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In profile: Courage Ruwanza

When did you join Equilibrium Asset Management?

I joined Equilibrium in the summer of 2014, one week after landing a first-class honours degree in Business Management and Finance at Manchester Metropolitan University.

What do you remember about your early days at Equilibrium?

When I first joined I found myself working in a lot of different teams. It was very exciting and a huge learning curve because it all happened so quickly. Even though I was ‘in at the deep end’ so to speak, I definitely think it’s the best way to improve and to become more knowledgeable and confident.

Tell us about your progression since joining the company?

Due to me hitting the ground running, by the end of my first year I was very much up to speed with how the business worked. I got a sense of its ambition and its attention to detail when looking after both its clients and employees.

As it stands, I’ve done 12 exams in total, six to become diploma qualified and another six to get my advanced diploma in financial planning. It took me a year to get the diploma and just under two years to get my advanced diploma, so just under three years in total. Each exam equates to around 30 hours of study so I have spent a lot of time with my head in a book over the past few years!

How has gaining your qualifications helped you in your everyday role?

It has helped a lot for me to be able to deliver a comprehensive service to clients. In my role in the Bespoke team I have around 40 clients and we are responsible for looking after clients’ portfolios on a day-to-day basis.

We undertake quarterly portfolio reviews and sit in on client meetings alongside the financial planners. Equilibrium’s financial planners are responsible for making the decisions and we are responsible for implementing those decisions.

Finally, what’s the best thing about Equilibrium?

As I’ve said, the company has a lot of ambition and doesn’t rest on its laurels. It didn’t surprise me that Equilibrium was named fifth best small company to work for by The Sunday Times earlier this year, as there is a huge focus on creating a happy work environment.

Having all of my study materials and exams paid for has been great – and also having dedicated time off for revision has certainly helped me gain my qualifications! There are a lot of other perks that add icing to the cake, such as a free breakfast and we also get a lot of holidays with a minimum of 33 days of annual leave a year, more than most companies offer.