Former Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom Poynton has moved one step closer to excelling in his second career, setting his eyes on opening an investment management business within the next year.
The former Derbyshire wicketkeeper was sadly advised to retire from cricket in July 2016 at the age 26 following a car crash in 2014 that led to the fatality of his father and personal injuries that subsequently forced an early retirement.
Since 2016, Poynton has been hoping to forge his way into the finance world and has set his sights on opening up his own business in the next 12-months.
“Everything happened all of a sudden. Within the space of a month, I was at a stage of thinking I was ready to play again before all of a sudden learning I had to retire and finish my playing career,” Poynton said.
“I had played for Derbyshire for 10 years and then overnight, I had to plan what I was going to do, I had to decide a direction to go down in terms of my personal development.
“I had helped in a commercial capacity at Derbyshire while I was injured and I also knew a bit about the world of finance it was therefore up to me to decide what route I was going to take.
“Having chosen finance, I’ve just passed my final exam for an Investment Advice Diploma and that’s leading me to the path where I’m setting up my own investment management business.
“We will hopefully be launching something in the next 12-months.”
Poynton, a 2017 PCA Transition Conference attendee, will be setting up the new business in partnership with former Derbyshire Chairman, Chris Grant, a veteran of the City, who had sparked his interest in finance when he was still playing.
The business partnership between the pair, added to by the support from the Professional Cricketers’ Association has given Poynton a foot on the ladder and the former-cricketer expressed that the completion of his most recent course was one of his ‘proudest achievements’ to date.
“After I passed my first exam I knew I had found something that motivated me. I passed every one first time and it genuinely is one of my proudest achievements,” he continued.
“To go into each exam, putting yourself out of your natural environment and knowing you’ve come out on top gave me such a good feeling.
“I have been lucky enough to do some work experience as it has given me real context to what I was studying and the support from the PCA with my qualifications and extra material has been really helpful.”
After leaving the sport he dedicated his career and life to, the former Derbyshire wicketkeeper used his qualities and experiences from the cricketing world to help boost his chances in his new profession and believes cricketers don’t realise how important and transferrable their skills in cricket can be.
“My personal statement is very different to those I’m going up against,” Poynton added.
“You’re vying with people who have a very different background, folks who have mostly straight A’s in their exams, degrees from top universities and blue chip firms on their CV’S and I have three years’ experience and a career playing cricket.
“People probably think they don’t have any value to add, but playing in professional sport does give you qualities that you can take into the business world.
“It’s all about recognising those qualities that you have from playing cricket. You might have really good communication skills, the ability to work well in a team, the ability to perform under pressure and all of these are vital to any profession.”
Throughout his playing career, Poynton has used the PCA on numerous occasions and has encouraged that cricketers of all stages of their career turn to their player association for any support they might need either now or in the future.
“Opportunity wise, the PCA are open arms. I think the Personal Development Programme at the PCA fits into the whole package of cricket,” he explained.
“It definitely has an influence on the cricketing side of things and it can be seen as a positive release away from the game while you’re still playing. It allows you to take your mind off cricket at times and focus your energy into another passion.
“It can help mentally, emotionally and the release or extra focus does take the stress off your cricket.
“The PCA can facilitate anything, work experience wise and qualification wise. I was a Personal Development Scholarship Award winner a few years ago for my commercial role and the PCA have always been extremely supportive of me, I can’t shout from the rooftops loud enough how great the work they do is.”