How / why did you get into your line of work in the financial services sector?
I have been working in Financial Services and investment management since 1987 and started work one week before the stock market crash of 1987 – great timing !
I had always wanted to get into this field and started by managing investment portfolios for clients in a highly tailored way with the aim of protecting assets in difficult times and hopefully making good returns in better times.
Starting at the time of the stock market crash of ’87 was a steep learning curve but one which was an amazing grounding in investment management and looking after money.
What is your special interest or particular field of expertise in the financial services sector right now?
At the moment our key areas of specialisation are providing wealth planning solutions for people particularly in the EU and in particular in Portugal to produce well costed investment , pension and income planning solutions to fit their lifestyle and tax staus in Portugal.
We also have a team of specialists working also in France , Spain and Ireland and manage tax and fiscally compliant solutions for our clients and associates in those countries. Every jurisdiction is a little bit different so its important to have a good team with good skills in different areas.
Also , a major area has been working with US Nationals and Connected people who have particular problems and assisting them in their planning and solutions – this has been a fascinating area and we have tailored specific solutions for our US clients.
What is the most important aspect of your work, in relation to clients, or the part of your day-to-day role which gives you the most satisfaction?
The main thing is providing people with solutions that make their lives simpler and easy to understand. Nothing flash , as little jargon as possible but the right solutions and a lot of common sense for their lives and location.
This means that people who have become expatriates can enjoy the benefits of their new life whilst knowing their financial planning is being looked after daily and works in their new place of residence
Dealing with clients is a real pleasure – real people with real lives with real issues and helping them. A financial GP if you’d like.
What’s special/unique/most interesting about the region you work in?
I am based in Portugal and live in the Algarve near Quinta Do Lago. It has first and foremost a wonderful climate and is full of really nice and fascinating people – along with great golf courses (!) and amazing fish restaurants ! Everyone has an individual issue and needs individual planning – something for them – not just something off the shelf.
International markets are all interesting to my mind and we have spent much time in France , Spain and Ireland – everywhere is full of interesting people who have made the choice to be somewhere else than home.
How has the market / industry / your client base been impacted by Brexit?
The market and industry has changed dramatically since Brexit as it always going to. Obviously UK advisers aren’t in general or shouldn’t be advising international clients so it has meant that people need proper advice and properly regulated advisers.
We work with a number of UK companies to assist them with their international clients now.
A number of insurers and providers have obviously dropped out of the market so it is imperative that as properly regulated advisers we give the appropriate solutions for clients as per where they live and are tax resident.
In my opinion the quality of advisers across the board is going up and up in Europe with well qualified and diligent advisers.
Right now, what is your one piece of invaluable information for expats or anyone seeking retirement planning and wealth management advice?
Get good advice where you are resident and get proper advice – not just hearsay from the Golf Club or the bar – seek out professionals with expertise where you live.
Ideally deal with fee based advisers with expertise in your jurisdiction – dealing with long term financial planners who understand the area and are not just product salesmen
What would be your advice to any firm seeking licencing permissions under an international network?
I have discussed this on a number of occasions and the key is that you have all your Compliance and Regulatory needs looked after – the Network pays you promptly with minimum fuss and can give you back up and assistance when you need it – never be afraid to ask for assistance from within a Group – we can’t all know everything.
That and they are big enough and have strong systems so you can get on with the job of looking after clients whilst having all the assistance and back office you require.
Nexus Global and Blacktower already have a long and successful history in the sector, how will your firm continue to offer value to clients in the next 20 years and beyond?
We have already moved many years ago to a fee driven model using modern investments and modern investment platforms. This integrates modern charging structures rather than the old commission models.
We have created a regularly reviewed Central Investment Proposition using tried and trusted investment managers so that we ensure we are “sitting on the same side of the table” with our clients.
This allows us to service and review clients regularly and to keep them abreast of what’s going on in markets in our ever changing World.
Also and something we are now spending a lot of time on is to build succession in the business with varying aged advisers who are qualified with varying skill sets – finding good professional younger people is really important and the aim being to create and continue our long term business and work for clients.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
Well it’s not that interesting but I am Chairman of FEIFA ( Federation of European Independent Financial Advisers) – an organisation that I am delighted to say is prospering and aimed at continually raising standards in our profession.