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Fresh faces: Taylor takes on ethical challenge at Castlefield

Paraplanner Liam Taylor has taken on the challenge of ethical investing at Manchester-based Castlefield.

Liam Taylor, paraplanner, Castlefield

It is a typically gloomy day in Manchester when I speak to Liam Taylor, paraplanner/sub-adviser at ethical advice firm Castlefield. Nonetheless, the firm’s plush new office, boasting panoramic views of the city, provides an uplifting setting for an enjoyable chat.

‘So,’ I ask Taylor, ‘why did you choose to work for an ethical adviser?’ You might suspect a lifelong passion, but Taylor notes ‘conscious investment’ is a growing sector. ‘I had no expertise or knowledge in ethical investment before I joined,’ he admits. ‘But there’s a lot of opportunity here.’

He achieved a first class degree in accounting and finance from the University of Wolverhampton, but realised his initial career plan left a little to be desired. ‘About halfway through I thought: “there’s no way I want to be an accountant”.’

The next move was to work on the employee benefits side of advice for regional IFA Torquil Clark (now Bellpenny) in Wolverhampton. However, a glance across the office towards the wealth management team opened his eyes to a new opportunity.

‘After six months I realised I wanted to move into wealth management,’ he explains. While he was subsequently given the opportunity at Torquil Clark, his family and friends had largely moved up north and the call of Manchester was too loud to ignore.

Liam Taylor, paraplanner, Castlefield

It is a typically gloomy day in Manchester when I speak to Liam Taylor, paraplanner/sub-adviser at ethical advice firm Castlefield. Nonetheless, the firm’s plush new office, boasting panoramic views of the city, provides an uplifting setting for an enjoyable chat.

‘So,’ I ask Taylor, ‘why did you choose to work for an ethical adviser?’ You might suspect a lifelong passion, but Taylor notes ‘conscious investment’ is a growing sector. ‘I had no expertise or knowledge in ethical investment before I joined,’ he admits. ‘But there’s a lot of opportunity here.’

He achieved a first class degree in accounting and finance from the University of Wolverhampton, but realised his initial career plan left a little to be desired. ‘About halfway through I thought: “there’s no way I want to be an accountant”.’

The next move was to work on the employee benefits side of advice for regional IFA Torquil Clark (now Bellpenny) in Wolverhampton. However, a glance across the office towards the wealth management team opened his eyes to a new opportunity.

‘After six months I realised I wanted to move into wealth management,’ he explains. While he was subsequently given the opportunity at Torquil Clark, his family and friends had largely moved up north and the call of Manchester was too loud to ignore.

Magnetic north

Taylor’s relocation led to a three-year stint at Genesis Wealth Management, where he learned some core paraplanning skills and built up a good knowledge base on markets in general. He then wanted a new challenge, and, while no jobs were being advertised at Castlefield, a 90-minute introductory chat got the ball rolling. ‘Sometimes you get a feeling straight away that you’re dealing with a good company,’ he says.

He was subsequently hired and has held the job for six months now. The role currently involves report writing and administration for the client bank of recent New Model Adviser® cover star and Castlefield partner Olivia Bowen (pictured), but also the opportunity to sit in on meetings. ‘The best part of what I do now is meeting the clients,’ he remarks.

Taylor also notes the enjoyable challenge of working with ethical investors. ‘Client objectives can be so diverse,’ he says. ‘It’s not just about money for the client, but the wider environment and other stakeholders. People have bespoke needs, and people are having more discussions about what their money actually does.’

This bodes well for the advice profession, and Taylor says Castlefield is working on some big growth plans in the run up to 2020.

Charity work

‘The most recent thing I did was Movember and, as a group, we raised about £1,500,’ says Taylor. ‘Homelessness is a huge issue in Manchester, so I’d like to do something to help with that.’

First job

‘Aged 16 I got a job at JJB Sports to save up for one of the first iPods,’ says Taylor. ‘I earned £3.22 an hour selling trainers, with some insubstantial commission.’

Retirement plans

Forget retirement, first Taylor wants a client bank and to be more involved with markets. ‘I would like a role that allows for that, and eventually want to achieve chartered status,’ he says.

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