeen, her role involves having direct contact with all of our clients throughout the year to arrange annual progress meetings to review their portfolio with their own Financial Adviser. She also manages our electronic mail system which was introduced during lockdown to facilitate signatures on our documents.

An ideal relationship

“My ideal relationship with a client is when we can both put a face to a name and build a relationship year on year, watching them work towards their goals.

During lockdown I was on a call to a client for over 40 minutes organising an annual review with one of the advisers, and we ended up chatting about all sorts of things, and sharing funny stories with each other, she was in isolation and hadn’t seen anyone for days and when we ended the call, she said I had made her day, when in fact she made mine too!”

EXCITING GROWTH AND FLEXIBILITY

“The advances AAB are making in acquisitions and mergers are really exciting. Especially for colleagues who would like to move out of Aberdeen as more opportunities arise to work away from home.

As the Team gets bigger and the client base gets larger, I’ve had to start prioritising more. I’ve also had to realise that its sometimes not possible to get everything done in one day! Hybrid working has personally allowed me to balance work and home life.  In-office days give me the chance to enjoy face-to-face interaction with colleagues and for me home working days then become admin dedicated”