In 2006 Julie Lord told New Model Adviser® she intended to retire in five years’ time. Ten years down the line, and instead of taking a step back from financial services, Lord is launching a new IFA in the shape of Magenta Financial Planning.
Having spent two years at Towry, she said the new firm was going to provide a more personalised service compared with national companies’ more ‘sausage factory’-style approach.
Lord was appointed as a director of cashflow planning software firm Prestwood Software last year, and despite starting up a new IFA, she intends to carry on with this position, believing cashflow modelling is the bedrock of the planning profession.
It is a profession Lord has no intention of leaving any time soon, explaining she started a new IFA firm simply because she ‘loves the job’ and seeing how she can help clients achieve their goals.
What would you like to see the big providers do differently?
The default funds big firms give clients are often quite poor performers. I would like to see a shake-up in what these firms choose for pension funds. But it is a bit difficult without education and if you have a Joe Bloggs working for XYZ Limited and [the provider says] everyone [in XYZ] has put their money into [a particular] fund, then so will Joe. There is no education and these bigger firms could play a greater role in communicating with less interested clients.
Large players talk about money and investments but somehow they miss the link between the two and the people and their dreams.
The IFP merged with CISI last year, what do you make of this now?
With its appointment of [former senior consultant at John Lamb] Campbell Edgar and [JE Consultant] Jacqueline Lockie [as head and deputy head of financial planning respectively] the CISI is getting to grips with what financial planning is, and why it is different to investment management, which a lot of advisers still think they are good at.
IFP lost its way for a while with what it was doing and the momentum slowed. But interestingly we have the rising profile of cashflow modelling. So if we have a pincer movement with the CISI’s plans to promote financial planning, along with firms like Prestwood pushing the importance of cashflow modelling, then we might actually get a really good financial planning profession.
What do you feel about the trend of providers such as Standard Life buying advice firms?
It’s quite good. It doesn’t represent any competition for small firms like us; we’re not in the same marketplace. The challenge these firms have is producing a model that delivers good advice at a low cost.
Who do you go to for advice?
Yes, my co-director Gretchen Betts is good at challenging my thinking and stretching my mind.
2016-present Magenta Financial Planning
2015-present Prestwood Software, director
2013-2015 Towry, senior client partner
2007-2013 Bluefin Personal Consulting, head of practice
1991-2007 Cavendish Financial Management, managing director
Outside the box
What's in your DVD player? Orange is the New Black
What's on your bookshelf? An eclectic selection of holiday paperbacks, classic novels and books of silly quotations
What's in your garage? Lots of rusty screws, a chainsaw and some bats
What's on your iPod/Stereo? The Shires
What's your plan for the weekend? Trip to Barcelona with my two daughters