The impact of the pandemic accelerated the decision to niche my firm to specifically cater for clients having to deal with the trauma of financial planning during divorce.

    In my opinion, the financial industry is full of jargon and is over complicated; I wanted to focus on delivering advice in plain English to help demystify what can seem a dauntingly complicated process for the many people who are experiencing marriage breakdowns.

    When my parents divorced, they didn’t have access to the specialist financial expertise and support. I saw this as an area that needed a rebrand and cultural change, particularly with the introduction of ‘no fault’ divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage doesn’t require a showing of wrongdoing by either party.

    As a result, I made the decision to radically redefine my business to specialise in this area.

    Restructuring the business  

    By doing this it was imperative to add an additional layer of knowledge due to the complex nature of financial planning on divorce, especially pensions.  

    So I expanded my understanding of pensions on divorce and became a member of the local Resolution committee. I’m also currently working towards their specialist accreditation qualification which recognises a high level of skills, proficiency, and experience, and which is supplemented by specialist training through solicitor-run webinars.  

    The business is now structured to help people (but mainly women) all the way through the divorce process. Whether it be:

    • helping them establish what they need (from an income and capital perspective) from the settlement to maintain their standard of living for the rest of their life
    • modelling their proposed settlement to see if it will fulfil their needs, or
    • ensuring that once they have received settlement it is structured in the most appropriate way their financial goals for the rest of their life.

    Tech and empathy

    With only 11% of wealth advisors female, our ‘can do’ attitude and empathetic service resonates with female clients and builds instant relationships. Many clients confess they’re unaware of their financial situation both as an individual and as a couple when they suddenly have to face what can be a traumatic and lonely upheaval. We want to create somewhere they feel safe to talk about these feelings.

    Central to the specialist service we offer is cashflow modelling - branded as Visualise Your Future. By embracing innovative technology such as this, we’re able to deliver a safe, secure and personal online alternative to face-to-face meetings.  

    This is especially important when dealing with those going through a stressful and emotional time. I believe it’s crucially important we all fully embrace the idea that you don’t need to be sitting next to a client in order to deliver an outstanding and empathetic service.

    Still work to be done

    Having made the decision to focus on those dealing with the financial impact of divorce, I’m now regularly asked by family solicitors to present on financial modelling and how it helps clients through the process.   

    But there is a lot of work to do here, as solicitors often aren’t aware of how specialist divorce planners can help clients and add value right from the start of the divorce process. Being involved earlier would help.

    In order to communicate our message to introducers, we have a social media strategy in place that reinforces the importance of specialist financial modelling, while at the same time, sharing information and expertise – and generating discussion.

    Being a member of Next Gen financial planners helps with that discussion too. I’m keen to encourage and mentor younger professionals on the necessity for financial advice during the divorce process.  

    It’s also imperative to ensure that young people fully understand the importance of the financial planning process and how it can have a positive impact - this is where I enjoy giving talks to schools on this subject.    

    We live in a world of jargon, upsells and over-promises and so delivering financial clarity at an intensely emotional time of life through good use of technology is our continuing mission.

    Niching the business was the best thing I ever did

    The business has grown significantly since I ‘niched’, although at first it was a very daunting prospect! Focusing on one area only is not to be taken lightly – you can’t help but think you’re going to miss out on other business at first.

    However, I’ve never been busier – I think because it’s clear what it is I stand for and what I offer, and easy for my target audience to understand.

    I absolutely love what I do and find it so personally rewarding. The transition of someone who is vulnerable and scared about their finances and their future, into someone feeling smart and confident, not just about their finances but life too, is why I do what I do.  

    To me, my job it is not about making wealthy people wealthier, but the ability to change someone’s life by helping them make informed decisions that are right for their future.

    Start the discussion

    Add a comment