Inside our Top 100: how 18 firms are keeping it fresh in 2019

We caught up with some of the firms that appeared in the 2018 New Model Adviser® Top 100 to hear about what they have been up to this year, and what they have planned for the future

Our Top 100 is a centrepiece of the New Model Adviser® calendar. 

This year we thought we would revisit the firms who appeared in our list to see what has changed over the first half of 2019. 

So read on to find out how some of the Top 100 have hired, reviewed and changed so far this year, and what they plan to do later. 

 

If you have not already seen it, you can read the full 2018 Top 100 here. And if you want to enter the 2019 Top 100 keep your eyes on New Model Adviser® emails for more information coming soon

Will Robins, Editor, NMA

 

Our Top 100 is a centrepiece of the New Model Adviser® calendar. 

This year we thought we would revisit the firms who appeared in our list to see what has changed over the first half of 2019. 

So read on to find out how some of the Top 100 have hired, reviewed and changed so far this year, and what they plan to do later. 

 

If you have not already seen it, you can read the full 2018 Top 100 here. And if you want to enter the 2019 Top 100 keep your eyes on New Model Adviser® emails for more information coming soon

Will Robins, Editor, NMA

 

London & Bristol

Firm: Paradigm Norton

Name: Barry Horner

2019 update: We launched a new website and re-branded the office, all thanks to our new marketing manager Sally Marshall. We have a London Client Advisory Board scheduled for autumn 2019 and we have also made great progress with our B corporation accreditation process, which we hope will be completed by the end of the first half of the year.

Read our recent profile of Paradign Norton here. 

Shropshire

Firm: Beaumont Financial Planners

Name: Mark Evans

2019 update: We have recruited new trainee advisers and expanded our Chester Office. We have also appointed an operations director to enhance our client service and efficiency.

 

London

Firm: Addidi Wealth

Name: Anna Sofat

2019 update: Our first goal was to continue the great work on the Voice of Women’s Wealth campaign. We launched a manifesto to change the culture of wealth, which was picked up by the national press.

Secondly was to pursue strategic partnerships with other firms. We have secured one now already this year and are close to a second.

A community fund has begun to take shape with the help of a consultant we have enlisted as a project manager. We have a tentative launch date for January 2020. We will implement a client referral incentive scheme, as over half of new clients are attained this way.

Read more on Sofat's manifesto here.

 

Scotland

Firm: Accumen Financial Planning

Name: Sandy Robertson

2019 update: We planned for this year to be evolutionary and not revolutionary, and that is how it has transpired. We have strengthened our planning teams and our business support team, while settling into our new offices in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, which were the big-ticket items of 2018.

By the end of our financial year on 31 October we aim to have completely refreshed: client segmentation, portfolio design, significant future proofing investment in IT infrastructure, and upgrades to our office in Elgin.

We spoke to Robertson as part of Citywire's 20th birthday celebrations. Read what he had say here. 

Sheffield

Firm: Fogwill & Jones Asset Management

Name: Margaret Abrahams

2019 update: We have increased the number of advisers. One of them was trained by us from scratch and another was one of our paraplanners who got fully signed-off adviser status. We have almost completed the first-year training of one of our administrators through to paraplanner status. He has recently taken the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) R06 exam to become fully Level 4 qualified.

Now we are training a further administrator on a fast track to paraplanner, so hopefully she will be fully trained and qualified by mid-2020. Four admin staff further attained R01 in January this year. We are proud of them all.

 

Bridgnorth

Firm: Matrix Capital

Name: Robin Melley

2019 update: Our Corporate Social Responsibility policy has been implemented, which has included the launch of an animated video titled Financial Abuse and How to Combat It. You can watch it below.

We also raised £5,000, the largest contributor being the Personal Finance Society (PFS), to fund the production of this animation. It will serve as a resource for Citizens Advice, a charity network that gives free advice to assist people. It will be used in their work with people in vulnerable circumstances and for professionals, including financial planners, solicitors and accountants. 

