As one of the female IFAs who benefited from the approach taken at Fiona Price & Partners before its untimely demise at the hands of Destini/Thinc, I wish to respond to Christina Skinner’s letter.
Prior to joining Fiona’s London practice in 2003, I possessed three university degrees (a BA, a master’s degree in philosophy and a degree in common law) and had worked in financial services for five years with several big insurance companies.
However in 2002, I had the misfortune of becoming an adviser with a national firm, having started as a paraplanner for one of their advisers.
This firm left me high and dry in terms of nurturing me as a new adviser. It was do or die to get clients and business, with little or no sympathy and/or help from the management. A new IFA needs slightly more help than a get your own clients and meet this target or else approach to management.
Joining Fiona’s practice gave me the opportunity to build my skills as an adviser. She gave me one-to-one mentoring, a client bank, back-office support and the flexibility to work from home when needed.
In fact, she supported me through my decision to move back to Scotland with my husband and encouraged me to find Scottish clients using the Fiona Price brand. When I left the firm in 2004, I was confident in my abilities as an adviser to recruit and maintain my own client bank. I cannot thank Fiona, and her other senior management, including Donna Bradshaw and Anna Sofat, enough for their support.
Perhaps Christina Skinner is fortunate that she has always encountered male colleagues supportive of her as a woman and as an adviser.
She should stop suggesting that Fiona’s business model was a “fluffy bunny” approach to financial sales management, geared towards “delicate little creatures”.
Save & Invest (Financial Planning)