Louise Woollard helps people manage their money and plan their financial futures. Having built strong and lasting relationships with her clients over the years and on the 20th anniversary of her firm Louise Woollard Financial, Louise reflects on her career so far.

Before starting her first job in a call centre with First Direct Bank, Louise undertook a degree in American Studies. After spending a year abroad in the US, she’d initially planned to set out on her career there, but soon realised Yorkshire was the place to be.

“I knew I didn’t want to work in London,” said Louise. “And I soon realised that my family and my home was important to me — as well as a good cup of Yorkshire Tea and a British joke of course!

“My very first job with the bank taught me great customer service skills. It was a challenge to build a good rapport with people, but something I actually really enjoyed. I knew I wanted to make a success of myself, so my search for the right career didn’t just stop there.”

Following a chance look at the jobs section in the Yorkshire Post, Louise came across an opportunity to become a trainee financial advisor (FA), a job which turned out to be the springboard for a lifelong career in the financial services industry.

Reflecting on her humble beginnings, Louise added: “I feel incredibly lucky to get to do what I do now. My initial starting point as a trainee FA made me realise that I could have a real impact on people.

“Being able to meet clients face-to-face and help them with their finances gave me real fulfilment. I was also really grateful to have been put through my exams by my employer at the time too.”

Following almost half a decade’s experience as a wealth management consultant, Louise was approached by St James’s Place (SJP) to go self-employed and open up her own practice.

Although it seemed like a daunting proposition at the time, the idea of being in control of her day-to-day work, as well as being able to work flexibly and choose her own clients, was too much of a good offer to pass up.

Commenting on the change in trajectory, Louise said: “When I was first approached by SJP, the opportunity to open my own practice was really appealing to me.

“It meant I could live and work somewhere else if I wanted to. I got on so well with the person that interviewed me too. It took me a year to make the decision to go at it alone but I always think it’s better to regret what you have done, rather than what you haven’t. Luckily, there are no regrets. It was the best thing I’ve ever done for my career.”

From initially starting out as a trainee, to heading up her own practice, Louise has built a niche within her own client base. Having worked and developed a commercial relationship with Huddersfield Town FC for a number of years, Louise is now also a chartered financial planner as well as a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and a Fellow of the PFS.

Speaking about her career to date, Louise added: “It’s not been easy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. The clients I work with share the same values as me and it’s fulfilling to know that I’m making a positive impact on people’s lives.

“I enjoy taking my clients on a journey with their finances — everyone worries about money, and if I can help alleviate these headaches from my clients then I know I’m doing the right thing. People want to be able to work with someone they can trust — especially when it comes to their finances. Hopefully that person is me.

“Cashflow modelling has really enhanced the value I can add to my client relationships and I’m excited to see how tech can further enhance my clients’ experience.

“Nobody tells you how to run your business and I’ve definitely learned things along the way, but I’m proud to have made a success of a career that used to otherwise be seen as quite boring.”

Louise Woollard Financial is a senior partner practice of St James’s Place with an office based in Brighouse. Louise enjoys inspiring others to use their resources to help achieve their goals and financial security for themselves and their loved ones.

She is also passionate about helping people become financially secure by planning for their future and living happy and fulfilled lives.