Pictured: Nick Lawson, Wealth Management Graduate Trainee, and Ben Eastlake, Wealth Planning Graduate Trainee
Which degree do you have, and from which University?
Ben: MEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Loughborough University.
Nick: I read History at King’s College, London.
What attracted you to applying for the WHIreland Graduate Scheme?
Ben: I was recommended by someone who said that WHIreland was a good company to work for. I liked the idea of working in a smaller company where you are more likely to get involved with a variety of work which keeps the job interesting.
Nick: WHIreland is a well-established City firm, rare in today’s world due to the fact they work with both Private and Corporate clients. I enjoyed a week’s work experience last year and was impressed with the centrality of the client to the company’s offering.
What attracted you to a career in Wealth Management/Wealth Planning?
Ben: I have always been curious about what happens in the finance industry but I have never wanted to work behind a desk crunching numbers for a big corporate organisation. Wealth Planning appealed to me because you can see the impact that your work has on individual people.
Nick: I wanted a career with a balance between client and market interaction. Investment Managers should be constantly plugged in to financial and global news, whilst seeking to foster long-term relationships with their clients.
What does a typical day in the role consist of?
Ben: So far no two days have really been the same, I support the Financial Planners with whatever they are working on. This can range from producing draft reports, analysing portfolio performance, contacting third party providers to obtain information on clients’ investments. I have also been working to improve our usage of software tools within the team which will allow the Financial Planners to work more efficiently and reduce the administration burden on them.
Nick: My day is varied depending on what the team needs completing. Some days will be spent analysing stocks, others will be spent valuing portfolios or estates. The graduate scheme so far has included trips, some extended, to WHIreland’s regional offices.
What have you enjoyed so far about the role?
Ben: The Wealth Planning team are very close and I have been involved with the work from an early stage which means I have built up knowledge of the business much quicker than I expected to. This has been possible because everyone in my team is willing to spend the time to explain how everything works.
Nick: I have enjoyed the variety of the job and the atmosphere of the office. The culture of the company is one of responsibility and flexibility, finding a combination to ensure work fulfilment and high-quality client service. Even as the youngest graduate, I felt like the work I had spent time on was respected and valued.
What would you say to someone who wanted to apply for this year’s Graduate Scheme?
Ben: It is definitely worth applying for the Graduate Scheme at WHIreland. The recruitment process is very personal and you get to meet a variety of people from around the business. Working in a small company has the added benefit that you don’t get lost in the system and you can see how the whole organisation fits together.
Nick: I would recommend that applicants seek to demonstrate their understanding of what the company really stands for, and why we are different from our competitors. I would tell them that this is not a company to apply for if they want to be fixed in a single department; a smaller investment house means you are granted more responsibility more quickly than elsewhere, but it also means you will be expected to work with wholly different areas of the business if a task needs completing.