At Anstee & Co, it’s all about the people; finding the right ones to be a part of the business and understanding those who turn to the practice for financial advice.
Established ten years ago this month by Caroline Anstee, the Kettering firm has grown from a starting team of two to its current cohort of 21. Growth has been organic, mainly through recommendation, and the team has been built around Caroline’s ethos of getting to the heart of the reasons why a client has ‘come through the door’.
“My main reason for setting up the firm was that I had been in the industry a long time, it’s 45 years now, and I wanted to do things the way I think they should be done, in terms of personal ethos and values,” explained Caroline.
“We use the term Financial Designers because I often think the term Wealth Management can put people off because they think it’s a service for those that are very well off, whereas we’re as happy to speak to someone who’s got £30,000 to invest as we are those with hundreds of thousands. In some ways, if that £30,000 is your entire savings, you’re probably more worried about how it can be invested in the best way than if you had ten times that.”
With that focus on personal service, Anstee & Co has devoted considerable time to building a team of advisers to handle the increasing workload. Team members have come and gone over the years, but now Caroline feels she has the key personnel, including a mortgage team and an investment team, with separate specialisms, but working together closely on behalf of clients.
The firm now looks after around £170m and has arranged mortgages for many clients, all advice and products are entirely independent and from the whole of market. Services include retirement planning, investments, mortgages, equity release, employee benefits and insurance.
“When I joined the industry it was very much sales based,” said Caroline.
“Now it is more about the planning of people’s lives, to help them along and get them to where they need to be. Someone will have a particular view, a psychology of money and possibly a fear of losing it, or not having enough. We have to look at where that fear comes from.
“Some people worry about not having enough to do the things they want to do in life, some just feel out of their depth when it comes to making financial plans. Investing money is just another way of making money, it might not be the way they have been used to, working or running a business, but it’s just about getting used to a different way of thinking. Planning for the future gives them the confidence that they are financially secure.
“I sometimes feel I want to help everyone in the world, because attitudes to money really affect people’s lives. That’s why we say we will help everyone, even if we just suggest something like talking to Citizen’s Advice, we will do our best to help.
“I didn’t really have a fixed plan when I started Anstee & Co but I feel very proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years. I feel very comfortable where we are, and I feel happy that we’re in a good place in terms of succession and keeping the business moving forward.”
Around 60 guests will be at Cranford Hall in July to mark Anstee & Co’s anniversary. Investment manager and business commentator Justin Urquhart Stewart, who spoke at the firm’s launch will be the guest speaker, along with Tom Warner of Warner’s Distillery, while further events are planned for later in the year.