Nicola Wrightson is North East of England born and bred, having only ever lived outside of the region when she relocated to Edinburgh for eight years.
She joined financial services when she was 18, working first in research and analysis for financial advice firms before taking a sales role for the investment arm of Scottish Widows in Edinburgh. From there, she would travel around Scotland and the North East talking to financial advisers about investments. It was a job she loved, she says, because it was about meeting people and seeing how different businesses worked. She was so good at it that she was promoted to Investment Sales Director.
However, 11 years into the role and now a mum, she found the travelling was taking her away from her young family too much, so when the opportunity for voluntary redundancy arose she took it and looked to pursue her career nearer home.
She became Managing Director of a financial advice firm but realised, she says, that running a business was not where her passion lay. “It was a learning curve but I realised what made me happy and what I really enjoyed was meeting people and helping them solve their financial issues,” she says. “That’s why I moved to Lowes, because here I can focus on my clients and doing the best for them. It’s that engagement and buzz that I love about the role.”
Equally important in choosing Lowes, she says, was “the fantastic team we have behind us as Consultants”.
“The personal finance world is multi-faceted, complicated and constantly changing. As Consultants we know a lot but we can’t know everything there is to know about every subject. What we have at Lowes is some fantastic professional and technical people in areas like investment, pensions and retirement services, who have an incredible depth of knowledge and expertise in the market and who I know I can rely on.
“It is real team work. There are very few Independent Financial Advisers who have that support system and that brings tremendous value for our clients.”
Equally, good advice requires the ability to break down complicated subjects that people are concerned about in a way that they can understand, she adds. “Our strength as Consultants is being able to do that for clients and make sure they understand what’s going on and are happy and comfortable with the advice we’re giving them. I like to draw pictures to help my clients understand things.”
Nicola feels that there are many people who could benefit from Independent Financial Advice but may be wary of taking that first step. “I’d say to them, arrange to see a Lowes Consultant, because that first meeting is free and with no obligation. Having someone who can talk through what you’ve got, sort out what you need and then be there to hold your hand for the next 20 years or more is invaluable.
“While it is very rewarding to help clients improve their wealth, the biggest satisfaction I get from the role is knowing that someone has come to Lowes with financial concerns that they are losing sleep over and we’ve been able to sort things out and put them in a place where they don’t have to worry anymore.”