“After a successful fifteen-year career in Investment Banking and Stockbroking, I pivoted to the world of Paraplanning and Holistic Financial Planning – eventually joining Wilton’s Wealth Management team in 2019. After two years at the business – and notwithstanding some COVID-related disruptions – I received my FCA approval to provide financial guidance and advice to clients on a range of different products.

The process for becoming approved is two-fold. Like most things in life it combines theory with practice. The ‘theory’ side requires you to pass all relevant exams with a professional body. In my case, that meant obtaining my level 4 qualification with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI). Thereafter, you maintain this knowledge through structured Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and further exams to obtain level 6 (Certified) and, finally, level 7 (Chartered).

The ‘practice’ component involves speaking with clients on a day-to-day basis in your work. This is carried out under structured supervision and observation against all aspects of Holistic Financial Planning: meeting with a client, identifying their objectives, gathering data, performing analysis, researching solutions which are then outlined in written suitability reports, presenting your recommendation to the client, implementing the plan and providing an ongoing service that preserves this relationship.

To be a well-rounded advisor, one needs to be able to advise clients on investments, tax planning, pensions, financial protection, and more. However, not all clients coming through Wilton’s door require each of these services so, to ensure all product types were sufficiently covered, some constructed role-play scenarios were conducted through our network. At the beginning of last year, this culminated with approval from the FCA.

Outside of work, I have recently bought a property in the countryside that, together with my partner, I spend my weekends renovating. What started out as a lick-of-paint has seen us do everything from plastering and plumbing to installing a water feature in the garden. I am also a trained pilot and, whenever I get the chance, get behind the helm of a Piper plane.”