FPT: Could you share a little more about your growth plans for the next few years?
Dominic Martin: We have adopted a two-pronged approach to growth: organic and accelerated. In terms of organic growth, we are bringing in new graduates and supporting the growth of our existing employees who are interested in transitioning into new roles such as that of a Paraplanner or a trainee adviser.
For accelerated growth, we are inviting wealth managers (advisers) and their clients to join us as well as IFAs who wish to sell their book of clients due to retirement or join a new firm that provides back office support.
FPT: Why has Walker Crips chosen a Financial Planning focus for your wealth management division?
DM: In my view, wealth managers (advisers) and Financial Planners work hand in hand. We need both, in order to provide holistic advice to our clients throughout their lifecycle, from overseeing their investments and their pensions, to planning for their retirement and IHT considerations, to inter-generational planning.
FPT: Is Walker Crips looking to appoint more Financial Planners?
DM: Yes, we are interested in wealth managers (advisers) and Financial Planners from all parts of the UK, and we are on a drive for ‘controlled aggressive growth’. However, we first and foremost focus on our clients’ best interests and not simply growing by any means. Our goal is to balance the growth of our advisers with the growth of operational support, compliance, technology and overall governance.
FPT: Earlier this month you appointed a new Chartered Financial Planner, James Bonarius. What qualities, in particular, does James have that made him the perfect fit for Walker Crips?
DM: First and foremost, James puts his clients first. It was clear to me that the relationship he has with his clients was precious to him. He is calm, diligent, professional and clearly passionate about what he does. He is knowledgeable and highly qualified, and has over 20 years of experience in advising clients.
FPT: What have been the biggest changes you have seen to Financial Planning and financial advice during your career?
DM: The deluge of regulations and the ramping up of regulatory scrutiny of our industry over the last 10 years has been unceasing. Whilst it has substantially increased costs, administration and management time in dealing with the regulations, the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) and Product Intervention and Product Governance (PROD) rules have improved the standard and suitability of advice, and helped ensure that clients are treated fairly.