M A G Financial Services

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by M A G Financial Services'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 M A G Financial Services 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

www.magfinancial.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | MAG FINANCIAL SERVICES
Managing Director
MarkGoldstone
Independent financial advice firm MAG Financial Services Ltd
specialises in investments and savings, retirement planning and
inheritance tax planning and protection. Managing Director
Mark Goldstone says that from its Cheshire headquarters,
the firm provides quality financial advice to clients across the
UK. Mark discusses the attention MAG pays to each client’s
investment portfolio and the talents of his boutique team.
I established the business 11 years ago, having previously worked for my family
business of independent financial advisors. After my father retired, I decided to set
up my own business and build up my own clientele from scratch. Our story is a
traditional one: we began with two employees – myself and a secretary – and have
expanded from there.
We primarily study clients’ investment portfolios, reviewing them and providing
advice while building relationships with each and every one of them. We have
achieved significant growth over the 11 years since our establishment and now
have a team of four employees while managing assets in excess of £100 million.
We regard ourselves as a boutique and niche firm within our sector, maintaining
our specialism and detailed focus.
This specialism has been key to our expansion. Rather than setting up a run-of-the-
mill financial advice firm, we decided to do things differently. We focus on those
who are looking for lifestyle financial planning and have adopted a 21st-century
approach to our practice. We have always operated on a fee-only basis, providing
every client with a fair costing for our services.
The majority of our clients are middle-aged as this is often the stage at which people
have the capacity to start saving and investing. We can then begin to plan a future
for them and help to support them throughout this process. The average portfolio
we manage is roughly £300,000 but there is a significant range: from around
£30,000 at the lower end to roughly £15 million at the higher end. No matter the
size of a client’s portfolio, we ensure they receive exactly the same level of service.
Building relationships with our clients
A key facet of our approach is building relationships with our clients and ensuring
our advice always provides direct value. Many see us as the first port of call for
any financial advice and these interactions are then developed into a personal
relationship. This helps to make the client feel completely at ease, encouraging
them to develop trust in our firm.
We do this by endeavouring to understand the objectives and requirements of
our clients, and giving appropriate advice. This personal approach has led to the
cultivation of long-term relationships, with many of our clients having been with
AT A GLANCE
MAG FINANCIAL SERVICES
»Managing Director:
MarkGoldstone
»Established in 2007
»Based in Cheshire
»Services: Financial advice and
planning
»No. of employees: 4
MAG Financial
Services
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | MAG FINANCIAL SERVICES
Managing Director
MarkGoldstone
Independent financial advice firm MAG Financial Services Ltd
specialises in investments and savings, retirement planning and
inheritance tax planning and protection. Managing Director
Mark Goldstone says that from its Cheshire headquarters,
the firm provides quality financial advice to clients across the
UK. Mark discusses the attention MAG pays to each client’s
investment portfolio and the talents of his boutique team.
I established the business 11 years ago, having previously worked for my family
business of independent financial advisors. After my father retired, I decided to set
up my own business and build up my own clientele from scratch. Our story is a
traditional one: we began with two employees – myself and a secretary – and have
expanded from there.
We primarily study clients’ investment portfolios, reviewing them and providing
advice while building relationships with each and every one of them. We have
achieved significant growth over the 11 years since our establishment and now
have a team of four employees while managing assets in excess of £100 million.
We regard ourselves as a boutique and niche firm within our sector, maintaining
our specialism and detailed focus.
This specialism has been key to our expansion. Rather than setting up a run-of-the-
mill financial advice firm, we decided to do things differently. We focus on those
who are looking for lifestyle financial planning and have adopted a 21st-century
approach to our practice. We have always operated on a fee-only basis, providing
every client with a fair costing for our services.
The majority of our clients are middle-aged as this is often the stage at which people
have the capacity to start saving and investing. We can then begin to plan a future
for them and help to support them throughout this process. The average portfolio
we manage is roughly £300,000 but there is a significant range: from around
£30,000 at the lower end to roughly £15 million at the higher end. No matter the
size of a client’s portfolio, we ensure they receive exactly the same level of service.
Building relationships with our clients
A key facet of our approach is building relationships with our clients and ensuring
our advice always provides direct value. Many see us as the first port of call for
any financial advice and these interactions are then developed into a personal
relationship. This helps to make the client feel completely at ease, encouraging
them to develop trust in our firm.
We do this by endeavouring to understand the objectives and requirements of
our clients, and giving appropriate advice. This personal approach has led to the
cultivation of long-term relationships, with many of our clients having been with
AT A GLANCE
MAG FINANCIAL SERVICES
»Managing Director:
MarkGoldstone
»Established in 2007
»Based in Cheshire
»Services: Financial advice and
planning
»No. of employees: 4
MAG Financial
Services
27MAG FINANCIAL SERVICES |
FINANCIAL SERVICES
us since inception. Client retention
is therefore very high and this often
spans generations, with the children as
beneficiaries of an estate continuing to
work with us.
Embracing technology
We embrace technology in order to
prepare us for the digital future. For
instance, we have just modernised
all of our letterheads and brochures
and have introduced a system that
gives clients immediate access to their
portfolios. This provides up-to-date
valuations and allows them to maintain
access and oversight of their portfolio
as we move forward. This also helps
to further develop the relationship of
trust we maintain with our clients.
This digital innovation is not a
replacement for personal interaction,
however, and I will still see my clients
three or four times a year, something
lots of firms do not offer. This level of
service is not available at many other
organisations and we pride ourselves
on it.
Adapting to a changing
regulatory environment
One of the major challenges we face,
like most firms, is maintaining full
compliance in a changing regulatory
environment. Firms can often become
trapped in bubbles, becoming cut off
from wider developments, and it is
essential to escape this bubble in order
to assess the current landscape and
establish a flow of information with
the FCA and their updating guidelines.
This naturally incurs a cost, which is
especially pronounced for firms that
have been running for as long as we
have. Beyond regulatory changes, we
must also adapt, modernise and keep
pushing forward.
Currently, the average financial advisor
is aged 45–60 and it is imperative
that a new generation of advisors
are sought to replace those who are
retiring. My company seeks young,
well-qualified individuals keen to
be trained and established in the
industry. We would ensure they are
able to adapt easily to any regulatory
changes and assist them in creating a
strong vision for the future. Alongside
preserving continuity within our
company, this will also help to change
the mindsets of advisors who have
been working in our industry for
decades. This in itself will help maintain
advice at a regulated level and give a
clarity to the future, enabling investors
to maximise their individual or
corporate requirements.
As we progress, we are aiming to
pursue a lifetime cashflow model for
our clients. This would involve them
getting in touch about their investment
while in response we suggest the best
course of action. This will also help us
to support our clients in achieving their
financial aspirations: if we are aware of
what lies ahead, we will be far better
placed to direct them towards meeting
their long-term objectives. While
providing advice for a specific question
or query will always be important, this
broad view and general planning will
offer longer-term support.
Nicola Roznowski,
paraplanner, and
Oz Shtrosberg, IFA
Digital
innovation is
not a
replacement
for personal
interaction

www.magfinancial.co.uk

This article was sponsored by M A G Financial Services. 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 Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development