Padraic Ryan, financial consultant, posing for a picture

“Started From the Bottom, Now I’m Here!”

Junior Financial Consultant at SYS Group Padraic Ryan shares his story with us, from enrolling in a Business degree to tracking down SYS Groups’ CEO Tony Delaney, in search of a job opportunity

My family, friends & colleagues often ask how I ended up in the financial services industry as a Financial Consultant with SYS Group. To be honest, I get great enjoyment in telling my story as it shows how an ounce of ambition and desire can go a long way in achieving your goals, whether you’re progressing in your career, sports team or building a lifelong financial plan. In order to get to your desired destination, you must start at the bottom step of the ladder and work your way up, one rung at a time!

Risk management & insurance

I always knew that I enjoyed helping others and working with people. My Career Guidance counsellor once told me that I would make a great teacher. After taking her guidance with a pinch of salt, I pursued a Bachelor of Business Studies degree at the University of Limerick. Here, I went on to graduate with a first-class honour with a major in Risk Management & Insurance and a minor in Financial Services. It was in the 3rd year of my degree that my eyes were opened to the Financial Services industry when I went on placement to a risk advisory broker in Dublin. I joined up with the Defined Contribution (DC) Pensions Consulting Team. During my nine-month stint with the company, I developed a keen understanding of DC pension schemes, and more importantly, the whole aspect of Retirement Planning. According to the most recent CSO report, a staggering 33% of the working population aged between 20 and 69 continue to have no pension coverage outside of the State pension. Defined Benefit (DB) schemes are being continuously wound down due lack of funding – caused by the whole aspect of longevity risk (people living longer). The Irish League of Credit Unions DB Pension scheme is the most recent example which has made headlines in the last few weeks. Like DB schemes, the State Pension runs the risk of becoming unsustainable for the government to provide to pensioners due to our increasingly older population. The advice surrounding this is very simple. Plan for a retirement without the State Pension! The educational aspect to the role, where the importance of making provisions for retirement is explained to an ordinary Joe Bloggs really fascinated me and the feel-good factor, I got from adding value to ordinary people lives had me hooked.

Millennial job hunt

In the midst of assignments and studying for exams during my final semester in UL, the job hunt began. I was keen on building a career in Financial Advice & Pensions Consulting, but I was unsure where to begin and to what firms to apply. At the time, I followed numerous Financial Planners on Instagram, where I would often pick up nuggets of information. One of my favourite pages happened to be the ‘SYS Millennial Money Coach’, Keith Dundon. I chanced my arm and sent Keith a message asking for some advice on how a graduate would go about getting into the industry. I spoke to Keith on the phone a few days later and he gave me some great guidance. What I took most from our conversation was his passion for his career and how he had built himself from a graduate up to Senior Financial Consultant with SYS under the guidance of his boss & CEO, Tony Delaney. After scouting the SYS Group’s website and reading a few articles from the CEO & other Financial Consultant’s within the group, I had made my mind up. This was where I wanted to work and kickstart my career.

I sent my CV & Cover Letter off to SYS. After two weeks I had heard nothing back so I decided I would email it directly to Group CEO, Tony Delaney. Another week or so had passed when I got a phone call from none other than Tony Delaney. He acknowledged my guts for reaching out to him directly and invited me up to the head office in Nenagh for an interview. After a good chat with Tony (excluding hurling talk) he offered me a job.

Career progression

I started with the SYS Group as member of the Client Services Team where I provided administrative and operational support to Financial Consultants within the group. This was a great starting point for me personally, as I got to understand the business from the ground up and recognize how everything works under the bonnet. As advised by a colleague, the first few months I acted as a “sponge” – soaking up knowledge & information from wherever I could. As I became more knowledgeable, I grew in confidence and was handed further responsibilities. I began to sit in on client meetings and deal with client queries as they arose. Today, as a Junior Financial Consultant, I am committed to helping clients and prospective clients meet their financial goals & objectives. I work closely with my clients to provide financial peace of mind where the aim is to protect the present and plan for the future when putting together a lifelong financial plan.

Just like building a career, when building a financial plan, you must start from the bottom. Firstly, identify your goals & objectives and have a plan on how you are going to get there. People in different stages of their lives will have different objectives. Are you unsure of your goals & objectives or where to start? Ask yourself the following.

  • Have I considered the financial implications for my family in the event of my death?
  • Have I considered the financial implications for myself & my family should I not be able to work due to injury or illness?
  • Am I planning on getting a Mortgage in the future?
  • Have I considered the cost of a Mortgage Deposit / children’s education costs?

If the above questions have got you thinking about your goals & objectives, feel free to give me a call on 087 166 9498 or drop me an email at to discuss further.

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