New academy at Tees Financial launches with first two participants

Tees Financial has launched a new adviser academy, to train aspiring Financial Advisers. ‘The Academy at Tees Financial Limited’ has enrolled its first two participants, who will follow a structured two-year apprenticeship programme that combines studying for the CII’s Diploma in Financial Advice, with hands on experience of the day-to-day role of a financial adviser.

As well as studying for their Level 4 Financial Adviser exams, the Academy participants will learn on the job, shadowing experienced Tees financial advisers. The programme will provide participants with key objectives to take away from every stage and gives a broad experience of the different roles across the whole of the Firm.

James Appleby, Managing Director of Tees Financial Ltd, commented “The Academy at Tees Financial Ltd is a key part of our long term growth strategy, and we’re proud to be investing in young talented individuals who represent the future of financial advice.

People person

Percy Sam is one of the Academy’s new recruits. He studied Industrial Design at Bournemouth University, graduating with a master’s degree in 2020. Soon after, he started a full-time office role with Tees Financial Ltd in the Bishop’s Stortford office.

A self-proclaimed “people person”, it didn’t take him long to get to know everyone by name. In November 2021, he saw an advert for the Academy and, encouraged by his colleagues, applied.

Before his interview, he talked to as many Financial Advisers as possible in order to understand the role and whether he really wanted to do it. “I want to help people” Percy says. “Managing your finances isn’t something they teach very well at school”.

Supportive environment

Having successfully passed the application process, Percy started his two-year journey in September 2022. The first month has been “exciting”, he says. “There’s not enough hours in the day!

As well as getting used to the course structure and “financial services jargon”, he has started studying through the online learning course. He’s particularly excited to start shadowing advisers: “You get to learn whilst on the job and you get to see how it all works in practice as well as theory”.

Tees is such an amazing place to work” he adds. Experienced advisers are “open and interested to talk about what they do”, which creates a “very supportive” learning environment.

Fitness to finance

Guy Pearson, who studied Exercise, Nutrition and Health at Nottingham Trent University, is also the Academy’s new recruit.

After graduating in 2018, he set up as a Personal Trainer, before the pandemic disrupted his business and prompted him to change career paths. “There are actually a lot of similarities between personal training and Financial Advice” Guy notes. “Both are, fundamentally, about assessing someone’s current situation, finding out where they want to be and planning how they’re going to get there.

In 2021, Guy joined a large advisory firm but felt that the programme lacked the support and resources needed to study for the Financial Adviser exams. That was when he decided to apply to the Academy at Tees Financial Ltd.

Structure and support

Guy was drawn to the structured approach of the Academy, which allows him to combine a carefully planned study schedule with on-the-job work experience. Tees provides all the support and resources needed for them to excel in the Financial Adviser exams, as well as abundant opportunities to learn from experienced advisers.

Having started in August 2022, he has already begun shadowing advisers. “It’s a great way to gain first-hand experience of the work” he says. “For four days a week, I get to shadow financial advisers, then one day a week I’m following the structured online learning.

He appreciates the certainty of having the whole pathway mapped out in front of him, as well as knowing that, after two years, he will be a fully qualified Financial Adviser, with abundant work experience to boot.


Role models

The common factor between Percy and Guy is that neither of them expected to end up where they are now.

The Academy at Tees Financial Ltd offers an opportunity to become a qualified Financial Adviser in two years” says James Appleby. “We’re looking for candidates with the right attitude and aptitude, regardless of past experience.

It wasn’t even on my radar” Percy admits. “I knew nothing about financial advising before joining Tees!” Having found his calling now, Percy is ambitious: he wants to become a Level 7 Financial Adviser. “I’ve always wanted to keep progressing” he says. “My goal is one day to match the experience and knowledge of the Tees Financial Advisers.

Community Impact

The Academy at Tees Financial Ltd is a rolling programme, which will welcome one or two new recruits each year. Part of Tees Financial Ltd’s longer-term growth strategy.

We have a highly professional and experienced team of financial advisers at Tees and The Academy is a chance for them to share their wealth of knowledge with people at the start of their careers” says James Appleby.

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