‘Empathy and warmth for clients’ helped power Old Mill to once again be awarded with a best practice standard.

The financial planning giant, which has offices in Yeovil, Exeter, Wells and Melksham, was awarded BS 8577 for the fourth year in a row after a visit from Standards International found the firm in good health.

To meet the standards, firms must prove they have strong systems in place, good recruitment strategies and a strategy for meeting compliance requirements. This year measures taken to meet the EU’s general data protection regulation were an important part of the process.

But the award was not just about back-office technology and data. According to Standards International’s certification scheme assessor Colin Selway, Old Mill’s advisers also promoted the profession to clients.

‘The advisers see their role as mentors and educators, demonstrating empathy, emotion and passion,’ he said. ‘They care about what happens to their clients and see themselves as their conscience.’

Old Mill operations manager Matthew Clark (pictured) said: ‘This year’s assessment was the most in-depth since we gained the award. It is extremely encouraging to not only maintain the award but to have such positive feedback.’