Profile: Tom Binstead of Kellands Financial Management Consultants
Tom Binstead of Gloucester-based Kellands Financial Management Consultants, says administrators and technology are key to the future of his business
Zurich business account manager Edward Walker asked the questions.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
The diverse nature means I deal with one-man band businesses to international corporates, managing directors to part-time office juniors. It’s this variety that I enjoy most.
What do you like least about your job?
That has to be motorways, specifically the M4 at Reading, as the majority of my clients are in London. Motorway travel results in a lot of time away from my young family. I’d much rather spend that time with them.
What has been the biggest lesson of your career to date?
The power of a good administrator; the support they give me and my clients is invaluable, without which my service proposition wouldn’t work.
What do you still hope to achieve in business?
I’m only 34, so I’m not retiring just yet. I want to expand the Kellands brand and grow the business. I plan to do this through the creation of a London office, which would enable me to grow the corporate and personal business – and avoid the M4!
In your experience, what has been the most significant development in the financial advice sector?
Definitely for me this has been the move from commission on products to fees, which has created greater transparency. It has made financial advice far more professional in the public’s eyes, because the focus is on the right advice and end solution rather than product-based sales.
What changes would you like to see in the future?
Compliance is far too focused on the wrong elements of our job. More focused compliance would lead to better solutions for clients and would also help to bridge the ever increasing advice gap. I’m walking away from clients with smaller pension and investment pots, purely because I cannot afford to spend the time completing the compliance required. The advent of robo-advice will be an important next step for the industry.
Typically, what do new clients understand about the concept of risk?
My clients generally understand the concept of risk – they are okay with it. Capacity for loss is not as well understood and this is where the wider focus needs to change. When we start to look at a client’s capacity for loss we can see if their attitude to risk is still appropriate or relevant. New clients still tend to look at products in isolation, so I help them take a more holistic view.
What motto do you choose to live by?
Be nice to everyone – you never know where or when you will next meet that person.
What’s the biggest disappointment you have witnesses in our sector in the last five years and why?
That has to be the annual lifetime allowance on pensions being reduced significantly. When trying to plan for our clients’ long-term retirement we are now massively restricted on what we can do. This is forcing advisers to look at other ways of funding retirement, adding further complication and charges. The only person who is actually affected by the charges incurred is the client.
If money and time were no obstacles what would you change about your business and why?
If money were no object I would have more administrators, because I don’t have enough hours in the day to do what I want to do. If I had twice the amount of time, I could service double the amount of clients and businesses (as I deal with auto enrolment as well).
How do you believe you’ll be engaging with clients in 10 years time?
I do more Skype meetings than ever before. Just last week I used video conferencing to ‘meet’ clients based in Switzerland and the US. It’s a very effective way to provide ongoing service. The introduction of the Kellands Wealth Platform has enabled our clients to access information at the touch of a button. Clients should be able to view their assets and be more involved on a day-to-day basis; it’s their money, after all. As for the future, I think the need for the traditional annual face-to-face service meeting will reduce because my clients have access to all their information all year round.
Previously published in Zurich’s Advice matters magazine