Welcome to our “Have you met?” series, where we catch up with members of our team through an informal Q&A.
In this edition, we spoke with Director and Independent Financial Planner, Neil Clarke. We discussed an array of topics, which included his time with Lucas Fettes Financial Planning, the financial matters people often neglect, and the individuals from history he would choose to be trapped with indefinitely.
Read the short Q&A session below to find out more about Neil.
Neil has been with Lucas Fettes since 2005, joining as a Director at our Berkhamsted office (now Milton Keynes). Since then, he has supported the growth of Lucas Fettes Financial Planning, whilst continuing to meet the needs of his clients.
What do you like most about your job?
Over the years I have met, and been able to help, people from a variety of different backgrounds. I enable them to enjoy their lives, whilst they leave me to worry about their longer-term financial security. There is no better feeling than when you know you are making a difference to people’s lives by guiding them through their financial planning.
What have been the defining moments of your time at Lucas Fettes Financial Planning?
I wouldn’t say that there has been any single defining moment but, if pushed , the restructuring of the business in 2017. This resulted in the financial planning division becoming a standalone business in our own right and is probably the major highlight.
In February, we were announced as one of the winners of the “Best Adviser to Work For” category at the Professional Adviser Awards, what would you say contributed to this?
Demonstrating that we care not just about the business, but about our people. We recognise that it is the people in the business that make us successful and allows us to attract clients.
As a Director, how do you make people feel part of the team?
Having had responsibility for managing people from a very young age – I was first appointed a Manager for Scottish Life when I was 24 – I have learned that it is all about communication. The harder you work at getting the communication right, in particular truly listening to what others are saying, the more people feel they are part of the team.
In relation to their finances, what would you say were the things people neglect the most?
Understanding their relationship with money. Ultimately, it is not money that makes people happy, it is what this allows them to do that results in happiness. Helping people to recognise this, and set aside their inhibitions about this, is often the key to helping them achieve their desired lifestyle.
What are you passionate about, outside of work?
I was a very active sportsman when I was younger – rugby and golf in particular – and, as a result, as I have grown older my interest in sport has remained. My participation now, however, is restricted to keeping myself fit by running regularly and a weekly visit to a personal trainer – who inflicts considerable pain on my body, at my expense!
What do you do for fun?
As I have said, I do enjoy keeping fit which I supposed could be described as fun! Outside of that, I am a very avid reader and enjoy spending time with my family. With five children (all of adult age), three grandchildren and a two-year-old Labrador, my time is pretty full on!
If you had to be trapped in a room with three people indefinitely, from any time period, who would they be?
Nelson Mandela, Sir Clive Woodward and Mauricio Pochettino!
Name your favourite book, film and quote? Explain why.
Far too many to mention. But any book or film that is biographical and demonstrates the strength of character to overcome what seems to be unassailable obstacles would be on the list.
Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
You can always do better.
Summarise yourself in three words?
Private, sociable and understanding.
Find out more
You can find out more about Ian, including his contact information, through our Our team – consultants page.