A north-east investment specialist has made a new addition to its team following increased demand for financial advice since the onset of the pandemic.
Scott James & Associates is an appointed representative of St James’s Place Wealth Management, based in Aberdeen’s west end.
The firm, which now has in excess of 650 clients, has grown exponentially through referrals and recommendations.
It also experienced record levels of demand for its services in 2020 and expects to better those results for its current financial year-end.
Since December 2020, funds under active management have grown to £90 million from £74 million – an increase of 21.6%.
This level of new and repeat business has allowed Scott James & Associates to strengthen its team of financial advisers with the appointment of Alaina Howie.
Most recently, Alaina was a mortgage and protection specialist for an independent city-based firm and previously worked as a private banking manager for RBS during a seven-year career with the bank.
She has now been accepted into the highly competitive St James’s Place Academy and is progressing through its career change programme, remaining on track to achieve her level four diploma in financial advice by the end of the year.
Once qualified, Alaina will engage with clients to review their current financial arrangements and assist with tax-efficient solutions, as well as generating new business opportunities.
Alaina said: “Becoming a financial adviser is something that’s been a personal ambition for some time.
“I’m pleased to have found a pathway to realising this through the academy programme run by St James’s Place.
I’m excited to get started with client work once I’m fully qualified.
“In the meantime, I look forward to supporting the work of Scott and the rest of the team, who I know are held in high regard by clients and business associates alike.”
Director, Scott James, has mentored three other candidates so far through the St James’s Place Academy since its inception in Scotland in 2016.
Welcoming Alaina to the team, Scott commented: “I’m pleased to have been able to grow the team significantly across recent years, including with this latest appointment.
“Having known Alaina personally and through work for two decades, I have complete confidence that she will hit the ground running and prove to be a genuine asset to the company.
She brings important skills and experience which will prove valuable to both our client base and the wider team.
“We also have a good gender balance within the existing team, which has been proven to bring benefits through diversity of thought, and I’m especially pleased to now welcome a female adviser on board to continue in that vein.”