Argent Wealth

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Argent Wealth's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Argent Wealth is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Managing Director
Argent Wealth Ltd was established by David Hardman
and his father in 2009. Since then, they have gone on
to become an FTAdviser Top 100 company and currently
advise on £200 million of funds. Through measured expansion,
achieved by recruiting like-minded advisers, they have been able
to grow and develop their practice. In order to keep up to date
with the changing economic and political landscape, they have a
specialist investment research team to identify fruitful investment
plans. David tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the ethos of
the company and what they have planned going forward.
Following my economics studies at bachelor’s and master’s levels, and a period in
the finance industry, I came into the financial services business with my father in
the 1990s. This was a period of learning through various adviser network entities
until we made the decision to go directly regulated with the Financial Conduct
Authority in 2009 and form Argent Wealth Ltd.
After three years, we took the decision to expand the business in what we felt
was a measured way by taking on more like-minded advisers whom I had known
personally for over ten years and operated in the same way as the existing team.
Alongside the advisers is a group of experienced administrators, bringing the total
staff to 15 to date. As well as the head office in Durham, we now have a presence
in Leeds, Stowmarket, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Forward-looking with traditional values
After initially spending a number of years developing our systems and processes, the
efforts have proved fruitful over recent years. The result of this is that our advisers
are able to spend more time with clients, helping them to achieve their objectives.
We continually strive to improve our processes so that each adviser can operate
efficiently. More importantly, the client has clarity over their planning and can
spend more time doing the things that are important to them, as it’s not all about
the money. The system can operate well for all while also encompassing specific
advice and objectives for the client.
No doubt, the changes to the pension regime have resulted in an increase in
consumer-led enquiries over the last few years, but we have also received regular
referrals, whether for clients beginning their investment journeys or those enjoying
their retirement.
We have also benefitted from the way we operate when initial enquiries are made.
With the advent of adviser charging, instead of commission, we welcomed the
opportunity to provide clarity for the client. We believe it has been positive for
client outcomes in driving down charges overall.
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2009
»Based in Durham, Leeds,
Stowmarket, Birmingham and
»Services: Independent financial
advice for private clients,
professionals and business
»No. of employees: 15
ȣ200 million of funds under
»FTAdviser Top 100 firm
Argent Wealth
We also believe it is fair that the client
has an opportunity to assess whether
they wish to work with the adviser
and, in that respect, we do offer an
initial analysis service that doesn’t
attract a fee. This kind of service may
be something that other firms regard
as not cost-effective, but we are
looking longer term.
If after analysis the client gains
reassurance that their current planning
is in fact appropriate, then leaving
investments where they are is a good
consumer outcome. If a client can
achieve what they want where they
are, then that is fine and they are
more likely to revisit us when they
need help in the future or refer us to
There is no right or wrong with this,
as adviser firms operate very well
with different strategies, and it is
positive that the client has this choice
at the outset – something that didn’t
Innovative investment solutions
At the core of ourbusiness, we also
employ a specialist investment research
team, which has no allegiance to any
investment house or provider.This
teamworks with us to ensurethat we
develop strategies that are designed
to provide dynamic risk-managed
portfolios sourcing real returns.
These portfolios can be used for
various personal and corporate
investment and pension wrappers.
We carefullychoose our investment
partners,review their performance
regularly and holdthem accountable to
deliver such returns.
We also feel that the more traditional
asset-allocation approach, while
potentially diverse, now has further
risks to contend with, given the
ever-changing political and economic
landscape. A fluid and attentive
monitoring process is necessary to try
to cope with such issues.
A natural extension of our business
process is to ensure that the wealth
our clients have built up passes down
effectively to their beneficiaries. As
such, we also work closely with a team
of specialist legal experts who offer
a rangeof real-life solutions for the
protection of wealth, both personal
and business.These solutions are
varied and will depend on the client’s
personalcircumstances but encompass
various trusts for personal funds,
inheritance tax planning and property
protection, as well as the more
common bloodline planning.
Adapting to change
Having been in the financial services
industry for over 25 years, you
become accustomed to change. The
industry itself has to adapt to evolving
circumstances and for those advisers
I have met who remain, I believe
they are committed to long-term
relationships with their clients in order
for all to achieve positive outcomes.
Fluidity, flexibility and diversity, allied
with consistent service, are key to
ensuring that client objectives can be
achieved. We are also big believers in
giving something back and welcome
the opportunity to help to make a real
difference by contributing to a number
of charitable organisations, both large
and small.
I was delighted that the firm achieved
FTAdviser Top 100 status at the
awards ceremony held at the Financial
Times head office. It marked the
culmination of many years’ efforts, and
it was particularly pleasing to receive
recognition for the efforts of everyone
in the group. While very proud, we
will not rest on our laurels and will
continue to strive to maintain and
improve standards where possible to
achieve results for our clients.
We attained FT
Adviser Top 100
We are big
believers in
back and
contribute to
a number of
both large and

This article was sponsored by Argent Wealth. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster