Looking Back on my 3 Years in the Industry – Lewis Atkinson DipPFS

This September marks my third birthday at Informed Financial Planning as a Compliance Assistant, which also means hitting the 3-year mark in the Financial Services industry. I’d love to say that those 3 years have been plain sailing, with plenty of time to put my feet up and relax, but that’d be a fib.

After leaving University, I did not really know what I wanted to do as a career – I think a lot of students can relate. What I knew even less than that was what ‘Compliance’ at a Financial Advisers was, so how I ended up here is a mystery. I guess sometimes you just have to take a chance with a career path and run with it.

For those of you who don’t know what being in a Compliance role at an Independent Financial Advisers entails, it’s kind of like being the kid who’s football it is and takes it home when people aren’t playing by the rules. We make sure everything we do as a firm is of the highest ethical standards, in line with what the regulator expects of us and most importantly, is always in the client’s best interests.

Working in Compliance means never standing still, there’s always some regulatory or legal changes around the corner somewhere! The table below shows some of the major changes we’ve seen in the industry since I started at IFP in 2017. You finish implementing one big change within the company, only to be greeted with the next!

Industry Changes

When

Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID 2)

January 2018

Product Intervention ad Product Governance Sourcebook (PROD)

January 2018

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

May 2018

Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD)

October 2018

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Compensation Changes

April 2019

Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR)

December 2019

5th Money Laundering Directive

January 2020

Entrepreneurs’ Relief Allowance Changes

March 2020

Defined Benefit Market

July 2020

Brexit

The never-ending saga

Forgetting about my Compliance role for the minute, the last 3 years has brought some great highlights for me and IFP as a whole.

In November 2019, I achieved the Diploma in Regulated Financial Services. After a lot of hard work and 6 painful exams, this was fair to say the best day of my IFP career so far. What made it better is my colleagues Rachel and Ash also achieved the Diploma the same day!

In my 3 years I’ve seen our advisers achieve Chartered Status and be fully accredited with the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). I’ve seen Paraplanners, PA’s, Marketing department, Finance department and my own manager achieve their own exam success. IFP has won award after award each year, including Money Marketing’s Adviser Firm of the Year 2018. I think that speaks a lot about IFP as whole and how the aim is to always strive for success and to better ourselves, which is something heavily encouraged from the top-down, but is always led by example.

For most of my time at IFP, I’ve never had any teammates, just a manager, but as I hope I explained at the start of this article, there’s so much to do in Compliance! So with the every growing demand, all that changed in February and I now have a new teammate, Maggie! This has been a massive change for me, but a good one. Training someone for the first time has proved to be test of everything I’ve learnt so far. The training process has been made harder by the fact everyone has been working from home as of late. I just hope Maggie doesn’t come out the other end too damaged…

A lot has changed in 3 years for me and the industry. What hasn’t changed is the culture and core values of IFP. It is still one of achieving excellence, for each other but most importantly our clients.

Here’s to another 3!

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