Managing director Tony Conner told Financial Planning Today the firm was planning to set up an Employee Ownership Trust next year - the so-called ‘John Lewis’ model.
Mr Conner said the firm had ruled out a sale to a third party as too big a risk to the firm’s personal service ethos.
In an exclusive Q&A in the latest issue of Financial Planning Today magazine, Mr Conner and award-winning Eldon director of client service Gemma Siddle, talked about plans for the firm which sees staff as ‘family’ and goes to great lengths to develop long-term relationships with clients.
You can view a preview of the Q&A here http://bit.ly/30ra4a5
Mr Conner, a Chartered Financial Planner, said: “We have always considered Eldon as a family rather than a group of employees.
“One of our core values is “sustainability”, part of which is ensuring that the business continues in its current, but continually developing, form. In this way we feel that Eldon is best placed to serve the needs of its clients and colleagues.
“A sale to a third party could have led to too many changes and too great a risk to the people involved. The answer for us is to transfer the ownership of the business to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Creating an EOT should happen for us in 2021.”
Gemma Siddle, the winner of the 2019/20 PFS Chartered Financial Planner of the Year award and a former Paraplanner, said providing a ‘hard to beat’ personal service for clients was at the core of Eldon and the company did not want to lose this.
She said: “I think the core of our service comes from providing it with care and humanity. We go the extra mile making people feel comfortable enough to be open and honest with us about everything; it creates a strong relationship that lasts a lifetime.
“Sometimes that means changing the way we communicate; some clients have challenges with dyslexia or vision, or simply just shut down if anything sounds technical, so we need to adapt to meet their needs in every way.
“We lift administration from clients; keeping paperwork to a minimum and relevant; providing cash account recommendations; pre-filling forms; providing pre-paid envelopes. We send birthday cards and have an annual calendar showcasing client supplied photos. We have cakes when meeting on client birthdays. Lots of little things show we care because we really do.”
The company, based in Newton Aycliffe, near Darlington, has doubled in size over the past six years and plans to take on at least another 5 Chartered Financial Planners over the coming years but at a steady pace.
• The full Q&A interview with Mr Conner and Ms Siddle is in the latest issue of Financial Planning Today magazine. You can view a free preview here http://bit.ly/30ra4a5 and also take advantage now of our limited-time 50% off subscription offer using code ‘50SAVER.’
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