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The New Model Adviser® top 10 influential women
Is financial planning still a man’s world? With long lists of qualifications, successful businesses and roles on boards of influential bodies, 10 women who are making their mark give their verdicts.
‘The New Model Adviser® conference had a 10:1 ratio in favour of men,’ says Suzanne Allen, who believes independent financial advice is still a male-dominated profession.
Newbury, Berkshire-based Allen began her career at a large national IFA. Her ambition drove her to progress quickly so she joined a medium-sized IFA in 1998 and took financial planning exams. She gained her advanced financial planning certificate in October 2005.
She took joint control of Heritage in August 2006 with Peter Dunn and assumed the additional responsibility of managing director. She works with three male colleagues.
She has been in the financial planning industry for 15 years and has specialist knowledge of pensions, taxation and trusts, and provides her team with technical guidance.
Most of her clients are dentists, and she does not target female clients. ‘Most of my clients are male,’ she explains. Nevertheless, she feels her clients respond well to softer skills.
She and Dunn, who is director and senior consultant, plan to take a George Kinder course this month. ‘It’s a big financial commitment, as well as time wise, but we felt it was right for us to go,’ she says.
‘Dentists will respond well to the life planning proposition, because they have a lot of people interaction,’ she says. ‘They can feel isolated. They leave dental school and are expected to be good at running a business as well as being good dentists, and are often very busy. Often no-one has spoken to them about their goals.’
Allen is building professional connections with solicitors and other professionals.
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Heritage recruits to help cope with client boom
Newbury-based Heritage Financial Advisers has recruited paraplanner Richard Gross from Andersen Charnley, in order to cope with increasing client numbers.
Gross’s appointment comes at the same time as Heritage moves premises from a shared space to a larger self-contained office. The firm will remain in the centre of Newbury.
The relocation and recruitment of Gross signal Heritage’s intention to grow its client numbers after a year in which it has worked with consultants on its client proposition and increased turnover.
Suzanne Allen (pictured), Heritage managing director, said Gross’s recruitment was essential to help the firm cope with an increasing number of clients.
‘We are very lucky because we have lots of very good introductions, and that’s why we’ve bought in Richard because we were struggling to cope with the number of clients,’ she said.
‘We call Richard our financial planning analyst rather than paraplanner; he will do all the support and technical work before and following a client meeting.’
Allen said the firm had further ambitions including: gaining chartered status, her and co-director Peter Dunn becoming registered life planners, and growing the business.
‘We now feel we have the right team in place to take the business forward, we are looking to take on 25 more clients over the next year,’ she said.
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New Model Adviser profile: Relaxing into her stride
Click here to Read Citywire's interview with Heritage Managing Director, Suzanne Allen.
Top tips for raising asset finance
John Baker of Vector Finance passed by our office recently and opened our eyes to the potential difficulties of dentists raising finance for re-equipping surgeries or buying new equipment etc. This is a very recent phenomenon and reflects the banks’ unwillingness to lend money on an unsecured basis to anybody unless they’ve passed more vetting procedures than Radio 2’s latest broadcasting guidelines.
John gave us some great tips to pass on that could help you gain access to the best deals:
- Ensure your latest accounts are fully signed off – draft accounts are no longer sufficient.
- Keep accurate and up-to-date management accounts.
- Provide the lender with full details of every debt. Forgetting just one tiny loan will raise the bank’s suspicions.Have invoices or order details available to show that the purpose of the borrowing is genuine.
And John’s number one tip:
- Never miss a domestic mortgage payment. Defaulting on your most important loan will give you the highest rating of negativity and dramatically reduce your chances of raising finance.
Our advice is to talk to an expert like John who will work with you, in conjunction with your accountant, to obtain the best, properly structured deal.
We’ve offset our business carbon emissions with ClimateCare
ClimateCare is a service that reduces greenhouse gases on behalf of individuals and organisations, to compensate for their impact on the climate. It does this by ‘offsetting’ the greenhouse gases – such as CO2 - emitted from your activities by reducing an equivalent amount of CO2 on your behalf. These reductions are made through a range of projects in sustainable energy technologies that not only fight climate change but can bring widespread benefits to communities around the world. You can offset emissions from flying, driving and household energy use.
HF Advisers Managing Director, Suzanne Allen says. "We are aware of the impact our business has on the environment, especially our driving around the country each week. We recognise there are limits to what we achieve but that doesn't stop us from doing as much as we possibly can. At present we are working on a recycling policy for paper, card, printer consumables, plastics, and tins and in tandem to that project we are offsetting all the CO2 that we emit by paying towards ‘offset’ projects that aim to reduce pollution worldwide."
For information regarding how you can care for the climate visit www.jpmorganclimatecare.com
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