International rugby player trains to be financial adviser

International rugby player trains to be financial adviser

A rugby player with 64 caps for South Africa is preparing for the final stages of the training to become a financial adviser - after he plays at the Rugby World Cup later this year.

Francois Louw plays club rugby for Bath in the English Premiership and has been based in the city since joining the club in 2011.

In January he completed his diploma at the London Institute of Banking and Finance but the next steps of his bid to become a financial adviser are likely to be delayed by his rugby career, since he hopes to be part of the South Africa squad at the Rugby World Cup in Japan in September.

He said: "I was on a pathway with a firm and picked up a lot of knowledge, but to continue that it would have been full time, and I have just signed another year with Bath Rugby, and with the world cup coming up that I hope to be involved in, time is an issue for me.

"The next step is to move towards becoming chartered, that requires some time working in a firm and there have been a few that have been in touch about that, it is likely that I won’t be able to do that until after the world cup, it may have to be pushed back. It is a conundrum."

Mr Louw celebrates his 34th birthday next month and said: "I'm coming to the end of my rugby career. I’m sorry to say, but I have been in Bath a long time and I think it is home now. I have a financial adviser myself now, finance has always interested me, it is an important part of life. I think now it is a career I want to pursue."

He came to the UK when we was 25 and said he was "completely unaware" of Isa and pension allowances and, although he did invest in property, he said he "wasn’t as shrewd as maybe I could have been".

Mr Louw said: "Sport is almost unique in that the financial planning needs are very different. The career could be five years or 15 years, and is unlikely to be more than that. And you go from earnings quite well in your twenties, to an abrupt end later, and it is about creating a sustainable income for the medium term from that.

"Sports people earn quite excessively in their twenties, and some of them overreach in terms of spending, though I have to say it is better now than when I started, the Rugby Players Association, which looks after English Premiership players, is very good on this and has an agreement with Sanlam.

"When I started there might have been advisers and such like around, but quite often they were linked to whoever sponsored the club or whatever."

He said he may well focus on providing financial advice for sports people, as he said he is able to relate to the specific circumstances they face.