Manning & Company

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Manning & Company'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 Manning & Company 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
Mike LeGassick, director
Manning & Company is a long established financial
advice practice based in Ivybridge, Devon. Director Mike
LeGassick has been part of its growth for six years, but,
long before that, in their early days, they simply comprised two
advisers. It began with just Steve Manning, who helped to grow the
company, organically, to where it is today. They rely on the services
of 15 self-employed advisers alongside 12 dedicated members of
administrative staff. They offer independent financial advice and
planning, specialising in pensions, investments and estate planning,
looking at lifestyle planning rather than being product driven. The
journey they provide is individualised, personalised and specialised
for each client, and looks at reaching the best possible outcome.
With financial advice, there are two outcomes that people are seeking to avoid.
They don’t want to run out of money, and they don’t want to die too soon and
leave relatives financially burdened. The journey we offer seeks to avoid both – and
within that, if we offer or recommend products, they’re simply tools to achieve
security in one or both eventualities. It’s about discovering what a client wants and
using the appropriate tools to secure that.
We don’t see the need for an excessive use of financial jargon, and try to strip
everything back to basics. We look at families, commitments and lifestyles, and make
sure that all can be maintained appropriately through what we offer. Keeping things
simple and allowing clients to arrive at their own, informed decision is so important – in
an environment where people often don’t save enough, the market is far too saturated
with confusing and often arbitrary terminology. It’s about respect, comprehension
and trust. A lot of financial advisers hear what a client’s saying, but we try to listen.
The importance of financial education
Especially when it comes to investment, this is something that we ensure is central
to all advice we give. There are a few anchoring questions we use – we ask clients
if they recall Black Monday, and talk about its ramifications, we talk about the
FTSE 100 and check their understanding of both. When people have incorrect
understanding of how markets work, they can often be overly cautious. It’s about
educating people to ensure they’re well versed and able to make a decision. I have
no right to tell people what to do with their money if I know nothing about them or
their financial experience; we try to know the person, rather than just thefigures.
We like to discover a client’s earliest memories concerning money. Views on money
are often instilled at a young age, and research has shown this to have a lasting
effect on financial decisions made in later life. We want people to tell us stories –
about their parents’ relationships with money, for example – so we can become
appropriately informed. People are often irrational when it comes to finance, and
the psychology of these decisions has to be understood.
»Director: Mike LeGassick
»Established in 1988
»Based in Ivybridge, Devon
»Services: Independent financial
»No. of employees: 27
»Favourable feedback on, “the
TripAdvisor for financial
Manning & Company
This sentiment of financial education
stretches to a different capacity, too.
We need to look at getting younger
people into our profession – driving
education about the subject of money
is so important in formative years, and
even if it doesn’t lead to creating the
financial advisers of the future, it helps
people to avoid making fundamental
mistakes in early life.
Staying ahead of the curve
This financial year, we anticipate
turnover to be around £3 million.
We have been growing steadily over
the past few years, and have been
fortunate enough to take on new
advisers at Manning & Company; the
firm is a service provider for not just
clients, but for advisers as well, and
we have excelled in that regard. As
a result, we have naturally attracted
good people. We are renowned as
being credible and trustworthy, and
we want to maintain that standing.
This reputation is displayed best in the
method by which we have historically
grown: referral. People talk to each
other, and when a lot of our business
is local, a positive experience can go a
long way. Satisfied existing customers
either provide growth through word
of mouth, or repeat business. On a
larger scale, Manning & Company
has generally favourable feedback on, a company which
functions similarly to TripAdvisor,
allowing users to rate and review
professionals in the sector.
Saturated with legislative change
Companies speak to one another –
there is a general feeling across the
profession that there has been too
much regulatory change in too short a
period. As soon as you get your head
around one fresh piece of legislation,
there is another change to deal with,
and a decision that was historically
compliant can quickly become not so.
We have, as a nation, a huge savings
gap. As financial advisers, we need to
look at making that simpler, but the
government does have a part to play;
increasing the amount of paperwork
and the number of checklists required
for someone to simply invest in basic
savings accounts does not help. Saving
just £200 a month into a stock-based
ISA can require around 80 pages
of documentation for the client. Of
course, we recognise the importance
of compliance, but it can quickly
become an overload of information. As
a result, advisers have to focus first on
ticking all the regulatory boxes ahead
of just offering sound financial advice.
Finally, we have recently seen the
emergence of point-of-sale suitability
reports for investment and pension
business. These reports ensure we have
recorded what we have done, why we
have done it, which product provider
we have recommended and why we
have recommended them. It’s another
important part of compliance, but
scrutinising your own internal systems
consumes time that could perhaps be
better spent servicing and educating
clients. Finding the correct balance
should be a priority.
A good time for the
In spite of these issues, our future
looks very positive. We want to start
taking on younger people and bringing
them through in the right way – our
profession is woefully lacking in young
blood. Independent financial advice is
a difficult business to get into when
you’re younger due to how necessary
experience is. As a historically male-
dominated profession, we do also
want to see more female advisers
coming through.
Going forward, technology will have an
increasing impact on how we deliver our
advice; we do believe that automated
advice will have its place, but it will
also have its shortcomings. We are
excited for what the future has to
hold, but want to continue to provide
the level and quality of service we are
renowned for.
Manning & Company,
independent financial
We are excited
for what the
future has to
hold, but we
want to
continue to
provide the level
and quality of
service we are
renowned for

This article was sponsored by Manning & Company. 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