Whilst there are advantages to being an employed financial adviser in a large national firm, there are also just as many disadvantages: limited career control, regular disruption and change wreaking havoc on all your hard work, to name just two.
If you want to leave and work for another financial advisory company, are your options restricted if you don’t have an established client base to take with you? We asked Andrew Millward what he thought.
1. What made you want to move to a different financial advisory company?
I was working for a UK-wide independent financial advisory firm which went through several rounds of staff redundancies over a 3-year period. The part of the company that I was working for was then sold to a Friendly Society.
After so much disruption and so many changes at work, I felt that the only way to have any control over my own destiny was to make the jump from being gainfully employed to self-employment.
2. What was it about Legal & Medical Investments that attracted you?
I of course explored various options and companies, but I was particularly attracted to Legal & Medical Investments’ forward thinking approach to the work/life balance.
In my initial meetings with one of the directors, Richard Major, I was surprised by how open and honest he was. He was very upfront about his, and the other directors’, desire to encourage and facilitate a culture which embraces different working styles and priorities.
From my own experience, Legal & Medical provides a great home for the hard working, high achieving financial adviser who needs flexibility to juggle work and personal commitments, such as bringing up a young family.
3. How did you feel about becoming a self-employed independent financial adviser?
I’ll be completely honest, the jump from being employed to self-employed filled me with dread! Having worked both in jobs that have paid a lower salary with higher commissions, and jobs that have paid just a salary, I was not looking forward to having the safety net of a salary taken away from me, especially as I had only recently started a family.
Legal & Medical were keen to make the move as easy as possible for me; they helped me get up and running in the early months, offered me training, and continued to support me throughout the first couple of years so that the move didn’t disadvantage me.
It was obvious from the start that they wanted me to do well; wherever they could, they helped me build a stable and rewarding client base.
4. What do you find most rewarding about working as a Legal & Medical financial adviser?
I came to Legal & Medical Investments without an existing client base. It actually didn’t really matter at all – the other advisers at Legal & Medical were all really friendly and helpful. They were more than happy to share their vast experience and wealth of knowledge, and I even found that in the slower months they would give me a boost by passing on referrals and leads.
Working in an environment where everyone helps each other out is very refreshing and rewarding. Being able to take time off to see my children’s Christmas play also made a difference to me personally and my wife and kids too – as a family not their acting skills that is!
5. What were the biggest challenges that you faced in your first 12 months at Legal & Medical Investments?
Starting from scratch was hard! Building a client base isn’t something that happens overnight. I’d say my biggest challenge was to find enough potential clients to work with, and to do so consistently throughout the year.
Having a constant stream of potential clients in the pipeline was actually the toughest part. It required (and still does!) self-control to work the extra hour or two when the diary needed filling.
6. How do you see the future?
At a recent family get-together, I found myself in the middle of an argument about employed work ethics and entrepreneurial flare. The arguing siblings then turned to me and asked ‘How do you find being self-employed?’ to which I replied ‘It was the best move I ever made’.
Working with Legal & Medical Investments gives you the best of both worlds: the comradeship and structure of employed work, with the ability to manage your own time, priorities and direction.
A few years in, I now have an established client base and the fees that I earn give me the income stability that a salary used to. The future looks very rosy indeed, and I am happy that I have such an understanding and open company to be working with. I would highly recommend it!
If you’re interested in joining Legal & Medical Investments as an independent financial adviser providing wealth management and financial planning solutions to medical and dental professionals, get in touch with Max Spurgeon or Richard Major to find out more.