Varied, fast-paced, and interesting are probably not the first words that spring to mind when you think about a career in retirement planning and wealth management.
After working as an account manager for a high street bank, I decided I wanted to work for a smaller company where real development and progression were available. That is why I applied for the graduate trainee role at Mattioli Woods, and have really enjoyed the variety of work and challenges I have been involved with so far.
Starting my job at Mattioli Woods
I started working at Mattioli Woods, as a trainee account manager. Having moved from the north west, it was a daunting prospect to start a new career and get to know a new area. However, everyone was extremely supportive and made me feel very welcome.
I started within the training team in a group of four under the guidance of a training manager. This gives you a support system as everyone is finding their feet and settling into the company.
My training at Mattioli Woods covers all aspects of the day-to-day running of our bespoke Small Self Administered Scheme (SSAS) and Self Invested Personal Pension Plan (SIPP) products, as well as technical legislation and various areas of investment, including commercial property transactions. One day you may be processing a £500,000 investment and the next liaising with solicitors in order to purchase a £1 million property.
Training is varied from small group sessions to whole departments and covers all aspects of retirement wealth management, including the following which are central to the role:
- Pension accounting and administration.
- Strategic consultancy and investment planning.
Having just completed four months on the training team I am already beginning to feel a real sense of responsibility by building up my own portfolio of clients. This allows me to build on my initial training and develop my client portfolio knowledge but all the time getting support and guidance from my mentor, who is an experienced account manager.
Training is regular and ongoing. I am frequently challenged with changes in legislation, which means I have to digest a wide range of complex and detailed information quickly in order to provide optimum and compliant service to every client.
Gaining professional qualifications
Responsibility is given to you early on and you are encouraged to study for professional qualifications. The combination of theoretical and on-the-job training improves your confidence within your role and gives you real opportunity for progression.
The support from the company during studying includes course material, paid revision leave and exam entry fees which help motivate me to continually achieve and develop. Having already obtained one module of the Certificate in Financial Planning I am now studying for my diploma and hope to have completed it within the next 12 months.
A day in the life of an account manager
As clichéd as it sounds, there is no such thing as a ‘typical day’. Rules and legislation constantly change and every clients’ retirement plans are unique and therefore the ability to prioritise and organise your workload is essential.
I work on a number of schemes, some contain one bank account and one property to much busier schemes which involve buying and selling investments, processing contributions and calculating the member’s benefit payments.
Each task requires excellent knowledge and attention to detail as one miscalculation could lead to the scheme incurring a heavy tax charge. Having this responsibility is really rewarding and it keeps me on my toes and ensures I never become complaisant.
The next step
The future for me looks bright and exciting, with a number of career opportunities, as the company continues to grow. My aim is to become a senior account manager and then hopefully become a section manager and know that if I show my ambition and continue to develop my skills, Mattioli Woods will present me with the opportunity to fulfil my goals.