From Professional Rugby to Financial Advice: an interview with Graham Kitchener.

24.11.23 11:26 AM Comment(s) By Ibbo

If you are a fan of rugby, particularly the Leicester Tigers, you may recognise Graham Kitchener. Now, he’s traded the pitch for pensions and is an independent Financial Adviser here at Furnley House. 

We caught up with him about his career so far, how he’s found the move and tips for people looking to become a financial adviser.

What was your rugby career like?

Professionally, I was very lucky and started at 18. I was linked to Worcester Academy and they offered me a contract straight out of school. In my first year, a couple of the other players got injured, so I ended up playing quite a lot for the first team and it just kind of went from there really.

I never imagined that rugby was going to be my career, but it just kind of the way it happened, really. And it was a bit of a lucky break, but it was one  I took advantage of and just kind of continued on that that path.

I had three years at Worcester and then went to Leicester Tigers for eight years. There, I played some massive matches and big European games. We won the Premiership as well, so I had a great time.

When I was 30, I moved back to Worcester Warriors. I thought it be a quite a nice way to sort of see out my career and my brother was playing for them at the time as well, so obviously that was a big thing to play some games with him.

I had signed a one year extension but unfortunately, Worcester went into administration in that year. So that was the end of my career. It certainly wasn't the way I planned, but that's the way things go sometimes.

When did you first start considering what to do after rugby? 

When I moved back to Worcester we were lucky that one of the one of the players mums had taken on the role of helping the lads with work experience and setting them up outside of rugby. She encouraged us all to do look into other options and was really proactive with it.

We did some tests and it pointed me in the direction of financial services, which was something I’d never really considered before. I had a look in to it and signed up to do the first exam, Financial Services, Regulation and Ethics (RO1). I actually weirdly enjoyed  it, considering it's the driest exam out of the six! That made me want to look into it more and investigate the financial advising aspect of the role. I just liked the look of it and the further I went down that path the more I found it attractive.

Is working in Financial Advice what you expected? 

Yes and no! I think it was always going be a bit of a culture shock for me whatever I did after rugby and going into a different industry I wasn't really sure what to expect.

I’ve really enjoyed speaking to clients and feeling like you're  making a difference for them. There's a lot of admin, which I guess is to be expected, which is something I'm getting my head around!

Everyone at Furnley has been so welcoming and I've really enjoyed coming into the office in Leicester each day which really makes a difference when you're starting your job.

What’s the biggest difference between being a Financial Adviser and a Rugby Player? 

I'm doing a lot more sitting down and get less fresh air!

The structure of the week is certainly one thing that obviously I knew it would be different but is quite a big thing. When I was playing, we'd generally have Wednesday off, but then we were working Saturday potentially Sunday as well. So that sort of big block Monday to Friday and then having a weekend off is great.

Graham Kitchener playing rugby at Leicester Tigers

Why Furnley House?

I did actually look around a few places before I came to Furnley House. First I met the Managing Director Stefan Fura and he had a chat with me, showed me around the office and introduced me to people. There was a really good atmosphere and everyone was really friendly. The office itself is great too and not too big or too small, so a nice balance. As soon as I walked through the office doors the first time, I felt I had a really positive feeling.

The other bits that Furnley does, such as the charity work, was also really different to a lot of other advisers. They also offered me a lot of training and time to learn before fully becoming a financial adviser and taking on clients.

What tips would you give anyone considering a career in Financial Services? 

I would say speak to as many advisers as you can to get an idea of what the job involves. Exams are one thing but they aren’t the be all and end all of the job and there is so much to it than that.

If you’ve got time, I’d suggest shadowing someone for a day. If rugby players are looking to do it, we have Wednesdays off so that could be a time to go in and do a little bit of work. That will be as valuable, if not more valuable that getting the exams.  

And finally, what should someone look for when deciding on a Financial Adviser?

I would say to find someone you can talk to and get along with. Your adviser should be able to explain things simply and in a way you understand. They should also have a longer term vision and be interested in you and what you want to achieve, not just your pensions and investments. 

If you would like to book an appointment with Graham Kitchener to discuss your finances, you can get in touch with him on or call 0116 269 6311.

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