Tell us about your role as a Super IFA
Well, it’s a term I use to describe a UK-regulated financial adviser who has the highest level of qualifications and experience and is able to deal with very complex client situations involving UK and international clients, corporate and trust clients and complex family succession structures.
How does one qualify as a Super IFA
It’s all about experience and knowledge, I’ve been in the financial services industry for 35 years and have worked across many financial institutions, tax and structuring firms and corporate service providers which gives you an extremely broad knowledge and experience in dealing with clients ranging from single parents investing child benefit money (when I started at the Leeds Building Society over 30 years ago) to a large corporate making a $500m+ investment into a competitor company. My experience includes giving regulated investment advice, unregulated investment counselling, consultancy on entry to the UK for corporates and High Net Worth Individuals and performing as a Director on client global corporates and Family Succession structures. My professional qualifications include a Masters in Financial Planning and Business Management and I’m a Fellow with the Personal Finance Society and Chartered Adviser with the Chartered Institute for Savings and Investment which puts me in the top 1% of Qualifications for UK Regulated advisers.
That sounds like a lot, how do you manage?
I’ve always like to vary my working day and have an entrepreneurial spirit and despite working for many years in a large Corporate, lastly Barclays Wealth, I’ve always worked in departments which are nimble and fast moving which meant varying roles. After moving from Barclays Wealth, I joined a smaller company Grant Thornton, then a smaller one Amicorp Group and decided it couldn’t get any smaller so I started my own business Merriwey Limited. How I manage is by working with clients who are multi-dimensional and interesting and don’t have too many of them as I need to dedicate my time resources to them all so they all feel the benefit of my knowledge and delivery of service. I also have an extremely wide network of professional contacts who do a lot of the work under my supervision, so I sit in the middle like a conductor and the lawyers, accountants, investment managers, Private Banks and Trust companies play the music and my clients are the audience so it’s a performance.
You mentioned IFA in your name but that doesn't sound like a typical IFA role?
Being an IFA and investment adviser is my principle passion and despite also performing as a director on a few client companies of which one is a listed entity and the other private, if I had a choice of taking on a new corporate director position or helping a client achieve their objectives through financial panning this would always win. I also have an extremely wide network of contacts. The company I work with in my IFA role is Mark Dean Wealth Management and I’ve known Dean the owner for over 30 years and bearing in mind my diversified role (regulated and unregulated) he was happy for me to work with him and his firm to cover my regulated clients.
What's the future hold?
I love what I do and unlikely to ever retire, I want to help more professional contacts who don't get a great deal on the advice they receive in terms of costs and performance which is one of the reasons for joining PCD and I also want to bring my daughters into my business and create more of a family investment company which all can benefit from.