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By Aimee Steen | Published Sep 12, 2012

Quick questions: Wingate FP’s Alistair Cunningham

Being grilled this week is Alistair Cunningham, financial planning director of Surrey-based Wingate Financial Planning.

What was your first job in financial services? I was an accounting clerk for a firm of financial advisers.

What drew you to the profession? The last thing I wanted to be was an accountant. I applied to four life companies, all of them offered me a job and I took the one with Friends Provident because they said they were ethical.

What is the most important thing an adviser can do for a client? To be a single point of contact for any lifestyle queries. The most valuable thing we offer is a sounding board to ensure people follow the right plan when it’s difficult.

What is the most important decision you have ever made? When I left my last firm, I thought, this is going to be a significant change. So coming to Wingate was a big decision.

How do you think the industry has changed since you started working in it? The most significant change is a move to more of a fee-based service.

Other than property, what is the most expensive thing you have bought? My Canon photographic paraphernalia. I’ve bought several thousand pounds of camera equipment.

What is your perfect day off? Spending time with my family.

What would you tell your 10-year-old self? The most important thing is to instil children with the belief that they can do the right thing. A 10-year-old child should be helped to make their own decisions. I don’t have any major regrets.

Who would you recommend as a must-follow person on Twitter? Richard Allum (@TheParaplanner).

What do you have set as your homepage in your internet browser? The personalised homepage of Google.

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