The focus moves to Financial Adviser David Bird who, with Managing Director Nigel Round, set up Abacus Wealth Services Limited in 2001. Having worked in financial services since 1987, he talks about the support he provides clients, the advice he would give new starters in the industry and his focus on family.
When did you join Abacus Wealth Services?
I have been with Abacus Wealth Services since 2001, working as a Financial Adviser.
What are the main responsibilities in your role?
My work involves helping clients, with whom I establish long term trust-based relationships all based around what I see as a “two-way street” where we must be open and honest with each other. The advice I offer comes only after we have considered the client’s objectives and is based upon the information they provide, and the research then conducted. Most of the clients I work with are referrals from existing clients, who are pleased with the advice they have received. If a solution is not correct for a client, I will always tell them. I like to put myself in the client’s position to understand what I would want to hear in their situation.
What is a typical day like in your role?
I am focussed on looking after clients. All clients are offered annual reviews, others prefer six-monthly, and some prefer even more regular updates. It is important that we keep up to date with each client’s circumstances to make sure their plans stay on course to meet their objectives. We pride ourselves on being alongside each client during their journey. I have helped clients build their businesses and then plan for the next generation to come on board. There is one company we have been associated with which is now on its third ownership since we began working with them in 2003.
What jobs did you have before you joined Abacus?
I worked in the motor and aircraft industries before moving into financial where I have spent most of my professional career.
Who do you work with in your role?
I work collectively with my colleagues at Abacus and draw upon their technical skills and those of the St. James’s Place Partnership Wealth Management plc, which further enhances our client offering. For clients in general I always do what I say I am going to do. My longest standing clients have been with me since 1992.
What advice would you give someone joining Abacus Wealth Services?
Treat people the way you would like to be treated. We are not salespeople but advisers, who should only give advice if it is going to add value. If it is not going to add value, I prefer to be honest and notify people before we actually engage. Those joining our profession have got to be able to embrace changes in legislation, working practices, and most importantly wish to add true value via holistic financial planning and long-term relationships. If you can do all of these and keep up to date with your continued professional development, you will be able to succeed. My advice is to follow the tide, not the waves.
What has been the most memorable occasion where you have helped a client?
I take a great deal of pride in my role. One of the most memorable cases was helping clients around protection. We are still associated with the limited company and both its partners, one of whom suffered a critical illness. We were able to secure cover for their debts both personal and commercial and key person protection including critical illness cover. This proved pivotal in repaying the debts, enabling them to redeem personal and corporate debts, whilst also protecting the families’ ongoing security and protecting the business against inevitable reduction in profitability. It was fantastic to achieve such a positive outcome from such a traumatic scenario, and we are proud to say that we continue to work effectively with all parties.
What are your interests outside of work?
Family is most important for me. I also like fishing and travelling. We have a motor home which we are looking forward to using now Covid is easing. My view is very much that it is not where I am, but who I am with.
Have you visited any unusual places?
I have been to Mexico and Mauritius and been on some wonderful cruises, but the most incredible place was probably the island of Elba. We were with Nigel and his wife Alison when we visited Napoleon’s summer house. The whole occasion was incredible.