Toby works as a private client manager for Standard Life, a large financial services company and the UK's fifth largest pension provider.
I chose this career as I enjoyed the maths element of my sandwich degree in business finance and explaining more complicated personal finance modules. The financial rewards can be very healthy and the capacity to choose to work on a self-employed basis also appealed to me.
I initially worked for Liverpool Victoria and then Legal and General, which gave me exposure to working in the City and the necessary experience to join Standard Life, without which it can be difficult to work for a financial services company. People looking for a role giving financial advice tend to start in a bank dealing with retail customers selling bancassurance (insurance and banking products through the same channel).
An ideal place to start is with a company's academy where they will take people on without specific industry experience and typically look for graduate-calibre professionals. High street banks take on staff, and employees can move into various roles from investments, life assurances through to pensions. Getting ahead in financial services is based on personal motivation, sheer hard work and resilience as the roles are sales and performance based.
During my degree studies I developed problem solving, organisation, time management and communication skills, as well as report and assignment writing, all of which proved useful in this role.
My year spent on a placement helped me to develop people skills, industry knowledge, an understanding of economics as well as exposure to the office culture and hours before graduating.
My business and finance degree was definitely very relevant to my career choice and I feel that my subject gave me the edge when it came to competing for jobs with other people.
At the start of my career as a private client manager, I dealt with individuals with modest levels of income and investment and then progressed to dealing with more affluent clients and more significant levels of investment.
My main duties are: assessing new clients for financial help; sourcing existing ones and carrying out reviews and providing ongoing support; giving professional advice in the office or at other locations; constructing pension plans; meeting performance-related targets and attending quarterly supervision meetings.
What I enjoy about this work is that no two hours or days are the same and every client has their own unique set of circumstances, objectives and outlook on life. The opportunity to improve an individual's financial position and help them fulfil their retirement plans is highly rewarding.
On the other hand, the target-orientated nature of the work and long hours can be demanding and impact on your personal life. Although regulation of the industry and excessive paperwork can prove counterproductive, it does not detract from time spent meeting clients.
In the future, I would like to advise in specialist areas; this might involve working within a respected legal or accountancy firm and giving advice to their clients.
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.