5th birthday balloon

It’s hard to believe it’s now five years since we welcomed our first clients as Lairgate Financial.

And this milestone is giving us the opportunity to reflect on just how far we’ve come and, more importantly, what the future holds.

We’ve celebrated our coming-of-age with a complete rebrand, which reflects what the business has become and our commitment to continuing to offer a stand-out level of service to our clients. Renaming ourselves Lairgate Financial (previously James Financial), after the  town centre street on which we ‘live’, is also intended to signal our commitment to Beverley and the surrounding Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Since we first opened our doors, we’ve grown six-fold, from serving dozens of clients to looking after the financial futures of hundreds of people – predominantly within our region, but nationwide as well. We’ve also increased our employee base from two to eight people.

Our Founders and Chartered Financial Advisors, Wayne Audsley and Phillip Betts, have worked in the industry for almost half a century between them, but decided to set up their own firm in 2016, motivated by providing something special which they felt was sadly lacking from today’s financial advice market .

In an environment that’s increasingly characterised by consolidation, ultimately reducing the choice for consumers, we were determined to be – and remain – independently-owned. 

“Why is this so important to us?” said Wayne. “Because we believe it enables us to put our clients’ best interests first and offer them advice which is genuinely right for them.

“In our experience, being part of a larger group or company often reduces an advisor’s ability to give tailored and bespoke advice, as there can be a focus on pushing a smaller set of products from providers that company might have built beneficial relationships with, rather than those that are best for the client.

“Whereas, Phil and I own our business outright, and that means we can genuinely guide our clients based on what’s out there in the whole of the market, that we think best suits their financial goals, without any restrictions.

“We believe that’s increasingly special in today’s world and it’s something we will never compromise on.”

A moral mission

And there are other ways in which Lairgate is determined to remain different, according to Wayne.

“We never turn anyone away, first and foremost,” he explained. “These days, it’s increasingly difficult for ordinary people to get financial advice at a reasonable cost, because of what is known as the ‘advice gap’, which is when larger advice institutions, bigger financial advice players and banks often have minimum asset requirements that are out of most people’s reach and then charge a level of fees that, again, reflect that exclusivity.

“We’re much more open-minded because we passionately believe everyone should be able to access the financial advice they need to be able to make the right choices – and often this means looking beyond what someone has now, to their future potential and how we can help them achieve it.

“I’m an ‘ordinary lad from Bransholme’ myself and I’ve seen, first-hand, how much people can potentially lose out on just because they don’t understand the complicated world of finance and what options are open to them.

“One of my personal motivations for doing what I do, is to play my part in helping to put that right.”

Wayne added: “Sometimes, after an initial conversation, we’ll give people a toolkit they can go and action themselves, if that’s more appropriate for them than paying for full-blown financial advice. However, importantly, we’re always prepared to have that initial conversation.

“Any fees we eventually charge are always bespoke and commensurate with the amount of complexity involved in sorting someone’s investments out, and always competitive compared to what else is out there.”

And to underline our commitment to being different, we’ve recently agreed the purchase of the historic Georgian building, at 31 Lairgate in Beverley, which has been our rented home for the past five years.

“This is a really significant step for us and all three directors are purchasing the property together, as a demonstration of our commitment,” explained Wayne.

“Because it’s a prominent site within our ‘hometown’, and a symbol of everything we want to stand for – including our commitment to our clients and the community we’re based in.”

“It also represents how far we’ve come – from starting out five years ago with just the two of us and no offices, to renting and now purchasing the former Gaunt Hall Financial Services building as a symbol of our stake in the area.”

And just to underline that even more, we’ll be commencing a significant refurbishment programme, later this year, to restore the building to its former glory – with a modern twist to ensure it reflects the comfortable, welcoming experience we want to be able to offer our clients.

What the future holds

We’ve expanded our team, with the addition of Financial Advisor Andrew Blissett and Compliance Director Nyree Ceesay, who ensures we not only meet regulatory requirements, but aim to exceed them by offering the very best possible customer experience.

“We intend to continue growing, at a pace which enables us to remain true to our company values, and are currently looking to recruit more qualified financial advisors to our expanding team,” continued Wayne

And continually looking over the horizon in order to innovate and offer the most current and rounded financial advice, is also important to us.

For example, we’ve recently added Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, investments to our suite of options, in response to the growing trend towards people wanting to benefit the world we live in through their investment choices, as well as themselves.

And we are exploring the potential to develop an online advice offering, reflecting the post-COVID trend towards decreased travel and contact time, and virtual alternatives. We believe this could also, potentially, enable us to help more people – over a wider geographical area – in the future, as well as encouraging more younger people to start investing in their futures.

“It’s never too early to start saving for your future,” added Wayne. “And we hope that, by offering a virtual advice solution, we can encourage more younger people – who are used to operating online but might not have the means to invest in full face-to-face advice yet – to get a foot on the ladder.

“It really is a case of watch this space,” concluded Wayne. “We believe in taking a modern, innovative approach to offering financial advice that reflects people’s changing needs and requirements.

“We’ll continue to watch, listen and learn,  to ensure we remain one of the best and most relevant choices when it comes to helping people to achieve their financial goals.” 

To arrange a free, no-obligation initial chat about your options, contact us via (01482) 860700 or email us.

This blog is intended to provide readers with viewpoints, opinions and inspiration regarding options they might want to consider. It is not intended to be taken as advice and we strongly recommend seeking professional financial advice before taking any action.