From redundancy threat to running a financial services firm – A journey of success

Martin Welsh spent 9 years working in the oil and gas sector. While facing the possibility of redundancy he decided to take matters into his own hands and pursue a career in the financial services sector.

As an existing client of St. James’s Place, he knew they offered places on their training academy.

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Here is Martin’s story on his transition from engineer to running his own financial services firm within St. James’s Place Wealth Management and why he believes it’s the best thing he could have done in his position.

I spent almost 9 years working in Engineering after leaving school, 8 of which were within the Oil & Gas – working for some of the largest Oil & Gas companies in the world.

Starting out as a ‘draughtsman’ and moving on to become a Designer I not only loved my job designing new products from drilling, completion, production and top-side, I was also very keen to learn more and undertook a BEng Honours Degree with The Open University, spending 5 years studying in my own time while working full time. In my final few years in the industry I was a Design Engineer working on refurbishment and conceptual design work, mostly on the computer but sometimes rather hands on in the Workshop too.

Unfortunately 6 months or so after the oil price started dropping redundancies were announced and I started to look elsewhere and discovered the St. James’s Place Academy (I was already a client with St. James’s Place Wealth Management and knew how great they were).

I looked into the details and loved the sound of the opportunity where I would be working with people, developing relationships but in full control of my time and building my own business within a Partnership with one of the leading Wealth Management companies in the UK. I was not selected for redundancy and the closest Academy at that time was Manchester – so I decided not to proceed. Further pay cuts and redundancies were on the horizon and I then knew it was time to take control of my career and my choices.

I applied for a position with St. James’s Place on the Academy and soon found out the 1st ever in Scotland would be starting in February 2016 located within the Edinburgh office. I underwent a number of interviews, had to produce a business plan and pass an industry exam before gaining one of the very sought after places on the Academy. I spent 6 months in Edinburgh, studying very hard to pass all other 5 external exams to gain my Diploma in Financial Planning – a requirement now to give advice with only 26,000 others in the UK qualified to do so.

We also had to pass over 30 internal exams and learn all about St. James’s Place and their product offering. I’ve now been since summer 2016, building my connections, relationships and client base and so pleased with how things are going. As you may be aware with St. James’s Place Wealth Management I have my own ‘practice’ Martin Welsh Wealth Management where I build my own client base and business from and St. James’s Place guarantee the advice I give to my clients.

I actively encourage others to consider the move to join such an amazing company and love to share my positive story to help motivate others that are really struggling in and around Aberdeen.

Some useful links for you:

My website:
Academy website:

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