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The NMA Top 100: 12 South West advisers you need to know

n our next instalment of the UK's top 100 advisers, the New Model Adviser team turns its attention to one of the most affluent parts of the country to unearth the top financial planners in Bristol, Bath and Exeter.

Tim and Emma Ames

Cathedral Financial Management

Tim Ames was one of the first 10 advisers to be profiled by New Model Adviser®. Both chartered and certified, he served as the south west regional branch chair of the IFP between 2008 and 2010. Cathedral Financial Management also won Citywire’s New Model Adviser® of the year award in 2008 and 2010, and was shortlisted in 2011. Exeter-based Tim and co-director Emma Ames established the now discretionary Cathedral in 1993 and the firm has expanded to three offices.

Emma Ames started out in the profession at the age of 16 as an office junior with a small IFA and has come a long way to become a director of Cathedral Financial Management. As relatively young advisers, Emma and Tim Ames say they are able to offer a longer and more dedicated service. ‘If a client joins Cathedral, we are likely to be able to see them through for another 15 to 20 years,’ she says. After increasing staff numbers at the Exeter-based IFA, Emma looks forward ‘to spending more time with client-facing work, having recently recruited a new practice manager.’

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Mo Bowen and Simon Boulter

Boulter Bowen Wealth Care

Mo Bowen originally trained as a buyer and was the first non-graduate to be appointed by Harrods. Her entrepreneurial drive led her to own a chain of businesses, including two shops and a restaurant, before her move into financial services in 1988. Boulter Bowen was founded at the turn of the millennium and Exeter-based Bowen has gained her Investment Management Certificate (IMC), chartered and certified status.

Simon Boulter began his career as a tax inspector, but moved to become a chartered, certified and investment specialist IFA. His work with the Strategic Coach programme has helped him to take stock of his own personal achievements and use them as a springboard for future business success. Boulter is working to take on appointed representatives of the Boulter Bowen brand. Exeter-based Boulter’s proudest moment in business has been winning the IFP’s David Norton Award, and in his personal life it was completing the London marathon.

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Nigel Hemming

Aquila Financial Management

Nigel Hemming has been running his practice for more than 25 years and believes that some elements of financial advice have changed beyond recognition, but largely for the better. ‘RDR has concentrated the mind on the business model, our processes and our business structure,’ says Hemming. ‘In the future, I see our business growing into having satellites of speciality, so that we continue to have an edge.’ Hemming is a pensions specialist and has written exam papers for the IFP and Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Hemming devotes time to The Pensions Advisory Service and is a volunteer adviser. ‘It’s a great way to open your horizons and become less myopic, otherwise you can get very introverted in your own firm,’ he says.

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Barry Horner

Paradigm Norton Financial Planning

An ex-president of the IFP, Barry Horner is a well-known face within the financial services profession. He is a regular contributor to trade publications and the national press. He has been voted one of the top 20 most influential IFAs in the UK as well as his firm winning a New Model Adviser® award in five out of the past six years. Horner says he leads his 40-strong, Bristol-based team from the front, ‘setting the culture from day one’. Horner encourages clients to incorporate wealth management and the development of philanthropic strategies into their financial planning.

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Pete Matthew

Jacksons Wealth Management

Pete Matthew is renowned for his untiring work promoting and explaining financial services through his online television channel, meaningfulmoney.tv. He is an advocate of financial education and a self-proclaimed internet enthusiast, and so melded the two to create his website as a tool for his clients and prospective clients. He says he does not want to die having only made his clients richer fiscally; he wants to enrich their understanding of the meaning of money. Penzance-based Matthew applies these principles to his own career and has achieved chartered and certified status.

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Jason McGuigan

Critchleys Financial Planning

‘I’m excited about the concept of the RDR’, says Jason McGuigan. ‘I want to become professional and know there are opportunities for advisers in the future.’ McGuigan was brought into the Oxford-based accountancy practice, Critchleys, one of the top 60 UK accountancy firms, to set up its financial planning arm in 1997. He believes the key to the future of financial planning is through education of the next generation of advisers.

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Carole Nicholls

Nicholls Stevens Financial Services

Carole Nicholls has more than 30 years’ experience as a financial adviser. She is chartered, certified and a fellow of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) and the CII. She says she is committed to improving standards in financial services. She has served on the board of the PFS for a number of years, and as president in 2006-07. The Bristol-based adviser has written a number of books on pensions and financial planning, often speaks at national conferences, and runs a financial services training company.

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Karen Rayner

The Wealth Care Partnership

Karen Rayner is one of the leading care fees specialists in the UK and is accredited with the Society of Later Life Advisers (Solla). She writes The Wealth Care Partnership’s Guide to Care Fees Planning each year and has created an online tool, Care2Plan, which allows users to create their own personal options report. Fordingbridge-based Rayner ran a care fees planning workshop at the PFS conference last year, with the hope of ‘raising the level of knowledge but also making advisers aware of this lucrative market’. She combines her expertise of care fees planning with strong investment knowledge. ‘It’s an unusual combination, which enables me to look after elderly clients but also their children,’ she says.

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Len Warwick

Warwick Butchart Associates

Len Warwick CBE is the founder and chairman of Warwick Butchart Associates and has worked in financial services for more than 50 years. He is past president of the LIA and a founder director of Aifa. He was a director of the Securities and Investments Board (1989-1996), and had responsibility for developing and introducing minimum standards for all advisers as chairman of the board’s training and competence panel. He was subsequently appointed chairman of the PIA’s training advisory group. He received the CBE for services to financial regulation in 1996. He published his book, Making a Difference, in 1996 and recently his first novel, The Unspoken.

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Simon Willcox

Ward Goodman Financial Services

Simon Willcox has just reached the end of the first cycle of his in-house graduate training scheme. These young advisers will take on the clients who Willcox says are the new focus of the business. ‘We are now looking at the lower-net-worth end of the client spectrum as this group is increasingly precluded by price from financial advice,’ he says. When he is not busy mentoring junior IFAs or advising his clients, Wimborne-based Willcox is keen on winter pursuits and says climbing the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc are his greatest achievements.

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David Robinson

Albert Goodman Chartered Financial Planners

Dave Robinson is chartered and certified; a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and the Solla; and has the IMC under his belt. These make him one of the most qualified financial planners in the south west. Unlike many of our 100 movers and shakers, he has worked in financial services since he left school, starting at an accountancy practice. Robinson is a keen believer in the continued development of his peers and the Taunton-based firm often does pro bono work for both professional connections and clients. Robinson has just worked on a case for the local bakery and is waiting for a consignment of ‘the best sausage rolls in Weston’.

For more top advisers across the country click here.

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