A culture-focused approach has proven to be one of the most important returns on investment made in the last few years by the CEO and founder of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.
The comments from deVere Group boss, Nigel Green, follow the recognition of the wholly-owned subsidiary, WPS Advisory Limited, as one of the UK’s top financial advisers, as listed by FT Adviser.
Mr Green explains: “In 2014, WPS Advisory was an idea, a concept, a new way of putting culture at the centre of advice methodology, creating access to high quality, affordable, financial advice for regular people.
“This is and was always intended to be about the delivery of affordable, tailored, personal recommendations, using language the consumer could understand, reflecting their values, their objectives, their needs and their wants in the context of assessed attitude and ability to manage risk, capacity for loss and, where relevant, attitude to investment risk”.
For his part, Simon Chrystal, the CEO of WPS Advisory notes: “Specifically, this was a service for those facing up to some of life’s most difficult choices. This was not simply about investors, retail or otherwise, it was about helping regular people make informed decisions.
“The culture underpinning this venture was based on a phrase ‘There is no wrong way to do right, no right way to do wrong’.”
Mr Green continues: “This is a very powerful real-life lesson for all firms, but one that particularly resonates for a firm with worldwide presence like deVere Group.
“We work across numerous jurisdictions, all with their own regulations and regulators, all with their own views of best practice and all with differing underlying statutes.
“What this means is that we are in a unique position to assess and react to the common underlying values of consumers and investors, by really getting to know our customers and ensuring we deliver on their financial goals, whilst sometimes helping them to reach what we call life’s natural compromises.
“In essence, this means we never expect that person to become an expert in products or investments. Instead, we become an expert in our customer and then use our experience and knowledge to get them to their financial destination, safely.”
Mr Chrystal goes on to add: “In 2020, our concept, embodied in the culture and design of WPS Advisory Limited, has delivered to a dream, an aspiration that many in our sector pay lip service to, but then lack the courage to deliver: a firm with culture at its heart and evidenced in every action it takes, delivering better consumer outcomes, providing high quality, trusted and affordable advice, often via the workplace, to individuals historically disenfranchised by the financial services industry.
“This firm, owned and supported by deVere Group every step of the way has proven financial advice can be delivered in a very different way, a commercially viable way, creating and evidencing informed decisions.”
Nigel Green concludes: “We have gone from a concept to a business listed in the top 100 financial advisers in the UK, in five years, focused on retirement advice via the workplace. We have only just started; there is more to do.
“There is much more to come from deVere Group and from our UK subsidiary, WPS Advisory. We are going to make a real and sustained difference.”