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Top 100: Another 25 fantastic firms

Here is the next batch of advice firms that made it on to this year's New Model Adviser® Top 100.

Kevin Ferriby, Informed Financial Planning, Hull

In the last 12 months, IFP invested heavily in a support team, bringing in eight new recruits.

This has allowed the firm’s financial planners to focus on more client-facing activities. The advice firm implemented its Client Interview project during the year. The project involved listening closely to what clients said they wanted and implementing the feedback effectively as part of service propositions.

The firm offers apprenticeships each year to youngsters from the local community and recently gave the second of these a full time role in the business.

Employees: 23

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
105120135

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
683862813

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
556061

Kevin Ferriby, Informed Financial Planning, Hull

In the last 12 months, IFP invested heavily in a support team, bringing in eight new recruits.

This has allowed the firm’s financial planners to focus on more client-facing activities. The advice firm implemented its Client Interview project during the year. The project involved listening closely to what clients said they wanted and implementing the feedback effectively as part of service propositions.

The firm offers apprenticeships each year to youngsters from the local community and recently gave the second of these a full time role in the business.

Employees: 23

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
105120135

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
683862813

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
556061

Steve Patterson, Intelligent Pensions, Glasgow

In the next 12 months, Intelligent Pensions, led by managing director Steve Patterson, plans to capitalise on its strengths in the pension transfer market. It is supporting financial advisers and corporations to deliver quality transfer advice to clients and members. The firm intends to develop its corporate offering to deliver affordable advice to the workplace pensions market. It will also focus on supporting advisers to deliver specialist retirement planning advice, in particular complex drawdown cases, pension transfers and lifetime allowance planning.

Employees: 28

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
340350375

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
159286310

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
959590

Ivan Lyons, Investment Solutions Wealth Management, Worthing

Investment Solutions is the only SIFAaccredited chartered independent wealth manager in West Sussex. This status allows it to hold Law Society-accredited training programmes.

Indeed professional seminars are held internally for accountants and solicitors on a quarterly basis.

As part of a holistic financial planning service, the firm has moved to an internal DFM model. This is part of plans to secure organic growth, with the aim of achieving £2 million turnover in 2017. In July 2016, 35% of revenue was used to purchase the freehold business property.

Employees: 15

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
187258275

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
8629421000

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
636668

Nicola Watts, Jane Smith Financial Planning, Olney

Jane Smith is increasingly focusing on a higher net worth client bank, with newer clients only being offered one level of service. To support this change in focus, and increasingly technical client needs, the firm has recruited a highly qualified paraplanner and a new administrator.

It also restructured the existing team to more ably support sole planner and director, Nicola Watts, on a daily basis.

The firm has worked with a branding consultancy since January 2016 to update a ‘tired’ brand.

Employees: 6

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
333640

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
13586119

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
576457

Derek Evans, Juno Wealth Management, Haywards Heath

Juno’s strategy is to grow its business organically by 10%-15% a year, as a boutique and high-quality financial planning business. A small team of four, Juno has successfully transformed its business in the past two years into a fully fledged financial planning proposition. This year it will seek to employ a fifth person. Husband and wife team Derek and Tracey Evans are Juno directors and personally support Sussexbased local charity, the Golden Lion Children’s Trust. This charity supports children with special needs and underprivileged young people. Tracey is a trustee and the treasurer for Golden Lion.

Employees: 5

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
333640

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
13586119

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
576457

Colin Low, Kingsfleet Wealth, Ipswich

Kingsfleet started to target its introducers in 2015 with a more specific picture of its ideal client. As a result, the quality of referrals received has improved dramatically and it is now being introduced to other professionals through those existing contacts.

The firm has taken on a client relationship manager, whose role is to resolve many of the queries coming through to advisers. She is also proactive in maintaining client relationships.

Relationships have also been built with charities such as Age UK Suffolk. This enables Kingsfleet to deliver client-facing seminars with their support and endorsement.

