Peter Montague, Chartered FCSI, CEO at Montage Wealth Management, set up the firm with the goal of helping clients achieve the freedom of financial independence
by Jane Playdon
Peter Montague, Chartered FCSI
Peter founded Montage Wealth Management in 1998 as a sole trader, converted to a limited company in 2001, and in 2014, aided by Mark Polsen at the Lang Cat, the business took on the current Montage brand with the launch of its discretionary managed portfolios. Peter is now completing the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) qualification and studying the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners exams due to the work Montage is doing with solicitor firms.
Peter is a strong advocate of the value of financial planning and has invested heavily in the next generation. Three of the team are in their early 30s, have recently featured in a Citywire NMA next generation article and are all going for the Top 35 under 35 accolades with Citywire this year: Scott Mordrick CFA CFP™ Chartered FCSI, director and CIO at Montage; David Rule MCSI, one of the firm’s wealth managers; and Christopher Thompson CFP™ Chartered MCSI.
Outside the office Peter is passionate about motorsport, competing in GT racing, and keeps fit with boxing training.
Why did you decide to become accredited and why should others seek to do so?
Scott [Scott Mordrick CFA CFP™ Chartered FCSI, director and CIO at Montage] and I, who have both been CISI members for some time, looked at the benefits of becoming an Accredited Financial Planning Firm™ and felt it was an excellent way to evidence our commitment to setting the highest standards within the firm and giving our clients the highest possible level of service. As part of this, all our team are CISI members and are aiming to be Chartered members shortly.
What accolades and awards has the firm picked up in recent times?
We had a terrific start to the year, picking up three awards at the Professional Adviser Awards, which included the Adviser Firm of the Year (UK); Best Adviser Website; and Adviser Firm of the Year – Midlands & East Anglia. We were astonished, but also certain that having two of our advisers complete the CFP™ certification contributed to that success.
What sort of business is it and what services does it offer? What’s your USP?
We believe that we offer the depth of a family office, with a comprehensive approach that impacts all areas of our clients’ personal affairs. We look at lifestyle decisions and cashflow modelling and build plans for clients based on those findings, spending time educating clients about how to make their money work for them. Our motto is ‘We Believe in Freedom’ and we think this is reflected in everything we do.
How did you get into financial planning?
When I was about 17 I chatted to a family friend about his role as a financial planner in a big city firm. I became intrigued by the profession’s ability to change people’s lives and was drawn to the financial services sector. I secured an interview with a financial planning firm during the early part of my engineering degree course, and straight after university I began working for the firm as a financial adviser under supervision. After five years I left to set up my own firm, which is Montage Wealth today.
What’s the best thing about being at a financial planning firm?
Making a significant positive impact on our clients’ lives is a powerful motivator for everyone here. We don’t want to just go in and look at a client’s pensions or investments in isolation. Financial planning is so much more than that, and where a client doesn’t feel they want the full service then we will shake hands and part ways. The clients who are engaged with what we do for them see real benefits in our service. We are the link that holds everything together for many clients, we maintain regular dialogue with accountants and solicitors, we keep them in check and expect them to do the same as we all work in the interests of the client.
What do you like about the CISI?
It is very pleasing to see that the CISI, rather than resting on its laurels, is making a conscious effort to drive a new wave of financial planners into the market place, both by teaching new entrants to the sector good practice from day one and by providing continuous professional development opportunities to enable firms to evolve as the demands on the profession change.
What does a typical day look like?
Every day tends to be different. The core of what we do revolves around our client service proposition, and that takes priority. After a review meeting, we come back and digest the information the client has given us and see what impact that has on their overall financial plan. This is a key part of every day. We also have other big projects going, such as delivering seminars to both clients and professional connections. We also deal with new client enquiries, and you can almost always guarantee that at least one of us is studying for an exam of some sort. We are used to squeezing as much out of each day as possible by being as organised as possible.
What are your key tips for other planners?
Find and articulate your core values. Make sure your team know what they are and that they all share the same values; it is important that you are all pushing in the same direction. Once you know what sort of practice you want to run/be a part of, stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to speak up if you think something could be better. Always keep developing yourself. Qualifications are not the be all and end all, but similarly there is no reason not to push yourself to be the best you can be. It can only benefit you, your colleagues and your clients.
This article was originally published in the October 2019 print edition of The Review. All members, excluding student members, are eligible to receive the quarterly print edition of the magazine. Members can opt in to receive the print edition by logging in to MyCISI, clicking on My account, then clicking the Communications tab and selecting ‘Yes’.