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Embedding best practice

We were delighted to recently receive the accolade of Best Adviser Firm (UK) at the international Adviser Best Practice Awards. At Equilibrium we are always looking to continually develop and innovate to ensure that we remain at the cutting edge and be leaders in the financial services industry. Being given such a prestigious award in recognition is an achievement we are very proud of.

As a business we have one common goal: to provide an exceptional and professional service to our clients in all that we do. Our proposition to clients is to offer a genuinely personalised financial and investment management service, giving clients confidence now and in the future. Here are five reasons of how we achieve this….

A unique structure

To provide a personalised service, we have an unusual structure in the industry with a high ratio of client managers (paraplanners) to advisers, currently standing at 5:1. Our paraplanners meet all their clients face-to-face to build strong, positive and meaningful relationships. This allows the financial planner to deliver advice, whilst a paraplanner attends all meetings with clients, carries out research and implements the strategy.

Exceptional client service

We have multiple processes to continually measure and evaluate the customer service levels we provide – such as monthly feedback forms and annual questionnaires for clients. We recently appointed the independent organisation CX Awards to assess clients on their experience, satisfaction and trust: 282 of our clients completed the survey and we were delighted to obtain one of the highest scores of 9.27 out of 10 (which was one of the highest scores recorded).

Ultimately, our objective is to provide information to clients in a simple, clear format. We educate and inform our clients by a variety of communications, including things such as: monthly newsletters, a half-yearly investment magazine, topical blogs, videos and a variety of events such as client briefings and seminars. 

Systems and controls

When I joined Equilibrium in 2010 my vision was to ensure that we had solid structures in place, easily trackable revenue and profits and scalable growth potential. We now have clear financial forecasts and tracking weekly banking is shared with all the team so that everyone can see where they are up to.

We have a team of people who are committed to streamlining and enhancing our processes so that we are best placed to deliver a first-rate service to clients, for example we recently embedded new software to help generate client reports effectively and efficiently.

Learning and development

A key focus for us is investment in our team and continuous professional development is actively encouraged in a variety of ways. Over 25% of our team have Chartered (or above) status and all study materials and exams are paid for by Equilibrium. We regularly invite external companies to deliver training sessions to the team and we have also created a two-year graduate scheme to attract and retain the very best talent.

Culture

We pride ourselves on the open, transparent and fun (but hard working) culture that we have created and this was reflected with us recently achieving fifth place in The Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For (UK).

There is a real sense of trust, appreciation and engagement here. We recognise that there is more to life than just working and we are absolutely against squeezing the life out of people. Our priority is for colleagues to feel well-rounded as individuals and be able to maintain their work-life balance. When you’re burnt out you don’t have the time and energy to read; explore; get involved with projects, which are all things that encourage the innovation and ideas which drive the growth of the business.