Tell us about your role?
I hold the position of Head of Technical at First Wealth which involves managing, looking after and training the other Technical Analysts in the team. I am also responsible for the more technical aspects of the business, such as heading up our Investment Committee, rolling out new technology and software and helping to train new advisors joining the company.
A lot of this role also involves working closely with the Head of Client Relationship Management, Humaira Chowdhury, as we collate heavily on the work that we do and have a great working relationship, even if we argue like brother and sister sometimes!
I also still act as a Technical Analyst for the Financial Planning Director, Robert Caplan’s team and get involved in much of the advice process and client facing aspects of the job too, ensuring that they receive the high-level service that clients of First Wealth come to know and expect.
It’s a role with tonnes of variety which I am loving.
What are your responsibilities, how have you grown your role changed since you joined FW?
I joined First Wealth as a Technical Analysts back in September 2018 and after working for one of our other Directors, Claire Phillips, for 12 months. I moved teams to work alongside Robert Caplan. After 6 months in that position, I was also lucky enough to be promoted into the Head of Technical role back in June 2020.
The management team introduced the Heads of roles to support the ever-expanding team, which is part of the excitement of working for First Wealth as it is a company with great ambition and plans. New opportunities are always becoming available, and we are currently in the process of putting together a marketing team which is something the company has never had before.
I ran the project to position our investment philosophy to an Evidence Based approach. I work very closely with Albion Strategic Consultingin the implementation and ongoing servicing of our investment process. After First Wealth became a certified B-Corp company, my colleague Caroline Johnpulle (Technical Analyst) and I put together our ESG (environment, social, governance) offering to align our investment beliefs with our company sustainability goals.
I have recently built a First Wealth Career Progression Roadmap which breaks down on a granular level what members of the team must do to progress their careers within the business, from the first day of joining as a Client Relationship Manager, all the way to becoming a Chartered Financial Planner.
What is your long-term goal?
My long-term goal is to become a Financial Planner, and ultimately a Director, at First Wealth. I very much thrive on my own self-confidence and the Head of position has helped me to develop my managerial skills and abilities in this area.
One of my more pressing goals is to become Chartered, which should happen in March or April of this year (with a bit of luck!), and I am also undertaking a coaching course which was funded by the company and will be an invaluable skill to have in my current role and beyond. As Head of Technical, I am responsible for mentoring and coaching others within the business.
What are you passionate about?
I care about helping people to grow professionally and personally and I love helping people achieve their goals and aspirations. I am passionate about helping others and always try to be available for anybody that needs my help.
I have been lucky enough to have some great mentors throughout my career and I like to continue to repay the effort they gave me by passing on my knowledge and giving time back to others.
Advice for people entering the profession
It is a cliché, but the number one thing is to have absolute faith in your own ability and to know your worth. If you have both things it puts you in an incredibly strong position in terms of your progression and the types of roles you will (and should!) get.
Of course, it is also important to start working through your Level 4 Diploma (the qualification required to provide regulated advice in the UK) and this will always look good with prospective employers especially if you are proactive in wanting to expand your knowledge, but the profession is much more than just technical knowledge and the ability to sell which too many people focus on.
A focus on soft skills, being able to connect with people and to get across your personality on a more personal level will put you in a much stronger position and help you stand out amongst the crowd. A can-do attitude and excellent people skills are also important.
One last point is to find a company that aligns with your own aspirations and beliefs. That way, you are more likely to feel fulfilled in your job, and you will both have a mutual interest to grow and develop your careers together which can only be a positive thing!
What do you do in your spare time?
I spend most of my spare time with my wife Vicky, and (lockdown aside) often travel back to Oxfordshire to see my family.
I also like getting out of the city to the countryside as much as possible, as I love a country pub meal and a pint.
I’d like to say I also stay fit and hit the gym often in my spare time, but that would just be a lie! I’m also trying to get to a non-laughable standard in Golf!
Tell us something about you that not many people know?
Believe it or not, I used to rock an afro hairstyle! My friend and I had a competition to see who could grow theirs the biggest!
I’m also colour blind and used to be a DJ back in the day (vinyl only!).
Last words? Favourite quote? Book? Song of all time?
Cheese alert, but there was a song I used to listen to back in the day which had the lyric ‘don’t spend your life waiting to live’ and that has always resonated with me. Trust your gut and take all your chances with both hands as you never know what is around the corner!