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Investing in the future, the Blue Sky way!

Posted on: 07/06/2021

We are delighted to share that our apprentice, Lewis Baldwin, has passed the first of his Financial Planning exams putting him well on the way to achieving his ambition of becoming an Independent Financial Adviser. 

Lewis joined Blue Sky in late 2020 as Trainee Financial Planner and Admin Support. Our Managing Director, Gary Neild, found him to be engaging and incredibly willing to invest in his own career from the outset and so, despite the pandemic, was delighted to offer Lewis a full-time apprenticeship role.

As an ex-teacher, I love to help develop the minds of younger people. There’s something special about Lewis though – he’s always upbeat, keen to learn and thrives on the working environment we create. His zest for life has been a tonic during the last year and it’s such a pleasure to be part of his journey into our industry.

Lewis was enrolled with the Chartered Institute of Insurance’s Aspire Financial Adviser Apprenticeship Programme at the start of January 2021. The apprenticeship runs for 24 months and consists of exams, written assignments and off-the-job training.

The Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning includes six exams, the first of which Lewis passed on the 14th May:

  • R01 Financial Services Regulation and Ethics
  • R02 Investment Principles and Risk
  • R03 Personal Taxation
  • R04 Pensions and Retirement Planning
  • R05 Financial Protection
  • R06 Financial Planning Practice

Lewis diligently spent over 100 hours revising and preparing for this exam. On completion of all exams, Lewis will obtain his Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning; the basic regulatory requirement to give financial advice to clients in the UK. Once he’s done this, he will go on to specialise as each of our team have done.

We asked Lewis to share his favourite things about working with Blue Sky. Here’s what he said:

Number one has to be the culture in the team. I have worked for companies where you are deemed a cog in the wheel, and it is all about the money. Here at Blue Sky, I feel valued and can make a real impact. In addition, I enjoy the banter in the office.

I also thrive on the fact that we all go above and beyond for clients. That commitment to service really matters to me and I know we make a difference to people’s lives and financial situation. I have first-hand experience too as my father became a Blue Sky client this year, after years or stressing about money. The cash flow plan enabled him to see he wouldn’t run out of money and could enjoy his money more. It really has been life changing for him.”

Tammy Dimond is Lewis’s direct line manager, responsible for ensuring Lewis is trained and challenged in his daily work. His core responsibilities right now are general admin to help the business run smoothly and effectively, sending Discovery Forms and Risk Questionnaires to clients, helping the paraplanners and advisers prepare for Client Reviews and dealing with Letters of Authority forms.

A year from now, Lewis hopes to have completed three more exams and be closer to completing his apprenticeship. The whole team at Blue Sky will do all we can to support Lewis in his growth and development as we see apprenticeships as a means of investing into the future of our industry.

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