I returned to London last night to attend the annual glitzy Schroders UK Platform Awards, presented by TV Host and Journalist Kate Silverton.
Perhaps one of the hardest fought categories within the awards every year is the UK’s ‘Leading Adviser Practise’ which celebrates firms with 10 advisers or less from all around the UK. The process starts with an initial lengthy written submission for the judges to consider.
This is hard enough, as the questions seek to ‘open up’ the IFA firms’ use of technology, platforms, processes, financial robustness, ethos and charging structure.
It is no mean feat to make it through this first phase to the final few firms. These firms are then invited to attend a tough interview with the judges in London. Here they are again questioned on their whole business and client experience.
Having found myself in this position on four occasions, I can honestly say that I absolutely love it!
It is like being summoned into the Headmasters office and definitely gets the heart pumping! However, the challenge of pitching your ‘pride and joy’ against the very best in the country is extremely valuable in checking your own flaws and seeing how you can improve further.
Our clients may recall that we actually won the award last year. This was a staggering result for a small firm from Pembrokeshire up against far bigger London based firms.
To this end, I was not expecting much from last night. My main purpose was to enjoy being in those final firms and to continue to build on past successes.
As the results were read out to a packed ceremony of over 500 heads of business, I was delighted to see that the judges had given us a ‘Highly Commended’ status which they reserve for firms they genuinely respect. We picked up 2nd place which was still a remarkable achievement and I travelled back happily today feeling I had kept Pembrokeshire and ‘Thomas and Thomas’ firmly on the map.
I would like to sincerely thank Katy and Lisa for helping our firm to stand out in such a way, and I am sure that Sophie will be inspired by what she sees. I also want to thank our very treasured clients who mean so much to us. Your encouragement drives us on.
We live in very uncertain and unsettling times and it would be very easy to be swamped by the negative press we currently see in our lives. I think it is great to push against that and keep going forward – no matter what.