Modern Money Financial Services

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Modern Money 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 Modern Money 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

Highlighting best practice
Managing Director
To be truly valued as an independent financial adviser requires
more than just skill and knowledge, says Marcus Paine,
managing director of Modern Money. Connecting with
people is crucial in so personal an area as one’s own finances.
He believes that this is more necessary now than ever, as we live
in a world increasingly dominated by big businesses, corporate
agendas and faceless transactions. In contrast, Modern Money
have distinguished themselves over the years by treating their
clients with humanity and understanding, while offering expertly
tailored financial advice. Marcus tells
what this philosophy of personal connection means.
Balancing the personal and the professional
Modern Money’s firm conviction is that personal finance should not be forced into a
business model that works better for the company than the client. Instead, we believe
that if one is to successfully plan ahead for a happy, fulfilled life, then intelligent,
thoughtful financial advice is required. It is precisely this ethos that we have been
committed to for over three decades: managing and growing wealth for our clients in a
way that is both personal and professional.
Being situated in Holland Park affords us a considerable advantage. As many of our
clients are based in the bustling and restless City of London, our quieter location offers
a more relaxing place in which to discuss personal matters.
Interestingly, the whole enterprise began when I helped my father – a teacher with
no investment history – to plan his retirement. Fourteen years later, he retired with a
substantially greater personal income than he had enjoyed on his modest academic salary.
The values and approach underpinning my advice in those early years set the tone for
what was to become Modern Money’s way of doing business: a close, familial quality.
Working with Richard Jeans, a fellow founder of the business, we often talked long
into the evening about the values that we felt should imbue the service we offered our
clients. We don’t tell our clients what to do. Rather, we present options and provide
them with the facts, and potential outcomes, so they are empowered to make clear,
calm and reasoned decisions about their financial future. In practice, this means our
clients guide the conversation, not us.
This approach has enabled us to develop long and trusting relationships with our
clients, and often their own extended family.
Clarity and capability for a complex world
We live in increasingly challenging times, with expectations of longer lives, increasing
threats of market instability, the move towards portfolio careers, frequent and complex
changes in financial regulations, and changing healthcare and educationalsystems.
Brexit is upon us as well as new money formats, systems and providers, from banking
apps to cybercurrencies, and wrap accounts to online portfolios.
»Managing Director:
»Established in 1987
»Based in Holland Park, London
»Services: Independent financial
advice including financial
planning, inheritance tax
planning, pension planning,
protection advice, portfolio
management and ethical
»No. of employees: 6
Modern Money
All of this is contributing to new attitudes
about money and financial planning.
Indeed, the financial services industry
itself continues to change rapidly.
In such a complex world, a balanced
overview is what our clients value most.
Making it clear, making it
Clarity underpins our approach to
business. We provide informed and clear
direction for our clients based on trust,
respect and knowledge. Whatever the
life stage or financial circumstance – be it
straightforward or complicated, corporate
or individual – we are always here to
help. By discovering what really matters,
we can put together a financial strategy
that is suited to every individual situation.
Our commitment entails the following:
»Providing plans and advice in accessible
»Tailored strategies and solutions using
our own proprietary analysis to map
out a model outcome (in contrast to
large financial service providers, who
often seek to fit clients into pre-
packaged corporate solutions)
»The building of trust through
our knowledge, experience and
expertise, married with our personal
understanding of client circumstances
»Clear strategic thinking and planning,
such that our clients are empowered
to make better decisions
»A human-based, client-centric system:
every client has a personal adviser and
administrator with whom they can
develop a trusted relationship. We don’t
have bots or automated answering
systems. With us, business is personal.
Such efforts have resulted in remarkable
rates of retention, not just in terms
of our clients but also our staff, some
of whom have been with us since the
earliest days of the company. Having
loyal and experienced staff is crucial to
preserving our company culture and a
key component in our long-term success.
Moreover, we’re proud that nearly all
our new business still comes via word of
mouth and recommendation.
Our business philosophy continues to yield
dividends. Modern Money has survived
and thrived through the challenges
of continually tightening professional
regulation, from Fimbra to the FCA.
Funds under management have grown by
15 per cent a year for the last eight years.
The future of the industry
The industry has undergone enormous
change since the advent of the digital
revolution. In the 1990s, we were the
gatekeepers, and our clients came to us
to find out fund prices, pension details
and a wealth of other crucial information.
Detailed information on all financial topics
now exists, freely available, on the internet.
As a result, independent advisers have had
to adapt the mode and range of services
they offer; we need to take a consultative
approach, guiding clients through this
bewildering array of facts, figures and
(mis)information. When researching
a topic, it’s easy to arrive at directly
conflicting advice within the first page of
a Google search. It’s crucial to be able to
sift and analyse the results objectively.
Ethical, Environmental, Social and
Governance (ESG) investment is one
example. More and more of our clients
are asking about what the companies
they invest in are doing in the wider
world: the ethical, environmental impact
of their businesses; the way that they
manage their businesses, treat their staff
and contribute to their communities.
Ethical investment has always been a
part of the investment landscape, and
for millennials especially it is becoming
a major priority. Modern Money is
improving its knowledge in this area,
building model portfolios with an ethical
and ESG bias. Nearly one quarter of
all investable assets globally are now
invested under ESG criteria, and this
sector continues to grow. It’s an especially
complex area given the challenges of
balancing a fund’s financial performance,
its ethical and ESG criteria, and a client’s
fundamental values and attitudes.
The future may be hard to predict, but
there is one thing that won’t change:
smart progressive thinking will always be
needed in financial advice and money
Longstanding and
experienced staff
Whatever the
life stage or
– be it straight-
forward or
corporate or
individual – we
are always here
to help

This article was sponsored by Modern Money 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 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