Financial services mini series: Part 5

By Ayoob Rawat


Financial Services is a huge industry with many career opportunities. It can be rewarding and lucrative but because of that, there is a lot of competition.


It does not matter what existing degree or qualification you have, as long as you are numerate and passionate about financial independence.  


After this series that has been broken down into 5 parts, you will be able to better plot your path to an exciting future in the Financial Services sector.  


So far we have looked at :


1) Thee careers choices you have in the Financial Services Industry?


2) Where to go to improve your chance of landing that dream job?


3) Breaking the myth that you need to have MBAs and be a rocket scientist to succeed in the financial services industry.


4) Like for any career, what skills will you need to build on to shine?


In the final post of the series we are looking to address those:

5) Interested to set up independently and hence what organisational structure they would need?  


Making that leap to go on your own is filled with challenges but can be rewarding. DO not just look at the rosy bit, temper your exuberance and plan patiently, diligently.


So where do you start and how can you get the phone to ring?  

There are 2 possible scenarios:

  • You start from scratch
  • You work for someone else. (We will cover some steps you will need to cover to sell your services).  

Do you know what you will do and why people will have compelling reasons to pay you for your services?

Can you explain what you do clearly and concisely in 30 seconds, 3 minutes, and 30 minutes? With a world of reducing attention span and information overload, you have 30 seconds to hook us with the prospect.

If the person likes what you have said, then he/she may ask you more. Do not inundate him just take three minutes to further explain the opportunity.

Based on that, you might score a 30 minute face-to-face meeting for detailed questioning when the closing takes place.

You’ll be working with numbers day in and day out, so being very numerically and analytically skilled is a natural prerequisite for the role.  

Let us go through some of the activities that you will perform to be able to provide a comprehensive service:

  • Information Gathering: 
  • Risk profiling 
  • Goals & aspirations and career mapping 
  • Lifetime Cash Flow Services 
  • Wealth Planning 
  • Tax Planning 
  • Corporate Trust Services
  • Estate planning
  • Service providers due diligence 
  • Investment Managers due diligence 
  • Portfolio reporting software due diligence 
  • Family Governance 
  • Recording Monitoring and Reporting 
  • Review of claims 
  • Data Management  


So how much can you earn?


How long is a piece of string? It can be as long you want and will depend on how you integrate the business into your life. There is no longer a life/work balance. It is part and parcel of your life. It is simply a question of knowing when to break off. It can be a few times a day, the weekend or during your holidays.


You will certainly earn more than average and be in the upper quartile.  


The right license to start.

If you’re starting from scratch, as we have mentioned in a previous post, you don’t need a degree to succeed, although there are courses that will give you useful theoretical knowledge. There are vocational qualifications you can take. Even with university degrees, there are modules worth investigating.

From the beginning, you have to be confident. Know what you know what you do not know and do not lie!

Build your network of trusted go-to people for getting advice. Generally, professionals like to help even when you compete with them: well, most of the time!

In some cases, you may have to pay to get help. DO not hesitate to do so when required!

Make sure you comply!!!

Understand which activity is regulated and register with the right authority. If not sure ask your advisors or the supervisors themselves. You may not get very clear answers.

When dealing with banks and asset managers on behalf of clients, you will need a written right of access to information.

As a Data Guardian spend time to incorporate data protection in your processes paying special attention to comply with anti-money laundering regulations and making sure you have registered with the appropriate supervisory authority).


You are versatile in numbers, and they talk to you. Still, you will need professional indemnity insurance as it is a requirement if you give professional advice. This will be your most important coverage because mistakes do happen.

Consider covering mistakes that could arise with forgetting to deliver on time and be sued for professional negligence. As you will operate where information is exchanged continuously you may commit unintentional breaches of copyright or confidentiality. You may lose or misleading documents or data, and get exposed to defamation or libel.


Other insurance to consider:

Public liability insurance: this can cover you if someone is injured or their property is damaged because of your business;

Employers’ liability insurance: this is usually a legal requirement if you have employees.

 Buildings insurance: this can cover your building, whether you run your business from home or premises like an office


Opening your office


  • What legal structure, sole practitioner, limited company, partnership;
  • Business plan - yes it is part of your career road map and will become your distance marker posts!
  • Register for VAT, Income Tax, Social Security, local Chamber of Commerce,
  • Inform your neighbours,
  • Plan a launch!
  • USP
  • Will you operate in the Blue or red Ocean. There is no right or wrong. If you can differentiate yourself, you may want to target a niche client base - for example, Asset Managers, other Accountants.
  • From the range of services, you may want to turn one into your speciality. For example, you could specialise in providing general wealth check-ups.


Now for something we all need: how to get clients

Maybe that is what you start with even before opening your office. Get at least one client. That first client is a confidence booster and may itself lead to more clients being referred to. Work hard at it.

You will do so by building your network and spend ALL of your time just getting clients. No not the coffee machine, or the photocopier but getting that first client.

Some tips:

Get a blank piece of paper a jot down ALL your network and construct your CRM in your head. Personal recommendations will be the best way to build.

Go to networking events - do not be desperate!

Have your website ready with a form filling facility. Put your phone number on it!!! Use online marketing by just being able to be found. Record some youtube presentations.

Depending on which niche you are going for, you may want to speak to their association.

Setting up your practice will take time, effort, and dedication. It is a marathon but the rewards are big and not only in monetary terms!!!


I hope you have enjoyed the series and if you want to find out more, do connect with me at [email protected]



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