View more on these topics

Nuki&#39s eye

It is the silly season and here I am away from it all in Italy, home of the perfect racing bike and ripe tomato.

To say that life is good here is not enough. It is great. The villa is an old barn with a red-tiled roof that sits on a small mountain at the end of a steep, hair-pinned track.

Ripe plums and figs hang in the gardens and there is a pool sunk into a grassy plateau out back. The rec-ord for getting to the bar at the foot of the track in the borrowed sports car is 11 minutes and 39 seconds without an accident.

What any of this has to do with boring old retail financial services I have no idea except one – it brings back a day in 1987 when, in response to an advertisement for “city professions”, I wondered into the offices of The Portchester Group, near Harley Street in central London One side of the road was lined with illegally parked Porsches, the other with Ferraries.

I was on time for my appointment but was kept waiting for a full half-hour in a spacious chrome and leather reception room. As I flicked through the discarded copy of Horse and Hound, men in suits with shoulder pads jog-walked in to greet other long-waiting strangers like old friends. The astonished visitors were then whisked off onto a vast open-plan sales floor.

My man, a former BT engineer call Mike Tupper, finally arrived. It was great to “touch base”, he told me. Did I like the place? Sorry he had kept me waiting but perhaps he had given me time to take in the buzz of money being made?

Did I mind hanging on just two minutes longer while he called a company that would get his Porsche unclamped for him? Could I see it from the window – his was the third dark-blue 911 on the right?

Tupper ran a 10-man sales team at the Portchester Group. His team were the unit within an army run by a guy called Daryl Clarke. Daryl had a faster Porsche than Mike and was equalled only by a n Italian on the floor above who ran an equally big sales team. You could tell them apart because the Italians all drive Ferrari.

At the top of the ladder was Tevor Deaves, a man who could sell anything to anyone and had a vast collection of all things expensive to prove it.

Trevor was the founder, chief executive, chairman and inspirational leader of the Portchester Group.

The Portchester Group was Britain&#39s highest-earning insurance life insurance sales team or, as they put it independent financial adviser.

Tupper started the interview by asking me to list all significant material possessions on one side of a piece of paper and all those I aspired to have on the other. He then got me to list all the friends I had talked to in the last three months, count them and multiply the answer by three.

Could I talk just four of these people into buying a simple saving policy each week, asked Tapper.

If so, I would earn £4,000 a month and, better still, I would be doing my friends a favour. On a wedge like that, I would be able to borrow the money to by a Porsche. The monthly repayments would provide excellent motivation, said Tupper.

The Portchester Group reminds me of Italy because I pretty much described the rented villa I am staying in now on my “aspirations” list. Mike Tupper, who runs an even bigger sales team today, probably owns it.


Aegon UK pension…

Aegon UK pension guru Stewart Ritchie is returning to Beijing for the third time this year to advise the Chinese government about how the UK pension system works.Pensions development director Ritchie is visiting one of the last remaining bastions of Communism this week to attend a pension symposium as the nation melts its cold stance […]

Julian Gibbs

The plan pays 10 per cent a year income over three years or alternatively gives 30.25 per cent growth. Capital is returned in full provided the Eurostoxx 50 index does not fall by more than 20 per cent.The returns are tax-free for Isas and Pep transfers and are an excellent way for those wishing to […]


With the departure of Orie Dudley from its fund management operation last week, Scottish Widows has taken the dramatic step of moving overall deputy chief executive Bill Main into the position.The surprise departure of Dudley, who was serving as both Swip chief executive and acting chief investment officer, has led to Main&#39s move.He was already […]

IF and Charcol in launch deal

For the first time, Bungle Busters turns the spotlight on the Government and regulators after a Money Marketing investigation into allegations that they were baffling the public.The DSS has issued an apology after it published jumbled information on Serps on its website.Opra corrected its website after MM alerted the regulator that it was giving conflicting […]

The fifteen-year itch

By Neil Jones Technical support manager with Canada Life’s ican Technical Services Team. Canada Life offers a range of wealth management solutions, including retirement income planning, estate planning and investment solutions from a choice of jurisdictions, including the UK, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland. The treatment of non-UK domiciles that are resident in […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm