3-pronged marketing part of Mather & Murray Financial’s ambitious expansion plans
As Mather & Murray Financial Ltd approaches its second anniversary, founder and director Samuel Mather-Holgate talks to Adviser Business Review about its three-pronged marketing campaign, the firm’s ambitious expansion plans and why the equity release market is one to watch.
Adviser Business Review: What challenges have you faced in setting up Mather & Murray Financial and how have you grown the business so far?
Samuel Mather-Holgate: My business partner, Steve Murray, and I had previously worked together at Intrinsic Network but shared the view that we wanted to branch out and be more independent.
We decided that we would go directly authorised; while the initial process was quite time-consuming and the road to setting up your own business is certainly not an easy one, it’s absolutely the best decision we’ve ever made.
The key is to make sure you have comprehensive plans in place, including a marketing plan. We started the business with just a few clients and have worked hard to grow that number over the past two years.
We used three methods to market our services; advertising in local magazines and publications, which proved more cost-effective than we had anticipated; e-marketing, which we did with the help of a web designer; and Unbiased. Combined. They’ve worked effectively for us as a business and helped to get our name out there.
ABR: Who is your typical client and is there a particular market you would like to target?
S M-H: We are very much a holistic IFA firm and seek to help everyone we can. I would say the majority of our clients are middle-aged with families and in the accumulation phase. Around 10-15 percent of our clients are business owners and that’s certainly something we enjoy doing as there are so many options available to those clients. The area we are looking at going forwards is the equity release market as there are a lot of interest-only mortgages coming to fruition so I do believe there will be many people in need of advice.
ABR: You use ‘state of the art technology’; how important is technology to you as a business?
S M-H: We use the Intelligent Office software system, which allows clients to log on through the client portal and access their portfolio. We find it’s particularly helpful to those clients in the accumulation phase who want a comprehensive view of the value, goals and their progress towards meeting those goals, and find it handy having it all in one place. Client engagement with the site is quite high and I think in today’s world, you need to be able to embrace technology as it plays such an important role and consumers have come to expect it.
ABR: What do you see as the opportunities and challenges for the advice market?
S M-H: Certainly the equity release market will be an opportunity, as will the demand for defined benefit transfer. We see no significant challenges looming, but I do believe the rising regulatory costs pose an unnecessary burden on businesses like mine.
ABR: What are your immediate business growth plans?
S M-H: We currently have £5 million funds under management and our aim is to increase that figure to £15 million by the end of this year. We recently hired two new advisers and we plan to take on a further five advisers this year. Once we have reached that number, I think it would be sensible to look at hiring administrative staff as I currently take care of that side of the business but will need assistance as we grow! We are very fortunate in that we enjoyed a fantastic 2016 so the hope is that it will continue this year.