FINANCIAL advice company Wealth of Advice has made another key appointment as it continues to add to its client portfolio.

Cristina Duran Alvarez has been appointed to work within the client administration team.

The 29-year-old was offered the job just 15 days before her open-air ticket was due to expire – had she not been successful her time studying in the UK to seek employment would have come to an end and she would have been forced to return to her home country of Spain.

But during interview Chris Breward, Managing Director at family firm Wealth of Advice, was impressed with what he saw and believed her qualifications and commitment to making a better life for herself would be a real asset to his business.

Cristina started in the role at the end of August and Chris has already put a training and development plan in place to equip Cristina with key industry qualifications.

Cristina, who lives in Belmont, said: “Back in Spain, I studied business administration at St Charles College, which is connected to New College Durham. This connection gave me the opportunity to come over to England to complete a top-up degree in business management. I graduated with a 2:1 and I hoped this would lead to work for me.

“I had an interview lined up with a company in London, but the day before they cancelled it and told me they had filled the job. I was so upset as I had bought my train ticket and was excited about the opportunity.

“I knew the expiry date on my plane ticket home was close and didn’t know what I was going to do. But then I saw this job advertised and applied for it. Thank goodness I was successful.

“I am so grateful to Chris as he has given me this opportunity and I am already learning so much. I am keen to take as many opportunities as I can and really develop here. They’re such a nice team and have all helped me settle in.”

Wealth of Advice, which Chris set up in 2012, now employs 13 people from its Belmont Business Park offices in Durham and manages a portfolio of over £115,000,000 on behalf of clients.

The Wealth of Advice team includes experienced financial advisers and training paraplanners, as well as administrative and management personnel.

Chris, 40, who is from Peterlee, said: “Cristina came to this country to better herself, because she thought it would give her the opportunity to develop, and I’m delighted that we have been able to help her with this.

“Our client portfolio is growing rapidly, and we needed someone with the right attitude and work ethic to come in to support the team. Cristina has been a welcome addition and we see real potential in her to grow with the company.”

Wealth of Advice has access to all solutions available across the entire investment universe, enabling the team to advise clients on the best places to invest their assets based on current trends and market fluctuations. It’s this approach which has seen its portfolio of manageable assets rise so significantly, including managing the wealth of many clients with over £1m of assets.