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You’re hired: 10 advisers pick their dream apprentices

Following the news that pensions minister Steve Webb is spending a day as an apprentice at Hargreaves Lansdown, we ask 10 advisers who they would chose as their dream apprentice?

The direct route

Nick Lincoln, director of Values to Vision Financial Planning, would like Hargreaves Lansdown founder Peter Hargreaves (pictured) to be an apprentice in his firm.

Lincoln said he would try to keep Hargreaves at his firm for as long as possible and give him the role of ‘chief executive to the chief executive’.

Lincoln said he would want to take advantage of Hargreaves’ cost cutting skills and marketing ability to increase the firm’s fortunes.

‘Peter Hargreaves knows financial services inside out and has made a lot of money developing his own company into a huge success listed on the FTSE 100. And he’s got scant regard for politicians and the regulator,’ said Lincoln.

‘I’d have him working on general business strategy and marketing. He’s from Yorkshire so he’ll be keen on cutting costs which would be great and I’d have him for as long as I could before he starts asking for a salary.’

The direct route

Nick Lincoln, director of Values to Vision Financial Planning, would like Hargreaves Lansdown founder Peter Hargreaves (pictured) to be an apprentice in his firm.

Lincoln said he would try to keep Hargreaves at his firm for as long as possible and give him the role of ‘chief executive to the chief executive’.

Lincoln said he would want to take advantage of Hargreaves’ cost cutting skills and marketing ability to increase the firm’s fortunes.

‘Peter Hargreaves knows financial services inside out and has made a lot of money developing his own company into a huge success listed on the FTSE 100. And he’s got scant regard for politicians and the regulator,’ said Lincoln.

‘I’d have him working on general business strategy and marketing. He’s from Yorkshire so he’ll be keen on cutting costs which would be great and I’d have him for as long as I could before he starts asking for a salary.’

Kinder surprise

Director of Bath-based Epoch Wealth Markas Gilmartin said he would love to have life planning guru George Kinder (pictured) working at the firm.

Gilmartin said he would happily host the founder of the Kinder Institute for a day to help improve his in-house processes.

‘He is the life planning guru of the US,’ he said. ‘The states are about 20 years ahead of us. He’s really into in-depth questioning to build strong relationships.’

Gilmartin said he hoped it could be a ‘two-way process’, with both learning from each other to make it a fully productive day.

Bee here now

Gareth Reynolds of Lichfield-based MGS Financial chose pensions guru Steve Bee (pictured) as his dream apprentice in the hope he would bring his humour and cartoons into the office.

‘He has a wealth of experience I could learn from,’ said Reynolds.

Bee, who is famous for explaining ‘pensions without the piffle’, is known across the adviser community for using jokes and sketches to make his point effectively.

Reynolds said pensions were his area of expertise, but he was always keen to learn more.

‘I’ve never seen him talking myself but I’ve seen excerpts of his speeches,’ he said. ‘His cartoons are light hearted and would lighten up the mood around the office. Bee could round off the edges of my knowledge and to teach his wealth of experience in that humorous way. It would be fantastic.’

Talking with Hawking

John Millican, of Fuducia Wealth Management, would like put theoretical physicist, professor and author Stephen Hawking (pictured) to work on a new investment process for the firm.

‘I think the most interesting person perhaps would be professor Stephen Hawking,’ he said. ‘We can show him our whole investment process and he would devise a whole new one that’s about 15 times better.’

Millican was doubtful about whether he could afford Hawking or if the genius would be willing to have apprentice as his job title.

Shadow puppets

Michael Basi, managing director of Basi & Basi Financial Planning, wants chancellor George Osborne and shadow chancellor Ed Balls (pictured) to make the journey from Whitehall to Essex and work together at his firm for a day.

Basi said he wanted the rival politicians to work together so they could both see the effects of their economic policies.

‘In reality I would take any budding 18 or 19 year old on but in this case I would take Ed Balls and George Osborne to show them the intricacies of the economy from a micro rather than a macro perspective and make them work together,’ he said.

Wheatley goes West

London-based Petronella West wants Martin Wheatley (pictured) to make a short trip over from Canary Wharf to work in her City office for a day.

West, who is director of private clients at Investment Quorum, said it would be good to see how an IFA firm worked on a normal day, rather than when the regulator visited.

‘I’d want Martin Wheatley to come here for a day, because we’d like him to see what really goes on in an IFA firm when they’re not subject to a scary Arrow visit!’ she said. ‘I’d get him to sit in on one of our initial client presentations and take notes. He would see how our team measures up in terms of excellent client performance. He could see it without it being an aggressive investigation.’

Life of Grimes

Although Leah Totten was crowned winner of The Apprentice a few weeks ago, Francis Klonowski, director of Klonowski & Co, hasn’t forgotten about 2007’s runner up Kristina Grimes (pictured).

Klonowski said he admired Grimes’ dedication to the tasks set out for her in the TV show and liked her genuine personality.

‘My dream apprentice would be Kristina Grimes, she was everyone’s winner except for Alan Sugar’s,’ he said. ‘She is very self-motivated without being arrogant, unlike most candidates on the show and there was a genuineness to her with no acting involved which would be a good thing to work around.

‘I’d have her as a full time assistant with a view to work alongside me at the same level but she’d work on business development and strategy while I deal with clients. She’d be good at spotting opportunities within the business that can be bettered but she’s not one to take over on day one.’

Check mates

Duncan Glassey, senior partner at Edinburgh-based Wealthflow, has taken a strategic approach to selecting his dream apprentice and has decided to invite the grand master of strategy himself chess wizard Garry Kasparov (pictured) into the firm.

‘Garry is the longest serving world chess champion. He would be great to have in for strategic thinking and leadership skills,' said Glassy. ‘I would have him at Wealthflow to be our client liaison apprentice, to try and see how the thinking in chess can be used to help clients and their planning.’

Keeping it sweet

Why hire an apprentice when you can hire a master? Alok Dhanda, principal of Newcastle-based Dhanda Financial, wants to take on Nick and Karren’s middle man Alan Sugar (pictured) as his apprentice for a day.

Dhanda said he could learn a lot from Sugar’s entrepreneurial spirit and might get the chance to give the boardroom bruiser a taste of his own medicine.

‘Some people don’t like him, but he’s come from being a barrow boy to a very successful entrepreneur,’ he said. ‘Also maybe I could tell him “you’re fired”.’

Osborne’s odyssey

Darren Lloyd Thomas, director of Haverfordwest-based Thomas and Thomas, would like to see chancellor George Osborne (pictured) visit his firm to learn the ropes.

Thomas said Osborne would gain an insight into the way his policies worked on the ground, by seeing the challenges faced by savers and the volume of red tape small businesses had to deal with.

‘I think it will be important for him to see how the regulatory burden has affected the profitability of small firms,’ he said.

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