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Starting your own financial planning or mortgage company

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Starting your own financial planning on mortgage company

Okay, so you want to become a self-employed financial planner or mortgage adviser. 

And why not? 

We are without a doubt entering a hugely exciting phase in the financial planning profession, with the exit of nearly 7,000 financial planners in the next 5 years it’s going to leave a huge gap in the market for new financial planning companies to prosper, and one thing I can say with confidence is the next generation of business owners have never had it easier when starting your own financial planning or mortgage company

Many entrepreneurial spirited financial planners and mortgage advisers want to break from the shackles of being employed to becoming the head of their own firms. It may be getting to the point within your career where you strongly believe you can do the job better and, avoid the pitfalls and challenges you’ve seen other companies fall at.

Sarah Tucker

Or quite simply you just want to be master of your own destiny and feel that being employed doesn’t fit your personal and professional values, life goals, or family commitments, take Sarah Tucker AKA the mortgage mum! Her whole business model is set up around mums managing their work-life around their family commitments, smashing the stereotype of the typical mortgage company which in turn attracts a different type of client, double whammy!

So, you are keen to go it alone but where do you start?!

Well, the good news is that it has never been easier to start up your own financial planning or mortgage company. With outsourced paraplanning, administration, and compliance support along with affordable support services like personal assistants, marketing and social media executives, and new time-saving technology to catapult your business to the next level.

Not to mention, DIY website platforms and lead-generation companies specifically focussed on financial planning and mortgage clients…to name a few!

Throughout my time being the director of Recruit UK and host of the financial planner life podcast, I’ve spoken to thousands of companies of all different shapes and sizes. So here is a 4-point list of things to consider, to make your new company a roaring success:

  1. Creating your business plan
  2. Deciding whether you’re going to be a registered individual, appointed representative or, directly authorised
  3. Office space or working from home
  4. What sets you apart from the other firms?
  5. Create a business plan

Planning is the key to running a successful financial or mortgage company. Those who don’t have a good structure and plan, are usually those who fail.

The first thing I would suggest to do is when creating your business plan, look at how you’re going to generate business within the first 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, and what you want it to look like at each stage. Let’s face it, no clients no income! At this stage you need to be brutally honest with yourself, start with segmenting clients, introducers, and prospects into A, B and C.

A – Advocates, strong client relationships: Know them on a personal level and they buy into you and your values. They will 100% follow you.

B – Current shorter-term relationships – building trust.

C – Prospects, focusing on the people you would like to work with.

Gregg Moss

This helps with forecasting income at this stage, it’s worth taking into consideration any restrictive covenants you have in place with your current employer.  This could be non-solicitation or non-dealing clauses. It’s imperative to look into this before the move because breaking these restrictions can cause you all sorts of unnecessary setbacks. Not to mention, costly lawsuits. Therefore, seek legal advice when it comes to introducing any existing client relationships.

I had a great chat with Gregg Moss from Eleven.2 FP about this on the financial planner life podcast, check it out here.

“With restrictive convenience always air on the side of caution because it’s something that could ruin your life.”

Greg Moss  Eleven.2 FP on Financial Planner Life podcast 

Want to learn more about restrictive covenants? See episode 33 of the Financial Planner Life podcast with Greg Moss.

  1. Deciding whether you’re going to be a registered individual, appointed representative or, directly authority

When you’re starting out, it can feel like you’re being pulled in many directions, and making the decision to be a registered individual, directly authorised, or an appointed representative can be difficult. So, let’s consider the perks and pitfalls of each.

Smaller or new financial adviser firms often choose to become an appointed representative or registered individual of an already FCA-authorised firm, rather than becoming FCA-authorised in their own right. Predominantly because of escalating requirements and the growing cost of compliance.

An appointed representative is basically a firm that carries out regulated business on behalf of another directly authorised one. They must still meet all FCA requirements and be thoroughly assessed and competent, but they don’t hold regulatory responsibility themselves. Instead, it’s the directly authorised firm that takes regulatory responsibility and is ultimately accountable. It acts as a kind of protective umbrella network and provides many benefits – especially when it comes to hidden costs, compliance, risks and regulatory changes.

Another option is to become a registered individual. Rather than being an appointed representative or directly authorised, a registered individual works for a directly authorised company on a self-employed basis. As a registered individual, a percentage of all your work is sometimes provided by the umbrella firm, which can be handy if you are new to the industry or if you are good at writing business but not so skilled when it comes to marketing. All regulation and compliance issues are taken care of, too – leaving you free to focus on winning new clients and writing new business.

