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 Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy