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Diary of an Adviser: Greg Neall

Diary of an Adviser: Greg Neall


I do not watch a lot of television, so while my daughter takes in the Strictly results I find myself working through the task lists of my team to add any hints and tips to help them turn around client servicing requests in a timely manner.

This often happens and it helps me feel ahead of the game for the rest of the week. Our email system at Wake up your Wealth is fully synchronised with our customer relationship management system, so my instructions and the actions taken are recorded as an audit trail.


I am the CF10 and one of the partners in our small limited liability partnership. I meet everyone on the team on Mondays and in each case the agenda is: first, what was done in the previous week; second, what will be done this week; third, what challenges have arisen that have stopped the progress of any advice or service.

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This takes most of the day, but I have some time to deal with specific questions – this week, how to fill out a crystallisation form and check a transfer value analysis – before I go to meet our marketing man. We novated from a larger company last year and need a new website for one of our new advisers, as well as some targeted lead generation. I no longer use marketing for myself as I get all my new business from client referrals, although I am listed on some directories.

Tuesday – Thursday

I am out of the office in the middle of the week. I provide consultancy to a robo-advice firm and I have a meeting to attend to settle the finer points of our new retirement options advice application, due out in 2018. The preparation of advice to be delivered online takes an age, because every permutation has to be considered; but, once it is done, it is repeatable and consistent. That is the beauty of robo.

Workplace pensions have a strong suitability to a simplified and online advice process. I contribute to the discussion of how to deal with earners in between the threshold and adjusted income test margins – it is quite a challenge.

The buzz in the office is all about artificial intelligence programming being applied to advice decisions. It is invigorating to consider how IT can help us give the benefits of financial advice to the wider population and I am pleased to be a part of it. I find it remarkable that there is a whole language of technology that is new to me. Usually it is my pension speak that no one can understand.

I have a meeting with a client who has a lifetime allowance problem on his DB pension, and that turns to consideration of transfer. Having worked in the pension review of DB transfers for six years, I know where the liabilities are in this area and how to avoid them.

I have concerns about the surge in transfers, but I have always been a pension transfer specialist and I believe it can be done safely. 

I also see a client about topping up his offshore bond, following a bonus at work. It is one of a few households Wake up your Wealth advises that will genuinely benefit from a full suite of product wrappers to give tax-efficient retirement income.