Five newcomers to the planning profession

So far this year New Model Adviser® has profiled five young advice firm employees as part of our 'Fresh Faces' series. Here they all are in one place.

1. The advice adventure

Name: Simone Roberts

Firm: Ward Goodman

Location: Dorset

First job: Waitress

What you need to know

A year travelling the world made one thing clear for Simone Roberts (pictured): she was not going to go to university, she was going to work in financial services instead.

After finishing her A-levels, Roberts set off around Australia and Thailand, where she says she learnt the valuable skill of being adaptable. Prior to travelling, she had worked in a data entry job in financial services, so she returned to that skillset.

‘When I came back I just thought university wasn’t for me and I would rather do a job where I could earn some money and do on-the-job training as well,’ she says.

Roberts, now financial planner at Dorset-based Ward Goodman, wanted to make the most of the time she had spent and the experience she had built up in financial services. ‘It is a good profession where you can progress and learn, and that appealed to me. I didn’t really know which direction to take, so, like many, I fell into it.’

‘I worked in a kitchen at weekends when I was 15. I was a waiter and pot washer,’ says Roberts. ‘I’m pretty sure I lied about my age to get the role. The lie unravelled on my 16th birthday.’

 

1. The advice adventure

Name: Simone Roberts

Firm: Ward Goodman

Location: Dorset

First job: Waitress

What you need to know

A year travelling the world made one thing clear for Simone Roberts (pictured): she was not going to go to university, she was going to work in financial services instead.

After finishing her A-levels, Roberts set off around Australia and Thailand, where she says she learnt the valuable skill of being adaptable. Prior to travelling, she had worked in a data entry job in financial services, so she returned to that skillset.

‘When I came back I just thought university wasn’t for me and I would rather do a job where I could earn some money and do on-the-job training as well,’ she says.

Roberts, now financial planner at Dorset-based Ward Goodman, wanted to make the most of the time she had spent and the experience she had built up in financial services. ‘It is a good profession where you can progress and learn, and that appealed to me. I didn’t really know which direction to take, so, like many, I fell into it.’

‘I worked in a kitchen at weekends when I was 15. I was a waiter and pot washer,’ says Roberts. ‘I’m pretty sure I lied about my age to get the role. The lie unravelled on my 16th birthday.’

 

2. Not just about the money

Name: Jeevan Manak

Firm: Perry Appleton

Location: Rugby

First job: Pharmacy counter assistant

What you need to know

‘It’s not just about money,’ Jeevan Manak (pictured) told us when we chatted to him at the Perry Appleton office in Rugby. Although the 28-year-old is a paraplanner rather than a chief executive, his comment still resonates.

There has been the odd report of paraplanners commanding salaries of £60,000 and beyond in London.

‘I enjoy paraplanning, especially because I am in the right place,’ he said.

‘Mark [Curtis, Perry Appleton director] has allowed me to really explore my interests. So long as you get the work done, there are plenty of options to explore. It’s a very open environment to ask questions, and that makes the culture great. I am lucky to be working with talented people who are here to help and advise.’

3. Taking a risk

Name: Matt Hignett

Firm: Beaumont Financial Planners

Location: Oswestry

First job: 'I worked for my Dad, who had a business selling firewood.'

What you need to know

‘I have always had a passion for financial services, long before I got into the profession,’ Matt Hignett (pictured), IFA at Oswestry-based Beaumont Financial Planners, told us earlier this year. But although Hignett relishes his current work, his career path was not always heading in the direction of financial advice.

Unlike many who have appeared on our Fresh Face pages, Hignett did not just fall into the profession. He took a risk by leaving a secure job in middle management of a large manufacturing company after eight years.

‘At Kronospan I had been identified as someone with high potential and a bright future, but my heart wasn’t in it,’ he says.

‘So in 2015 I took the plunge and secured employment with Beaumont Financial as a trainee financial adviser, which at the time paid a third of what I had been making.’

Furthermore, Hignett and his partner were expecting their first child. However, he felt the chance to work in the advice profession was worth it.

‘Yes, it was a gamble on my part, but I really loved the company and the interview process,’ he says. ‘I was sold.’

Two years later, the risk is paying off. Hignett was named a New Model Adviser® Rising Star in 2016 and his development on the job has been rapid.

‘Working for a growing company meant from the word go I was pretty much doing everything. I started my studies straight away and gained my diploma in six months.’ Hignett is now working towards becoming chartered.

4. Kellands backs Bramall

Name: Rebecca Bramall

Firm: Kellands

Location: Cheshire

First job: Waitress

What you need to know

A year into her career in financial advice, administrator Rebecca Bramall (pictured) has set her sights on becoming a paraplanner and then an adviser.

Bramall is a recent addition to Cheshire-based Kellands’ Hale office. Having joined the firm eight months ago as an administrator, she is now training to become a paraplanner. She has also recently achieved a diploma in regulated financial planning.

‘It is a lot easier to go into a paraplanning role if you’ve worked in administration before. This is because you learn the process, the business, and how investments and products fit together, what each product does, and their target market,’ Bramall tells us.

‘Paraplanning is where my strengths lie. You need attention to detail and technical knowledge, which is what I enjoy.’

‘I explained to Paul [Edwards, head of business development at Kellands] that I wanted to become a paraplanner, and potentially an IFA in the future,’ says Bramall. ‘He came across as really supportive, mapping out how Kellands could help.

‘I liked how the role would include purchasing of the funds, and actually setting up the solutions and recommendations. Here, it seemed I would be a lot more involved in the whole process,’ she says. 

5. From oil to OEICS

Name: Jonathan Robinson

Firm: McKnight Financial

Location: Glasgow

First job: Gardener 

What you need to know

McKnight Financial managing director Graham McKnight has a new venture. Rather than targeting ultra-high-net-worth clients, Tru Wealth ha been set up to service the mass market.

When we met up with McKnight he assured us that the new business was safe in the hands of qualified financial adviser Jonathan Robinson (pictured).

Robinson joined the company in January with one exam left to compete. He has started in a trainee role, but after graduating from the University of Strathclyde he worked for London-based hedge fund CQS and then for Morgan Stanley in its operations department.

'I have had a passion for the financial services profession since high school,' Robinson tells us.

During that time, he played mock scenario trading games that fuelled his interest. 

Robinson actually took a break from financial services in 2014, when he left London to join Prospector Offshore Drilling. During this time he worked in the middle of the North Sea, going back and forth from Aberdeen.

'I just wanted a change and more time to myself,' he says. 'CQS was fantastic, but working for a hedge fund in London really took it out of me.

'When I joined the offshore drilling, I started as a roustabout, which is basically a labourer. It was was a great chance to travel and continue to learn.'

See more newcomers in our Top 35 Next Generation Advisers list.

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