Neil Moles, chief executive of Progeny, admits his varied collection of advisers can be prone to rows behind the scenes.
His business, which has been in its current format for six years, is based on the business model of bringing different professionals with varying expertise under one roof and the client pays an annual management charge and initial fixed fees for having access to them, alongside a range of other fixed fees.
So for initial fees and 1 per cent AMC they will receive: a basic will, a tax return, lasting power of attorney and one conveyance a year, along with financial advice and wealth management. Other services comes with extra fixed fees.
This means that the client has tax advisers, financial advisers and solicitors all working for them. The advisers meet the client at the start, then thrash out the solution behind closed doors.
Moles says: "All of these people are trying to put themselves forward but the more we do these, the more they realise that it's collaborative and that gets the client to the right place."
His plan is based on the fact that onboarding clients is a very expensive process, and the general administration of contacting a solicitor and for them to open a file is where a lot of the cost happens – having everyone in-house already familiar with the client is what saves the firm money.
Most people only review their will once every few years, if they are lucky, Moles says, because of the cost of going to a solicitor.
But under his model, professional advisers review their will annually. "It doesn't cost a lot of money to review a will, as we've already got the full plan.
"We not only set that up as a piece of work, we can bring together other externals, and bring additional advice. It is part of the ongoing programme of holistic planning – this is having financial planning, tax and law."
Backing the business
Moles launched Progeny in 2016 after having done an MBO of his financial planning business eight years earlier, just as the financial crisis was blowing up, using money borrowed from the bank.
After paying off the bank debt four years later, he turned to the services of family office LSG Holdings, which provided the initial funding of helping him to realise his ambition for turning the advice business into Progeny.
He says: "We could sit back like everyone else, or scale the business, or do something different. I took two years to write the business plan and come up with the funding and find the people to believe I wasn't crazy."
Moles adds: "The most important thing is that we control the journey; we don't let the investor control the business – as long as you're successful they will leave you alone, and it's good to have professional investors on board, it professionalises the way you run the business.