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Valerie & Nick are both oil & gas professionals from the UK.

Our journey with AES started in 2014, when we reached out to discuss our retirement plans. We had both worked in oil and gas around the globe for over 24 years.

Life was chaotic – as were our finances. At the time, we were working with an adviser and we assumed, as many do, we were getting good and ‘free’ advice. After, the initial promises, contact had reduced and we didn’t have a good insight into the numbers of detail around what was initially recommended and decided to take a second opinion.

Our primary goal is to enjoy our retirement to the fullest – since currently we live a fairly modest lifestyle. AES took the time to understand our objectives as well as review the current investments we held in our existing QROPS and underlying Utmost Portfolio Bond. It became clear that having a tax wrapper (bond) within a tax wrapper (pension) complicated our financial plan. We also discovered it substantially reduced the returns we could expect in the future and would therefore impact our primary goal.

AES also revealed an allocation of Val’s pension was invested into structured notes. These notes exposed Valerie to higher levels of risk and higher initial fees that were not explained to her previously.

After long and detailed discussions with the AES team, our family plans changed again, and we decided to take up another job offer which would keep us overseas. AES restructured our investments and underlying bond within the QROPS. We now also save regularly to strengthen our retirement years.

AES continues to provide advice that is responsive and relevant. We feel happy knowing our plan is reviewed regularly and amended when our needs change, which they inevitably do!

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