Scott James & Associates appoints Alaina Howie as financial adviser

North-east investment specialist Scott James & Associates has appointed Alaina Howie as a financial adviser.

Scott James & Associates appoints Alaina Howie as financial adviser

Scott James and Alaina Howie

It is hoped that Ms Howie’s appointment will help meet increased demand for sound financial advice since the onset of the pandemic.

Scott James & Associates is an appointed representative of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, based in the heart of Aberdeen’s west end.

The firm, which experienced record levels of demand for its services in 2020, expects to better those results for its current financial year-end. Since December 2020, funds under active management have grown to £90 million from £74m – an increase of 21.6%.

Most recently, Ms Howie she 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.

Ms Howie has been accepted into the highly competitive St. James’s Place Academy and is progressing through the respected career change programme – currently being held remotely and online. She has already passed her R01 and R05 exams, whilst remaining on track to achieve her level four diploma in financial advice by the end of the year.

Director Scott James has been a proud advocate of the St. James’s Place Academy since its inception in Scotland in 2016, having mentored three candidates thus far to help realise their goal of becoming certified professionals.

Welcoming Alaina Howie to the team, Scott James said: “Throughout the past 12 to 18 months there has been increased demand from people paying greater attention to their financial wellbeing than might otherwise have been the case.

“Uncertainty in the north-east jobs market caused by both the pandemic and the oil price crash has understandably led more people here to take stock of their retirement plans and other life goals. Clearly, this has created opportunities for proactive firms, like ourselves, and I’m pleased to have been able to grow the team significantly over 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 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.”

Alongside her academy work, Ms Howie will spend time in the office observing the current financial adviser team, while shadowing back-office staff to build on her knowledge of St. James’s Place processes and systems.

Once qualified, AMs Howie will engage with clients holistically to review their current financial arrangements and assist with tax-efficient solutions, as well as generating new business opportunities.

Alaina Howie commented: “Becoming a financial adviser is something that’s been a personal ambition for some time, and 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 fully qualified and, in the meantime, 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 for their exceptional customer service.”

The addition of a fourth adviser in Ms Howie will provide Scott James & Associates with enhanced coverage to take on new business, whilst continuing to provide high levels of service to existing clients.

Meanwhile, the company is currently recruiting for two new administrative positions, which will take the size of the team to nine – triple the number of employees it had in 2019.

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