Jeff PrestridgeJan 17 2023

Honouring Paul Etheridge: a shining light in financial services

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Honouring Paul Etheridge: a shining light in financial services

I am sure that the love for Paul from members of the Cellar Club was universal. You couldn’t help but fall under his spell.

Paul invited me one Monday to come and visit his Prestwood operation near Stourbridge in the West Midlands. We sat in his auditorium while he gave me a presentation on his services to advisers.

It was as if I was an adviser myself. I was impressed. Mightily impressed. Paul was delighted with my reaction. Lifetime cash flow modelling suddenly made superb sense.

What with the pandemic and increased pressure at work (deadline after deadline), I must confess that I hadn’t seen him for a while. How do I feel about that? Bloody awful.

A lasting impression

Last week, I spoke to a number of Cellar Club members about the great man. To a man and woman, they had nothing but overwhelming affection for him – and admiration for the work he had done in putting lifetime cash flow modelling on the map. Social media is also awash with tributes.

Mark Rogers, chairman of the Cellar Club, described Paul as an "icon and a legend within financial planning circles". He added: "I cannot think of anybody who has had more of an influence on me personally and the profession in general."

Warren Shute, a chartered financial wealth manager and a successful financial author, visited Paul in the week before his death on the 6th of this month.

He first met the great man 26 years ago at a conference Paul spoke at, hosted by the Life Insurance Association. He was "immediately hooked" by what he heard. A spark was lit inside Warren’s brain – a desire to become a "great financial planner". 

On behalf of advisers, their clients and pesky journalists, a big thank you for everything.

"Paul’s way, more commonly known as the Prestwood Way, was the path I chose," he said. "From the age of 23, I attended every training session and conference I could to hear Paul’s wise words, eventually becoming a member of his Advanced Planners Group for many years. I owe a great deal to him both personally and professionally."

There’s more. Richard Jennings of JNJ Financial Management said Paul’s main driver was raising standards across the financial planning industry. It’s a view echoed by David Hutt of Hutt Professional Financial Planning. "The world of financial planning is a better place because of him."

Sirius. Keep burning bright. On behalf of advisers, their clients and pesky journalists, a big thank you for everything; your passion, generosity and acute business acumen. The world of financial planning owes you an almighty debt.