My undergraduate degree was in economics, so I had an interest in finance. But it was not until I had worked in several areas of HSBC that I realised how much I enjoyed advising clients on their financial planning. Other experiences, including studying abroad in Madrid and playing college basketball for four years, helped me to develop teamwork and interpersonal skills.
I joined the bank as part of the Graduate Development Programme. After finishing the training, which included a role working in Global Markets Operations, I joined the Private Client Services team based in New York. I completed a series of financial planning qualifications, including my Certified Financial Planner designation, which allowed me to become a financial adviser with my own portfolio of clients.
I am responsible for managing the investable assets of around 400 individuals and small businesses, who often have an international focus. When providing financial advice or discussing what products might be suitable for a client, I must take a comprehensive view of their circumstances and ever-changing needs. Some of my most rewarding work involves helping clients determine when they can retire and how they can provide adequately for themselves and their families.
A typical day involves client meetings, account servicing, marketing and responding to specific customer needs, as well as reading up on financial news and product updates. It is important to stay in touch with as many clients as possible to build trust.
I also spend time communicating with our compliance supervisors and senior managers, and coaching new members of the team. I have a lot of responsibilities but I feel that I have the control I need to accomplish them – and that makes my work fulfilling.