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 Lucent Financial Planning is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Lucent Financial Planning
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | LUCENT FINANCIAL PLANNING
Founded in 2009, Lucent Financial Planning are a chartered,
independent financial advisory business, based in Solihull.
Lucent help ambitious business leaders and their families make
important financial decisions for the future, while bringing clarity to
confusing jargon. Lucent always look at the finances of their clients
through the spectrum of their life and aim to help clients “live the
life they want” in retirement. Managing Director Steven Rowe
explains that managing your money is in direct relation to how
you want to live your life. What is money for if not to be spent?
Cliché as it may sound, our approach to financial advice is different to most of
our competitors. When offering financial advice, we frame it as life planning,
where money is merely invested to help individuals and families achieve their
hopes and dreams. Finance should always be looked at through the lens of your
life, and enabling our clients to live the life they want is central to our philosophy.
Meanwhile, we offer high-quality financial advice, delivered by our chartered
independent financial advisers, who work alongside a tight-knit support team.
A rapid ascent
I established Lucent Financial Planning in 2009 and shortly afterwards qualified
as a chartered independent financial adviser. Initially, I provided services to my
clients alone, but as business began to grow I hired an administrator to assist
me. I founded Lucent because I had become disillusioned with the way financial
institutions were treating clients and I knew I could provide a better service.
Clients were not treated as human beings, and advisers were not interested in
using an individual’s money to enhance their happiness, only their funds under
management. I wanted to put an end to this, and I was careful to ensure that I had
a clearly set-out ethos that any new members of staff would have to buyinto.
I’ve been told I have a personable, honest and all-encompassing approach that allowed
me to quickly build a client base through referrals and recommendations. I knew
that jargon only confused clients, while I tried to build an understanding of what they
were trying to achieve with their money and what their motive was. To ensure my
service is as helpful and successful as possible, I am constantly striving to improve how
we deliver our financial advice. The best financial plan in the world is useless unless
implemented correctly; pensions and investments are important, but we aim to
ensure our clients understand where their misconceptions and thought processes
can harm their wealth as unnecessary tinkering with a plan can have profound
effects on future values. That can be the difference between retiring at 65 or 60.
Today, we have approximately 200 clients on our books, and in our recent feedback
survey, of those surveyed, 100 per cent of our customers say their wealth is in safe
hands with us, and 100 per cent of our clients say we really understand their goals and
AT A GLANCE
LUCENT FINANCIAL PLANNING
»Founded in 2009
»Based in Solihull, Birmingham
»No. of employees: 8
independent financial advice
for individuals and businesses
25LUCENT FINANCIAL PLANNING |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
objectives. Also, 100 per cent of clients
surveyed say we provide a five-star
service. I ran the business with just three
employees until 2017, when I decided
to expand our capacity dramatically
to allow us to service the burgeoning
demand for advice, hiring a new COO,
three new analysts and a chartered
financial adviser. We have continued to
look at growth since, and in early 2019
we will move into a new office and
expand the team evenfurther.
The satisfaction of our clients and the
high demand for our services has led
to efforts to develop our capacity and
grow the business. To ensure our newly
retired clients get the most from their
time, we have begun building a project
called “Lucenteers”, which aims to
organise social events for the recently
retired and implement a mentoring
scheme. The programme is an attempt
to further enhance the lifestyle of our
clients through maximising their early
years in retirement by trying as many
new activities as possible to enjoy
their newly found leisure time, while
connecting them with other like-minded
people that have also recently retired
and using their years of experience in
business to help youngerentrepreneurs.
Seeing challenges as an
We have always tried to view the
potential challenges we may face as
an opportunity to improve our service
and become better for our clients. New
legislation and regulation, including
MiFID and GDPR, did not come as a
shock to us, and in many instances our
processes have already been a step
ahead of our competitors. We saw
GDPR as a great opportunity to touch
base with clients about the changes
and to discuss how it may affect them
or their business. Keeping an open
and honest dialogue with clients
keeps them engaged and invested
in our work, and it ensures they feel
valued and respected. With regard to
economic instability and challenges, our
diversified approach ensures our clients’
assets are often shielded fromvolatility.
The biggest challenge we currently face
is growing the business to meet the new
demand for our services. We want to
ensure we are hiring the right people,
which can be difficult considering the
speed at which we are likely to grow.
As I mentioned, buying into our ethos
and embracing the Lucent way is crucial,
while we also require all of our advisers
to be chartered in order to maintain
our expertise and chartered firm status.
Finding a high-quality, chartered adviser,
who believes in our client-first approach,
can present a challenge, but we are
determined not to rush the process and
to wait until we find the correct fit.
Our staff have personality, and they
are open and honest with clients. We
have built up genuinely sustainable
relationships with clients, and this
has just served to enhance the quality
of our service. We are enthusiastic
and passionate about our work and
our clients, and they respond with
openness and honesty in return. Our
clients receive the same level of quality
support, regardless of how long they
have been with us or how complex or
simple the request is. We are confident
we will continue to provide this going
forward, and we are excited about the
next step we will take on this journey.
A personalised financial
plan for you to keep
100 per cent of
say their wealth
is in safe hands
with us, and
100 per cent of
our clients say
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
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.