Aspire Wealth Management

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Aspire Wealth Management'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 Aspire Wealth Management 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
Alex Maclean, founder and
managing director
Based in Edinburgh, Aspire Wealth Management was
created by Alex Maclean in 2006, specifically to offer his
clients tailored, independent financial planning advice.
Aspire’s clients enjoy the benefits of high-end technology,
where services include online portfolio access, supported by
an award-winning back office administration support system.
Together, Aspire’s key staff bring over 80 years’ worth of
financial planning experience, offering a range of services,
including specialist accreditation in defined benefit pension
transfers, as well as later life advice in which domain Alex is
a specialist. What follows is Alex’s word on the company and
Having had the benefit of being a financial adviser for more than three decades, it
would come as no surprise to most who know our firm that we work tirelessly to
learn from the past, and put into practice those simple lessons, which are all too
readily forgotten. I have a belief that most good outcomes in life tend to happen
when many small, perhaps insignificant events come together. Essentially, it’s
the sum of the parts that make the difference. Our clients enjoy an engagement
process with Aspire which allows for a frank exchange of views and attitudes. This
provides a bridge to help them enhance their financial understanding, and to glean
knowledge to support the many decisions they make in life. Our company ethos is
Here for you today, tomorrow and in the future.
We are proud to say that this is how we view and care for our clients, many of
whom receive our high-level, Core Plus portfolio service. This is a tailored service
which is very much appreciated by our long-standing, loyal clients. Indeed, much
of our new business stems from referrals. We are always pleased to assist clients
whom we find have often had an entirely different experience through banks,
building societies and other institutions. We set great store by our regular client
communication, which we view as paramount in delivering our services. We are
very pleased to assist our clients at any time and have built up a high level of trust,
mutual respect and friendship.
Core Plus service and investment committee
Our Core Plus service has evolved since 2006 and adopts a wide range of
individual disciplines, the first of which brings together our key management
personnel, which forms our investment committee that meets every two months,
which is more frequent than most IFAs. In order to enhance our processes and
complement the team, we employ an independent, suitably experienced chair. Our
regular committee meetings provide the opportunity to assess many aspects of
the investment market, not least the analytical information on all authorised funds
»Founder and managing
director: Alex Maclean
»Established in 2006
»Based in Edinburgh
»No. of employees: 8 full and
»Niche practice with funds
under management up to
Aspire Wealth
and fund managers provided through
our specialist partner. The building
blocks commence with a custom
actuarial asset allocation model
created individually, using major asset
classes, which we then populate with
approved or preferred funds and fund
managers, carefully selected through
our committee. We are pleased to
report that our techniques have
produced investment portfolios which
have markedly outperformed the
sector averages over many years, to
the benefit of our clients.
The work of our investment committee
is therefore an important aspect
of delivering returns to our clients.
The process we have adopted uses
information from a number of rating
agencies, including Morningstar, S&P,
Money Management and Citywire.
We are influenced by fund volatility,
total expense ratios, yields and fund
manager tenure. All of these factors
are taken into account before funds
are considered for our preferred
or approved panel. The decision
to approve any fund for Aspire’s
investment compositions remains at
our discretion. However, we believe
that by introducing influencing
factors as highlighted above we can
be confident that funds which we
recommend may prove consistent
in improving long-term outcomes
for our clients, bearing in mind that
we will continue to replace any
funds which no longer meet our
Staff development
Aspire places considerable emphasis
on assisting its staff to improve their
financial understanding by means of
an incentivised, continued learning
programme. Striving to be better in
all aspects of its work is paramount
to Aspire’s model, and we offer
excellent career opportunities for
those who wish to learn and enjoy
In order for businesses to survive
through an ever-changing regulatory
and technology-driven landscape, the
probabilities increase greatly if IFAs
remember to put their clients first.
In line with RDR (Retail Distribution
Review), these principles became a
significant influence in the advisory
model which we’ve developed.
People business
One of Aspire’s founding principles
was to assist anyone who gets in
touch. We are happy to offer guidance
through Aspire’s free consultation
service, even for those who just
need help in understanding certain
financial matters. This meets our
objective for anyone visiting, in that
they will be better informed to help
them make decisions for their future.
For those who may feel they would
benefit from our services, they can
then enjoy an independent holistic
review, without being pressed to buy
products – an approach which (in our
view) all too often remains the core
motive for many product providers
and competitors, which as highlighted
in the media sometimes gives the
industry a bad name.
We feel it is important for existing and
prospective clients to understand what
makes Aspire’s services so appealing.
Understanding that clients are unique
is key to Aspire’s approach, where
we have the opportunity through our
investment process to create a custom
structure for clients’ wealth, suitable
to their risk tolerance and appropriate
to meet their long-term goals. As
Aspire is completely independent, we
have the whole marketplace to choose
from – be that in terms of products,
platforms, funds or fund managers
– and therefore can offer wholly
unbiased advice to our clients.
Client support team
that our clients
are unique is
key to Aspire’s
approach, many
of whom receive
our tailored
high-level, Core
Plus portfolio

This article was sponsored by Aspire Wealth Management. 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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister