The Apprentices

The Apprentices
The Apprentices from left to right - Lewis Manning, Connor Day, Amy Kirby, Paul Edwards (me), Greg Beaver, Jonathan Jones

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Exam Success & New Job

I am delighted to be able to say that I have passed the UK Financial Regulation unit of the CISI IOC Level 3 qualification and this now leaves me with one more exam to be awarded with the full qualification. There is a selection of units that you can choose from for the third exam which is great as it gives you the autonomy to choose what you want to specialise in. For my final unit I have chosen to do the Global Securities Operations module as the syllabus looks very interesting and relevant to my role.
In addition to this good news, I have also started my new permanent position as the UK Equities Dividend administrator making April a very busy, but productive month. I am very pleased to be able to take a role on permanently within the firm and prove myself on a team that is faced with high workloads and tight deadlines. In terms of settling in, I have had no problems whatsoever as I already have good working relationships with everyone on the team from my placement here over a year ago.
The opportunity to gain experience on other teams prior to securing this permanent position at Rathbones was vital for me and as a result it has equipped me with the foundational knowledge to have a successful career within the industry.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Permanent Position & End of RPAS

Now in the last week of my placement on RPAS, I am pleased say that I have applied for a vacancy within Rathbones and have been offered the role following an interview. The position is on the Dividends team, specifically taking over the responsibility of UK equities dividends.
As you may know, my first placement through the apprenticeship scheme was actually on the Dividends team, albeit working as a group of three focused on Unit Trust dividends. I had some exposure to UK equities in my last month, which is roughly a year ago now – but I am looking forward to developing this knowledge further and taking over the sole responsibility of this role.
With my time on RPAS drawing to a close, I have been fascinated by how varied and interesting the role actually is. It has opened my eyes to how significant our pension business is and this is certainly growing amidst the pending merge of RPAS and RIM. I have enjoyed my time on the team and I believe I have developed key skills, namely communication and organisational – and I have the team to thank for their excellent training.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Rathbones London

Earlier in the month, the Rathbone apprentices visited the London office for the first time to experience the different functions that the London office provides. I think the main difference between London and Liverpool is how well London is set up in order to cater for client meetings. This was evident in the many professional meeting rooms available, in-house catering and prime location in London.
The apprentices were split up in to groups of three and we were given presentations on different departments that are predominantly based in London. The first presentation was on RUTM, which I found fascinating as the only real experiences I had with unit trusts was processing unit trust dividends and the material from the first IOC examination. In addition to this, I had a half an hour meeting with Alan Dobbie who manages the Blue Chip Income & Growth Fund for RUTM. I found the meeting to be very helpful as I was able to ask a lot of questions about RUTM and Alan was more than willing to give me an insight into his role. 

We were also given a presentation by Marketing, allowing us to see how the Rathbones brand image is promoted throughout the community and how Rathbones are adapting to suit modern technologies.
We were then given the opportunity to meet the RIM Management Committee and talk to them about how the apprenticeship scheme has benefitted us over the last seventeen months. Each member of the committee was interested to hear our opinions on the scheme and equally we were interested to hear about how their roles affect tasks on a daily basis.
To round the day off, we were given an informative tour around London, showing us much of the financial history that has made London the dominant financial centre it is today. Some of the places we saw were as follows: Royal Exchange, Bank of England, London Metal Exchange and many major financial headquarters, such as Lloyds.
For me, the day was a success and we came back to Liverpool with an understanding of how our London office operates and the culture difference between the two.

February Update

It has been just over two months since my last blog post, which was based on my completion of the Introduction to Securities and Investments exam. Since then, I have been reading the UK Financial Regulation book provided by the CISI ahead of the exam in April.
I have found the material itself to be directed towards the procedures and principles that are in place as a requirement for approved persons to fulfil. The knowledge gained from this material will be extremely useful when faced with making significant decisions in my future career, so as to comply with the FCA/PRA.
With my time on Rathbone Pension & Advisory Services coming to an end in April, I am confident in saying that I have gained so much from the department. It is not only the technical aspects of pensions and insurance that I have improved on, but also my interpersonal and organisational skills, and I believe this will continue to improve with the more experience I gain in different departments.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Exam Result

Following on from my First Impressions of Pensions post, I mentioned that I was to sit my first IOC examination; Introduction to Securities and Investments in the first week of December.   I am now delighted to be able to say that I passed the exam on Thursday and achieved a ‘Pass with Merit’ result.
I found the course content very interesting and also very relevant to the jobs that I have done over the past fifteen months here at Rathbones.
As of this week, the second IOC exam material; UK Financial Regulation has been added to my online study page and I plan to start this right away in order to build on the material from the first exam.
In addition to this news, we had our office Christmas Party on Friday at the Marriott Hotel which turned out to be a fantastic night and also a great way to meet new people in the company. Although, I still find it hard to believe that it has been a year since the last office Christmas party!!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Role on Pensions

One month on and I’m continuously learning new things about pensions, quite simply because there are so many pension plans and insurance schemes out there. 

The team that I have been assigned to is the RPAS admin support team. My current role on the team is to update client records with their information and pension plans, which with the more experience I gain, the more pension plans I will become familiar with and understand. 

I am also sending out letter of authority forms to companies in order for us to request information on a client’s pension that is held with an external provider. This involves a lot of communication via telephone to companies in order for me organise and keep track of the authority letters sent out and the information that we are waiting on.

Other tasks that I have taken responsibility of include monitoring and obtaining commission statements from other companies, and also preparing client annual review packs and sending them directly to the client.

First Impressions of Pensions

From today it has been a month since I started working on RPAS – Rathbone Pension & Advisory Services Limited. I didn’t quite know what to expect with it being a different line of business to Rathbone Investment Management, however I have found it very refreshing and interesting to experience the pension industry.

So far I am really enjoying this new challenge and the team have been very welcoming and helpful in order for me to settle in quickly. I have also been involved in two video conference meetings between our London and Liverpool RPAS office already, which is a strange experience compared to my previous team meetings which had been held in a room with everyone physically present.

On a final note, I have arranged to take my first IOC examination – Introduction to Securities and Investments in the first week of December. With the sole focus on the IOC qualification I am now studying this material a lot more and I am finding the content very interesting and relevant to the job I have done on a daily basis for the past year.