Adviser Points of View catches up with Claire Markham investment director and chartered financial planner (CFP) at F H Manning Financial Services. We ask her about the benefits of featuring in directory VouchedFor – a directory of individual financial advisers and planners.

When did you first hear about VouchedFor?

I have been verified by VouchedFor since April last year [2019].  Whilst no system is perfect this appeared to be a great alternative to clients simply searching the then comprehensive FCA register (but that’s another conversation).

Have the VouchedFor reviews made any difference to your business?

This is the first time I have been eligible for the ‘Top Rated’ list and I am very proud to have achieved the rating.

Within 48-hours I had an enquiry from a couple who had seen the list in The Times. I have a link on my email footer which I know has directed traffic to the reviews and I hope people have found it informative.

I will continue to request reviews from clients via VouchedFor and would encourage other advisers to do the same. More people need to know what a great service CFPs offer.

Reviews give potential clients an opportunity to understand the service they will get before they arrange to meet us, which I think is really useful.

No matter how hard you try to demonstrate the personal service you offer it is not until a client comes into the office and we start asking about the goals and aspirations, rather than pensions and tax, that they realise what financial planning is really about. The review services offered by VouchedFor provide some insight into the real value CFPs offer.

Can you tell me about your business?

F H Manning Financial Services are a firm of CFPs, established in 1975 and based in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. The business was formed out of a firm of accountants and ever since has built the business on referrals and reviews from clients and professional connections. I joined in 1997 because it was clear that the focus was on dealing with local people and providing a full financial planning service.

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

Enquiries come in many forms but recently, I have seen an increase in younger professionals looking for guidance on planning their futures.  Whilst we all have information at our fingertips many people do not have time to filter it and suffer from information overload leading to inertia.  They come to us to help look into the ‘crystal ball’.