I am delighted to have joined this business at such an exciting stage of their development. As a highly-qualified adviser with many years ahead of me, this has been an important career decision. This blog has been created to explain why this was the time to make such a move and what stood out at Depledge to make my decision to join them an easy one.
1) Depledge recognise the detrimental impact of charges on investment returns.
Global GDP and base interest rates have been reducing for several years which will more than likely have a knock-on effect to the returns from client portfolios when measured over the longer term. An important area to be controlled therefore is the fees levied on client portfolios. In my experience to date many adviser firms have let this get out of control. I have regularly seen total costs spiral to over 2% p.a. and in many cases 3% p.a. and above. Over a 10-year period a portfolio needs to work very hard just to stand still when burdened with such costs.
Depledge focus on keeping charges low (and transparent!) – regardless of the solution and have built a proposition that allows a ‘value for money’ approach.
2) Depledge understand the importance of personal service and going the extra mile.
When I first met Andrew and the team at Depledge, it was clear to me that they are a close team of extremely personable individuals who genuinely care about their clients and helping them to achieve their financial goals.
There is a strong attention to detail and also an awareness that personal touches and small factors all contribute to an excellent client experience. These are important considerations which often get overlooked at larger organisations. It is my aim to emulate this approach and help continue to build the business into one of the most respected chartered firms in the UK.
3) The Depledge team have outstanding experience.
Andrew Day and Adrian Mahon have been in financial services for over 50 years between them and have worked for some of the UK’s largest and best-established companies. This has provided them with a breadth of experience and excellent training.
The support team (led by Andrea Dingsdale) also have a significant amount of experience which ensures a smooth service from front to back for our valued clients. Overall the team have collectively over 100 years’ experience in the profession.
Turnover of staff at Depledge is extremely low. This results in clients being able to get to know their dedicated wealth management team on a personal level. Having access to individuals you can get to know and build trust with is essential and is a far cry from the ‘call centre’ experience offered by many firms. Not to mention the fact that the high pressure/sales driven environment so often seen at larger firms can mean a ‘revolving door’ recruitment policy which results in your adviser changing every few years.
4) There is a focus on strategic planning and tax management – not just investment solution selection.
Based on my experience, too many clients are in investment solutions that are not appropriate and are often taking a level of risk that is not conducive/aligned to their objectives. This is for two reasons:
- firms are incentivised and/or restricted in their investment proposition.
- firms are so focused on gathering client assets that they do not take the time to have the required conversations with clients at outset around their plans, goals, and preferences.
We believe that the starting point to a client relationship starts with a clear understanding of plans, goals and preferences. We can then establish the achievability of these plans and goals based on what the client has now and then look to make improvements (if possible) following some financial planning and the establishment of a suitably positioned investment portfolio).
Depledge has a wide range of services and solutions to offer to clients as part of a diligently constructed proposition/offering. We are not tied to any product provider/investment company and can select what we genuinely believe to be the best solution for our client (and no one else).
5) Reputation and stability
Depledge has established an outstanding reputation for providing excellent service and results to and for clients. A quick Google search evidences this!
Andrew and the team are great believers that continuing to go the extra mile and really taking care of their clients is the best way to grow the business and further cement the stellar reputation that Depledge has as a Chartered Financial Planning firm.
Although Depledge are not the same size as some of the organisations that different members of the team have worked for (myself included), it is very important to note that the level of stability the business has is significant.
Depledge are a part of Sense Network, this key partner ensures that we always adhere to the highest compliance standards. The strong processes in place have resulted in the benefit of low professional indemnity costs since inception. This has bucked the trend in the industry which has seen so many firms both large and small see these costs spiral out of control, inevitably meaning that they must pass on these costs to their clients.
Depledge are independent financial advisers and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They hold the certification BS 8577 Framework for the provision of financial advice and planning services which is the only British Standard for financial planning and advice businesses.
Depledge have been established since 2013 and now advise on over £170 million of client assets for over 325 families across the North West and beyond.
Depledge and Sense are both well-capitalised businesses adhering to capital adequacy standards set by the FCA.
All investments selected by Depledge are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Finally, Depledge has been recognised in 2020 in several prestigious awards from nominations in the Federation of Small Businesses awards and well recognised Money Marketing Awards through to a continued place in the Citywire top 100 UK firms for the last five years.
I anticipate Depledge continuing its path of strong growth moving forward. I look forward to contributing to this success and spearheading the new client initiatives in future, as I believe many people seeking a quality advice partner will want to see what we can offer as one of the premier wealth management organisations in the North.
Should you wish to learn more please contact me using the details provided.
Ben Lancaster Chartered ALIBF
Senior Financial Planner
M: 07725 544984
T: 0161 8080210