The latest Abacus Wealth Services staff profile features support manager to the advisors, Tim Cutler. We find out about his work supporting clients and the Abacus advisers, the ways he keeps up to date with changes in financial services and his “Nutty Boy” musical life outside work.
How long have you worked for Abacus Wealth Services and what are the main responsibilities in your role?
I joined in October 2015 and work as the support manager to the advisors, which means I access the advice and supporting information presented to clients by our advisers. My responsibilities include paraplanning, which involves behind-the-scenes research and analysis for clients including preparing financial reports. I report on their existing provisions and the options available from St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc and make sure we fulfil the ever-changing compliance requirements.
What jobs did you have before you joined Abacus?
I started out in financial services in 1989, working with large brands in the West Midlands region. I set up as an independent financial adviser in 2000 and ran my own business until I moved to Abacus in 2015. This background means I have a lot of technical knowledge and experience to ensure our client focus is maintained, especially in specialist areas.
What do you enjoy about working for Abacus?
Abacus have a great all-round team. I love the attention to detail and the focus on working with each client. I love it when we put something right, when a client has not been advised correctly and they have come to us for help, it is a very satisfying feeling. It is important that Abacus advise people in a way they understand, making certain that the solution offered meets with their requirements. I love dealing with clients, researching on their behalf and learning for myself about the changes to solutions and any legislation, so this information can be passed on to our clients.
What is the best bit of advice you would give somebody starting at Abacus?

Be prepared for a steep learning curve that will continue throughout your career. We all learn something new every week. I had been an adviser in the industry for more than 20 years before I came to Abacus, yet when I joined I quickly realised there was so much I needed to learn. Abacus can assist in all financial planning areas from the person starting out, to holistic planning for the most complex financial situation. The industry is highly regulated and we are expected to demonstrate professionalism and understanding, through every interaction with clients.

What is a typical day like?
My role is very varied, but it generally involves advising colleagues and getting information on a client’s whole financial position. We consider the options from a technical point of view and demonstrate how each solution impacts each client. This could be examining and comparing the opportunities available for estate protection, pensions and investment planning and the impact on personal and corporate taxation. The due diligence conducted on behalf of our clients is important and it needs to be thorough.
What are your interests outside of work?

I have played in bands since the age of 19 and one of my current projects involves playing keyboards for a Madness covers band called Prone 2 Madness. I love playing music, so it is great that we are considered to be one of the best Madness cover acts around, which means we get plenty of regular bookings. After Covid-19 caused so many cancellations we are looking forward to playing regularly again.

Tell us something nobody would know about you?
At the age of 10, my younger brother and I were selected to appear in a film promoting the opportunity for people to relocate from Birmingham to Redditch, along with our aunt. It was a great experience to be filmed for the day and it was shown in places like the Bull Ring to encourage visitors to consider out of town living. I have played in front of a packed Birmingham Town Hall, which was a prestigious opportunity. At school I was told by my music teacher that I would never be any good at Music, so it is great to still be playing for audiences all these years later, even though I am now a granddad. I am passionate about getting things right in my personal and professional life, which may be worlds apart, but I continue to enjoy the challenges presented by both.
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