Aug 3 2017

Diary of an Adviser: Tim Clay

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Diary of an Adviser: Tim Clay
ByTim Clay

MondayI have two big corporate client meetings in London. Pension freedoms, improving technology and competitive pressures mean keeping schemes under close review is as important as ever. Late afternoon I saw two potential new private clients  – generated from corporate pension work – and dinner with a solicitor connection. A busy day.


Back in Birmingham for two client review meetings, involving cash flow and legislative updates. These are made easier when the markets have had a good run, so the emphasis is on the cash flow and making sure no-one gets too carried away with what might end up being choppy waters ahead. Visibility is key and clients appreciate that.


Today I have a regional meeting to share corporate news, updates and specialist provider presentations. 

Establishing strong and successful relationships with professional connections was the cornerstone of Clay Rogers – my former firm, which I sold to Succession last year. Networking was key to our success.

Networking is one thing. However, if you cannot deliver a follow-up service you might as well not bother.

Succession Group embraces this culture wholeheartedly and the afternoon brings on the annual Succession-sponsored Second City Pro-Am golf tournament. A great day for fundraising and uniting financial and legal professionals for great causes. The event raises about £20,000.

For the record, my own golf is abysmal, so with the spirit of continuous development in mind, I am driven to book a Friday 7.30am lesson with a pro.


Thursday sees a meeting with an elderly widow whose only relative – her disabled sister – has recently passed away. Nine years ago we had set up a trust for the sister, but with no obvious beneficiaries my client had to decide how the trust funds should be deployed. 

I was tasked with identifying suitable charities that resonated with her, before arranging meetings with them to discuss how the funds would be used. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience, at the end of which I can honestly say I have not seen my client as happy in years. 

Another private client meeting follows in the afternoon. This is with a turnaround specialist to review his existing portfolio and to extend the scope of the IHT planning we started 12 months earlier.

This is very much based on the outcome of the detailed cash flow forecast – the mainstay of the planning we do here.

Formalities are then thrown into sharp relief with a team building exercise at Escape Live, where we are locked in a room and given just 60 minutes to work together to solve clues and puzzles to find the exit. You cannot build a good business without a dedicated and talented client servicing team. We have some of the best and we should never underestimate their value.