A time of change at Informed Choice
Informed Choice celebrates its 25th anniversary in July. Much has changed in that time.
When we started the business in 1994, it was pretty much a blank page. Now we have 16 team members located in Cranleigh and Petersfield, managing more than £290m of client monies.
The business continues to evolve in terms of how we deliver our Financial Planning services to our clients and the way we strive to deliver a consistently great experience.
Within this article, I wanted to brief you on some future changes at Informed Choice.
We are very proud that we have focused on developing our team, in terms of their professional qualifications, knowledge and skills.
Three of our Pararaplanners – Victoria McNulty, Carl Wilkinson and Andy Bodman – have been through an intensive and demanding process known as achieving “competent adviser status.”
In order to advise our clients as Associate Financial Planners, all three are suitably qualified and also competent to deliver our professional services.
As my own role changes here at Informed Choice, Victoria, Carl and Andy, led by our Financial Planning Director Shelley McCarthy, will take over the important responsibility of reviewing progress towards your financial goals and objectives.
Many of our clients already know Victoria, Carl and Andy. They will be introducing themselves to you more formally when your next review meeting takes place.
I have asked all three of them to tell you a little about themselves, and you can see what they had to say in this article.
I started my career in financial services straight out of University. I worked my way up to a Team Leader position and my role involved working with Financial Planners, and their clients, on a daily basis.
I soon decided this was a career I wanted to pursue. In 2013, I moved to London and started working as a Paraplanner for a small Financial Planning firm in Putney, before leaving London in 2016, when I joined the Informed Choice team as a Paraplanner.
I became an Associate Financial Planner at Informed Choice in November 2017, before becoming a Chartered Financial Planner in June 2018.
I became a mum to my son Finlay in August 2018, and enjoy spending time with him and my husband Rob. Living on the edge of the South Downs National Park, we enjoy walking and exploring the local area. We also love travelling further afield, visiting new places both in the UK and overseas. When we’re at home, I enjoy reading, cooking, and spending time in the garden on the odd occasion it is sunny!
I started my career in Investment Banking in the Prime Brokerage Margin and Risk department at Morgan Stanley in 2007. This was a very interesting time to join the sector, as the sub-prime mortgage crisis arrived shortly after!
I spent five years with Morgan Stanley, before spending a couple of years working with HSBC and then two more years at Barclays, in similar areas. I worked with some extremely smart and sometimes eccentric characters over the years!
I joined Informed Choice as a Paraplanner in July 2017, becoming an Associate Financial Planner in September 2018.
Before starting my career in financial services, I studied History and Economics at Reading University.
It was during my time at HSBC I developed a passion for Financial Planning, completing the Investment Managment Certificate (IMC) and CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. I’m now working towards Chartered Financial Planner status.
I’ve been married for two years and we’re expecting our first child in August. When I do have some spare time, I enjoy playing 5-a-side football, watching movies, doing the odd bit of running, and recently starting some callisthenics.
I started my career in Financial Planning with Informed Choice in September 2015. After starting as a Trainee Paraplanner, I soon progressed to become a Paraplanner and then Associate Financial Planner.
Being part of the Paraplanner team has allowed me to work closely with the Financial Planners to conduct research, construct reports, and deliver advice to clients.
The opportunity to become an Associate Financial Planner arrived in 2018, as Nick’s role within the business gradually evolved, and needless to say I jumped at the chance!
During my time here at Informed Choice, I completed the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, and have already passed my first exams towards Chartered Financial Planner status.
Outside of work, I love foreign travel and have been very fortunate to explore many different countries, cultures and cuisines.
I’m also something of a foodie; I enjoy eating out and cooking meals at home. I do try to counter my love of food by keeping fit and active. I count running, cycling, rock climbing and golf among my hobbies.
I also love all things Country & Western, recently visiting the O2 for the annual Country to Country concert, with a few more shows lined up for later this year.
Last Autumn, we were pleased to open a second office for Informed Choice. Located at Holders Barn in Station Road, Petersfield, this new office is managed by Shelley, a resident in the town.
Joining Shelley in our Petersfield office is our new Retirement Income Planning Director, Philip Wise. Victoria is also working out of Holders Barn a couple of days each week.
Sundial House in Cranleigh remains our head office and the main location for our back office team of administrators and paraplanners.
Supporting our growing business later in 2019, we’re pleased to announce the recruitment of two new team members.
In May, sadly Lizanne left the team to join her husband’s new business venture. We’re pleased to report that Debbie Pearson joined Informed Choice as our new Senior Administrator.
Debbie joined from a local firm of Financial Planners, and brings a vast amount of experience to the administration team.
Nathan Fryer has joined our Paraplanning team in June, after winding down his outsourced Paraplanning business, Plan Works. We’ve worked with Nathan for many years and look forward to him being a regular feature at Informed Choice.
With this next iteration of the Informed Choice business arriving in 2019, please do ask me or my colleagues any questions you might have.
You might be reassured to hear that I have no plans to go anywhere in the near future; I’ll still be part of the furniture at Informed Choice, working as closely as before with the team to ensure the delivery of the outstanding service you have come to expect.