Adviser Points of View catches up with Philip Hanley, director and independent financial adviser (IFA) at Philip James Financial Services. We ask him about the benefits of featuring in directory VouchedFor – a directory of individual financial advisers and planners.

When did you first hear about VouchedFor?

Philip Hanley: I was an early user of VouchedFor. For me it’s like the TripAdvisor for advisers. My first reviews, and leads, date back to April 2014. I’ve consistently asked clients for reviews, and so have consistently had enquires, ever since.

Have the VouchedFor reviews made any difference to your business?

Yes. Both in terms of generating new business and satisfying regulatory requirements to ask clients for feedback.

It has also been a great introduction to younger clients. Many are keen to invest in ethical and/or sustainable funds.

I think few other advisers can provide equivalent proof of clients’ opinions of, and levels of, satisfaction with their business.

I’m amazed at the cynicism of some advisers, perhaps running scared of asking their clients what they think of them!

“I’m amazed at the cynicism of some advisers, perhaps running scared of asking their clients what they think of them!”

What is the most common issue potential clients and clients need help with?

Clients need help with pensions and retirement planning. They are often trying to make sense of a mix of pensions and types.  They are also wanting to organise and structure savings and investments.

Can you tell me about your business? What services do you offer?

We are a directly-authorised IFA. Philip James Financial Services Limited was established in 2011, employing three IFAs. We offer straightforward investment, pensions and protection advice. We have £128m under advice.

Paperless administration, using the “True Potential” back-office system, enables our four advisers, admin and compliance team to work remotely.

Our investment proposition is based around outsourced model portfolios for the majority of client needs.

We are members of the Ethical Investment Association (EIA) and the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF).

Our “average client” is aged 60 with just over £200,000 invested, and our overall business split by fees is 55% investment/40% pensions/5% protection.

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