Stuart said: “It was nice just to have finished the exams but then to get the award was a pleasant surprise.”
Stuart joined wealth managers Brown Shipley after graduating from the University of Bath with a degree in mathematics. Originally from Colchester in Essex, joining the London-based bank brought him closer to home. It was his first ‘proper job’. His only previous industry experience was in the finance department of Mercedes AMG high performance powertrains, where he spent a 12-month industrial placement as part of his degree course.
“It was a wonderful company to work for but I never thought accountancy would be particularly up my street and that just reaffirmed it,” says Stuart. “I’ve always had more of an interest in the investment side of things, which has a natural linkage with my mathematics background.”
Stuart’s current role at Brown Shipley can vary from having a large say in the management of client investments and the running of portfolios to contributing to group decisions, accompanying client directors on client meetings and following up on actions required.
To develop within the firm, Stuart needed to successfully complete the Investment Advice Diploma soon after joining. He then completed the Chartered Wealth Manager qualification. He has quickly moved up the membership ranks from student membership to ACSI and now MCSI.
"As the exams are known across the industry, everyone knows the standard that you’re at"
“Being a member of the Institute has been a positive experience,” he says. “The knowledge you get from completing those exams is really valuable and as they are known across the industry, everyone knows the standard that you’re at.”
Winning the CISI award is Stuart’s proudest career achievement to date. But he is also proud of an achievement outside the office – a 300-mile charity bike ride from London to Paris, which he completed with around 25 of his Brown Shipley colleagues to raise more than £50,000 (with gift aid) for three local hospices in Birmingham, Manchester and London, where the firm has offices.
“Physically, it’s not the hardest cycle ride, but to be involved with something where you’re raising quite a significant amount of money for charity is always something to feel proud of,” he says.
Within the next 12 months, Stuart has ambitions to progress to client manager level or change track to become an analyst or fund manager. “I’ve built up some portfolio management experience but I don’t have a huge amount of experience on the research and asset management side of the business, so that’s something I’m going to try to include more in my role going forward,” he says.
This article was originally published in the Q2 2017 print edition of The Review. The print edition is available to all members who opt in to receive it, except student members. All eligible members who would like to receive future editions in the post should log in to MyCISI, click on My Account/Communications and set their preference to 'Yes'.