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Practice Manager, Karen Dickinson
Caption: Practice Manager, Karen Dickinson

It has been eight months since I joined FMB as Practice Manager, where has the time gone!?

When I joined the team back in July, I was immediately impressed by the professionalism of the staff and their commitment to helping our clients achieve the very best with their finances.

It was also apparent that, despite being a well-established family business for over 27 years, the Directors had no desire to stand still and become outdated. In fact, one of the main reasons I applied for the role was the forward-thinking approach of the management team and also their belief in giving something back to the community.

Our clients are at the heart of everything we do here at FMB and we are always looking at ways to improve so that they are constantly receiving a first-class service.

Within my first week, we took on two new trainees within the Client Services Team, Patrick & Amy. Within two months, we implemented some structural changes to strengthen the administrative support provided to the Financial Planners and, therefore, improve the service we offer to our clients. These changes were welcomed by the staff and have had a very positive impact on our effectiveness and efficiency as a business.

As the daughter of a (now retired) Prudential Area Manager, I was well versed in the importance of financial advice & planning. However, seeing the "FMB approach" first-hand, has given me a very different perspective on the value behind holistic, full financial planning, compared with how I’d always experienced it.

When I've met with a financial advisor in the past, I got the standard; “what can you afford to save each month”? or, “how much do you want to put away in your pension"? I was never asked how much income I thought I would need to live off when I came to retire or what exactly it was that I was saving for.

Our planners don’t just suggest that a client needs ‘this’ policy or ‘that’ investment. They get to know the client first to gain a better understanding of what they would like to achieve with their money for the shorter, medium and longer term. They assess the client’s current and future financial situation and then look at finding the right solution for them, to try and achieve those goals. If the goals aren't realistic or achievable, the planner can see what tweaks need to be made in order to get them on the right track.

The planners take their time explaining any recommendations and any risks in simple, easy to understand language. If desired, they can also help the client visualise their financial position by utilising some great cash flow modelling technology.

We don’t always know what the future holds, but having effective financial planning can provide you with the peace of mind you need. Being able to see what a difference our services have made to our clients lives, makes me extremely proud to be part of the team!

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