Those of you outside the financial services industry reading this may well be thinking: so what? What does it tell us about what you can do for us?
Which is why I wanted to add some more context to what this position means.
Quite apart from being recognised for the qualities we bring to the fiercely competitive world of financial planning in the UK, the index makes a point of reinforcing the advantages of what being chartered means for clients.
Indeed, the ranking methodology explicitly states:
“In keeping with our policy of revising the methodology to avoid a skew to the largest firms, we also reward businesses that are either chartered by the Chartered Insurance Institute or accredited by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.
Of course, these standards are not a guarantee of good behaviour or good practices, but they remain a decent indication of a firm trying to do the right thing by its customers and help to ensure our list is not compiled using financial metrics alone.”
Now, I could just leave it there. Bigger is not necessarily better and going all out for clients is not always about the numbers, are certainly valid points but the Chartered factor is worth exploring further.
Put simply, it is recognised as a reliable, objective measure of committed professionals going the extra mile. So much so that 17 of the top 20 in the top 100 were Chartered or similarly accredited in securities and investment practice.
In a world where many of us are assailed by grand-sounding titles and impenetrable acronyms, we seemed to have arrived at a mutually agreeable destination when it comes to what it means to be chartered. It does what it says and is recognised as such.
If it is included as a factor in what are arguably the most prestigious rankings in the financial planning industry, it must be because it is universally accepted as a strong indicator of quality, creativity and dedication to the cause of guiding clients.
And for our financial planning teams across the UK, it is further acknowledgement of the great efforts they go to on behalf of the people they serve.
Going the extra distance is something we strive to do. You can see it in how we created and launched National Pension Tracing Day, which also wonawards, to help people find savings they may have overlooked or mislaid.
Now backed by some of the biggest names in financial services, we don’t make a penny from it but have helped people track down thousands of pounds they didn’t know they had.
It’s now a permanent fixture on the pensions calendar (Sunday October 30th this year, in case you’re interested) and we’re glad everyone can see the value of this innovation, whatever metric you want to apply.