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, but after graduating from Nottingham Trent
University with a degree in Business Studies and 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 and
challenges that have been presented to me so far.
Starting my job at Mattioli
I moved to Northamptonshire in August 2010 and started
working at Mattioli Woods in November 2010, as a trainee account manager. The move from the north west was a daunting
prospect without the extra challenge of starting a new career! However,
everyone at Mattioli Woods was extremely supportive and made me feel very
welcome which really helped.
I started with a group of four on the training team under the guidance of a
training manager. Starting with three
others immediately gives you a support system as everyone works together to
‘find their feet’ and settle into the company.
Mattioli Woods is devoted to providing practical and
thorough training. This training covers
all aspects of the day-to-day running of our bespoke SSAS and SIPP products, as
well as technical legislation and various areas of investment, including
commercial property transactions.
Therefore, 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
pension accounting and administration, regulation, legislation, strategic
consultancy and investment planning, which are all central to the role.
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. Although completing my
time on the training team does not mean my development ends there as 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 in your career and
account managers are also 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 Mattioli Woods to gain my qualifications is invaluable
and 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 cliched as it sounds, I realised early on in my role that
there is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ as an account manager at Mattioli
Woods. 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 ranging in size, some
containing one bank account and one property to much busier schemes which
involve buying and selling investments, processing contributions received into
the scheme and calculationg the member’s benefit payments to name just a
few. 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 extremely motivating as it keeps me on my
toes and ensures I never become complaisant regardless of the task I am
carrying out whether its banking a cheque or processing a complex property
The next step
The future for me at Mattioli Woods looks bright and
exciting with continual growth of the company, both organic and through
acquisitions creating a number of career opportunities. My aim is to become a
senior account manager and then hopefully become a section manager and I know
if I continue to show my desire and ambition, Mattioli Woods will present me
with the opportunity to fulfil my goals.