You may have noticed a new look to Brancaster House Financial Planning. Recently, long-term employees Nick Halls and Shane Julian have taken over the reins from previous owner James Ewells and there are exciting things ahead. We caught up with them to find out more..
What inspired you to take over the running of Brancaster House Financial Planning?
It’s been a long-term aspiration of both of ours to either set up our own IFA practices or to be involved in a co-ownership of an IFA business. But it’s not often that you’re given the opportunity to buy an established business from within.
Taking on a business that we both already know the inner workings of, and have been involved in running previously, is an extremely good position to be in. Even more so when compared to starting from scratch with the regulation that encompasses the Financial Services industry.
Taking over a business can be both exhilarating and challenging. What were some of the key factors that motivated you?
We’ve both been involved in running the business for a few years now while the previous owner provided oversight alongside Scott, a Chartered Financial Planner and shareholder in the business. Our experience in the running of the business made us realise there were opportunities which were untapped by other firms, and we could help grow the business and make it even more of a prominent Financial Advisory firm than it currently is.
Every business faces unique opportunities and challenges. What do you see as the greatest potential for growth and improvement?
We're committed to making financial advice accessible to all. There is the perception that our industry can only be accessed by individuals and businesses with large sums of money or large pension funds. We want to end that perception and encourage anyone who feels they need financial advice or guidance to be able to approach us. Without the fear of high fees or costs that people may think is applicable to Financial Advice.
Financial education isn’t something we’re taught at school, and everyone’s left to figure it out on their own. We all go through life and at one point or another have made bad decisions, and sometimes these bad decisions can impact us financially. What if there was a person you could approach and simply ask, or sense-check your thinking to make sure you were doing the right thing?
We want to be that approachable resource – encouraging every one of our clients to make strong financial decisions.
Brancaster House Financial Planning has a dedicated team. Have you got a plan to nurture and empower your existing talent while injecting new ideas and perspectives?
We do. In fact, this was one of the early considerations. The business isn’t just the two of us, it’s also the people that work within it. From those individuals who answer the phone, carry out administration work, to our technical analysts, and advisers meeting with clients. Everyone has a part to play in the success of the business we want those individuals to feel valued and motivated to help the business grow.
As co-owners are you going to be taking on different roles within the business?
Yes. We each have our strengths that we can draw on from our current and past roles. Shane’s worked at every level within the financial services industry during his career, from administrator to analyst, technical analyst (also known as a paraplanner) and financial adviser.
He has a passion for technology and embraces how it can help us do our jobs more effectively and provide better value to the business and our clients. He’s been involved in developing the back-office system, which is the backbone of the running of our business. Without good governance and processes, our business wouldn’t function effectively or be able to provide our clients with the reassurance they need when we’re looking after their investments and pensions.
Nick has followed a similar path, but instead of becoming a financial adviser, he has worked in the compliance side of the industry. Financial services is one of the biggest regulated industries (for good reason). It’s a full-time job to navigate and manage the regulatory requirements of an IFA business. Rules change, more than ever as consumers' needs and requirements change. Nick has worked in compliance both here and at other, larger national firms, and his knowledge and experience are an asset in this business venture.
Lastly, what message would you like to share with the loyal customers and partners of Brancaster House who might be curious about the future?
Nothing is changing, they’ll still deal with the same people they’ve been dealing with. In fact, because of our former roles in running the business on behalf of the previous owner, the transition will be seamless. Additionally, because of our involvement in dealing with various investment institutions and product providers, we are working on securing better value and terms for our existing clients and their investments.
Thank you all for joining us as we share our journey to becoming the new management team of Brancaster House. It’s an exciting new chapter for the business. Stay tuned for more updates.