Becoming directly authorised can be a lot of work and can be very time-consuming. Your time, particularly within the first 6 months will predominantly be used up developing your business, finding, and training staff, etc. This can delay you from getting on with actually giving financial advice and winning clients.

Recruit UK recently put out a post on LinkedIn to find some insider tips for financial planner company start-ups. Here’s what some directly authorised advisers had to say:

“I used simplybiz to go DA straight away. I’m solo. They assist all the way through and once you’re authorised. Definitely recommend it.”

Oliver McDonald, Co-founder & Director at Engage Wealth Management

Taylor Beavis, Director & Financial Adviser at Universe Financial Advice adds:

Taylor Beavis

“I’m DA. I love it. BUT you have to be ready for a LOT of hard work and for the challenge. If you want to sit back and let someone else do the processes, procedures and compliance…network is your best bet I would say…and there are some fab ones out there!”

*Want to know more about the differences and perks of being a registered individual, appointed representative or, directly authority? See our previous article, DA, AR, or RI – which is the best route for your business?

  1. Office space and working from home

Don’t think having an office is the be all and end all of running a business. Plenty of people start out from home. A question you need to ask yourself when in the planning process of your start-up company is: Can I function using zoom and other online platforms and networks?

It’s easier now, more than ever to start your own financial planning or mortgage company from home. Take it from James Wallis, owner of Aristotle Financial Planning. He tells the Financial Planner Life podcast about starting up his own company from home amid the pandemic. Here’s what he had to say:

“When you start a business you have an idea of how everything is going to be. Then a global pandemic hits and you can’t see any of your clients and you aren’t allowed in the office. So, you just have to adapt. I was fortunate as I was able to bring some existing clients with me but I wasn’t able to see them. So everything was done remotely, video telephone, post but in some ways, it helped because it made everything quicker as everything was done digitally.”

James Wallis, owner of Aristotle Financial Planning

With the pandemic came huge digital milestones which now enable remote and hybrid roles to thrive. So, when setting up your own company, don’t just consider the roles that are easily done from home, but the work-life balance that is now more important than ever to your employees. Having an office space is not the be-all and end-all of a successful business.

Top tip: If you do choose to go down the working-from-home route, make sure you take into consideration your employee’s mental wellbeing. Look at your wellbeing policy and make sure you can offer your employees all the support they need to work from home and thrive within their working environment- mentally and physically!

For more information on working from home, see our article, Financial planners, Paraplanners and Working from Home

  1. What sets you apart from the other firms?

Differentiating yourself from other firms will help you create a strong brand and wider network. Think about your goals, working ethos and values, picking a niche, and understanding your market.

Richard Wallis

Richard Weatherburn told the Financial Planner Life Podcast about how important it is to pick your niche and understand your target market.

“I never understand why financial advisers all seem to scrap around for the same 1% clients. We focus on people who aren’t already working with a financial adviser. We aren’t stealing business from anybody; we are just helping people that didn’t realise they needed help in the first place. Your bricklayers, plumbers who don’t get any sick pay, so they need income protection. They’ve got kids, so they need life cover, they haven’t got a workplace pension, so they need a pension. They are all earning decent money, and they are certainly profitable to take on as clients, then they introduce you to 10 others who are in the same position.”

Richard Weatherburn of 313 Wealth Management

A great way of reaching your niche audience is to aim for those who you can relate to. The mortgage mum, Sarah Tucker is a fantastic example of this, and she emphasises that authenticity is key. On the Financial Planner Life podcast, she explained to me about how she has never paid for advertisement. Her selling point is just her, being herself and therefore appealing to like-minded mums and women, inspiring them to understand their mortgages more than the “suited and booted man of the past”.

This will help you plan out how you want to convey your online presence. Think about your network, what makes them tick and what they need from you to gain solutions and inevitable generate leads for your business.

So…I hear you thinking, what now?

James Wallis

If you are at that point in your career where you would like to start up your own financial planning or mortgage company. Reach out to recruit UK we can help you make the rig

ht decision around being a registered individual, appointed representative or the directly authorised route and of course, introduce you to the best of the best in the market.

“Finally, just do it! If you never do it, you’ll always spend time wondering what could have been. There is nothing worse than living life wondering, what if? The worst thing that could happen with me is that, I go into an employed advisory role, which is still not a particularly bad position to be in.”

