My career in financial services began in 2010 during my Bachelor of Science (BSc) Undergraduate degree at Aston University in England. The degree required me to spend a year abroad working with an established organisation.
So my professional experience began in Brussels. I was employed by the world’s largest Independent Financial Advisory (IFA) working for the Senior Area Manager of Benelux. This was a great opportunity as I understudied a highly experienced IFA and was exposed to numerous investment strategies, including J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.
Within the year, I joined AES International, one of the most forward-thinking advisory firms in the international market at the time. I was fortunate to work with the CEO, Sam Instone, who was inspirational in my early adoption of transparent fee-based advice. I enjoyed my work and the industry and extended my 12-month internship across both summers.
My clients in Brussels included expats worked within the European Commission and European Parliament among other international companies. Many of these clients subsequently joined when I became a full-time Adviser and I still advise them today.
My final year was the most enjoyable time of my education as my workplace experiences in Brussels enriched my studies through the academic theories. Upon graduation, I decided to further my formal business education before returning to the industry. I enrolled on a Master of Science (MSc) in International Business & Strategy at Aston Business School.
Throughout my MSc studies, I retained my relationship with AES International. My dissertation “Institutional Entrepreneurship in the International Financial Services Sector?” was a case study of AES International and achieved a distinction from Aston Business School. I went on to be awarded an MSc with First Class Honours.
Achieving First Class Honours presented an opportunity to study an MSc in Finance at EHDEC Business School in Nice. This experience was both challenging and rewarding. Upon leaving higher education, I obtained an Investment Advice Diploma (IAD) from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI). This qualified me to provide Financial Advice to a UK FCA regulatory standard.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is in my opinion, the most transparent and highly-regarded level of advice globally. While I would be advising expat clients beyond the UK, I preferred my clients to have the comfort of knowing I was qualified to a UK RDR standard.
Previous to the FCA’s introduction of RDR, any individual could call themselves a ‘Financial Adviser’. This change in regulation ensured that Financial Advice became a profession. Only those qualified to were able to provide advice. I welcomed this change as it raised the bar of financial planning, and I enjoyed my FCA studies.
The advancement of the internet was rapidly changing the landscape of financial advice in 2014. I chose to join Harrison Brook, a young and straight-thinking organisation that saw this shift in consumer behaviour more clearly than most. My years at Harrison Brook were perhaps the most valuable of my young career, forming excellent long-term client relationships and advising on a range of technical pension transfer cases.
The ever-changing regulation of pensions gave me the opportunity to specialise my knowledge of SIPP and QROP advice from Defined Contribution (DC) and Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes. While a more complex area of financial planning, I learnt an in-depth knowledge of the pension transfer industry that cannot be read online.
Having lived and breathed international financial services over the past decade, with expat clients based in twenty-two countries employed at some of the worlds largest and most successful firms, I look forward to continuing to help them and their children achieve their financial goals over the coming decades.
Every Financial Adviser is always looking for what is referred to in the industry as their ‘last move’. I am fortunate to have achieved this with Cameron James. It is rewarding for me to bring together my industry experience and provide Cameron James clients with an unrivalled level of service and advice in the international market.
If you have a question for me feel free to get in touch.
I look forward to helping you.