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A lovely week in sunny Knutsford

Ron Walker


The week begins with our regular marketing and communications meeting. This is one of several meetings we hold every week to ensure good internal communication.

Later, I speak to a contact of business consultant Brett Davidson who agrees to introduce me to a number of top-rated US financial planning firms. I am particularly interested to hear about the services they offer to ultra high net-worth business owners.

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I leave early today to show a very experienced property developer friend around the building we bought recently which, once refurbished, will provide a fantastic new home for our expanding business.


It is another gorgeous day in Knutsford. I leave home at 7.30am and am at my desk by 7.45am (a perk of being in a bustling town rather than the city centre).

This morning I meet a longstanding client who for more than 20 years has held on to old-style capital units in a pension plan because of early exit penalties. He has just passed his 60th birthday so is now considering transferring them to a lower-cost environment.

Then my team carry out final preparations for an Annual Planning Meeting with a big client tomorrow. All APMs have a process, with the paraplanner and support staff doing as much as possible.


Another typical warm sunny day starts with an 8am meeting with our architects to discuss the layout of the new offices. Then it is the APM we finalised preparations for yesterday. The clients are a couple we have looked after for several decades, and now also look after their children.

Like most Clarion clients, they own, or in this case owned, a successful business. They have become firm friends over the years and, after discussing investments, estate planning and their lifelong cashflow forecast, we meet my wife for lunch at one of the many good restaurants in Knutsford.

In the afternoon we conduct our weekly leadership team meeting, then it is off to the golf course for the first time in three years to prepare for a golf day on Friday.


Unsurprisingly, it is another lovely day here. It is also the day of our party to celebrate 30 years in business, and I am overwhelmed by the number of well-wishers who have sent emails, letters and cards, as well as the attention from the press.

We have hired a replica of the DeLorean car from the film Back to the Future to park outside our office, which causes quite a commotion. It is a nice parallel: the original film was released in 1985, when we were formed, and the sequel is set in 2015. We realised it was a bit cheesy but could not resist and everybody loves it.


In keeping with the rest of the week the weather is fabulous, which is welcome because I spend most of the day on a golf course as the guest of a large firm of accountants who introduce business to us.