A new year and some new faces! – Your Future Planning team update

In this month’s team update, find out all there is to know about the newest member of the Future Planning team, as we introduce Olivia and Samantha.

But first, we take a look back at the end of 2021.

Family, friends, and a return to normal for the Future Planning team this Christmas

A chance to relax…

“Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends and relaxing,” says Future Planning’s new client services executive, Samantha Speake. “And for watching my children get more and more excited as Christmas approaches!”

It’s a sentiment shared by the whole team, although Sian and Edi would add in “watching old, classic movies”. Sanjay and Ana meanwhile also enjoyed the chance to relax, unwind, and recharge the batteries in readiness for the new year.

Our Christmases were largely unaffected by Covid, which was a huge relief after last year

After the challenges of last Christmas, the festive period in 2021 delivered something closer to normality with more people able to gather together and far fewer limitations.

With most of our plans managing to avoid Covid complications, it was a time for all of us to relax with our loved ones.

Christmas did look a little different for new team member, Olivia, though. “I moved over to the UK from South Africa,” she explains. “In SA, I’d have a busy Christmas surrounded by family and friends and this year it was quieter.”

Things were a little different for Sanjay and Ana, too. “What a difference!” says Ana. “Last year we were still very much in the midst of our building project and living in a static caravan, so had one working hob burner and no oven. This year we were able to see family and friends and it was a lovely change. Having two ovens certainly came in handy.”

Time with loved ones is great, but there were presents too!

Sian spent Christmas morning taking her new puppy for a walk, while Sam had the joy of watching her children come down the stairs to see what Santa had left for them. And to check that Rudolf had eaten the carrot they had left for him!

A quick office survey found that a pink Roberts Radio (Samantha), a Dogfather t-shirt (Anil), and a French bulldog stuffed toy (Sian) were among our best-loved presents this year. Ana was especially pleased with her array of candles!

New Year’s Eve was different this year too

Sam describes her new year as “busy, boozy, hectic, late, and lots of fun!” Edi, meanwhile, “was finally allowed to meet up with friends and just have a good time”.

For the rest of us, quiet nights in with close friends and a film seemed to be the order of the day. For one of us, though, the new year arrived a little bit earlier.

Olivia says, “there were lots of video calls with family and friends from South Africa. We celebrated the countdown in South African time, so two hours early in the UK!”

And now… to introduce Sam and Olivia

Having previously worked in the financial services sector, assisting project teams in Sydney, Australia, Sam heads to Future Planning as a client services executive.

Olivia, meanwhile, arrives from South Africa with experience as a PA and office manager.

Sam, at work and home

Sam’s new role at Future Planning will be varied. She’ll be assisting advisers, as well as helping to build and maintain relationships with our clients.

In her spare time, Sam loves walking her dogs (whatever the weather!) and enjoying quality time with her family and friends. She loves socialising and also practices yoga.

Sam lists her likes as good food and wine, enjoying a relaxing spa day, and blue skies. Sam’s dislikes include being cold, rudeness, bad eating habits, selfishness, and any form of animal exploitation.

Sam’s quickfire questions:

What does your ideal weekend look like? Taking my children to various football games, swimming lessons, and walking the dogs. Also getting together with friends for dinner and wine!

What is your favourite holiday destination? Probably France, maybe Thailand!

What was the first album you bought? Take That and Party!

If you could make any activity into an Olympic sport and win gold, what would it be? Wine tasting!

What would you like to do that you haven’t done yet? Built my own house from scratch, travelled to Japan, and rescued some farm animals.

Olivia, at work and home

Olivia has more than six years of experience working as an office manager and PA and has recently moved to the UK from South Africa.

In her spare time, Olivia enjoys reading as well as outdoor activities, but mostly she can be found enjoying quality time with her daughter and family.

Olivia’s other “likes” include curry, sushi from South Africa, and cocktails, while her pet peeves include being late, driving, busy shops and digital books.

Olivia’s quickfire questions:

What does your ideal weekend look like? Hanging out with friends and family.

What is your favourite holiday destination? Cape Town, South Africa (because of the sunshine).

What was the first album you bought? Backstreet Boys

If you could make any activity into an Olympic sport and win gold, what would it be? Being a personal assistant to my daughter.

What would you like to do that you haven’t done yet? Travel the world, swim with dolphins, and paraglide off Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

We wish Sam and Olivia all the best

All of us at Future Planning would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome Sam and Olivia to the team and wish them all the best for their careers here with us.

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