Tony Overy is the Managing Director of MCA Associate Member Saunderson House, a leading firm of independent wealth managers providing award-winning advice to busy professionals with high incomes and / or significant investable assets. Tony looks at the issues many management consultants face in financial planning and gives an insight into his career.
Saunderson House recently joined the MCA as an Associate Member. Why did you want to become part of the UK consulting industry?
Through the MCA we can learn about the consulting industry. As it is a sector that we have identified where we think there is a lot of value we could add. We can help consultants in their careers by assisting them with their own personal situations so they can concentrate on their work.
What issues do management consultants commonly face in terms of investments and financial planning?
I think consultants face the same issues that many professionals do. They spend a lot of time trying to serve their client but as a result they have less the time to focus on themselves. When consultants leave work in the evening or for the weekend they want to spend time with their families instead of thinking about their financial planning.
At what stage in a career would you suggest a consultant should start thinking about their wealth management?
I don’t think you need to have lots of wealth management advice immediately. During the early stages of their careers is often when they will have young families, mortgages, school fees; actually focusing on those is great financial planning.
We see young professionals who are sucked into investment products at a really young age and do not really understand what they bought when instead they could have paid off their mortgage or built up a cash bumper. There is no need to rush into these things early.
One area they should really focus on when starting out is to put in place measures to protect their loved ones should unforeseen circumstances prevent their working. For example if you are married, or have children and you get ill or die, you need to make sure the family is protected. Those things are relatively inexpensive to do.
How did you get involved in the financial services industry?
I left school when I was 16 and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I applied to various insurers and banks for a job and secured a role in which was then called the Commercial Union. Once I was there I decided I liked it and wanted to know what professional qualifications I could do in the industry. I went to college half a day a week, starting my journey towards getting qualified while still working. I then moved to Barclays where I worked for three years, gaining the back office and product experience before realising I wanted to be someone who gives advice. I moved to Saunderson House when I was 21 when the firm was very small, and then carried on with my professional qualifications until I became a Chartered Financial Planner.
Since joining Saunderson House 25 years ago you have helped grow the business from a turnover of £250,000 with 5 employees to £26m with 130 employees. What would you put your success down to?
I can’t take the credit for this at all because the company has grown over a number of years with different people coming through the business all working together. Ultimately it all comes down to working hard and always ensuring putting the customer at the heart of the business and from this core principle you build a great business. We have a great team of people who follow that philosophy and want to deliver to their clients. It is simple as that.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in professional services?
Be patient. Learn everything you can about the business so you know how it all ticks and surround yourself with people who know more than you do so you can absorb their knowledge.
Never think any job is beneath you and always be willing to help others
What benefits can young professionals gain by cross networking with colleagues from other industries?
It’s a great idea because you can really help build each other’s careers. You get to form a good network for your long term career and share your experiences, the highs and the lows. It gives people a wide understanding of what goes on outside their industry and the challenges their peers face.
What plans do Saunderson House have for the future?
We want to be known as the go-to advisor for professionals. A reputation based on experience, professionalism and trust.
We want to build the business organically by continuing to bring on people through our graduate recruitment programme but there may be a few acquisitions out there as well that could really complement our business.
Saunderson House is an Associate Member of the MCA. If you would like further information about their services, or to arrange a confidential meeting to discuss your own asset or wealth requirements, you can contact Tony Overy on 020 7315 6500 or email@example.com