What do financial planners do?
Cazenove Capital provides an independent wealth management service and the financial planning team is an integral part of the business.
Financial planners look holistically at a client’s financial situation, not only taking into account their underlying investments, but also looking at their overall financial situation, including all assets (such as property), income, debt, pension provision and insurance. We look carefully at exactly how each of these investments is held and the resulting tax implications, in order to formulate a bespoke plan to help them meet their objectives.
Our role is to create a tax efficient solution in order to maximise the use of their personal allowances and create tax efficient structures in which to run investment portfolios.
Clearly an individual’s goals and objectives will change over time and our job is to not only put in place effective planning which meets their needs now, but to also ensure the planning is flexible enough to change with the client and their family’s evolving circumstances.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My role is very much client focused, with the vast majority of my time spent pitching to new clients and building on long-term relationships with existing clients.
As our financial planning work is centred around their personal finances, I’m able to build strong, meaningful business relationships which gives me a great sense of satisfaction knowing I’m genuinely helping to plan for their future. I also really enjoy the ‘buzz’ of winning new clients and because of Cazenove Capital’s diverse client base, I feel privileged to meet a great selection of hugely interesting and successful individuals.
The role also involves working with other professional services firms to formulate the most tax efficient solutions for our clients, something I very much enjoy as it helps me to continually further my own understanding and knowledge by speaking to individuals from different backgrounds.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
I started my role at Cazenove Capital as a back-office administrator and over the past seven years have developed my career, progressing to become a certified financial planner with my own client base. Going forward I am looking to achieve chartered financial planner status, something that will require a lot of study outside of my usual day to day role and responsibilities.
Cazenove Capital is one of the most respected financial institutions in the City and I sincerely hope to play a major part in the ongoing success of the financial planning team by continuing to win and retain clients through a conscientious and dedicated approach to our business.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Although it is a role where good communication skills are essential, it’s also an industry set within a framework of government legislation that is continually evolving and changing, so a willing and flexible approach to furthering your own learning and development is essential.
As financial planning becomes increasingly and more intensely regulated, individuals wanting to work in the industry need to undertake a significant number of professional qualifications. Long-term, anyone looking to make a career in the industry will be striving to become chartered, so it’s important that anyone considering a role in financial planning is aware that there will be ongoing studying and exams!
Work experience or internships within the industry are always a fantastic way to try to build relationships and maximise the impact of your CV when it reaches potential employers.
I’d always encourage anyone looking for a career to seek out any possible opportunities, for even just a week, within a relevant professional services firm. With any industry these days, patience and a willingness to start at a very basic level and work your way up is crucial.
What ‘soft skills’ have you found useful?
Principally the role of a financial planner is very much people focused, as the vast majority of your time is spent meeting with your existing clients or pitching to potential ones. For this reason, strong communication skills are essential – given we are dealing with people’s personal wealth and planning for their, and their family’s, future, it’s essential to develop a communication style that is direct, yet also tactful and diplomatic.
An ability to develop a strong rapport is hugely important in helping to successfully build long-term relationships with clients. In order to tailor our financial strategy effectively, we need to gather a great deal of information from our clients within what may be a relatively short meeting with them, so an ability to actively listen and focus our conversation effectively and to be clear and direct is essential.
When demonstrating the way in which Cazenove Capital can help them and explaining our service in more detail, I have found strong presentation skills to be very useful, something I’ve developed over time within the role.
Cazenove Capital invest heavily in training and development which has really helped me to gain confidence in my communication and people skills. Whilst technical financial knowledge is, without question, essential to formulating tax-efficient strategies for our clients, fundamentally our clients are looking for a company who they can trust to manage their finances long-term, so relationship building is one of the most important elements of financial planning.