I left school at the age of 17 and began a two-year apprenticeship as a professional football player with my hometown club, Aberdeen Football Club. At the age of 19 I was lucky enough to be handed my professional debut for Aberdeen Football Club and from there, I continued to have a 20-year career in football with clubs including Stoke City, Northampton Town and Partick Thistle.
In the early stages of my playing career I played for and captained Scotland at under 21 level.
I always knew that a career in football could be short and my parents were always keen for me to have qualifications as a back-up plan and I left school with good Higher Grades which helped me gain access to a college course for Financial Advising when I left Stoke City Football Club in 2001.
It wasn’t until 2011 that I was able to continue and complete the qualifications, then gradually making the switch from football to financial advising over the next 3 years. I finally retired from football in 2014.
All the clients that I help are different; each with different needs, financial aspirations and in different life stages and situations. My role is to listen to clients, understand their unique circumstances and through the technique of providing a personalised cashflow model, I provide clients with a recommendation which aims to meet their goals whether it be for a dream holiday, a child’s university fees, inheritance tax planning or retirement planning.
Well, before Covid-19, a typical day for me would begin with a coffee, early in the morning and before 8am. I like to catch up with news and updates of markets and financial related news online. I also like to catch up with the other Financial Advisers in the office and we talk about and share cases and ideas on how to provide the best solutions for Blythswood Associates clients.
A big part of my day is usually preparing for client review meetings, devising client recommendations where each client is provided with a cashflow modelling report as part of the service, responding to client emails and calls and also corresponding with solicitors and accountants who require our services for their own clients. It’s a fast-paced environment and each day can be different depending on our clients’ needs.
I enjoy meeting with clients as I like to work with people face-to-face. It gives me a great insight into their current financial situation and journey, and I am also able to talk to them about their future financial needs. The best part of my job is seeing the solutions and services that I recommend and provide to them make a difference in their lives and that for me is the most rewarding part.
Blythswood Associates really do have the clients’ interests at heart and this was one of the reasons I joined the firm. We value and monitor any client feedback so that we can continually innovate and make necessary changes to ensure that our client experience and journey is the best.
Having played for various professional football clubs for 20 years, one important factor I have learned is that for any team to be successful, the right team and people must be in place where everyone is working towards the same goal. I am fortunate to be working with a team of passionate people who are all experts in their fields, and this is what makes it a great place to work.