Article written by Chris Brown
2018 brought about a change of venue for Prosperity’s 8th annual conference, as we headed to a new place. Sorry, that’s the New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath. And here I was, thinking everyone had simply forgotten the name…
In any case, The New Place proved to be a lovely venue and welcomed our 25 strong entourage through its very impressive wrought-iron gates to the backdrop of a bright and sunny Thursday morning. After the now mandatory bacon rolls and coffee, we settled down to the opening presentation from Prosperity’s Managing Director, Mark Newman.
Mark ran us through the events of the past year, including the big market headlines and recent trends within the financial advice industry. Although the stock market has provided some disappointing returns recently this was placed in stark contrast to the progress Prosperity has been making with both its clients and own business, as 2018 is proving to be another year of solid growth. Added to that, it was also pleasing to hear from Mark the evidence of why Prosperity continues to be ahead of its peer group providing the highest quality of advice to its new and existing clients. There was even talk about potentially pushing for national awards in the coming years. And in an effort to stay on top of the game (and push to ‘go green’) Mark announced that Prosperity has taken huge strides in ‘going digital’. Our clients should look out for some high-tech gizmos – and a lot less paperwork – from now onwards.
Despite Mark’s best efforts to hog the stage, it was indeed time for our Commercial Director, Jasper de Zoeten, to provide an update on some of our internal processes. Having recently moved into the mortgage market and with tighter regulation a constant theme, this was a chance to demonstrate how Prosperity as a company is seeking to maintain ‘best in class’ systems and procedures. It was also nice to be introduced to and meet our new Head of Business, Adam Barnhill. The morning session was then rounded off by presentations from four of this years’ sponsoring investment managers, who gave guidance on a range of topics from ethical investments, structured products, active management and tax-efficient enterprise investment schemes, to further develop our knowledge in these areas.
After a lovely lunch those of us who were anticipating an easy two days doing next to no work were disappointed, as Jasper tasked us with unravelling a theoretical – and rather Machiavellian – financial planning case, to put to use the knowledge gained from the earlier presentations. It was reassuring to see all our teams managed to avoid bankrupting the client, and indeed a range of quite novel solutions were put in place. As the night drew in Day 1 was then wrapped up with a very enjoyable murder mystery event and 1960’s fancy dress party. Although some of our more experienced colleagues did stray into the 70’s with a YMCA routine which, it must be said, left an imprint on the memory of anyone who witnessed it.
On the second day we were glad to begin with another sunny backdrop and a much-needed breath of fresh air, as the group embarked on a morning of brain-teasers and team pursuits throughout the grounds of the hotel. Bridge-building and dance routines may not be our usual areas of expertise, but we gave it a good crack, while the fuzzy heads were still able to make an admirable attempt at decoding the mind puzzles. The event was then closed off with some final remarks and a big ‘thank you’ message from Mark.
As usual the Conference proved to be a great vehicle for developing the company’s knowledge base and scrutinising some of the products and services which could provide benefit to our clients. As a national company it was also great for all the staff to come together again to enhance the ‘Prosperity team spirit & ethics’ and to meet some new faces on the team, as we look forward to another year of progress in 2019.
We would like to thank this year’s main sponsors Brooks MacDonald, Time Investments, Ingenious and Eden Tree Investment Management for their support, as well as LGT Vestra, Underwood Barron Accountants, Bizpedia, Quality Solicitors Knight Polson, Seven Investment Management and Psigma Investment Management.
The opinions and information provided in this article are not the views of Prosperity Independent Financial Advisors & Stockbrokers Ltd and therefore should not be taken as advice. Independent financial advice should be sought before making any decisions or reaching conclusions.
Prosperity Financial Advisors & Stockbrokers Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (507580).