5 Mins with Stephen McFadden
Stephen recently joined Pivotal Financial Planning, part of The ER Network, after working for 27 years providing financial advice in the banking sector. We spoke to Stephen about how he’s settling in at Pivotal Financial Planning.
- Stephen, you recently joined Pivotal Financial Planning after working within the banking sector offering financial advice. What made you want to make the switch?
I was keen to broaden the range of financial advice and choice of products I could offer to my clients. In my previous role I was offering ‘protection advice only’ as a tied adviser meaning I couldn’t offer my clients a choice of protection companies which could lead to them paying a higher premium for an inferior product. I also wasn’t able to offer advice in areas such as pensions or investments meaning my clients would have to go elsewhere or worse still go without advice in these important areas.
In my new role I’m able to add value to my service by offering my client a choice of ‘best of breed’ protection, pension and investment products from across the marketplace. This means my clients are getting potentially better protection products at a lower premium as well getting access to pension and investment advice which can help save them tax and increase their future wealth.
- How is working at Pivotal Financial Planning different from working for a financial institution like a bank?
It’s different because I’m able to offer a much more personal service to a much smaller number of clients meaning that I have more time to spend with each client. In the bank there was an expectation to see many more clients each week and it was harder to build up a rapport with my clients as I had less time to spend with them and because I may never see them again after an initial meeting.
- What have you found to be the benefits of being part of Pivotal Financial?
The benefits are that I can work alone and plan my own work whilst still being able to get advice and help from highly experienced colleagues if required. As I mentioned above I’m getting greater job satisfaction from being able to offer my clients a wider range of advice through a choice of different companies and I’ve also benefitted from attending a range of product training and product masterclasses which have greatly improved my product knowledge.
- What were the deciding factors which helped you decide to join Pivotal?
I always wanted the opportunity to run my own business but the thought of setting up my own Financial Planning firm seemed a daunting one with the industry demanding a high level of compliance which takes a lot of time and money and takes you away from seeing clients. With Pivotal you get the chance to be your own man in an environment with as much or as little support as you need. You get access to leading products in the marketplace and you can use your entrepreneurial spirit to grow your business. My clients get peace of mind that they’re placing their business with a firm that is part of a nationwide network and which has the backing of a global company with huge financial strength. I felt for me at my time of life it was ‘now or never’ and I’m enjoying the challenge so far.
- Is there any advice you would give to a financial adviser who is considering joining from the banking sector?
It’s a good opportunity for those who have the motivation to work without a line manager and for those who may be frustrated that the service they currently offer to their clients is limited. You can have peace of mind that you’ll get the compliance and training support you need but you’ll need to be determined, disciplined and driven to succeed. From what I’ve seen so far there is a demand for advice and it could be a rewarding career move.