Having completed a degree in financial services at BU in 2002, Nathan Harris has recently returned to the region as a Partner with Strategic Solutions Financial Planners.

Nathan originally planned to study business management at university but chose financial services after realising it offered a better fit with his future career plans. During the course Nathan enjoyed learning about the legal aspects of financial services, as well as developing his knowledge of individual financial products such as pensions. When it came to the placement year, while he had originally anticipated joining an investment bank, he instead took up the opportunity to join an Independent Financial Advisor. He said: “It was a small company, which was good because I was able to get involved with a lot of the work and by the end of the year I had qualified as a financial advisor myself. I continued to work there two half-days a week while I completed the final year of my degree.”

Once he’d finished his degree, Nathan moved to London and joined a firm where he began to build his own client base. Over the years he has developed a particular expertise in working with those who have retired, or who are approaching retirement, to support their investment, pension and tax planning.

Nathan said: “This is a growing sector, particularly given that we have an ageing population, and it needs more young people to enter the industry. Graduates with a qualification in finance often have a head start and the degree is beneficial when it comes to progressing through the exams required to achieve chartered status. Over and above the technical, financial skills and knowledge you need, what is important is an ability to build rapport with people, show empathy for their situation and concerns and provide a personal service which they can trust.”

As a Principal and Partner with Strategic Solutions Financial Planners, Nathan now oversees a team of 10 to give the company its first dedicated focus for clients in the South East.