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Diary of adviser: Devin Smith

Devin Smith


So many clients read the papers, I often get asked quite random things in meetings and do not like being caught off guard. This particular Monday holds no client meetings for me, so I also use the day to catch up on administration, including emails and correspondence to clients, colleagues and support, along with drafting a suitability report for a client. As our adviser support teams are based in other offices, this is a great chance to call them and get updates on various items of work in progress.


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I have a couple of potential client meetings today. Both clients are coming up to retirement and are beginning to consider their options. Between them they have a mix of final salary schemes, personal pensions, self-invested personal pensions, a S32 plan and existing annuities.

Most of the discussion was about what they were looking to achieve and how much investment risk they can afford to take. Typically, many clients find it difficult to articulate this clearly, so it is up to me to decipher their comments and ambitions, and start pulling a plan together that we are able to provide, which often leads to the peace of mind most clients need.


Today is a day out of the office at a corporate day, and a chance for the wider team around the country to get together at a central point. During the day, we spend a lot of time considering a recent survey on the client experience. I think most would agree that there was a fair amount of insight from the client feedback that we can learn from and do better, but also that we are getting a lot of things right.

As usual with these corporate away days, emails and phone calls are just delayed, potentially making tomorrow a busy one.


While I have to spend the morning dealing with a backlog of emails from the previous day, as envisioned, I have a more exciting afternoon planned, which makes it worth it. This is final preparation for a series of seminars we are running for the joint venture we have with Saga Investment Services. We are delivering these seminars to a potential client bank that is currently on a Mediterranean cruise – talk about holding your audience captive. It is a new initiative and one that we hope will enable us to build relationships for the future.


Today, I have an early start to get to the airport to catch a flight and meet up with the cruise ship. Everything runs smoothly, and I am on board before I know it. The crew assist in helping me find everything and get set up before heading for dinner and drinks with other passengers.