Clifton Private Finance expands team through graduate trainee scheme

Clifton Private Finance's Cardiff office has welcomed Sam Baker and Sam Njekwa to its team in September through the Cardiff Capital Region Graduate Scheme.

As part of this programme, the Clifton Private Finance trainees go through a six-month paid internship with the aim of giving them a full-time contract at the end of that, to take them through their CeMap exams within the next six months, and on to independent case management.

Njekwa worked for two years on contracts for Deloitte, Equiniti, and Barclays before applying to Clifton Private Finance via the graduate scheme. 

“Working alongside the senior brokers, and with another graduate trainee just a year ahead of us is really helpful,” he said.

“I’ve only been here a month, so I’m mainly doing admin work: following up new leads, taking enquiries and inputting terms, but they’re all stepping-stones. 

“At the end of the day, if I feel I’ve performed well and learned something new . . . I’m progressing.”

Commenting on joining the specialist brokerage, Baker said: “Learning the stages that bridging loans must go through is really helping me to build a clear roadmap in my head of what my development is going to look like.

“It’s good just learning how to take down client notes clearly so I can pass them straight over to an adviser to work from if they’re available to talk to the client there and then."

He added that while there was a lot of information to take in, the senior brokers acted “more like mentors than bosses”.

Sam O’Neill, senior broker at Clifton Private Finance, acknowledged that recruiting and managing trainees can be a challenge for a smaller team.

“When you’re a small team, taking on trainees is always a trade-off between the extra energy and admin support you get, and the amount of time you need to put in to give them a good training experience.”

However, he said the company was having its pick of graduates from the four universities in the Cardiff area through the scheme.

“We’ve been able to structure a training programme that reflects the way we work,” added O’Neill.

“…Because we’re a small team, the guys are always listening to the way we interact with clients and lenders, and they can ask questions at any time.

“We’re recruiting really high-calibre trainees via this graduate scheme, and investing time and effort in our training program on the basis that we want every single graduate to grow, learn and succeed within CPF.”

O’Neill added that Clifton Private Finance was looking at taking on more graduates each year.

This is the second time the specialist brokerage has had trainees join the company.

Last year, Fergus Allen was the first graduate trainee taken on through the scheme, and is now qualified and ready to start working on cases independently; with his success encouraging the company to offer more opportunities this year.


Pictured (L-R): Fergus Allen, Sam Baker, Sam Njekwa, Mat Phillips, Sam O’Neill

Image (above) by Amy O'Neill

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