Employees: 10

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
456080

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
134200250

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
506270

Edward Kelly, KPW Investments, Glasgow

Having realised several years ago organic growth through existing client referrals would not get KPW to where it wanted to be, in 2013 the firm acquired its first IFA practice in Glasgow. Since then it has gone on to acquire several more IFA businesses in central Scotland.

Management’s ambition is to continue on the acquisition trail by buying at least one more business in the next 12 months. It also aims to reach £100 million assets under management.

KPW’s branding strategy remains the same as in previous years: to develop its reputation as the foremost investment advisers in Scotland and offer the highest levels of personal service to clients.

Employees: 7

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
496794

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
346376490

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
858995

Julia Parsons, Kreston Reeves Financial Planning, London

esult, the firm now has 50 partners and more than 450 staff, spread across 10 locations in London and the south east.

The merger has created a new firm with greater breadth and depth to meet clients’ needs, right across the spectrum from business advisory, through to tax and audit, to wealth management. It also provides a stronger base on which Kreston Reeves can develop a range of new services to meet changing business needs.

Employees: 20

Funds Under Advice (£m)

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
275290315

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
796944907

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
606671

Karen Barwick, Laurus Associates, Newcastle

Laurus is seeking to engage a younger audience and has started to embrace social media to help achieve this. A new corporate logo has been approved, with a fresher design to spearhead its new social media campaign. The campaign was due to go live in the autumn and to be introduced to existing clients via a newsletter.

The firm successfully raised its profile by training members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

They sponsor a couple of ICAEW events a year and are involved in local Tyne Tees ICAEW. Laurus’s involvement in other non-industry organisations has helped promote apprenticeships to local accountants.

Employees: 6

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
747681

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
13396122

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
778588

Steve Burns, Lewis Brownlee Financial Services, Chichester

Lewis Brownlee Financial Services is the financial advice arm of accountancy firm Lewis Brownlee.

Managing director Steve Burns’s firm is appearing in this year’s Top 100 for the second time. The business is not the new kid on the block, however, as it was established in 19900.

Since then Burns’s business has amassed £155 million in funds under advice, and has just broken its £1 million annual turnover target for 2016. The firm retains the same number of registered individuals as last year (four), adding an extra employee this year to make a total team of eight.

Employees: 8

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
100125155

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
460525539

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
656770

Warren Shute, Lexington Wealth Management, Lydiard Millicent

Keen sportsman and wine connoiseur Warren Shute is definitely hitting the spot at his Wiltshire-based firm, established in 2000 with his wife Nicky. This sole-adviser firm has seen assets under advice grow by £6 million in the last 12 months to £40 million. Profits have also grown from £250,000 in 2014 to £275,000 in 2015, and then to £300,000 in the last 12 months.

Shute is aiming high for 2017 with plans to set up a financial education development programme for local schools. The firm is hoping to reinvest 20% of profits back into its own growth.

Employees: 6

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
303440

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
250275300

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
707075

Mike Holden, LIFT Financial, London

When LIFT Financial featured as New Model Adviser® cover stars in 2010, joint chief executives Mike Holden (pictured) and Joel Adams donned silly hats to pose as comedy duo Laurel and Hardy for our photographers.

Since then the firm’s figures have given them plenty to smile about. Instead, its success has seen funds under advice increase by £100 million in the last year alone, to a whopping £1.3 billion.

LIFT’s stock of registered individuals has not changed, however, but the company has added a further five members of staff to create a team total of 75 in the last year.

Employees: 75

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
120013001500

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
332303317

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
676767

Ian Lowes, Lowes Financial Management, Newcastle

Lowes Financial Management has come a long way since Ken Lowes established it in 1971, and the family blood remains in the business, as Ken’s son Ian is now managing director after joining way back in 1988 and taking on the position in 2002!

