Diary of a Work Experience Student

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Diary of my FMB work experience, by Rhys – a student at Dallam School


Sarah - Tour of FMB

The first main activity was a tour of the establishment and the company, I was welcomed as soon as I walked in, everyone introduced themselves making me feel valued from the very first second.

Phoebe – Relationship Manager

I didn’t know very much about the Financial Services sector, but some of the presentations I was shown explaining all the roles were immensely beneficial. This first appeared when I was introduced to the role of a Relationship Manager (RM). This role was explained as a very client-facing job, as they are the main team members contacting clients most of the time. This role is usually partnered with a financial planner, and they share the same clients and work on the cases together. They usually provide the research for the client’s claims aims and goals which will help the financial planner in advising the client.

Laura- Receptionist

Next, I was introduced to the role of a receptionist. You might have a stereotypical view of this as easy, but it was far from it. Laura provides a very important role in both increasing customer satisfaction and allowing all departments to function in an efficient manner. She is the first line of communication the client has with the business, so she has a valuable role in making sure the first impressions are of a high standard. The clients are greeted by Laura and made to feel welcome with the offer of a wide range of refreshments. They would also have to make sure all letters coming in are scanned and sent to the applicable member of staff. Laura has quite a few administrative tasks to fit in between looking after clients as well.

Sue- Customer Service and Compliance

I then went through the role of a client service assistant. Overall their roles are to prepare for meetings, ensure client digital files are up to date and implement the changes recommended in the financial plan. This is usually monitored by a compliance team who makes sure that the tasks are being completed correctly.

Ruth- Business Development Director

This presentation provided me with an indication of the overall values and strategy of the business. The strategy has 5 pillars; the 5 values that FMB want to implement in the business to ensure value to all stakeholders e.g, customers, workers and the community. They want to implement these 5 values to have a positive impact on the real world. Many people aspire to helping people, this can be achieved through financial planning. Ruth explained FMB tries to lead the way in raising awareness of the benefits of financial planning.

Ruth also showed me how important cyber security is to the business due to the fact that they are dealing with data that should not be shared, they need to make sure their security is at a strong level. They do this by having two-factor authentication on all services that they use and implementing many other security measures.


Cameron- Financial planner – A New Client Meeting

On Tuesday I learned about the role of a financial planner. I discovered how the first meeting with a new client would go. I was given the task of presenting the FMB brochure to a Cameron. This was beneficial as he was able to provide me with feedback which I can implement in many scenarios, especially in the financial sector. I also learned more about the pairing of the financial planner and relationship manager and the general roles each of them play in making the work as effective and efficient as possible. I found out that this role is extremely client based, and that you need high levels of communication skills.

Graham- Financial Planner- Risk Profiling

I then learned how clients form a risk profile, this is done via the financial planners providing a questionnaire to the clients. The questions form a basis of how comfortable with risk the clients are and ranks it on a basis of 1-10. This is very important to financial planners as it is what they base their investment advice on. I was also shown the difference that each Risk ranking has. That the higher the risk the more volatile the investments will be. I also learnt about the 5 main investments, these being: Cash; fixed assets; property; shares; and alternatives.

Alice – Financial Planner - Cash flow forecast diagrams

I also learned about cashflow forecasts; this allows the clients a guideline of how much money they could make in the upcoming years compared to their expenditures. This allows planners to put in plans to make sure that the client meets their objectives. However, this is only a prediction, as expenditures and income can often change depending on clients’ circumstances and movements in the economy. For these forecasts to be completed successfully and accurately, a lot of confidential data is needed. This is done via the client signing a form called ‘letter of authority’ which gives FMB access to find the financial information required.

Becca- Marketing/Public relations

Next was marketing operations, this ranged from making gift boxes to how the website looks. The main processes I experienced were: gift box making, staff bulletins, news and blogs. This allows the company to build a strong customer relationship and increase the amount of customers they retain, and attract new ones. It also means they can keep the clients informed about events and economic news.


Roger – shadowing a Financial Planner

On the Wednesday, I experienced the ins and out of a financial planner’s day. This started off with me shadowing Roger (the director) in which I first experienced a webinar on “Helping clients through economic cycles”. This allowed the financial planners to complete one of their hours of the CPD (Continuing professional development). They have to do 35 hours of these sessions yearly to make sure their knowledge is up to date and at an advanced level. After completing this I witnessed an online meeting in which they were processing and designing an in-person event to be held at FMB, this will also allow them to complete a further hour of their CPD. This meeting covered the main topics of the event: layout and timings, whether it would be a practical or class room work, and the focus and feel of the event. Straight after this I experienced how a financial manager prepared for a meeting and also filled up the summary of the meeting afterwards.


Zoe- Client Services - Fact finds

A fact find is a process where a Planner collects information from a client about their financial situation. I was made aware of this on the Thursday in which I learnt all about the process of a fact find and the impact it has on the financial planners and the business as a whole. I did this through practical experience where I was at first instructed step by step how to input a fact find data. This provides me an even further insight into what the client management team (CMT) do and their impact on the business. This taught me the complex process that the team has to go through to make sure all data is stored and filed correctly. This is especially important as we are dealing with people’s financial information, and is data that is confidential.


This was my last day and I have been reflecting on the week writing this blog.
I also helped Ruth and Graham to practice a presentation they are delivering to my 6th form class next week on money life skills by being their “audience” I gave my ideas and feedback about what people my age need to know.

Last word from the FMB team

Everyone commented on how Rhys has really gained confidence over the week he has been with us. He has been an interested learner and been a great ambassador for Dallam school. We hope his week with us has been interesting and given him an insight into the world of work and a potential career in professional services! Thanks Rhys!

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