Mr Cocking was speaking exclusively to Financial Planning Today and a full interview appears in the latest edition of the magazine, which can be read here.
How did you find your first ever clients personally and at your current firm?
Simon Cocking: I got my first clients back in 1989 when I joined an IFA business in Newcastle.
“As a trainee, I was kind of imposed upon clients and it took off from there.
“When I started at Leodis Wealth, my clients all sprang from old connections because of the trust and track record that we’d built together.
“Great relationships mean a lot in this industry.
Who is your longest client and can you tell us more about them?
SC: I’ve worked with a client from the manufacturing industry for over 20 years, from when he was running his successful business, through to his retirement.
“I’ve also worked with his family and put structures in place around the family wealth.
What is the key to long term relationships with clients and ensuring they stay with you?
SC: “It’s not really about the money, or how well investments portfolios perform (although clearly this is important), it’s about understanding.
“Understand what your clients want out of their life and help them to get there.
“Build trust with your clients by explaining exactly what you’ll deliver, and then ensure that you do it.
“A trusting relationship is crucial and much more important than being liked, which means that sometimes you have the difficult task of telling clients truths that they won’t want to hear.
“These are difficult conversations, but it’s our job to be honest and firm when needed.
“Clients will still believe in you if the trust is there because they’ll see that you’re working to benefit them. In fact, your clients will thank you for it.
“Treat your clients well and they’ll stay with you because of the trust you’ve built up.”
The full interview can be read, for free, in the latest issue of Financial Planning Today magazine here.