London

Firm: Kreston Reeves

Name: Julia Parsons

2019 update: We are now almost paper-free in the office and increasingly use Facetime or Skype for business and calls with clients. Our administrators continue to up-skill by studying for industry exams.

 

Ipswich

Firm: Matthew Douglas

Name: Matthew Pescott Frost

2019 update: We have recruited two new graduate trainees this year, adding to the back office staff member who joined in December. They are all under 23 years old. We have significantly improved our capital adequacy position and progressed with our plan to offer discretionary fund management.

Bath & Bristol

Firm: Centurion Chartered Financial Planners

Name: Dave Robinson

2019 update: We have bought an office in Bristol and are consolidating our Bath office into it. We have successfully launched our second solicitor joint venture and recruited a dedicated team into that as well, and have recruited our operations director, Steve Smith. He is conducting a review of our systems and processes.

 

Lancashire

Firm: True Bearing

Name: George Critchley

2019 update: We set ourselves a growth income target from legal advice, such as wills and lasting powers of attorney, to approximately £176,000. That has been done. Overall it as been a frustrating first quarter to 2019, with lower levels of new business than budgeted for.

 

Sheffield

Firm: Future Life Wealth Management

Name: Jillian Thomas

2019 update: Our year-end was March, and income was in line with expectations and targets. We have reviewed 2019/20 income forecasts slightly upwards. The appointment of office manager Keeley Woodcock as director of operations to look after office operational matters will allow me to focus on the development of new connections.

West Bridgford

Firm: Balance: Wealth Planning

Name: Rebecca Aldridge

2019 update: We have established Neon, a new offering for people under the age of 45. It exists completely online, making it easier and more cost effective for younger people to save towards their future.

Read our interview with Neon here. 

Milton Keynes

Firm: Jane Smith Financial Planning

Name: Nicola Watts

2019 update: We have achieved ISO22222 and BS8577, a big undertaking that has had a huge impact on how we work on a day-to-day basis. It has introduced much more clearly defined roles within the business. Although we had systems and processes, particularly in relation to client service and our proposition, these have been greatly improved to provide step-by-step guidance for all employees.

 

Kimbolton

Firm: Beacon Wealth Management

Name: Tony Larkins

2019 update: We launched an online portal app through which clients can access their plans and investments remotely. It has been live since March.

 

Oakham

Firm: Efficient Portfolio

Name: Charlie Reading

2019 update: At the end of 2018, we set ourselves a fiscal target of £2 million. So far we have reached 27% of this, so we are on course. We have also set ourselves recruitment and team development goals. One of these was for one of our advisers, Tom Senogles, to reach chartered status. He is now just one exam result away.

 

St. Albans

Firm: Lumin Wealth Management

Name: Martin Cotter

2019 update: We made our first acquisition on April, acquiring Luton-based Hyperion Financial Planning, bringing on board an additional £85 million of assets. The transition was implemented very smoothly. As a result, we are keen to continue expanding.

 

London

Firm: Jarrovian Wealth

Name: Chris Salacinski

2019 update: Our main goal this year is to bring like-minded financial planners into the firm. Our second ‘Pod’ (the name for Jarrovian’s partnership and integration programme) has now joined and we are in discussions with a third.

 

Nottingham

Firm: Fiscal Engineers

Name: Shane Mullins

2019 update: Much of our progress this year has centred on work undertaken with external consultants. At the beginning of the year, we worked with an external marketing consultant to refine our client value proposition (CVP). This involved carrying out client interviews and putting together a refreshed ‘ideal client profile’ and a ‘tone of voice document’ based on the verbatim client feedback, followed by a workshop with the team to share the findings and progress from the project. While we are still working on our CVP, the insight from the project has been particularly helpful when considering the value we add to our clients.

A business consultant is currently interviewing every member of our team to identify where to focus our improvement efforts. These interviews will then dictate which improvement projects we focus on and will encompass almost all the goals we set. By getting input from every member of the team, we get a thorough overview of the key areas for improvement. 

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