Michael Richardson joins Brewin Dolphin
Ever wondered what our players get up to in the winter? While some set off for sunnier climes and others focus on winter training, Michael Richardson has decided to put in the groundwork now for a possible career after cricket.
Durham County Cricket Club’s partnership with LV= County Championship sponsor, Brewin Dolphin, continues to develop as the businesses find new opportunities to strengthen links. This winter batsman/wicket keeper Michael Richardson, who has a degree in Finance, Accounting and Management, is working at the Newcastle office as he starts to consider a career beyond cricket.
Divisional Director Gary Fawcett started at Brewin Dolphin as a trainee graduate, having first experienced the company in 1998 when he worked there on placement as part of his degree, and has now worked his way up through the company to Divisional Director level.
Michael had his initial interview with Gary and two other directors from the firm before being offered the placement ,
“Michael has a degree in an area that is relevant to the investment management industry and this should provide him with a good foundation of what our business is all about”, said Gary.
“It was clear that Michael had an interest in this area and he has a really great personality. It’s important to have the knowledge to be able to manage clients’ investments but, you also have to be able to build a strong relationship with them otherwise they won’t be with you very long.
“In the interview Michael struck me as being very personable and somebody who I thought would fit well in the office. Within a matter of only a few days Michael has built good relations with his peer group, as well as clients when he has attended some of our events. Michael certainly seems very at ease with clients which you need to be.
“Our job here at Brewin Dolphin is to help protect and build clients’ wealth by looking after their investments. Whenever we meet a client, whether they are new or existing, one of our financial planners will sit down with the investment manager and the client and spend time finding out lots of information. During this fact find we look at what a client’s income, outgoings, assets and liabilities may be and if they will change in the future. We also establish what the client is looking to achieve and what level of risk they are prepared to take. There are many other snippets of information we gain from meeting a client, which helps our financial planners assess whether it’s appropriate for the client to have a portfolio of investments to meet their objectives.
"If it is decided that it is suitable for the client to have a discretionary portfolio of investments, then that is where an investment manager, such as me, comes in. We will take all of the information gathered in the client meeting to build a suitable portfolio for that individual client, which will likely include bonds, shares in UK and overseas companies and alternative investments to name a few.
“Michael is learning the ropes at the moment and is dealing with the day to day administration of looking after portfolios, but he has also been with me when I have been meeting clients so that he can gain an understanding of how important the relationship side of our business is. Michael has been involved in various activities including how we set up a new client account, reviewing portfolios, monitoring the market and meeting clients.
“Our business is all about trust and building strong long term relationships with clients. Michael has already attended a seminar we had arranged and has even been out with us networking at the Theatre Royal, so he has seen many aspects of our business.
“Michael and I have been reviewing client portfolios in light of recent developments in the markets and he has been monitoring ideas by keeping up to date with the pricing screen and news feeds on his computer. We have been chatting through potential strategies and how we may implement these for our clients. It isn’t all buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell but Michael is learning what we do on a day to day basis.
“Michael will also be spending a little bit of time with our Financial Planning team, our Marketing and Business Development team as well as some of the other investment management teams within the office. The idea is for Michael, over a five month period, to move around the business and learn as much as he can.
“We have been trying to keep him really busy, but it is good to see that if he does have some spare time he always asks if there is anything else he can do, which is keeping me on my toes! We are going through a very busy phase at the moment so it’s been very useful to have Michael around. He seems to do everything very well and pays attention to detail, which is extremely encouraging as you need to be thorough.
“What attributes do you need to be an Investment Manager? Honesty, integrity, being personable and a good networker are very important. These are all skills that are transferable into and from cricket.
“Michael is studying for his Investment Advice Diploma in his own time which shows a real commitment to Investment Management following cricket. He has taken the advice we gave to him in his initial interview, which is very pleasing. Although Michael will no doubt want to be as successful as he can be in cricket, after this it will certainly be to his advantage to have these professional industry qualifications already under his belt rather than having to work towards them at the end of his career. He should be in a very strong position to be employed”.
“The interview was eye opening because it was my first real interview so I leant a lot from it as the whole experience was new!” said Michael.
“I felt a lot more at ease in my second interview but I was still nervous, it was quite daunting. The fact that I got the job definitely helped me feel more confident for when I might have to do this again in the future.
“My first week was tough because everything was new to me, meeting the team and remembering everyone’s names! The staff were all incredibly welcoming and showed me around. On the first day I met some of Gary’s clients and I got a feel for whose money we are effectively looking after. I felt that this is where I would have most success initially, rather than my investment capability because I’ve got plenty of experience communicating with people where as I’m still learning lots about the industry.
“I spent the first few days learning the different databases and systems that the firm uses and also the admin side of things. The longer I’m there the more responsibility I’m hoping to gain because my knowledge of the industry is definitely growing even after a few weeks.
“There are skills I can take from cricket into my role here at Brewin Dolphin, leadership and communication for definite. The backbone of what professional skills I need to be successful here I am still learning.
“It was a struggle getting used to doing a 9 to five. It’s difficult to fit just normal things in, like laundry and banking, when you’re working all day! It’s not like cricket where you might have a late start or an afternoon off after training. Working full time really makes you get better at planning and I’m getting more used to the early mornings!
“If I look at the big picture I like how this can help set me up for a career after cricket. I am enjoying the challenges of what I do here and I’m really pleased to have had the opportunity to work here with such a friendly team.”