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Marketing to marathons: eight advisers' resolutions for 2018

Eight IFAs tell New Model Adviser® their business and personal goals for the New Year, from achieving chartered status to helping local charities, keeping fit and training recruits.

Lisa Hardman
Director, Investing Ethically, Norwich

Business

We want to increase our profile locally. Linking up more with local charities and local professional connections, such as solicitors, is an aim for the year.

We underwent a big rebrand last year and we can do more to market that locally. The swallowtail butterfly is our new logo as Norfolk is well known for swallowtails. We are using that link to connect with some of the nature charities. We want to volunteer, make donations, offer our services to them and advertise with them. 

There are many local environmental charities and nature preservation charities we could work with. Last year we did voluntary work clearing bracken for a nature reserve. It was hard work but fun. We did not need to go to the gym for a few days after that!

Personal
I plan to eat more vegetarian food and have more sustainable consumption habits. We buy recycled and fair-trade products at the office but I want to reduce our environmental footprint, by taking photos of client documents rather than being sent a printed copy.

Lisa Hardman
Director, Investing Ethically, Norwich

Business

We want to increase our profile locally. Linking up more with local charities and local professional connections, such as solicitors, is an aim for the year.

We underwent a big rebrand last year and we can do more to market that locally. The swallowtail butterfly is our new logo as Norfolk is well known for swallowtails. We are using that link to connect with some of the nature charities. We want to volunteer, make donations, offer our services to them and advertise with them. 

There are many local environmental charities and nature preservation charities we could work with. Last year we did voluntary work clearing bracken for a nature reserve. It was hard work but fun. We did not need to go to the gym for a few days after that!

Personal
I plan to eat more vegetarian food and have more sustainable consumption habits. We buy recycled and fair-trade products at the office but I want to reduce our environmental footprint, by taking photos of client documents rather than being sent a printed copy.

Suzanne Allen
Managing director, Heritage Financial Advisers, Newbury

Business

We want our paraplanner Michelle Smith to become an adviser. She is going through role play and training now and should be advising by April. She is looking at taking over some existing clients from a current partner.

I am supervising her to help her achieve that. She has done fantastically well since she joined three years ago. She is very ambitious and great with clients.

We are also looking to recruit another paraplanner later in the year. The plan is for our other paraplanner, Rio Stedford, who is only 25 and is looking to be chartered before she turns 26, to become a senior paraplanner. She will hopefully train up the person we bring on board.

Personal

I have committed to running the Reading half-marathon in March for one of the charities we support, Creating Better Futures. It is a really inspirational charity, which we support by helping children go through schooling in Zimbabwe.

I used to be a keen runner before I had children and before I sustained an injury. I am getting back into it but it is going to be a huge challenge. I can jog 5km at the moment so to get up to 13 miles will be tough! But that makes me feel comfortable asking people for sponsorship. The challenge also comes in the form of fitting training around family life and work.

We support Creating Better Futures on a monthly basis and support a Newbury homelessness charity, Two Saints, on a regular basis as well. We are also sponsoring a production of The Rivals at our local theatre, The Watermill, in April.

Olivia Bowen
Partner, Castlefield, Manchester

Business

I am planning to get chartered status this year. A few of my colleagues are working towards it as well, which would mean we should be able to get chartered status for the firm.

I need 60 credits and I am planning to get those by the summer. I will do an exam for 30 credits and a piece of coursework for another 30 credits. There is an option to gain all those credits by way of exams, but I have done so much revision over the years I am opting for coursework instead.

Personal

Having taken some time to step back and reflect on things over Christmas, I have actually decided to do a bit less this year. I was chair of the Real Farming Trust but I have decided I am not going to continue with the role. I am still very supportive of the charity but I have a nine-year-old and a six-year-old and I do not want to be busy the whole time. Being overly busy means we play fewer board games and things like that. They are only young for a short time.

As soon as my daughter went to school I had an additional 12 hours a week ‘free’ that I immediately filled with work and voluntary activities. This included being chair of the parent-teacher association, being on the Ethical Investment Association steering group and taking on the role with the Real Farming Trust. 

Something has to give and it should not be the children.
When I am 60 I can do more voluntary work, but for the core 10 to 15 years when I am bringing up the children, I do not want to take too much on or they will suffer.

Colin Low
Financial planning director, Kingsfleet Wealth, Ipswich

Business

In many ways my resolution for this year is not to treat it differently to any others. I have been deliberately trying to avoid the cliché that it is 2018 and therefore time to be positive and go for it.

Actually, if you are running a business you should pretty much have a plan that is not divided into years. Instead, month by month you should incrementally improve what you are doing. I try to look at things in terms of a rolling 12 months rather than the calendar 12 months. When we are doing investment research we do not look at calendar years. 

So I suppose my New Year’s resolution is not to have a resolution.

Personal  

Making more time for myself and my family, as well as making the business more efficient, is something I try to improve on every year. It is another rolling resolution. 

I started when I had a business coach and was trying to, for example, see more cricket. I got to see quite a few games last year and I will try to do the same this year.

It is a question of getting the balance right. I know that sounds a bit twee but I think it is important when you have committed yourself to managing a business.

Jarrod Ellis
Director, Delta Financial Management, Borehamwood

Business

We are looking for a new office because we are sharing our current one with other people and are outgrowing it.

We are looking around for one fairly locally at the moment.

Our only other resolution is to keep looking at our existing resolutions and make more throughout the year rather than just at the beginning of the year.

Personal

There are four of us in the office doing a Tough Mudder obstacle run in May for charity.

We are not starting off with a little one, but are starting off with a full one: 12 miles with 20 obstacles. The training has started already so my New Year’s resolution is not to die doing that.

Kristopher Heck
Managing partner, Tanager Wealth Management, London

Business 

We will be focusing on increasing efficiency through technology. That was our focus last year, and it will be again this year.

The goal is to have better processes and better technology around the processes. We want to eliminate those time-consuming, manual kinks in the process.

We will be improving our customer relationship management by harnessing it a bit better and improving our client trade processing. This takes you from creating a recommendation, explaining it to the client and then executing it.

It is not uncommon for us to have a client that would trade 150 or 200 things in an account and it can be quite laborious to type that all in by hand. Getting from the research phase to executing it takes a lot of time now and I would like it to take a lot less time.

Ben Cordiner
Managing director, The Financial Advice Company, Leeds

Business

I want to grow the business and find the right people. We are recruiting new members to the team, and will certainly look at a practice manager to help run the business day to day. That will take a load off my shoulders.

We are always looking at recruiting another adviser. That will be a key thing for this year.

Personal

I started going to the gym more and seeing a personal trainer towards the end of last year. I also used to do more yoga but work got in the way.

So my resolution is definitely to get back into exercise. Not a marathon or anything like that, but focusing on health is important. My business resolution should free up time for me to do that.

Ian McIver
Development director, Nexus IFA, Bridgwater

Business

We have two trainees who are doing their qualifications through Old Mutual Wealth’s Financial Adviser School. We want them to achieve their Level 4 financial planning qualifications by the summer. When the central government funding to training providers was pulled last year we kept it going with two of our trainees.

We see the future as employed advisers. Self-employed advisers have to be controlled in a compliance sense but you do not have the ability to say ‘why don’t we all come in and have a project looking at something’?

With employed Level 4 advisers you have a lot more control. You can see projects that are under way and plan all manner of things.

You can really start to turn the soil with employed advisers, looking at how you segment clients, how you engage them and what you want to do with them.

Personal

I want to keep as fit as I can and maybe drink a little less. It is not a health drive as I am relatively healthy, but you can always do with drinking a little less.

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