It's great when a plan comes together.
In the past it was a struggle to find advisers who were happy to do things ‘the LIFT way’. We have high standards and it’s fair to say a lot of other Financial Planning firms aren’t perhaps as demanding in terms of qualifications and approach to advice. When we launched LIFT-Financial we were very clear on the type of firm we wanted to build, and that was primarily focused on being a Chartered firm and having the people on board that would have the same ethics and reach those same standards.
We were lucky and now have a team of advisers who are equally passionate and supportive of that approach. But we discovered some time ago that advisers such as these are few and far between so in 2012 we launched our Graduate Scheme to find our financial planners for the future.
We wanted to train people from the start to do things to our high standards, covering all aspects of advice, client relations, ongoing professional study and ethical approach. This is no ‘fast-track’ scheme. Whilst legally someone is qualified to advise once they’ve reached Diploma level qualification, we set our recruits the target of Advanced Diploma and 5 years of experience working in client support, technical analysis and finally shadowing one of our senior advisers.
Three of our initial recruits are now advising their own clients – Daniel Barratt in our London City office, Michael Kennedy in Altrincham and Danny Renshaw for our Sport division. They’re amongst the highest qualified in the profession – they all have individual Chartered Status and are Fellows of the PFS (there are only 2,734 Fellows in the UK).
We have another eight people at various stages of training and we recently re-launched the Graduate Scheme as the LIFT-Academy. We’re confident our home-grown advisers will be amongst the best in the country.