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The NMA top 100: 11 advisers in the Midlands you need to know
The Midlands is home to a multitude of industries and the New Model Adviser Team finds a flourishing financial planning community in the latest leg in its journey to uncover the UK's top 100 advisers.
Phil Melville and Jean Macintyre
Argyle Financial Group
Phil Melville and his co-director, Jean MacIntyre, were New Model Adviser®’s first-ever cover stars and have racked up an impressive 30 years in financial services. Despite their longevity, Melville says they have no plans to retire just yet. ‘We have no plans on selling,’ he says. ‘Business has never been better, and the demand for IFAs has never been bigger.’
Melville served for 12 years on the board of the LIA and cites adopting the Transact wrap as the most important turning point in the life of his business. He is an avid sports fan, recently indulging in his love of cycling during the Olympics.
Looking back over her 30 years in financial services, Jean MacIntyre says the IFA sector has improved ‘immeasurably’ over that time. ‘Thirty years of regulation has been a good thing,’ she says. ‘The industry is a much better place because of it, there is immeasurably better behaviour because of it and it has given the opportunity for great firms to flourish.’
MacIntyre cut her teeth as a sales agent before moving into financial advice, where she focused on serving a client base predominantly from the world of theatre. Like her co-director, Phil Melville, she has sat on the board of the LIA and says the key to success lies in a friendly attitude and being clear about what you offer to clients. ‘It’s not rocket science,’ she says.
Andy Jervis started his career in financial planning at the age of 26 and sought to create a firm that would be a leader in its field. Loughborough-based Jervis adopted Bill Bachrach’s value-based financial planning process and believes that financial planning is as much about coaching skills as investment management. Jervis not only coaches his clients but also extends his expertise to help fellow advisers through his role as IFP branch chairman for the Midlands.
Clay Rogers & Partners
Mark Rogers plays in a rock band and last year was a close runner-up in our Adviser Factor competition. An adviser since 1982, he is a keen fund raiser for charity, selling his CDs and organising an annual golf tournament as part of his efforts. Birmingham-based Rogers believes the key to his success is being proactive and not following trends. He incentivises professionalism in his staff members and provides support and training for all the team. Rogers aims to ‘continue challenging everybody in the firm to become more professional and to be at the forefront of financial planning becoming a properly recognised profession.’
OCM Wealth Management
Jason Stather-Lodge has developed his firm to combine the skills of a financial advisory practice with those of a discretionary manager. He plans to launch the discretionary service for other IFAs to work under the OCM brand in a bid to become a national name. Northampton-based Stather-Lodge is qualified to chartered, certified and IMC level and is aiming to become a chartered financial analyst and a qualified fund manager. ‘We are one of only a handful of firms in the UK to be a genuine family office,’ he says.
Wills & Trusts Independent Financial Planning
David Batchelor is a mover and a shaker in the financial community. He has proven to be a great support to many advisers, informally and formally through the group he founded, the Business Development Network, and his book, Wealth – How to Become Seriously Rich on Any Income. Thame-based Batchelor was the president of the LIA when the PFS was created and cites that move as one of his greatest achievements. He is a member of the MDRT, a lecturer at Warwick University and he continues to work with the PFS by setting exam papers for the CII.
Willow Financial Management
Calum Cameron established Leicester-based Willow with Peter Holden in 1991. He says one of his proudest achievements is finding the right office team, which has made the relationship with the client much more effective. Willow is always looking to innovate and improve the firm’s proposition and recently used a consultant to help create a visual map of the entire client experience. ‘The idea is to use it both externally and internally, so staff are very clear on what we deliver,’ says Cameron. ‘I am also working with an external IT provider on a task management system that will align our IT to how we work.’
Central Financial Planning
Ian Smith is a double winner of the New Model Adviser® of the Year Award for the Midlands, and Central Financial Planning was one of the first firms to achieve IFP-accredited firm status. The Solihull-based firm is also chartered, and Smith is now working with consultant Brett Davidson to make his business ‘more brilliant, with processes as good as they can be,’ he says.
Broadway Financial Planning
With a career spanning nearly 50 years, Simon Williamson is one of the UK’s most experienced certified financial planners. He set up Worcestershire-based Broadway Financial Planning in 1994 and was a pioneer of holistic, fee-based advice and the raising of qualification standards. He was a director of the IFP for 10 years and has mentored aspiring planners in practice management. The firm was one of the first IFAs to gain IFP accredited financial planning status. Williamson is chair and trustee of Broadway Arts Festival Trust.
Planning for Life
Jeremy Deedes has been a certified financial planner for more than 10 years and in 2005 became the first Kinder Institute registered life planner in the UK. ‘My vision for the future is to bring the benefits of life planning to a much wider audience and to help people lead truly fulfilled lives, free of the pain that so often surrounds their dealings with money,’ says the York-based adviser. ‘I want to take the life planning movement forward by further combining coaching and counselling skills with leading-edge cash flow and financial planning techniques.’
Shane Mullins is best-known for founding his Question of Trust Campaign. It is an independent campaign that aims to start rebuilding trust in financial services. ‘We are working on an agenda that has the potential to drive positive change and turn the industry into one of the most trusted from being one of the least trusted,’ says Mullins.
Outside of his campaigning, Mullins is in charge of an award-winning wealth-management firm, Fiscal Engineers, based in Nottingham. He cites his greatest achievement as gaining the IFP’s accredited firm recognition, which he might not have imagined receiving when he started his working life as a professional golfer. ‘I learned a great deal from my time playing golf, but more from coaching and translating those experiences into business life. The reality was, I was never going to make a tour pro, although I did win my fair share of money on the local circuit.’
For more top advisers across the country click here.
The Investment CoachAndrew Reeves was the first adviser in the UK to obtain the ISO 22222 standard and is also chartered, certified, a fellow of the PFS and a member of the Institute of Directors. He is a champion of the use of technology, including cloud-based computing. Wellingborough-based Reeves wrote his dissertation for his master’s degree on the supply of financial guidance to Middle Britain and is continuing to develop educational content for his clients.