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An innate ability to consider the bigger picture...

 

Describe your career journey and current role at AES


I joined AES as an associate within the Wealth Advice team almost a year after graduating from university. Before AES, I worked at a boutique accounting firm as a Finance Associate. Joining AES was a dream move as it allowed me to work in the field of finance and learn more about investing, behavioral finance, and the importance of financial planning. During my time as an associate, I worked closely with financial planners, assisting clients with their day-to-day needs, setting up new accounts, and preparing investment recommendations.

I developed a strong interest in the process side of the business and was given the opportunity to manage several projects by Alex, our Director of Wealth. This experience was incredible as it allowed me to improve the client experience and ensure AES provides world-leading service. Currently, I focus on enhancing overall business processes, increasing efficiency, and improving our CRM. This role enables me to collaborate closely with other teams such as Marketing, Compliance, and Finance.

What particular challenges have you faced, and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I faced when I joined AES was understanding the financial planning process. While I grasped the basics of investments, I initially struggled to understand why AES chose to implement a simple investment strategy. Through my discovery period, I came to realise that a simple investment strategy allows clients and planners to focus more on discussing important, intangible aspects of their finances, such as their goals.

I overcame this challenge by asking one simple question: What is the client's end goal, and how can we help achieve it? This shift in thinking helped me see the value in our approach, even though it meant acknowledging that AES can't help everyone, especially those chasing returns without any concrete goals.

What key achievements or milestones are you particularly proud of?

A key milestone for me at AES was completing my Level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning within nine months. This achievement was largely due to on-the-job training and the support from other financial planners who were always willing to answer my technical questions.

Being promoted to Senior Associate was my biggest achievement at AES. It demonstrated that I could continue to add value to the overall business and work effectively with colleagues across various teams.

How has AES supported your professional growth and development?

AES has supported my professional growth and development in numerous ways. Associates within the Wealth team are encouraged to pursue their Level 4 Diploma, which develops the knowledge needed to provide the right advice to clients. More importantly, I feel that I can speak to anyone in the business, from the CEO to fellow colleagues, and receive their insights and answers regardless of how busy they are.

The culture of knowledge sharing at AES extends far beyond just qualifications, making it an amazing place to work where you can always learn something new.

How do you define success?

Success is quite arbitrary and difficult to define. Back in university, I believed success was working the highest paying job and having a nice car. My time at AES has helped me realise that money is ultimately just a tool to do what you love, which for me means spending time with the people I care about and ensuring they are well taken care of. From a career perspective, success is the ability to keep learning something new every day and making a positive impact.

What advice would you give to someone looking to grow their career at AES?

Grab any opportunity you can to work on something different if you're curious about it. Everyone around you will support that, and it will help you become a better person with even better experience.

How do you maintain a work-life balance, and how has AES supported you in this?

I maintain a work-life balance by booking time off throughout the year. My colleagues support me by keeping work away from me during these periods, allowing me to return refreshed and energized.

What future goals do you have, and how do you see AES helping you achieve them?

In the future, I’d like to manage a team while continuing to run projects. I believe my current role, along with feedback from my manager, will help me develop the necessary skills over the coming years to move into such a position.

 

Neeraj is a Senior Associate at AES. Connect with him on LinkedIn here

 

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