James Wallis, owner of Aristotle Financial Planning

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Background: Recruit UK Limited understands that your privacy is important to you and that you care about how your personal data is used. We respect and value the privacy of all our customers and will only collect and use personal data in ways that are described here, and in a way, that is consistent with our obligations and your rights under the law.

1. What Does This Notice Cover?

This Privacy Information explains how we use your personal data: How it is collected, how it is held, and how it is processed. It also explains your rights under the law relating to your personal data.

2. What is Personal Data?

Personal data is defined by the General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/679) (the “GDPR”) as ‘any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier’. Personal data is, in simpler terms, any information about you that enables you to be identified. Personal data covers obvious information such as your name and contact details, but it also covers less obvious information such as identification numbers, electronic location data, and other online identifiers.

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Under the GDPR, you have the following rights, which we will always work to uphold:

a) The right to be informed about our collection and use of your personal data. This Privacy Notice should tell you everything you need to know, but you can always contact us to find out more or to ask any questions.

b) The right to access the personal data we hold about you.
c) The right to have your personal data rectified if any of your personal data held by us is inaccurate or incomplete.
d) The right to be forgotten, i.e. the right to ask us to delete or otherwise dispose of any of your personal data that we have.
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We may collect some or all the following personal data (this may vary according to your relationship with us):

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Under the GDPR, we must always have a lawful basis for using personal data. This may be because the data is necessary for our performance of a contract with you, because you have consented to our use of your personal data, or because it is in our legitimate business interests to use it. Your personal data will be used for or may be used for one of the following purposes:

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With your permission and/or where permitted by law, we may also use your personal data for marketing purposes, which may include contacting you by email and/or telephone and /or text message and/or post with information, news, and offers on our services. We will always work to fully protect your rights and comply with our obligations under the GDPR and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, and you will always have the opportunity to opt out.

6. How Long Will You Keep My Personal Data?

Due to the nature of recruitment, a significant number of candidates reconnect with our organisation periodically. It is not uncommon for this to occur years after we have placed them in a role. For this reason, your consent includes explicit consent to retain your personal details until you wish us to delete your records from our database or refrain from further engagement.

7. How and Where Do You Store or Transfer My Personal Data?

We will only store or transfer your personal data in the UK or elsewhere in the EU. This means that it will be fully protected under the GDPR.

  • We store all data in specific company applications unique to us
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a) we no longer have a relevant use for it
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We will not share any of your personal data with any third parties for any purposes, subject to one important exception. In some limited circumstances, we may be legally required to share certain personal data, which
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If any of your personal data is required by a third party, as described above, we will take steps to ensure that your personal data is handled safely, securely, and in accordance with your rights, our obligations, and the third party’s obligations under the law.

9. How Can I Access My Personal Data?

If you want to know what personal data we have about you, you can ask us for details of that personal data and for a copy of it (where any such personal data is held). This is known as a “subject access request”.All subject access requests should be made in writing and sent to the email or postal addresses shown below.

There is not normally any charge for a subject access request. If your request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’ (for example, if you make repetitive requests) a fee may be charged to cover our administrative costs in responding.

We will respond to your subject access request within 14 days and, in any case, not more than one month of receiving it. Normally, we aim to provide a complete response, including a copy of your personal data within that time. In some cases, however, particularly if your request is more complex, more time may be required up to a maximum of three months from the date we receive your request.

You will be kept fully informed of our progress.

10. Contact details

Contact us at [email protected]
Alternatively, you can contact us by writing to us at:
GDPR Compliance Officer
Recruit UK Limited
Newminster House
27-29 Baldwin Street

11. Complaints procedure

If you have a complaint about the way your data is stored or handled by Recruit UK Limited, please
contact us at [email protected]
Alternatively, you can contact us by writing to us at:
GDPR Compliance Officer
Recruit UK Limited
Newminster House
27-29 Baldwin Street

Escalated Complaints
If you remain unhappy with the handling of your data, you can complain to the ICO.
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

12. Changes to this Privacy Notice
We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time. This may be necessary, for example, if the law
changes, or if we change our business in a way that affects personal data protection.
Any changes will be made available on our website


Inclusivity and fairness are of paramount importance to us. Recruit UK embraces equality, diversity and inclusion and will seek to promote their benefits in all of its business activities. We will further develop our business culture to encourage, value and manage that belief. 