In the last year, Lowes has further bolstered his team by five, making a total of 70 staff members, 15 of whom are now registered individuals.

The company’s funds under management is still growing rapidly, having increased by £64 million to £700 million. Lowes ties with its community remain extremely strong, as the firm has donated 3% of its profits to local charities.

Employees: 70

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
591636700

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
121110811007

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
495056

Robin Melley, Matrix Captial Management, Monkhopton

Robin Melley’s firm features in the New Model Adviser® top 100 again, and has clearly been bending over backwards to help clients and a new breed of IFAs.

Matrix Capital Management has smashed through its predicted target of reaching £36 million in funds under advice, to hit the £48 million mark.

The company continues to aim to reinvest 25% of its revenue back into the business, and in the last 12 months 10% was invested in a graduate placement scheme via what the firm called ‘a knowledge exchange and enterprise network programme’.

Employees: 7

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
263048

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
92125200

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
656565

Matthew Pescott Frost, Matthew Douglas, Nayland

Having made the leap from mortgage advice to holistic financial planning, Matthew Pescott Frost’s firm has been busy boosting its numbers this year.

Indeed, the firm has raked in another £35 million in funds under advice, taking its total funds under advice to £120 million. Pre-tax profits have likewise jumped from £300,000 to £400,000, with a turnover leap from £1 million to £1.2 million.

All that has happened without the addition of a single employee since the New Model Adviser® community last met for its annual conference and awards; the firm retains nine employees in total, four of whom are registered individuals.

Employees: 9

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
6585120

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
350300400

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
606567

Ian Pickford, Mazars Financial Planning, London

Ian Pickford has clearly been putting his firms discretionary authorisation to good use this year.

As head of the financial planning arm of this large accountacy and advice business, he has seen funds under advice increase from £405 million to £520 million.

Pickford has also brought in two registered individuals, bringing the business’s total number of registered staff from 16 to 18. This was part of a staffing drive that saw 10 further team members added, bringing total numbers to 64 in the last 12 months. Mazars’ financial planning arm has seen an accompanying £30,000 increase in pre-tax profits, from £1.5 to £1.8 million.

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
310405530

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
111214691779

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
485260

Paul Taylor, McCarthy Taylor, Worcester

McCarthy Taylor also features again in the New Model Adviser® Top 100 this year. Having taken the plunge to go discretionary in 2015, the firm hoped that reinvesting 10% of its revenue would allow it to boost its assets in 2016.

On that point the firm has certainly delivered, with a £15 million increase in assets under advice, which takes total funds under management to £160 million. The company says it has continued to invest between 10% and 15% of its revenue in developing new procedures to enhance the quality of its work, including extended use of forecasting tools for clients.

Employees: 24

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
135145160

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
7748110

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
909085

George Delaney, Metis Wealth, Haywards Heath

Metis Wealth clearly got its hands so full advising its barrister, solicitor and accountant clients as it had to increase its number of registered individuals in the last year by one. The addition of two other staff members has brought the team size to 14 in the last 12 months.

The firm, which was established in 2013, retains four chartered advisers, and has increased its funds under advice by £50 million to £300 million since last year’s awards.

The firm’s 2015 pre-tax profits came in at £620,200, while 2016 pre-tax profits were a notch higher at £850,000.

Employees: 14

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
150250300

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
289620850

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
909090

David Crozier, Navigator Financial Planning, Belfast

David Crozier’s firm hit the headlines months ago when it announced it had signed up for a new social investment service. ‘Worthstone’ will help advisers with due diligence on a range of social impact investments, so clients can help other people or communities.

In the last 12 months profits have risen from £62,000 to £85,000, while funds under advice have increased from £44 million to £60 million.

Crozier’s firm has also undertaken a range of sponsorship deals with local sports teams and charity events.

Employees: 10

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
354460

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
436285

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
959595

Adam Katten, NLP Financial Management, London

Keen cricketer Adam Katten donned pads for our photographers in 2012 when he became a New Model Adviser® cover star and his firm still seems to be hitting sixes.

