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Ally's Story

My journey to becoming a Wealth Manager

A few years ago, if you told me I would be swapping world class rugby for world class banking I wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s exactly what I’ve done and in Barclays I’ve joined an internationally renowned bank that is helping me achieve my potential as a Wealth Manager.

I’m about to take my final exams, and it’s fair to say that the path I took to arrive here has been unconventional. I played professional rugby for 16 years and made 48 appearances for Scotland. But at the age of 35, I couldn’t go on playing professionally forever and needed to start looking for my next move. While I was playing, I was also studying for a degree in Leadership and Management, a decision that proved invaluable.

I did some unpaid work experience with an investment management company. I really enjoyed the wealth management side of it, so I decided to start studying for the International Finance and Administration (IFA) qualifications - the standard practise for all aspiring Wealth Managers.

Having laid these foundations, I went to a rugby match at St James’ Park that Barclays was sponsoring. There, I was speaking to someone about the next step in my career and they put me in touch with Nick Keenan, Regional Director, Head of North East England, Barclays Wealth Management. At this point, I’d never written a CV in my life but four weeks later I was at a formal interview and offered a role.

I thought that the team Nick was putting together, and the vision that he had for the team, fitted very well with my skillset. That being said, moving into the corporate world after a lifetime in sport was a big change for me, but I was surprised by how transferable my skills were. Things like engaging with people and building towards common goals and aspirations are just as relevant in Wealth Management as they were on the rugby field.

I captained sides in rugby and, leading a team, you have to know how to analyse, create strategies, and give feedback. Similarly, you have to analyse how clients’ wealth is created and subsequently come up with strategies to help them manage it.

Both roles are also about resilience and constant adaptation. Rugby changed a lot during my 16 years in the game and I had to adapt in the same way that I now have to adapt for my clients. No two clients have the same requirements so having a flexible and adaptive approach means I can deliver what they need.

Nick also wanted people who worked not as individuals but as a collective group to meet the needs of our clients and to support one another. And since I joined, I’ve received amazing support; my team is very experienced and they’re great at answering my questions. Barclays has also invested in my education, sending me to various courses in London.

I’m loving meeting new people and building relationships in the industry. And I’m excited to continue learning new skills and sharing my life experience with my colleagues.

Even if your background is rugby rather than revenue, we can support you in building a professional career. Explore the world of Barclays Wealth Management and apply for a role today.