I’d like to think that I bring a refreshingly different take to financial planning. Mine has not been an obvious career progression, though I think it allows me to approach working with clients in ways that go ‘beyond the money’.
I studied music (not maths or economics) at University. Then I taught music at secondary school level for ten years, which honed my ability to explain often complicated things in a straightforward, understandable way, to lead and to organise. When I deal with clients, I don’t do jargon (unless they’re financial professionals, in which case we can happily talk shop).
I also found myself being thought of as someone who was quite good at listening to and unpicking others’ problems. It runs in my family, to be honest. Later I was to realise that there’s a lot of emotion bound up with money; and no wonder as a society we’re often not that good at dealing with it.
After a period of re-training I spent twenty years working for three Central London financial planning firms before founding Fiduciary Partners in late 2008. During that period we’d been through the nightmare of the financial crisis and various other challenging times, by which time I’d fully realised that not only does a good financial planner need to be on top of the technical side of money, but they need to stand side by side with their clients emotionally through thick and thin.
My interests in behavioural economics and the broader relational aspects of being a financial planner finally convinced me to take an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy, which I am still engaged in. It allows me to get more easily to the heart of what my clients are trying to achieve, and to understand them better.
Lastly, I’m a dad, a half-decent pianist, a bit of a trekker (my last big trip was Everest Base Camp in 2015), and a rookie player of the Japanese flute, the Shakuhachi. I find learning fascinating, and working with clients is a true joy.
I’m a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Personal Finance Society, with which I hold the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, by examination.