Katten’s cricketing passion has given its marketing strategy some bounce, as the firm still holds a player sponsorship deal with a local club, but adverts in local newspapers, specialist medical publications and even the local GP surgery have also helped drive assets up from £335 million to £360 million in 2016.

The business has also put on an impressive array of events for accountants and introducers, and it will be no surprise that some have taken place at Lord’s.

Employees: 28

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
350355360

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
582575660

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
848585

Duncan Read, Oculus Wealth Management, Harrogate

The addition of two further advisers at Oculus Wealth Management in the last 12 months brings total staffing to 18, 10 of whom are registered individuals, while an accompanying rise in funds under advice in that period has furthermore seen another £50 million added to the company’s books, to total £300 million under management.

Managing director Duncan Read continues to invest more than 20% of the business’s money in human resources and IT infrastructure, which this year has seen the implementation of a new back-office system. He plans to build the business through organic growth and the addition of new advisers via an acquisition strategy.

Employees: 18

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
100250300

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
29548763

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
838380

Barry Horner, Paradigm Norton Financial Planning, Bristol

Paradigm Norton has made a number of changes since appearing in the New Model Adviser® Top 100 last year.

Most prominently, it has introduced a graduate scheme to encourage young people to join its award winning team.

As well as taking on graduates, the firm has hired five staff members over the last 12 months, and has set up a staff council which meets every quarter before board meetings.

The firm has increased its assets under advice from £453 million last year to £620 million this year. Meanwhile, recurring income grew from 93% to 94% over the same period.

Employees: 46

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
427453620

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
590710890

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
939394

James Roberts, Partners Wealth Management, London

Partners Wealth Management has set itself an ambitious target of reaching £2 billion in assets under advice over the next five years.

It has just over £1 billion of assets, compared with £863 million at this point last year. Partners wants to reach £1.2 billion over the next year, and plans to do this in part by recruiting five new advisers for its team.

The firm is also planning to grow its connections with other professional firm such as lawyers and accountants: it has taken on a new business development manager to boost its presence among such businesses.

Employees: 51

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
7508631040

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
140019002100

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
697480

Quentin McCormic, Pavis Financial Management, Liverpool

Pavis Financial Management saw turnover increase by 20% last year from £1 million to £1.2 million, and it expects to see a similar amount of growth next year.

The firm has also managed to increase its recurring revenue: in 2014 it was only 73%, but this rose to 82% last year and then again to 85% this year.

When it comes to engaging with clients, the firm has benefitted from hosting an annual conference for the last three years, and is redesigning its website to make it easier to understand.

Employees: 17

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
120130150

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
450374500

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
738285

Craig Palfrey, Penguin Wealth, Cardiff

This Welsh firm saw its pre-tax profit increase significantly in 2016, as it grew from £564,000 last year to £1.1 million.

Penguin set out its plan for growth, also known as the ’Penguin Plan’, last year and has so far seem success with the model.

The basis of the plan is to build a financial planning company where clients are not tied to a particular adviser, but to whoever is best places to deal with their query.

The firm has also attracted new clients by engaging with the community, and publishing a book called The Wealth Secret.

Employees: 11

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
8172110

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
5845641077

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
616149

Kevin Ferriby, Informed Financial Planning, Hull

In the last 12 months, IFP invested heavily in a support team, bringing in eight new recruits.

This has allowed the firm’s financial planners to focus on more client-facing activities. The advice firm implemented its Client Interview project during the year. The project involved listening closely to what clients said they wanted and implementing the feedback effectively as part of service propositions.

The firm offers apprenticeships each year to youngsters from the local community and recently gave the second of these a full time role in the business.

Employees: 23

Funds under advice (£m)

201420152016
105120135

Total profits (£000)

201420152016
683862813

Percentage of recurring income (%)

201420152016
556061
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