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Florists and heart surgery: IFAs' most memorable client meetings

From heart surgeries to the florist delivery runs: six advisers tell New Model Adviser® about their most memorable client meetings.

Ian Head, director, Fund Management:

About 10 years ago I was dealing with a florist who insisted on conducting an appointment in his van while he was on the job.

This meant I spent an hour and a half driving around Middlesex delivering flowers while giving him pension advice.

It was right at the end of the tax year so we had to do it all in one sitting. That was an interesting day, to say the least. I didn't have to deliver any flowers personally.

Ian Head, director, Fund Management:

About 10 years ago I was dealing with a florist who insisted on conducting an appointment in his van while he was on the job.

This meant I spent an hour and a half driving around Middlesex delivering flowers while giving him pension advice.

It was right at the end of the tax year so we had to do it all in one sitting. That was an interesting day, to say the least. I didn't have to deliver any flowers personally.

Rohan Sivajoti, director, Postcard Planning

I went to visit a couple recently who were “steampunks”. There was a full life sized dummy sitting behind me in the lounge and the furniture was mostly created out of old bits of machinery. There were various bits of machinery knocking about everywhere.

Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

It was incredibly cool - the man has serious talent, and they were also one of the nicest couples I’ve ever met!

Richard Earl, IFA, Cervello Financial Planning:

Many of my clients are doctors and surgeons - I once had a meeting with a consultant surgeon at the London Chest Hospital. He took me through to the viewing gallery of the operating theatre where we began discussing finances, however I was somewhat distracted as out of the corner of my eye I could see a patient laid out being prepped for his angioplasty procedure.

Part way through our meeting, my client was called away to get scrubbed. He then appeared through the glass to do the important bits while I watched him and watched the monitor showing the inside of the patient’s heart being worked on. Soon he was done and left the team to finish things off. He came back to our meeting and we carried on where we left off. It was a very interesting insight into what my clients do an experience I will never forget!

Tom Orchard, IFA, Annetts & Orchard

I went to visit a husband and wife in their office and was showing the wife on the computer how to process her auto-enrolment. The husband was within earshot next door talking to someone when I heard the other woman repeating his name and sounding increasingly concerned.

He had collapsed and an ambulance was there within minutes. I’d only been talking to him about pensions a few minutes earlier! I had no idea what to do as I don’t even know first aid, so I just sat at the computer and finished her payroll for her.

Thankfully he was fine and the paramedics didn’t have to take him away, but needless to say it gave me quite a fright!

Graeme Mitchell, managing director, Lowland Financial

We once had a guy who came in to say he’d just won £5 million on the lottery. He said he’d been to the bank and they were unhelpful so found us online.

You can never be too sure, but I had a chat and arranged to see him the next week. Meanwhile I Googled his name and ‘lottery win’ and discovered a version of his name (same surname), which revealed that he was a fantasist and did this all over the place.

Needless to say, we never saw him again, so we had to chalk it down to experience (however exciting for an hour or so!).

Les Conway, director, Essentially Financial

About five or six years ago, I received a text from a client which simply read ‘Had a heart attack. Should I take my pension?’

I thought ‘Is he in an ambulance? Is he about to die? Did this happen a while ago and he’s just being cautious?’ There was no context whatsoever!

It turned out he was okay though, thankfully, and we managed to sort it out.

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