We intend to eliminate discrimination and encourage diversity amongst our workforce. Our aim is that our employees will be truly representative of all sections of society and each person feels respected and able to give their best.

Our policy purpose:

Not unlawfully discriminate because of the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics of:

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Oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes:

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Who is responsible for equal opportunities?

Achieving an equal opportunities workplace is a collective task shared between the employer and all its staff. This policy and the rules contained in it, therefore, apply to all staff of the employer irrespective of seniority, tenure and working house, including all employees, directors,

consultants, trainees, homeworkers and fixed-term staff and any volunteers or interns (referred to as staff).

All staff have a personal responsibility to ensure compliance with this policy, to always treat colleagues with dignity, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of staff, visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former Recruit UK, employees.

Managers and Directors must take all necessary steps to:

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  • Ensure that their own behaviour and those of the staff then manage complies in full with this policy;
  • Ensure that any complaints of discrimination, victimisation, or harassment (including against themselves) are dealt with appropriately and are not suppressed or disregarded.

Our Commitments

  1. Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

  2. Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued.

    This commitment includes training managers and all other employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality, diversity, and inclusion policy. Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination.

    All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public.

  3. Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others during the organisation’s work activities.

    Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance and/or disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.

    Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.

  4. Make opportunities for training, development, and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.

  5. Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.

  6. Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality, diversity and inclusion policy.

    Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality, diversity and inclusion policy, and any supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.

Agreement to follow this policy

The equality, diversity and inclusion policy is fully supported by senior management at Recruit UK.

Details of Recruit UK’s grievance and disciplinary policies and procedures can be found in the employee’s handbook. This includes with whom an employee should raise a grievance – usually their line manager.

Use of the organisation’s grievance or disciplinary procedures does not affect an employee’s right to make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of the alleged discrimination.

Achieve your career goals

Once you have the knowledge, soft skills, practical skills, and qualifications needed for pursuing a career in Financial Planning, we will provide you with guidance toward a suitable path to follow to achieve your career goals.
You can confidently apply for job opportunities with a high-quality CV knowing exactly where you sit within the market with inside intel about salary expectations, buzzwords for specific leading firms and referrals from experts you will meet along the way. You will also have the opportunity to utilize the Financial Planner Life recruitment services, giving you further specialized advice and putting you forward for roles which align with your intrinsic values and career goals.
Don’t put it on hold, join the community today and discover your potential.

Discover your path.

We understand that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to a career in financial planning, which is why we are here to make sure that you’re taking the right route into the profession.
We’ve calmed the process down so you can stay within your current company, start studying towards your qualifications and begin to get a real understanding of what the landscape of financial planning looks like in respect of your career.
Whether you have aspirations of being an employed adviser, running your own business or doing a more back-office focused role such as compliance, we can help guide and support you down the right path, matching your experience, your network and your intrinsic values.

Uncover your potential.

It starts with taking your qualifications and what we do within the community is support you to pass your qualifications first time. The Financial Planner Life community is all about supporting people’s different learning styles and taking into consideration life’s commitments such as finances, family and existing employment.
We believe in offering a personalised learning experience, which is why our program includes study support for industry-recognised exams. Our aim is to ensure that you are well-prepared to pass exams such as the CII-regulated diploma in financial advice, the CII Certificate in Mortgage Advice and the CII Certificate in Paraplanning.
Train to become a financial planner with the use of online resources, networking within the community with well-established professionals as well as frequent webinars and Q&As with Sam Oakes and industry-leading professional guests.
[Download the full academy prospectus here]

Connect with the Community

Welcome to the Financial Planner Life Academy where well-being, honesty and transparency are at the heart of what we do.
We’re here to support you on your journey into a career within the financial planning profession. Whether that’s administration, paraplanning, financial advice or even mortgage advice. Our expert trainers and community will support and educate you and train you to A, pass your qualifications and B, make the right decision about your first employment in the financial planning profession.
It could be going down the route of being restricted, or becoming an IFA, you may even have aspirations of running your own business! But what does that look like?
We understand that from the outside looking in, it can be daunting to find the correct route into the profession to become a financial planner. The Financial Planner Life Academy is completely independent, allowing you to connect with hundreds of financial planning professionals with different backgrounds, at all levels of experience.
You will learn all about the different options you can take, mentored by a diverse mix of professionals so you are equipped with the essential toolkit to be able to make an informed decision about your career path within financial planning.

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