This month's winner has been in the industry for 35 years and recently joined the council of the Association of Professional Financial Advisers.
This month's winner: Alan Lakey
Alan Lakey, founder of Highclere Financial Services, began his career in financial services with United Friendly and, over a 35-year career, has worked with AA Insurance Services, Provident Life (now Winterthur) and Legal & General.
In January 1986, he made the leap to advising and joined a friend as a partner in DAB Financial Services. In May 1991, he founded his own advisory firm, Highclere, which he runs to this day.
Who is this month's IFA unsung hero?
Alan’s expertise is in protection issues and equity release, with a particular focus on critical illness. In March 2012, he founded CIExpert, making his considerable experience and research on critical illness insurance available to both advisers and consumers through an online knowledge base.
Alan is involved in educating his fellow advisers about regulatory changes and issues. He is passionate about working to stop unnecessary regulation that saps energy and resources from the industry.
In 2009, he was one of three advisers who formed Adviser Alliance, a lobbying group set up to fight the RDR privations and to bring about accountability and balance in financial services regulation.
Derek Bradley, CEO of Panacea Adviser, commented: “Alan is our Unsung Hero this month because of the countless hours he has spent sharing his knowledge with the industry.
"In addition to providing his customers with excellent advice and sharing his expertise on critical illness through the CIExpert website, Alan has done commendable work in helping his fellow advisers to understand the constantly shifting regulatory environment.”
Steve Casey, of Ageas, added: "Alan is one of those people who will always give more than what he takes from the industry. As a leading expert in critical illness he has singlehandedly launched CIExpert, which is now the premiere critical illness comparison website in the UK.
"In addition, Alan has spent a considerable amount of time educating those who regulate the issues that intermediaries face, not least his tireless work around the issue of long stop.”
The CV: Alan Lakey
What motivates you to come to work each day? Feeding my family. Let’s not forget that while we provide a real benefit to consumers, we are also businessmen and need to survive.
What is your greatest challenge as an IFA? Originally it was finding clients and earning a living. Today it is negotiating the unwarranted rules and regulations that waste so much valuable time.
When not working, where are you most likely to be found? On my laptop compiling databases or recording songs.
Loves: My family, music and combat sport. Honest and forthright people.
Hates: Unfairness, institutional bullying, stupid and inconsistent regulations and rules. I also despise those who freeload off the backs of others.
Favourite food: Lamb chops with mint sauce.
If I hadn’t worked in finance I would have been: On remand... although more likely a writer or musician.
About the award
PanaceaIFA, in association with Professional Adviser, is on the search for IFAs, paraplanners and back office support staff that go above and beyond the call of duty in their personal and professional life. If you have a colleague you consider to be an unsung hero or if you feel you are deserving of recognition yourself, please get in touch by visiting http://www.panaceaifa.com/unsunghero.
* PanaceaIFA is a free to join online portal which provides access to the very latest resources, tools, research, educational support, ideas, views and technical intelligence from product providers and support services for its member IFAs.
Every month Derek Bradley, CEO of PanaceaIFA, will choose the most deserving nomination from those submitted and the winner will receive £160 towards a Michelin-starred restaurant of their choice, and Professional Adviser will publish a half-page profile, highlighting the good work they have done.
‘Most significant’ upgrade since launch
Changes happening over coming months
Had accepted British Steel business
Aimed at HNW clients and family groups
Set for 1 April 2019