Mr Stokes, Succession’s group communications and PR director, was speaking exclusively to Financial Planning Today magazine, this is an edited excerpt from the full interview, which can be read for free here.
When was Succession founded and what was the original strategy behind the company? What have been the key milestones so far?
Succession was established in 2009. The founding aim was to create a Financial Planning firm unmatched in the level of its expertise and personal service to clients. One of Succession’s guiding principles was to have its own platform and investment matrix and to create a leading national independent wealth management business.
A key milestone was the acquisition in 2014 of the first five firms, now known as Succession
Since then, we have acquired 55 independent financial services businesses. Our model is one where most of the owners, principals and people of the firms we’ve bought, remain within the business. They are still looking after their clients and still doing a fabulous job. We have around 600 dedicated colleagues located in 15 Succession Wealth offices across the UK, 200 of whom are experienced and talented wealth planners. We manage £8bn of client assets for 22,000 clients.
Succession’s founder Simon Chamberlain sadly died at a relatively young age (51) in 2017. What was the impact on the company?
Simon passed away two weeks after I joined Succession and it was a terribly sad time for his family, friends and colleagues. Simon was a hugely energetic and visionary character. Our chairman and senior management team did a fabulous job in continuing business as usual which is what Simon would almost certainly have wanted. All stakeholders and investors in the business were committed to achieving as many of Simon’s goals as possible. Our CEO, James Stevenson, spent considerable time assessing the business and articulating his vision for Succession Wealth to become the UK’s leading independent wealth management and Financial Planning business.
Has the firm’s commitment to Financial Planning principles changed in the past few years?
We continue to acquire businesses committed to Financial Planning. We believe proper Financial Planning and the professionalism it brings is essential to looking after clients correctly. We adhere to the CISI’s principles – working with our clients at the highest level of competence and professionalism. At the same time, we practise mentoring and training programmes to further the knowledge of our young talent and to train them to fulfil their roles in a proper, professional way.
Read the full interview here.