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Diary of adviser: Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane

Monday

We have had a very good response from clients since our celebratory reception in October. They loved the setting, with Edinburgh Castle as our backdrop, and we appreciated being able to hold it in F&C’s beautiful boardroom in the city.

As with most people, Monday is my day for setting up the rest of the week, although there is still time for some face-to-face contact with providers, so a chance for a chat and a catch-up in a local coffee shop with Morag from Zurich. We are great supporters of platforms and it is time well spent as we discuss the latest developments with regard to trustees.

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Tuesday

I have a breakfast meeting with Pat, who is client welfare manager for one of the solicitor firms we deal with. She looks after the welfare of the firm’s elderly clients and they refer them to us for financial advice. Very often these are clients who have moved into residential care and we work very closely with their attorneys to ensure that their requirements are met as fully as possible. Two clients need their income requirements reviewed while another’s house sale has just completed and there are funds to be invested. I agree to prepare the relevant reports.

Wednesday

I leave the office early today to travel to a client in Angus. I was based in Dundee some years ago and still have many of my clients from that time. Ian is a vet and his firm, which until recently was a partnership, is to become incorporated. He also plans to retire in two years’ time and hence we are meeting with his accountant to discuss the most tax-efficient way of maximising his pension and selling his share of the firm on retirement. We agree to meet again before the end of the tax year.

On a separate note, we have already put in place all the business protection required for Ian and his partners – for both the partnership and the limited company – which is a requirement for their incorporation. So no need for any further discussions.

Some of the vets and their staff bring their dogs into work, so I am always greeted enthusiastically by a labrador or two when I arrive. It must be one of the perks of my job.

Thursday

I am the regional chair for Scotland for the Tenet Group. There are 16 of us and we act as a liaison between the Tenet network and its member-firms. Next week I fly down to East Midlands for our quarterly meeting, attended by Tenet’s directors and senior managers. We are issued with an agenda from Tenet but are given the opportunity to add our own points to it.