For the past four weeks, I have been enjoying receiving an insight into the IFA industry through shadowing a variety of roles within Melville Independent Plc.
The first week involved learning the basics of corporate solutions; specifically, how Melville helps corporations become more attractive to existing and future employees. Jack Ferguson, a senior consultant at Melville, helped show me the ropes of employee benefits and how employees can improve their pensions through ‘salary sacrifice’ options with their employer to help create a significantly larger fund for retirement. I later joined Jack in meetings with clients wanting to seek his expert advice on their pensions and employee benefits which helped confirm two things:
1. The importance of reviewing your salary and workplace pension annually.
2. Jack is a considerably better adviser than he is footballer.
Furthermore, the second week was spent predominantly shadowing Alex Bruce, Melville’s trainee financial consultant, and the administration team (shout out to Sarah, Josh, Christine, and Wendy). I learnt how to produce pension packs for clients along with the general paraplanning required to help Melville Independent deliver the best service for its clients. This involved engaging with pension and insurance providers to push for the information required to solve our clients’ issues.
I also enjoyed participating in the extremely competitive Melville Independent 5-a-side football match which resulted in my team getting absolutely hammered 15-7.
The penultimate week differed from the weeks prior as I was now at the stage where I could apply the knowledge gained from the shadowing to complete set tasks myself. This included creating data summaries for a client considering a defined benefit pension transfer. The analysis was important in illustrating to the client the advantages and disadvantages of transferring away from guaranteed income and allowed me to understand pensions in greater depth through the research required to complete this task. Moreover, Jack kindly taught me how to make a tea and a coffee, thus, I have learnt valuable life experience through this internship.
To finish the week off, I played golf at Archerfield with Alex Williams and Ali Marsh (two of the advisers) along with a client of theirs. This helped solidify in my mind that a career in financial services is indeed a career I would enjoy pursuing.
The final week saw the end of my short but sweet time here at Melville. I received extensive interview training from Graeme Morrison, Melville’s operations manager, which I believe will significantly improve my chances of securing a graduate role during my final year at university. I would thoroughly recommend Melville Independent’s internship programme to any students looking to gain real experience in the financial adviser industry.
For more information regarding Melville Independent Plc’s 2022 internship programme please contact Graeme Morrison at: