Lee is the managing director of Octo Members Group, a new venture aimed at supporting wealth managers and financial planners. He was the founding director of Investment Quorum and stepped back from the business in August 2018, though continues to support Investment Quorum in an advisory role.
Lee is a chartered wealth manager and among other awards, is proud to have been recognised in the definitive Spear’s Wealth Management Index as one of the top ten wealth managers in the UK.
Growing up in a Scottish family, my siblings and I were often admonished by my parents and urged to stop showing off.
Our youthful exuberance was encouraged but often tempered by deeply held Presbyterian beliefs of hard work, respect towards others (particularly your elders) and never getting "too big for your boots". Self-promotion was firmly seen as unwelcome in my home.
People move on. It's only natural - we've all moved on during our careers.
We all seek to improve ourselves and to secure a better or more fulfilling environment to work in. In larger companies, staff turnover is nothing if not a constant.
Yet in smaller firms it is perhaps more of a rarity. We can become spoilt that the same highly engaged and motivated people come to work to look after our clients day in and day out.
I have recently retaken an ethics test set by one of our professional bodies as part of the compulsory element of my continuing professional development.
This type of test is obviously meant to make you think. But as is so often the case with these kind of tests, I began to wonder whether they are just window dressing or a real and professionally valid attempt to influence good behaviour as part of a wider drive to improve standards.
I don’t know why, but when I've been asked over the years about becoming a mentor to someone outside my firm, I was always a little reluctant.
I told myself all the usual excuses: I didn't have enough time, I should focus on peer mentoring and helping my own staff grow and succeed, plus all my other commitments that take up time and effort.
We are all looking for ways to impress our clients. This desire in the very best firms extends beyond our technical abilities to deliver advice and investment and planning solutions.
In these days of fee compression and rising costs, we must all work hard to ensure our clients understand our value and make the conscious decision to continue working with us for the longer term.
It is a well-documented issue that it is hard to attract and retain quality advisers. Despite huge efforts and some decent inroads made by the professional bodies to encourage young people into the profession, we are still a long way from having as many new advisers as we would like.
The search for the perfect suitability report seems to be one of those never ending, iterative quests. We decided to redesign ours after we all agreed it had become an overly long, clunky and not particularly user friendly document.
We already undertake regular document reviews to reflect changing regulatory advice and our own standards, as well as feedback from clients, advisers, and our professional indemnity insurer. This exercise seemed overdue.
Given that suitability reports always seem to be high up the regulatory agenda, this was a priority to do and to do well.