‘From the first week, I felt at home. This has been the best decision I’ve made,’ says Tara Maynard (pictured). She has just finished her first full year with PM+M as a financial adviser in the firm’s Blackburn office.
From the get go, she received a client bank to work with. A year on, after integrating herself with the clients in the firm, she is now on the lookout for new clients of her own. ‘I have been able to grow into my own person and to really build a relationship with our clients,’ she says.
Maynard’s financial services career began in 2003. Faced with the decision of whether or not to take the university route, Maynard decided instead to look for apprenticeships, and joined a scheme at Blackburn accountancy firm Pierce.
Here, she became a tax adviser, spending nearly six years with the firm. She soon found her interests turning to financial planning, which led her to Manchester-based True Chartered Financial Planners in 2009.
‘I started off as a financial administrator, working my way up to paraplanner,’ she says. After nine years, and having obtained the Chartered Insurance Institute certificate in financial planning, she decided her next adventure would be becoming a financial adviser.
‘I came to a crossroads last year,’ Maynard says. ‘My values had become different to the firm’s so I decided to look for new opportunities. PM+M was closer to home, which was a big tick. But more importantly, it wanted to take me on as an adviser and seemed very excited about investing in me.’
She continues: ‘I really enjoyed learning about the firm. It has good core values and wants to become the biggest firm in the north west, an objective I knew I’d love to be a part of.’
Maynard is now in the middle of taking her chartered exams. With the opportunities and support she receives from the firm, the sky is the limit, Maynard explains. ‘There are so many options with PM+M. It has really helped develop me as a person and professional.’
She is careful not to get ahead of herself, though, pointing to her qualifications as the next big step.
‘I still need to pass my chartered exams, get more experience and show how good an adviser I can be.’
One of the values Maynard was looking for was community involvement. She has just become an education champion, meaning she will soon be going into schools to teach children about financial services and finance in general. Although not directly linked to her career progression, Maynard says it is a way of connecting PM+M to the communities it works in, and reflects the firm’s core values of fun, quality, doing the right thing and achievement.
Importantly, Maynard wants to spend more time with her own children. She says she was quite worried about the struggle of finding a work-life balance. She was pleasantly surprised how accommodating clients have been, and even more surprised that in some cases it has worked in her favour. ‘I plan my own diary, and most clients understand we are people too,’ she says.
‘There ends up being a real relatable value. Most clients have children or grandchildren themselves and it builds that human relationship.’
PM+M is engaging with young professionals by offering apprenticeship schemes. Having started out on one herself, Maynard is a supporter of this way into work.
‘University isn’t everything,’ she says. ‘Going down the apprenticeship route allows you to learn the ins and outs of a company, become a key part of the business and be ready for future roles.’
'I was a waitress at a local cafe.'
PM+M takes part in a lot of charity projects; most recently an overnight sleep at [Blackburn Rovers’] Ewood Park stadium.
Top career goal
To become a senior adviser for PM+M.