During the week commencing 6th August I spent 3 days at ICF Financial Services gaining some very valuable experience within the business and to investigate this area in a real-life situation gaining insight into this being a possible opportunity of a career in the near future.
On Monday I was warmly welcomed by all the staff and went through a short introduction noting what I will be doing for the next 3 days before I began my work looking at creating portfolio reports and fact finds on active clients to prepare for commencing reviews that were soon to take place. As part of this it was made sure that all the documents that were needed for the review were all organised and placed in a folder ready to be used. Also, as part of this I carried out numerous administration duties such as scanning in relevant documents, printing and filing documents ready for actions to be taken out, scanning and organising all the post received by the company and making sure any actions are carried out where relevant. From learning these basic administration tasks on my first day, I could carry these with me through the week to help manage other tasks I would take on.
During the afternoon on Monday I shadowed the work of producing a review document in further detail and therefore enhancing what I learnt in the morning to real-life situations. This included switching funds within an ISA and comparing values within a pension over 6 months by calculating percentage changes and its analysing their current performance.
On Tuesday I did work for the marketing and social media team in which I chose a relevant article from the internet to use in editing and designing before finally publishing on the ICF main website as part of their blog and their twitter social media page.
Going into the afternoon I shadowed work looking into mortgage admin where I learnt how to set up new clients and new businesses on the internal management system which included entering their personal data and looking into mortgage compliance too. Furthermore, the paperwork involved in processing the data onto the management system had to then be organised into a folder in the correct order and making sure all the documents are there and dated using a checklist.
On Wednesday I spent time with the independent financial planner looking into cash flow forecasts based around people’s pension plans including how long their money will last, ways in which adaptations can prolong this and how market crashes at different points in their life would affect the length of time the money lasts for. Moreover, as part of this I conducted a basic cash flow chart on myself which was interesting to see how putting into a pension early can really benefit me later in life and ways in which I can prepare for the best future possible.
Later in the day I worked with the senior administrator looking into life and critical illness cover quotes and using these to balance up which cover is best to take. In order to do this, we looked at the criteria relevant and then the protection provide within the cover to make sure the most relevant and beneficial cover is selected.
Overall, I have extremely enjoyed my 3 days working with ICF Financial Services and most of all I believe I have gained very valuable insight into the world of financial services as it is definitely an option I wanted to look further into for my future career and now with this gained experience I have better opportunity in gaining my dream career in finance. Most of all I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the team for the help and knowledge they’ve provided me with and the kind welcome I was provided with in this brilliant opportunity.