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ABACUS WEALTH SERVICES STEP UP HOSPICE CHARITY FUNDRAISING AHEAD OF SKYDIVE LEAP

Kind-hearted senior managers from a leading Brierley Hill financial services company are stepping up their fundraising for a Black Country children’s hospice as they prepare for their 12,000 feet charity skydive.

Members of the senior management team from Abacus Wealth Services are increasing their summer activity to raise donations for Acorns Children’s Hospice as part of a year-long programme to support the good cause.

They have already raised more than 40 per cent of the target of £20,000 they set themselves to contribute to Acorns, in addition to a £7,000 corporate donation made earlier this year, with a charity bike ride among the challenges planned for the coming weeks.

Managing director Nigel Round, financial advisers Ben Dyas and Daniel Paton, along with Nigel’s son Michael Round, who is joining Abacus as a financial adviser, will put their fear of heights to one side this weekend for the skydive, which will take place at an airfield near Swansea.

The Abacus senior managers, who are normally based at their offices in Two Woods Lane, Brierley Hill, will do their tandem jumps on Saturday (Aug 28). Once the skydive is complete, Ben plans to follow it up with a 100-mile charity bike, to be undertaken with his 11-year-old son Noah, while his colleagues are planning more challenges.

MD Nigel Round said the Abacus team were motivated to help Acorns by raising funds. He said: “We have respect for the bravery shown by the children and families who rely on Acorns and appreciate the work which the charity does for so many. It was important for us as a Black Country business with strong links in the local business community to help raise funds for such a good local cause.”

Ben Dyas said: “We have all been moved by the bravery of the Acorns children and their families, so it has been gratifying to raise funds for their work. As a team we enjoy helping people, so it has been great to take on new challenges for a worthy cause.”

Daniel Paton added: “Working with a range of clients, we are used to getting involved in new situations but nothing quite as daunting as jumping from a plane. We are pleased to be able to raise funds for Acorns as we all recognise the amazing work they do across the region.”

Abacus Wealth Services signed up as a corporate partner for Acorns, making the hospice charity their 2021 worthy cause for fundraising and other support including volunteering. Abacus began the year with a £7,000 corporate donation, the equivalent of funding a full 24 hours of services, before beginning their latest phase of fundraising.

Abacus Wealth Services is an appointed representative of St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc. The St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group, will match every pound raised by Abacus Wealth Services for Acorns.

Operating three specialist centres, Acorns offers specialist palliative care for children and young people with life limiting and life-threatening conditions, while offering support for their families.

To find out how to donate to Abacus Skydive Challenge for Acorns, go to: www.abacuswealthservices.co.uk/acorns-childrens-hospice/

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MEET THE TEAM: BEN DYAS

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In the latest Abacus Wealth Services staff profile, we speak to financial adviser Ben Dyas to find out about his work with the company, the “honour” he feels in helping clients with their finances and the ways technology is changing engagement with customers.
When did you join Abacus Wealth Services?

I have been with Abacus Wealth Services since 2016, working as a financial adviser across the business to deliver the full range of financial advice services.

What are the main responsibilities in your role?

My work entails advising clients throughout their financial journeys, ensuring they understand what they have in their current position and the options available to them as they look to achieve their goals. This work can include advising them on pensions and investments but for me it all starts with helping them consider their goals and objectives for each stage of their life so they can plan accordingly.

Who do you work alongside in the Abacus team?
I interact with everyone in the business, from the admin team who support our client work, to the senior management team, with whom I help direct the company. Colleagues come to me for work around funds and portfolio structures, as my background means I handle data and analytics. I have always been a figures person, so I can analyse funds and provide options on diversifying investments.
What jobs did you have before you joined Abacus?

Prior to joining the company, I was a fraud and financial investigator working for the Home Office, which is where I honed my analytical skills and built up wider working experience. I worked as a financial planning consultant before joining Abacus in 2016. I have a diploma in financial advice and am currently working towards chartered status.

What do you enjoy about working for Abacus?

The most enjoyable part of the role is interacting with clients. I love to explore their goals and help them prepare plans towards them. For many people this may be planning towards funding children’s university costs or when they want to retire and what sort of income they hope to have. I have played a leading role in introducing cashflow modelling, where we project forwards and show  clients how they can achieve their goals and how their current picture can change, helping them make decisions on managing their finances.

What are the most challenging aspects of your role?

The responsibility of dealing with clients’ money requires a lot of trust, especially when you are involved with people’s life savings. I take that responsibility very seriously. It is important that clients are looked after and we help achieve their goals. It is a pressure but also an honour that people trust you enough to help with their finances.

What has been the most memorable occasion where you have helped a client?

I frequently speak to clients about their retirement plans and their hopes for when they finish working. On one sad occasion we helped a client with extremely limited life expectancy to change a plan for him to look after his wife after his death. The reassurance it gave him was phenomenal as it removed one of his biggest worries for the future.

Which parts of the job have changed the most since you began working in financial services?

Younger people are starting to become more interested in investments; however, this tends to be more focused on the use of trading apps and short term profit. On many occasions’ decisions are led by emotions and the use of apps allows people to make quick changes without thorough consideration. I think there needs to be more education around the benefits of long-term investing and how this can help them achieve their goals.

The advice industry was probably behind the curve with technology, and whilst face-to-face meetings remain the core of our offering, we see the ability to hold video meetings as a real added benefit to our clients, some of whom have very busy lives. In addition to this we have the introduction of cashflow modelling that client have been very pleased with.

What are your interests outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my family. My daughter rides horses and my son plays rugby and cricket. We love to travel and I would love to take my children to every continent before they are 18. Our favourite places include Cape Town in South Africa, where there was a real mix of people and history.