What was your first job after leaving school/further education?
I joined Provident Mutual in their Glasgow office as a ?Supernumerary?!
When did you start your business & what prompted you to do it?
On 1st February 1999. I had been working for another financial services firm for over 10 years at the time and the main shareholder/managing director (in his 70?s then) was refusing to retire and give me more control (as he had promised). I offered to buy him out and he refused, saying that I knew where to door was. I took it.
What did you find most challenging at the beginning?
Who did you ask for advice & why did you choose them?
My father. He is a Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants and had been in business all his working life. His advice was invaluable.
How did you fund your business?
I was fortunate in that most of the clients that I had dealt with in my previous employment came with me when I set up my business and there was a lot of fee generative work which needed to be attended to in the early months. It allowed me to operate without funding although I used up a great deal of my savings not having a salary for a few months.
What would you do differently now looking back?
Nothing really, other than perhaps having taken the jump earlier!
What or who has helped you to grow your business the most?
Assistance from the Accountant that I was introduced to early on to keep my company books. She became a good help along the way and when I had to borrow money for the first time, some 5 years ago now, to fund an acquisition she became my finance director. Also, gaining Chartered Financial Planner status some 5 years ago has increased the profile and professionalism of the firm.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
Regulatory and legislative changes from government and the regulator.
What are the future plans for your business?
To acquire a couple of other wealth management businesses in the Central Belt of Scotland and create the best resourced firm of Chartered Financial Planners in Scotland.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
Make sure that you do your planning – really examine and be critical of what you are trying to do, to ensure that you have ironed out all the issues before you take the jump and know what to expect.
Tell us something about you that isn’t commonly known.
I studied Architecture at University.
?And finally, why did you join WeDO?
It?will be a great way to help develop opportunities for my business through meeting and discussing with like-minded business owners, and hopefully others will gain an insight too for their businesses through discussing with me and hearing about my experiences.