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Diary of an Adviser: Tony Larkins

Tony Larkins


Although being a Chartered Fellow of the CMI, this was my first attendance at this type of meeting. Then it’s back to the office for a compliance file review. Our compliance officer reviews every case my paraplanner does – we have a new paraplanning system which needs full checking, and as part of her role is to cover our backs, we need to follow her recommendations. After all, you just do not know if something will come back to bite you for having a wrong word or omitting the obvious. As she says, if it is not written down, it never happened.


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I have another new client meeting for the start of the day. This was an interesting meeting, given that he is an international life coach. I ended up coaching him – a good job, as I am also a qualified coach. This was then followed by our practice monthly management meeting which ran through to lunch time. The afternoon was spent writing up file notes and starting the next article for publication in a number of regional magazines. I have been writing an article every month for about eight years – sometimes two a month – and keeping the ideas fresh is not always the easiest.


I have a rare treat today – an appointment out of the office. Almost all of my clients visit me, but this couple have been clients for about 24 years and for some reason I have always visited them. This time, our appointment was a bit different as redundancy was a strong possibility for them, given the merger of three police force operations, and the terms being offered did not appear fair. Having explained the options and advised on an appropriate course of action, at least they feel a bit clearer about their next steps. Next time they insist they will visit me.


We have recruited four new people recently, and as part of their induction process, they sit with each department. Today it was my turn to play host, so I went through an explanation/part role-play of what happens at a first meeting and the type of things I look for and ask with reference to client goals and objectives. In the afternoon, I took our new marketing assistant to visit a local branch of a national charity. It was a successful meeting and we have agreed to work together in assisting them by providing financial advice to those who seek help from the charity. This will be arranged through one of my advisers at Beacon, and the charity would also like me to provide legal services through the group of solicitors I own. It is hoped that this association will help generate upwards of £40,000 for the charity in the first year, if managed properly.