Where it all started…
At that time, I was one of the thousands of advisers at Santander bank. I rang my friend back and he explained that the call was to inform all financial advisers within Santander to stop any client meetings until further notice. This was the bank’s latest decision, after nearly a year of trying to discharge its duties under the new Retail Distribution Review regime, mainly on charging structures and the removal of commissions from investment sales/advice. This seemingly temporary hiatus soon became a more permanent position.
I took the redundancy option and decided to make a go of it.
Now, there were thousands of highly paid employees unable to generate income for the bank and a senior structure unable to make the transition to RDR work in a way that the Financial Conduct Authority was comfortable with. Inevitably, this led to talk of redundancies.
I was forced to ponder my future. I took advice from many industry friends, but most importantly my father, who had run his own business for as long as I can remember. I felt the time might be right for me to do the same, after all, I had been at Santander for a little over two years.
It was a turbulent time as I had the thrill of considering building my own practice, along with the responsibilities of a family, a mortgage with all the trimmings and the fact that being made redundant was, well, petrifying. As the conversations with my boss developed, he was excellent during this time, we discussed redeployment to other roles across the organisation which were not in financial or investment advice.
Some of my colleagues chose that route. However, the old phrase ‘if not me, who? And if not now, when?’ kept reverberating in my mind. So, I took the redundancy option and decided to make a go of it. I’m a huge believer in using technology to improve whatever service you deliver.
I used the months between that decision and my end date to meticulously plan and make the decisions that would allow me to deliver financial and investment advice in the way I would wish to.
I’m a huge believer in using technology to improve whatever service you deliver and while a lot of my colleagues joined St James’s Place for the feeling of something ‘similar to the bank’, I joined True Potential as a wealth partner.
True Potential was at the forefront of the use of technology in financial advice at that time. A great company, with excellent people and the perfect place for me to start.
On leaving the bank in 2013, I had six weeks before a holiday booked in the previous year and my aim was to generate enough ongoing fees during that period to replace my salary at the bank.
I had amazing local support with networking groups, friends of friends, family, and some local advertising that I managed to achieve that and more.
A year later, we became directly authorised, and two years later we obtained our discretionary investment permissions and moved away from True Potential, launching Iron Market.
Now, as we enter our tenth year in 2023, we have clear growth plans, a wonderful team of 21 and a vision of how, as the “net-worth Ntwrk”, we differentiate.
The same year I went out on my own, the man who gave me my ultimate inspiration and confidence during that time, my dad, became ill with acute myeloid leukaemia.
At the time, my sister, Amy, was working in a marketing role she didn’t enjoy and wanted to be closer to dad. I was able to bring her into the business as, like most advisers, I need assistance with the back office.
Thank you RDR, I love what I do, and I love what we’re building.
This also meant that she could be closer to mum and dad too as he started chemotherapy. Sadly, we lost dad at 60, less than a year later after his original diagnosis.
While RDR effectively ended my career, it was also the best thing that ever happened to me.
I was able to spend time with dad at my own whim during that first year and help mum after his passing.
Now, every year, we have a golf day in Dad’s memory and we are humbled by the amazing support from our clients, associates and friends who help us raise money for so many brilliant local charities.
What’s more, Amy is now a shareholder, board member and our net-worth Ntwrk managing director.
A decade since RDR means 10 years of my business. Thank you RDR, I love what I do, and I love what we’re building.