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'I always thought advice did not need to be delivered in a suit’

'I always thought advice did not need to be delivered in a suit’
 Employees at Nailsworth and Cirencester-based advice firm Hudson Rose (Jonny Barratt Photography)

Down the road in Cirencester sits a mortgage and protection advice firm called Hudson Rose.

Unlike the more typical adviser's suited and booted shopfront, this boutique brokerage is often mistaken for a tattoo or massage parlour, according to its founder Graham Taylor.

Sporting an orange mohican - a hairdo which often gets him recognised in local supermarkets and food van queues as ‘the mortgage guy’ - Taylor told FTAdviser: “I’ve always had this thought that advice didn’t need to be delivered in a suit. It felt a bit staged, and that’s not me.”

Taylor set up Hudson Rose in February 2018, after spending stints of his advice career at London and Country, HSBC and Countrywide’s high-net-worth arm, Capital Private Finance.

In May 2020, he signed a lease on a shop in Nailsworth, at the height of the global pandemic. Originally, the firm had operated digitally out of a small back-office, now it has opened an additional office in Cirencester. 

Marketing and operations manager Jessica Mitchell said being initially situated on a busy street near a roundabout where plenty of cars drive past had paid off for the brokerage. 

So much so that the team, now a group of three advisers and one trainee, has since replicated the same model in Cirencester.

“We repeated in Cirencester what was an accident in Nailsworth,” said Taylor.

Mitchell, said the shop window - decked out with neon signs reading ‘Your mortgage, our problem’ - has acted as an effective advertisement for its services as well as a point of contact for prospective clients.

“We like colour. We like art on our walls. We drink beer on Fridays,” said Graham. “We’re seen as approachable. People come in and sit down on our sofa because they feel comfortable.”

The founder continued: “If you’re more relaxed, then people are more open to talk to you. No-one is going to give all the information they should if they’re not comfortable.”

Upon filling out one of its lead forms, Hudson Rose asks clients to pick a song. “It’s a nice thing to talk to someone about alongside income brackets and kids.”

Variety of clients

Upon first glance, many in the industry assume Hudson Rose’s prime customer base consists solely of first-time buyers.

Quite to the contrary, clients’ ages span anywhere from 25 to 72, with average loans totalling £300,000, and reaching as much as £6m.

In the last two months, an established player Taylor can’t name has referred a handful of customers to the adviser's doors. “They see us as an alternative option,” he said. 

The firm’s clientele include a number of civil servants, which is unsurprising considering GCHQ’s head office sits in Cheltenham, a half an hour drive from Cirencester.