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As proud advocates of diversity and inclusion, we are committed to championing the tremendous role that a wide range of communities play in Ascot Lloyd, and the exceptional value they add to the lives of our clients. With International Men’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good excuse to profile some of the brilliant men in the Ascot Lloyd family and highlight why younger generations should consider a career in the financial advice industry.
Ian Phillips is an experienced IFA, but he admits to getting into the sector by mistake. When his A Levels were scuppered because, at the time, he was more interested in tennis than studying, Ian realised he had to get a job rather than go to university. A stint with Allied Dunbar quickly convinced him he didn’t want to work in insurance or be stuck behind a desk, but it gave him good training and the confidence to apply to work at a bespoke IFA practice in the Cotswolds.
Though unqualified, Ian was offered the job on the condition that he gain degree-standard qualifications in financial services within three years, which was unheard of at the time. Not only did he achieve that, but he also climbed the ladder to become a director and shareholder at the practice, which was later sold to Pantheon Financial, a Yorkshire-based advisory firm that in turn was acquired by Ascot Lloyd. This unique chain of events means that despite the acquisitions, Ian still advises clients whom he supported when he first became a financial advisor back in 1988.
“Some of my original clients from 1988 I not only still advise today but also their children and grandchildren,” says Ian. “It’s hugely rewarding because you become ingrained in these families. You know you’ve made an impact when you go to meetings and realise you’re no longer talking about their investment portfolios because they just know you're doing a good job. Instead, we talk about things that are more important to them: their families, what they want in life and the trading conditions of a company that could have been in their family for generations.
“When my clients have done all the things they wanted to do in retirement, their standard of living hasn't dropped, their asset base has remained fairly stable, their kids have been gifted assets and are getting on in life, I do get great satisfaction that I've played a part in that journey. People might not realise just how rewarding it is which is why it can be difficult attracting younger talent to the industry. We need to be better at communicating how purpose-driven a career in financial advice is. Good financial wellbeing can lead to good physical and mental health.”
With a large number of financial advisers set to retire in the next five years, enticing younger blood into the industry is imperative. Jersey-born Harry Beddoe, 33, is among a new breed of financial advisers who are bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to clients. He believes there needs to be a better distinction between working in financial advice and working “in finance”.
“One of the reasons I left Jersey was to escape the Jersey kind of finance, where you can be quite detached from the real world and it can feel like a job with compromises,” he says. “Financial advice is very different because you're intrinsically dealing with real people and helping them achieve their hopes and dreams. It's such an enjoyable and rewarding career.”
As a younger, more tech-savvy financial adviser, Harry has been able to utilise digital tools to reassure older clients and boost their wellbeing. This includes a client in his 80’s who was concerned that he wasn’t going to be receiving enough money amidst the recent market volatility and cost-of-living crisis. “I was able to categorically show him that even if the markets were to fall quite significantly, we would still have sufficient funds to make sure that he's able to live the life the way that he wants. I could see it was a weight well and truly off his shoulders.
“A lot of people historically viewed financial advice as preserved for the elite, with everyone else left in the dark. I think that’s put a lot of young people off applying for jobs in the sector because they don't feel part of that world. But being 33 in the advisory sector, I can say it is not only very inclusive but also comes with a great work-life balance. It's really a career for, dare I say, the modern man in society because of the flexibility and satisfaction. Sure, there are financial rewards too but I'm most motivated by the difference that I can make in the lives of my clients.”
To better communicate this message as well as support people into the advisory sector regardless of their background, Ascot Lloyd is launching a brand-new Adviser Academy which will offer individuals new to the sector the chance to complete the CII level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning on their route to becoming fully qualified IFAs. The Academy, which is set to launch in the second quarter of 2023, will target people who are early in their career development as well as those wishing to embark on a second career, including for example Armed Forces veterans or those returning to work after a career break, with particular emphasis on women and minority groups.
The 12-month programme, which Ascot Lloyd is recruiting for, now, will be divided into three distinct parts, starting with the professional qualifications to equip the Academy Associates with the technical knowledge they need to work in financial services. Part two is classroom-based and covers the end-to-end cycle of advice, process, and proposition. The final part provides in-the-field experience and will see Academy Associates introduced to existing and new Ascot Lloyd clients.
“At the end of the 12 months, you will graduate from the Academy programme and be well on your way to achieving Competent Adviser Status (CAS), a significant marker in your financial advice career,” says Duncan Gregory, who is heading up the Adviser Academy. “You don't need to be from any particular career background to apply for the Academy. What we are interested in are your core qualities. Do you care about people and want to help them achieve their financial goals? Are you driven and passionate about what you do and eager to be successful? And are you prepared to work hard and be resilient?
“The Academy is part of Ascot Lloyd’s strategy to grow a strong base of diverse talent. Over the last two decades we have seen significant numbers of financial advisers leave the industry and not be replaced, leading to a huge swathe of the population not being able to access any form of financial advice. We’re determined to change that at Ascot Lloyd and to help us with this goal, we need to see more talented individuals transitioning careers to financial advice. It's a fantastic opportunity to work with both new and existing clients who really do need your help and guidance. You're supporting them in achieving their life goals and their retirement ambitions, ultimately by giving them valuable and comprehensive financial advice.”
Ian, Harry and Duncan are just a few of the talented individuals that are part of the Ascot Lloyd family. We proudly recognise and celebrate the dedication that all of our independent financial advisers and wider team play in helping to improve our client’s lives.
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