Chris Wordsworth - Financial Planner of the Year

I’m really pleased to have been awarded the Money Management Overall Financial Planner of the Year 2018. From my experience of having won a category award previously, these particular awards are held in high esteem.

When clients say “tell me about yourself and your experience”, being able to state you have won this award – and that it’s based on real-life advice and is independent - helps massively in instilling confidence and opens many doors. The winner’s logo can even be on your stationary, instilling confidence from first contact.

If you haven’t entered before, give this a go next year (but, selfishly, I’d say please don’t try too hard). You submit real-life cases that limit the time it takes to enter, learn a bit along the way, meet some great people, and it can really help your future business.

On my part, I’m definitely going to be using this as a gateway to further business.

Laura Whetstone - Rising Star & Tax Efficient Investing Planner of the Year

I am absolutely delighted to have won the tax-efficient investing category in such a respected series of awards. The interview process was rigorous, and with such experienced judges it was certainly a test of nerves! It was extremely reassuring to learn that I had done enough to earn their recognition. It was a complete shock to obtain the rising star award which I am extremely grateful for. The ethos of our firm, Lathe & Co, is built upon exceeding expectations and breaking barriers. To win such a prestigious award will spur us on further and keep us pushing to become the foremost financial planning firm in the City of London.

Jason Eldrid - At-Retirement Planner of the Year

I remember when I was a trainee life inspector in the early 1990s that the Money Management Financial Planner awards winners were described to me as the best of the best in the adviser community. That has always stuck with me and since becoming adviser myself quite a few years ago, I thought every year when they came out “I must enter this year”. But it didn’t happen until the rule change two years ago which allowed real client financial plans to be entered. As a firm we mainly deal with the “At-Retirement” sector, so what did I have to lose but send a plan in? Having been shortlisted last year and winning this year, I say the same to all planners: what have you got to lose?

Matthew Phillips - Equity Release Planner of the Year

I believe the Financial Planner Awards are seen as pinnacle in our industry, as they are all based on standards set by the Financial Planning Standards Board. This means that there is no outside influence, and you are marked on purely the merits of the advice you give to clients, ensuring that the winners of each award are truly some of the best in our industry. To win the Equity Release Planner Award is humbling due to the ever-growing number of advisors in this area. It also underlines how Equity Release is becoming a prominent part of financial planning for clients.Equity Release is one of the fastest growing areas in the financial services; these awards show the standards that should be maintained by all advisers when providing advice for clients. I feel honoured to have won the award and it is the best moment of my career so far.

Carole Nicholls - IHT Planner of the Year

Once you are qualified and have been advising for many years it is easy to get complacent. It’s important to challenge both your knowledge and communication skills and entering for this award is an excellent way of doing this. To become a winner is hard work: you are judged not just on your client work, but to be interviewed by your peers can be daunting, so I only put myself under this pressure every two or three years. This year was one of those years and I am so delighted to have won this award. Much of my work is with older clients so being able to demonstrate this expertise in Inheritance Tax Planning is a huge bonus.

David Malin - Investment Companies Planner of the Year

I was honoured to be selected as a winner in the Investment Companies category at the Money Management Financial Planner Awards and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. I have looked into entering these awards for some years now, and I am glad that I finally took the time to take part as it has been a very rewarding, and challenging, process. I would encourage anyone that has thought about entering to get an entry submitted next year.

Andy Springford - Investment Planner of the Year

The Money Management Financial Planner Awards are a great way of promoting the profession, while placing the focus very much on quality when it comes to giving financial advice. Therefore anybody who gets shortlisted should be proud that their submissions have been singled out as of the highest quality.

You can’t be anything but surprised when winning an award; the judging panel is made up of people at the height of the profession, and they will never fail to find something that will test you – more than any client will. I’m yet to come across anyone who’s left the interview feeling confident that they gave a good account of themselves!

There are too many lazy financial advisers giving mediocre advice to their clients; these awards are a way of setting the standard of advice clients should expect.

Francis Klonowski - Multi-Asset Planner of the Year

Ever since I first discovered multi-manager investing in 1995 – now better known as multi-asset – it has played a major role in my client portfolios, leaving me free to concentrate on financial planning. It is therefore important to submit an example of this planning to be scrutinised by my peers – with of course the risk that it may not be deemed good enough. So I was both relieved and delighted to win this award, it felt like an endorsement at the highest level of the kind of work I do for clients. It was also an opportunity to learn more about the subject. I was especially pleased to see that the case study for the interview was a couple in the accumulation stage : with the emphasis nowadays on assets under management, it’s too easy to forget that many people value true financial planning when building their assets.

Lisa Hardman - Sustainable Ethical Planner of the Year

I am delighted to have won this award. It has been a real team effort which is how we like to work! Although we are ethical investment specialists, we are first and foremost financial planners and this award is in recognition of this. Winning it is a validation of our skills and quality as financial advisers and clients find it very reassuring. Taking account of your values when you invest your capital is becoming far more prevalent and what was once considered an ethical issue, such as climate change, is now an investment issue. Financial advisers need to be able to understand and advise clients in this area, and awards such as the Money Management Financial Planner Awards encourage this development and help build professionalism and set benchmarks.

Wanda Moore - Mortgage Planner of the Year

During my career I never imagined I would be recognised for award of this nature. I was encouraged by our company director to enter; the hardest part was trying to summarise my client work in 300 words. My invitation to the Financial Times offices was a nervous experience - having travelled that morning I didn’t know what to expect. But the evening awards at OXO Tower gave that feeling of achievement regardless of what place you came, and I was warmly welcomed especially by Nick Birdseye whose firm sponsored the Mortgage Planner category. To win was amazing, and it felt good letting everyone in the Fairstone office know, as they have supported me through the process and all were so pleased with the outcome.

I would encourage anyone to make an application - you can surprise yourself with what you are capable of doing.