I am writing this as Lisa and I (somewhat wearily!) travel back from the Schroders 2018 Platform Awards.
This was the fourth time that we entered this highly contested award that seeks to highlight the very best financial planning firms in the UK. It particularly focuses on the firms use of technology and innovation to create a viable and successful client experience. There are some 5,000 financial advice practices in the UK. We have been runners up twice before which felt like a real achievement considering the size and location of our competitors.
The entry process this year was as challenging as ever. We had to initially enter a written submission which successfully took us through to the short list.
I then travelled up to London in July to face five judges in what I can only describe as a ‘Dragons Den’ style interview. I love these challenges because they ensure that you are sharp and that your business and processes stand up to scrutiny when put under pressure.
Last night, Lisa and I attended the Awards Ceremony which was hosted at the glitzy Park Lane Hilton in London.
There we witnessed the big beasts of the financial world such as Old Mutual, Standard Life and L&G all battle it out for various provider categories that recognise the very best delivery of financial systems and products to investors. The room was filled with over 550 leaders of firms who all hoped it might be their night to win a category Award.
The Awards were presented by Kate Silverton who bumped into Lisa in the Ladies toilets where she was handing out dancing tips, having ‘hot footed’ it straight from her ‘Strictly’ training!
The Leading Adviser Practice Award came towards the end of the night. It is a special Award as the service providers and fund groups know that everything they build is ultimately delivered by financial planning firms like ours.
We held our breath, wondering if perhaps we had achieved runner up once again…..the runner up was announced as another firm.
The head of the Personal Finance Society then explained from the stage that it is very hard to pick a winner within this much contested category. However, this year, one firm really stood out for its passion and dedication to delivering Customer Service, A Client Centred Proposition, Training and Developing the Next Generation of Planners and progress in delivering Ethical Investment Solutions. That firm was Thomas and Thomas.
Winning such an award is a really memorable experience. It just would not be possible without such an amazing team in Lisa, Katy and Emma. However, we would never be at the top of our game without our clients. Your honesty, support and encouragement makes us the business that we are today and we greatly value you all.
The UK Platform Awards website will hopefully be updated in the coming days to show the winners for 2018: www.ukplatformawards.co.uk
It has certainly been a good week for us. I am back in the office tomorrow where it will be ‘business as usual!’ and we are here for you 100% if you need anything at all.
With my best wishes