Career conversion: Tweed Wealth Management hails strategy of signing up former rugby pros

Tweed Wealth Management has “touched down” on a recruitment strategy of signing up former rugby stars to be trained as high-performance financial planners, saying this is helping speed up its expansion.

The Edinburgh-based company states that it now has three ex-professional rugby players on its team sheet, bringing valuable transferable skills such as teamwork and ambition. It mirrors others from the sport moving into business such as former Scotland rugby internationals David Sole and Ally Hogg.

Tweed Wealth Management added that the trio have all attended St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy, with former London Welsh and Ulster Rugby scrum half Paul Rowley the first to pull on the firm’s colours in 2017, and he is now a senior financial planner.

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He was followed in 2018 by Michael Allen who made his professional debut for Ulster in 2011 before switching to Edinburgh in 2015, and retiring in 2017. He has made strong progress towards obtaining chartered financial planner status, Tweed Wealth Management said.

Completing the pack is Jason Baggott who started his fly-half career with the Southern Kings in his South African homeland before moving to the UK in 2015 where he spent the remainder of his playing days with Edinburgh Rugby. Alongside his rugby career he completed an economics and finance degree at Heriot-Watt University.

Tweed Wealth Management co-founder and managing director Alison Welsh said: “We’ve found that ex-professional sportspeople, and certainly rugby players, are a great fit for a career in wealth-management and we are delighted at how all three are progressing with their individual careers and adding to the professionalism of our business.

“They all work hard and are dedicated to carving out a successful career in finance and we are fortunate to have them on board. Having played professionally and at a high level, Paul, Mike and Jason know that they have to put in the hard yards to get the rewards, and there is no doubting their commitment.”

From left: Michael Allen and Jason Baggott who have both swapped the field for finance. Picture: contributed.From left: Michael Allen and Jason Baggott who have both swapped the field for finance. Picture: contributed.
From left: Michael Allen and Jason Baggott who have both swapped the field for finance. Picture: contributed.

Strategic move

Mr Baggott said the work ethic of a rugby player and a financial adviser are very similar, with the former neither financially sustainable nor a long career. “I felt like making the career switch in my mid 20s was the sensible decision instead of wondering what to do when I retire,” he said.

The interpersonal skills rugby players learn gives them a great starting point for a career in financial planning, says Ben Atiga, former New Zealand All Black, Auckland Blues and Edinburgh player, and now head of player development at Edinburgh Rugby.

He commented: “The dedication the three ex-players had to have to compete at the highest level I’m sure was a helpful factor in their studies and is a trait that will stay with them for life, as well as a focus to want to continue to improve and grow. And as more rugby players need financial advice, who better to give it than those who have walked in the same shoes as current players?”

The firm in January said it had bought Inverness-based John Home Wealth Management, bringing its total assets under management to more than £380 million, and it said at the time that it was eyeing more acquisitions.

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It has also recruited three paraplanners since the start of 2022, and says further appointments are on the cards.

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