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Fresh faces: Greenly goes from cheap suit to a Capital asset

Despite only being 25, James Greenly of London-based Capital Asset Management has been in the profession for 10 years now.

James Greenly, chartered financial planner, Capital Asset Management

It may be surprising to hear that, at the age of just 25, James Greenly has spent nearly a decade in the profession. He is a chartered financial planner at Capital Asset Management, with his own client bank and working in London.

Greenly’s journey began unassumingly at the age of 16. ‘I printed off dozens of CVs, bought a cheap suit from Next and my dad drove me to financial advice, law and accountancy firms in Norfolk,’ says Greenly. ‘He booted me out of the car and said “Right, I want you to go in and ask for the manager.”’

One of these firms was former cover star, Norwich-based RJL IFA. Admiring his charisma, director Simon Kiley offered Greenly a trial before taking him on. Greenly spent seven years there, going from tea boy to portfolio analyst. ‘Simon was great, a real inspiration. He took a gamble on me in 2007 and I will be forever grateful,’ says Greenly.

James Greenly, chartered financial planner, Capital Asset Management

It may be surprising to hear that, at the age of just 25, James Greenly has spent nearly a decade in the profession. He is a chartered financial planner at Capital Asset Management, with his own client bank and working in London.

Greenly’s journey began unassumingly at the age of 16. ‘I printed off dozens of CVs, bought a cheap suit from Next and my dad drove me to financial advice, law and accountancy firms in Norfolk,’ says Greenly. ‘He booted me out of the car and said “Right, I want you to go in and ask for the manager.”’

One of these firms was former cover star, Norwich-based RJL IFA. Admiring his charisma, director Simon Kiley offered Greenly a trial before taking him on. Greenly spent seven years there, going from tea boy to portfolio analyst. ‘Simon was great, a real inspiration. He took a gamble on me in 2007 and I will be forever grateful,’ says Greenly.

Capital’s gain

In 2014 Greenly decided it was time for a new challenge and, after a short spell with Lucas Fettes & Partners at its Norwich office, he headed for the Big Smoke. ‘London always seemed a pipe dream but I just told myself: “If I don’t do it now I never will.”’ Everything fell into place when he joined Capital at the end of 2015.

Chief executive Alan Smith’s (pictured) business model may be making a stir in the profession but Greenly says flat-fee charging is a ‘breath of fresh air’. ‘I got into the profession because I want to develop long-term relationships with people as their trusted adviser, not just be someone trying to sell them something,’ he says.

‘I’ve taken exams to help people achieve their goals. But, if I have to move a pension from A to B and charge X% because I want my bonus and a holiday, well that doesn’t seem right to me. That’s why our flat fee for service approach works so well.’

This year Greenly will continue getting to know his new client bank and develop his soft skills to complement his growing list of qualifications. Here’s to Greenly turning a pipe dream into a reality.

Charity work

‘I volunteer at Citizens Advice one day a month through the Personal Finance Society MoneyPlan scheme,’ says Greenly. ‘It’s wonderful to be able to help those who often can’t afford financial advice.’

First job

‘My first job was at RJL IFA doing administration and making cups of tea,’ Greenly says. ‘I can’t believe it’s been over nine years.’

Retirement plans

‘I love London so I’d like to keep my flat as a city crash pad,’ says Greenly. ‘I’d spend some time with my family in New Zealand; I adore New Zealand but it can feel a bit sleepy. I’d have the best of both worlds.’

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