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Owain Wright

Lives: Pluckley, Kent.

Born: December 17, 1968

Education: South Manchester High School

Career: Began as a broker sales consultant at Eagle Star from 1998 to

1992, the same position with Allied Dunbar 1992-1993, responsible for

marketing, education and sales at PPP Lifetime Care 1993-1998,

longterm care adviser for IFA Campbell Fisk & Partners 1998-2001,

head of Care Funding Bureau 2001 to present.

Career ambition: Having an impact on the care issues that exist in

this country.

Life ambition: To keep smiling and to have a balanced lifestyle.

Likes: Manchester United.

Dislikes: Liverpool FC.

Car: BMW 3 Series.

Peers say: “Owain is bright and enthusiastic and is set to succeed in

helping people in what is a very vulnerable area.”

If it wasn&#39t for the end of the Cold War, head of Care Funding Bureau

Owain Wright might never have entered the financial services industry

– he would have become an RAF fighter pilot instead.

But with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the cutbacks in the size of

the armed forces, Wright&#39s dream of cruising the skies in defence of

his homeland was not to be.

“I once hitched a ride in the back seat of a Hawk fighter jet. Going

through the mountains of Snowdonia at 450 knots only 250 feet off the

ground is like nothing else on earth.”

Having completed the RAF training course back in 1988, Wright was

told to come back in a year. When he did so, however, he was told

there were no jobs.

So it was financial services for Wright instead and 14 years later

sees him founding an IFA specifically devoted to the provision of

long-term care advice.

His parents gave him an interest in care issues. When Wright was a

youngster he used togo to work with his mother who was involved in

the Manchester care industry.

“Call me weird or something but I have always had a sort of soft spot

for elderly people.”

The Care Funding Bureau was launched last week as part of London IFA

The Bureaux, alongside the Annuity Bureau and the Income Drawdown

Bureau.

Its aim is to provide advice about all the issues surrounding

long-term care. Operating both on the existing client bank of the

Bureaux and on referrals from other IFAs, Wright wants to grow the

company to be a force for good in the often confusing world of care.

Wright says: “We want to try and give holistic advice on this one

particular area. A lot of IFAs have a lack of knowledge themselves.

One of the key areas of business will be introductions from other

IFAs.”

Wright sees the Care Funding Bureau as being about much more than

simply selling pre-funded LTC policies. He says it is an issue which

confuses people, often when they are most vulnerable, and identifies

a gap in the market which he hopes to fill. “I have long suspected

that there are a lot of people who want to ask questions but don&#39t

know where to turn.”

Wright points to the new funding plans announced by the Government

last year and implemented in October, the result of which, he says,

is that local authorities do not funding assistance if a person more

than £18,500 in assets.

There are half a million residents in care homes and another six

million being informally cared for by their families so Wright

believes there is a huge market.

The Care Funding Bureau&#39s office is in Waterloo just south of the

Thames in London. It is so close to the busy railway station that

Wright says: “If I threw myself out of the window I would probably

land on platform seven.”

W right has been focused on LTC for most of his career in financial

services. Other than a four-year stint at Eagle Star in the late

1980s and a year or so at Allied Dunbar, he has worked almost

exclusively in that area.

“I have never really enjoyed being a bog-standard IFA. In this role,

you meet people who are confused, hurt, angry and desperate. You can

tell when they walk away that they are grateful. That in itself

generally gives a bit of buzz.”

He spent five years with market-leader PPP Lifetime Care and then

about four years working for Crowborough IFA Campbell Fisk &

Partners.

Like many others, Wright reckons that, with the longawaited

announcement by the Government of what it will and will not pay for

finally here and the imminent regulation of LTC products, the market

is set to grow. But it will be a slow climb, and he doubts that more

providers will jump in unless there is clear evidence of there being

a market to compete for.

“I suspect that there has to be more of a market to convince more

providers to dive in.”

Any conversation with an IFA would not be complete without asking

their opinions on the future of polarisation. Wright believes the

changes will result in increased consumer confusion and sees the

high-street banks as the big winners.

“We would like to remain independent but until we are really clear

about what the Government&#39s view of independence is, we do not really

know. We would not want to take the multi-tied route though.”

Wright still flies these days but only for fun – he is a member of

his local flying club in Kent. His other passion is Manchester United

Football Club. The depth of his love for his boyhood team is almost

as great as his loathing of rival Liverpool. He also has some degree

of scorn for the millions of Man U fans who come from outside of

Manchester. “If you haven&#39t gone to work on a bus in Manchester

through Moss Side you can&#39t be a real Man U fan,” he says.

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