As the year draws to a close, we ask advisers for their best achievements of the past 12 months.
Kate Marsden, managing director, Very Nice Advice
I set up my business at the end of 2008, and finished dealing with my first client as I was in labour at the beginning of 2009.
The last couple of years have felt as if I have been nurturing two babies ... and it is the business one that has been the most exhausting by far.
Through 2010 I have grown the business organically to about 40 clients, most of whom are now coming back for repeat, fee-based business.
The key challenge has been of course cash flow (pesky nursery fees, not to mention FSCS levies), but I am still here, with happy clients, and just about solvent, and have learnt SUCH A LOT!
Danny Cox, head of advice, Hargreaves Lansdown
The achievement of 2010 was to help an elderly lady successfully gain redress from a firm who had advised her to invest the majority of her whole liquid assets in commercial property in early 2007.
The client’s initial losses were over 40%, the adviser earned over £12,000 in commission. The adviser concerned was new to the industry and it was clear to me the woeful advice was due to incompetence and poor supervisory practices, rather than malicious intent.
This case highlighted the need to raise professional standards – exams may not be a perfect answer, but it is the best one we have.
Tony Catt, operations manager, Managing Partners Capital
I started the year as an IFA and am finishing as an operations manager with Managing Partners Capital, the UK distribution arm of Managing Partners, which runs the Traded Policies Fund.
During the year, I have sourced and opened a new office, set it up with computers, telephones and furniture. It is a prestige office with a boardroom and meeting rooms so there is some impressive furniture in the public areas.
I have recruited several administration and sales staff. I have chosen a data base system that is used globally for the group. The year has been made more interesting by announcements from the FSA regarding life settlement funds and UCIS funds, which have made trading rather more challenging. Things can only be easier in the New Year!
Three funds to watch