Taking on a new adviser is a major decision for any advice business. This is especially so at Robertson Baxter, as we set such high standards for the quality and consistency of our client service…
Technical knowledge and professional qualifications are a given for any adviser, but we also want to know our advisers can demonstrate high levels of integrity and emotional intelligence. The ability to inspire trust and provide reassurance is crucial. We don’t have room for big egos. A sense of humour also helps!
That’s why we are delighted to announce the arrival of John Chadwick as the newest member of our financial advisory team. John is a Harrogate-based Chartered Financial Planner with over 26 years’ experience in financial services. Not only does John meet all our criteria mentioned above, he also shares our vision for what outstanding financial advice and planning should look like.
How does John describe his approach to giving financial advice?
John believes delivering exceptional client service involves several skills and qualities that can’t be learned from a textbook. In particular, he thinks that empathy, honesty and openness are paramount, and stresses the importance of seeking to understand what truly matters to clients.
“Giving in-depth, quality, financial advice to high-net-worth people is a complex business,” he says. “If you go along and sit in their office or their front room spouting all your knowledge about pensions and investments, [your clients are] probably going to switch off.”
Instead, the focus should be on “active listening” and “working out what [your clients] have got, and what they really want to achieve” – before a word is spoken about attitudes to risk, or what the stock market is doing.
“I was very fortunate in that when I first trained as a client-facing financial adviser in the 1990s, it was with a company that was ahead of its time.” The culture in financial services used to be very sales-driven, but John’s training “wasn’t focussed on selling products at all – it was all about how to look after clients.”
The wider industry has now (thankfully) caught up. But John is grateful that he learned the importance of building client relationships founded on trust and mutual respect early on.
Of course, this is not to downplay the value of having in-depth product and technical knowledge. John has also achieved Chartered status, the highest level of professional accreditation an independent financial adviser can achieve. It requires years of dedicated study, two diplomas, and countless hours of CPD.
Advanced professional qualifications demonstrate competence and credibility. But for John, it takes more to make a great financial adviser.
What brought John to Robertson Baxter?
“A phrase I use time and again with clients is ‘I’ll look after you’.” John says. “It’s very important to me to find a home for my clients at a company where I know they will be properly taken care of. And Robertson Baxter are all about putting the clients’ needs before their own, with a real focus on the client service side of things.”
John was particularly drawn to the fact that RB is a well-established business with “a hand-picked team of highly trained individuals who clearly enjoy and value their jobs”. He was also impressed by the high quality of our work, our great client outcomes and our strong culture of care and compassion within the team.
John first heard about the opportunity for a new adviser at RB through our Managing Director Stephen Baxter, with whom he used to work before RB was founded. The two have always kept in touch, and are very much on the same page about what it takes to deliver great financial planning and advice.
“I just know that Steve’s values are the same as mine,” John says.
Stephen agrees, and is looking forward to seeing how John develops the next phase of his career at RB: “John and I go way back to a time when I was learning the role. I took so much from working alongside John and I still use some of the tools and phrases he shared with me.
So, when I knew John was looking for a firm that fits his ethos it was a very easy decision for both of us. He brings great experience and knowledge that our younger team members will soak up.”
To find out more or get in touch with John, you can view his adviser profile here.