Lijo George moved to the UK in 2019 and joined Owl Financial as a protection adviser. He previously worked as a financial consultant in Dubai, advising his clients on offshore savings, investments and whole of life unit linked insurance plans. He tells us about completing our qualifications, studying during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what’s important in regulated advice and financial services.
Although I had some experience in the insurance world, when I joined Owl Financial, I was new to the UK. Some of the products I was advising on were different to the ones I was used to in Dubai.
I started studying for the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) in my second month at Owl and I passed.
When LIBF announced the launch of CertPro, I decided it would be a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and get a qualification to stand out from the crowd.
The CertPro syllabus was well-crafted. It really reflects the needs of the protection industry.
Despite having several years’ experience in the field, I still learned a lot. For example, term plans and income protection are more popular here in the UK than in Dubai. CertPro made me aware of the things I needed to familiarise myself with. It would help any protection adviser improve on the quality of their service.
Studying during lockdown
Working from home during the pandemic gave me more time to prepare for my exams. The time I would have spent commuting, I put towards studying for CertPro. Overall, I thought lockdown really gave me an advantage in terms of studying.
I used to study for two hours in the morning and do the same in the evening. If you can do this, it won’t take you much time to complete either CeMAP or CertPro.
I also found Brightspace really useful because if I wanted to learn more about a product, all the information I needed was easy to access.
Working in protection advice
I was brought into this industry by my uncle. From the beginning of my career, I learnt a lot from him about the importance of providing excellent service to clients.
I’ve had clients tell me about situations where consultants prioritised their own needs over clients’ needs. But clients are the heart of our business. Fairness is important. At Owl Financial, clients’ needs are a priority. And I love being able to help people build their knowledge of products.
Find out more about Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP)
Find out more about Certificate in Protection (CertPro)
Find out more about our Professional Qualifications