Financial Planning Conference 2017: Focus on the future – day three

Leaders from the financial planning community made their way to the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales for the CISI’s second Financial Planning Conference on 25–27 September 2017. Here we outline some highlights from the third and final day 
by Jake Matthews

Day three The final day started with Mike Lynch (pictured left), a former commander in Iraq and Afghanistan for the 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, providing insights into effective team building and motivation.  

He compared his time in Iraq to dystopian film Mad Max. “The regime had melted, banks were empty and looting was crazy,” he said. Insurgents were coming into the country and uniting police officers and soldiers, while the US Army was going after the ‘deck of cards’ – Iraq’s most wanted – from 22,000ft in the air. Troops couldn’t move in the day because Al-Qaeda would attack, so they waited until nightfall. This meant the locals were vital. 

Mike formed a ten-man, two-woman team called the Apostles. It was a “broad church” – medical students, fitters and taxi drivers were just three of their professions – and this breadth of experience provided the platform for success.  

Another key to success, according to Mike, is to study the success and failure of those who have gone before you. Once you know how you’re going to act, in any profession, you must understand “the humility and the collaborative side of work – training them up to a level and then letting them go to leave their own mark on their jobs”. 

Getting the basics right is also important, he said.

Practice management 
FP Advance’s founder, Brett Davidson, explored what leading firms are doing to continue exponential growth in ‘The ascent – advanced techniques to help take your business to the next level’. He said: “Clarity is key. As we move forward in our businesses we can often forget why we set up in the first place. It’s easy to get pulled off track or settle into a pattern of ‘winging it’.” He offered a list of questions for delegates to ask themselves and their business (see table). 

Brett Davidson’s six questions financial advisors and planners should ask themselves and clients
1. Why am I doing this (ie, my business)?
2. What do I want my life to look like?
3. What is my idea of work-life balance?
4. Why am I sacrificing myself for this project/this business?
5. What is the higher purpose? (A purpose bigger than money.)
6. What is worth doing even if I fail?  

Investments and advanced planning  
Rebecca Aston, CISI ethics and integrity manager, utilised interactive voting technology to gauge attendees’ views on a range of ethical issues. Highlighting the importance of integrity, Rebecca referenced a 2013 quote by Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England: “Trust arrives by foot and leaves by Ferrari.” 

Real financial planning case studies
‘Meet the planners and ask them anything!’ had no synopsis other than the title, so anything was on the agenda. What emerged was a sharing of ideals and possibilities. Clients were shared, exam tips were distributed and a desire to be strong and work with wealth management and investment professionals was shared by a delegate who wished to remain anonymous.  

Legal advice 
Neil Jefferies MCSI, head of financial planning at Adroit Financial Planning, drew on his experience managing complex clinical negligence and personal injury claims. He discussed how cashflow modelling, risk profiling, savings, investments and pensions can affect matters pre- and post-settlement. 

With the streams over, the final session of the conference started with Justin Urquhart-Stewart, director and co-founder at Seven Investment Management, who went on a whirlwind tour of the state of the markets and the global forces shaping them.
He emphasised: “Confidence runs an economy and, whether you like it or not, the media view sticks to clients.  

“Tell your clients this: ‘Forget Brexit, the bigger picture – where you’re invested worldwide – is much better than it was’.”

Jacqueline Lockie CFPTM Chartered FCSI, then the CISI’s deputy head of financial planning but now its head, closed the conference by reminding delegates that, in the 1980s, financial planning relied on “a few people getting out there and banging the drum” for the profession. She concluded: “As the years have gone by there has still been a light on a few people. You now have the opportunity to take on that baton.”  

Ex IFP CEO Nick Cann was the last speaker (pictured top right). His life changed four years ago when he suffered a stroke. He stopped working at the IFP and is currently engaged in fundraising efforts. These include a London to Paris cycle ride that he did with his family and a 100-mile cycle ride from Cardiff to Tenby that he did alone, raising £7,500 in the process. He is aiming to raise £100,000 for the Phoenix Project, which helps stroke survivors, and return to work in five years’ time. He left to a standing ovation. Afterwards, delegates praised his bravery and courage. 

Praise for the conference was forthcoming, too. 

Delegate Steve Chislett CFPTM Chartered MCSI, managing director at Bournemouth Investments, said: “It’s my tenth trip to this conference. This year has been excellent. The content and seminars have been spot on. I’ll absolutely be back next year.” 
Fellow delegate Andy Jervis, director and senior planner at Chesterton House Financial, Accounting & Legal, said: “I’ve been coming to these conferences longer than I care to remember. Each time, before I set off, I think: ‘Is this going to be worth it?’ Then I arrive and I think: ‘Wow!’ 

“This year, the quality of the speakers has been high, there’s a vitality about the place and a passion for financial planning – it’s been great.

“I will absolutely, definitely be here next year. It’s a highlight of the year.” 

Read about day one of the Financial Planning Conference 2017

Read about day two of the Financial Planning Conference 2017
Published: 18 Oct 2017
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