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The New Model Adviser® 2017 award winners revealed

Check out the 2017 New Model Adviser® award winners.

The North - RPG Wealth Management

After a number of years of being nominated, Manchester-based RPG Wealth picked up its first award. Phil Owen (pictured, second from right), the firm’s director, said it was a ‘shock’.

Owen said: ‘The real change this year has been our efforts to look at the business from a client perspective, making sure our reports, the way we email the clients and the soft issues have been very bespoke.’

He now plans to improve the firm’s tax business. ‘We are getting technicians to be more client focused and we are going to be increasing numbers,’ he said.

The North - RPG Wealth Management

After a number of years of being nominated, Manchester-based RPG Wealth picked up its first award. Phil Owen (pictured, second from right), the firm’s director, said it was a ‘shock’.

Owen said: ‘The real change this year has been our efforts to look at the business from a client perspective, making sure our reports, the way we email the clients and the soft issues have been very bespoke.’

He now plans to improve the firm’s tax business. ‘We are getting technicians to be more client focused and we are going to be increasing numbers,’ he said.

East of England - KMD Private Wealth Management

Essex-based KMD Private Wealth Management bagged its second New Model Adviser® award in two years for the East of England region.

Partner Kevin Deamer (pictured) said improved profits and business investment had helped clinch the award again. ‘This year we have improved our margins, expanded the team and increased our marketing spend, which has generated us more new clients,’ he said.

Deamer plans to expand the firm in 2017 with two new recruits and up its marketing spend even more, ‘to really get our name out there’.

Greater London - Mazars Financial Planning

Ian Pickford (pictured), head of private client services, picked up the award for London-based Mazars Financial Planning.

Nurturing talent has been a big part of Mazars’ strategy over the past 12 months and Pickford said the business growth has in part been due to the company’s graduate training programme and school leavers programme.

Pickford said the award success came as a result of everyone in the business pulling together as a team. ‘The firm and the people who work there, that is who this is for,’ he said.

Scotland and Northern Ireland - Acumen Financial Planning

Aberdeen’s Acumen Financial Planning team was delighted to win the award for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Keith Mackie (pictured, right), Acumen director, said the company had maintained a high level of service across all the Scottish firms it acquired over the past few years by delivering a training process that ensured all advisers were on the same page.

‘We make sure all staff know what we are trying to achieve through client service,’ said Mackie.

Acumen director David Gow (pictured, left) praised managing director Sandy Robertson for living and breathing financial planning. Gow said Robertson’s passion for planning fed through to the whole firm.

Looking ahead at a potentially tumultuous year, Mackie said the firm’s philosophy was to ‘stick to the plan, and carry on regardless’.

The Midlands - Cooper Parry Wealth

Derby-based Cooper Parry Wealth made it two years in a row with a victory in the Midlands category.

Chief executive Stephen Jones (pictured, centre) said the firm was developing young advisers though an intern scheme.

‘We really want financial planning to be seen as a genuine career choice. We are recruiting graduates, have an intern scheme and are looking to bring young talent through,’ he said.

Cooper Parry partnered with Kent-based accountancy firm Creaseys just over a year ago, which Jones said had fuelled growth.

The South East - Skerritt Consultants

Brighton-based Skerritt Consultants picked up its seventh award in a row scooping the prize for the South East yet again. Managing director Richard Skerritt (pictured) said winning this year felt ‘every bit enjoyable as the first one’.

He said he expected growth for the firm in 2017 to come via recruitment rather than acquisitions with the firm in talks to take on another two advisers.

Last year Skerritt took party in a charity boxing fight night, however his one disappointment was that the fight did not last longer, as he did not take long to come out on top.

‘It was over very quickly and I would have loved for it have gone on for three rounds,’ he said.

Unfortunately he will not be donning the gloves in 2017.

The South West - Paradigm Norton Financial Planning

Bristol-based Paradigm Norton took home the award for the South West for the seventh time, having been the first ever winner for that region 12 years ago.

Chief executive Barry Horner (pictured) said the firm’s consistent success came down to putting clients at the heart of everything it did and having built a great team within the business.

The firm continued to grow last year, both organically and by acquisition.

‘I get the privilege of standing up on behalf of the firm but it is the 45 or so people back at the office who are the justifiable winners of this award,’ he said.

‘We’ve put more and more effort into finding the right people and building good teams, and bringing graduates into our business is what we see as the future.’

Wales - Bartholomew Hawkins

Bartholomew Hawkins managing director Richard Lord (pictured) collected the 2017 trophy for Wales for his team, which is based across offices in South Wales and Bristol.

Director Ian Davies said the firm was keen to keep its finger on the technology pulse in 2017 after it took the decision last year to hire a full time in-house software developer, one of several new recruits over the past 12 months.

After expanding its offices in 2016, Lord said 2017 ‘will take a more relaxed pace’, but the firm has further growth plans that include bringing in a marketing executive in the second quarter, and hiring a couple of high quality advisers towards the end of the year.

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