Friday, 4 February 2011

What exactly is an IFA supposed to do?

It's not often I feel compelled to share someone else's article on my blog in full, but this caught my and eye and it sums up exactly why an IFA who a client can trust and work with long term, can be invaluable.

My longest serving client and me

Author: Peter Chadborn

Professional Adviser| 03 Feb 2011 | 08:00

How valuable can an IFA be to a client?

Professional Adviser spoke to one adviser’s longest-serving customer to find out.
Mum-of-three Lynsey Haywood could not have foreseen how important her IFA would be when they first met 12 years ago…

Pete Chadborn became my IFA in 1999, when I was 26. He had joined Barclays Life, while I was a personal banker with Barclays. Part of my job was recommending Barclays Life, so I knew there were areas I needed to address. I had children and a mortgage.

Peter is a friend, but it is so much more than that. For whatever financial crisis happens, I will always go to Pete. At that point I had just had my second son so he came to advise us on life cover. We needed a will and I could tell straight away he was not in this to earn commission. My husband started a business, so we went straight to Pete about what we needed to do.

He has never made me feel like I was wasting his time, or like there was nothing in it for him. I didn’t feel like I had to go to him because I was giving him business. I would just run something by him and ask if we needed to see him. For example, I came out of a job, so we looked into death-in-service benefit. He made sure we had sufficient critical illness (CI) and life insurance.

My husband fell ill in 2002 with cancer and I immediately went to Pete. We were financially quite tight at the time because he had stopped working. I had to leave my job the following year because my husband was having a stem cell transplant in London, and I needed to be there. It involved three months of being in and out of hospital.

After the diagnosis, I went to Pete and he told us what we were entitled to. He dealt with the CI claim for us. He said: “Leave it to me”, and that took a lot of worry away for me. I just did not know which way to turn.

My husband died in July 2003 and I can remember travelling back home. There were all these people who needed to be told. I was in such a state and, this may sound ridiculous, but I said to my Mum: “Ring that number and Pete will take care of everything. Tell him what has happened and he will take over,” and he did.

Pete was superb. He kept me informed and told me what I needed to do. Even though we had become friends, he was a complete professional. He told me what I needed to do with the will and the funds, and how to make sure the children were catered for.

At the time, I was simply living day by day, but Pete helped me see the bigger picture. He said: “Look, your children are eight and five. They are not 18 yet, and it is your job to get them there.”

It is a shame everybody doesn’t have a Pete. He is trustworthy and honest. Sometimes you think people are just giving you lip-service, whereas he will just say ‘no’. He will tell me if something isn’t right, and why, and I completely trust his judgement.

I don’t understand why IFAs get the bad reputation they do, especially after the experience I have had with Pete. I feel like if I went to a bigger company, such as Barclays or Tesco, I wouldn’t be a person, but a number.

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