Who we all are and what we all do

Written by Claire, 02 June 2021

There are quite a few of us working at Wise. You may have been on the ‘Our People’ section of our website, or seen a particular team mentioned in our newsletters or on social media. Many of us work in the background, and while we all work towards looking after you and your investments, you may not even know that some of us exist. So, what do we all do?

Well, firstly there is your Financial Planner, sometimes referred to as your Adviser. You will probably have the most contact with this person. Our Financial Planners are the ones who really get to know you. They discuss and consider your long term financial planning needs with you and decide what actions might be appropriate. They are responsible for investment trading within our discretionary portfolio management service. Financial planning is a complex and multifaceted thing, but our advisers are experts at what they do. Our philosophy has long been that our financial expertise leaves you to enjoy the things that really matter.

Pictured is below left is Jamal, one of our six Financial Planners.

Then we have team of Paraplanners (‘para’ meaning alongside, and ‘planner’ as in Financial Planner; a bit like a Paralegal to a Lawyer). Our Paraplanners perform a predominantly research-based role, though you may see them at the occasional client meeting. They research things like pension plans and investments bonds, and they write all of the recommendations and review letters that you receive from us. A Paraplanners bread and butter is taking the information you have provided to your Financial Planner and translating it into a financial report. They assess the suitability of any financial arrangements that you might already have. This is usually followed by a conflab between Paraplanner and Financial Planner, before the Paraplanner composes a formal written recommendation for you. Although not legally required, we expect all of our Paraplanners to achieve the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. This means our Paraplanners are exceptionally well qualified and eases the pressure on our financial planning team. Being a Paraplanner is a career in its own right, though it is often used as a beneficial steppingstone into the role of Financial Planning. Both Alex and Jamal have taken this route. Pictured above right is Justin, one of our three Paraplanners.

We then have our Administrators. This is the team that make it happen. They do everything from setting up new plans for you, getting information about investments you own to preparing and processing all of your paperwork. This team can get very busy when something big is happening and especially around the tax year end in early April. However, they also find the time to take on extra projects and are always happy to help you if you have any queries. All of our clients have a designated Administrator (and a backup in case of holidays/emergencies). We think its really important to have a personal and consistent relationship with our clients, and giving you a designated Administrator really helps to maintain this connection.

Pictured below left is Andy, one of our five Administrators.

Our Business Assistants are responsible for maintaining our working environment. They work closely with our Administration team too, and often help them out during busy periods. When you come the office or call us, it will often be Carol or Lisa who greet you.

Pictured above right is Lisa.

We then have Chris Rigbye who manages all of our IT. He doesn’t just run our servers, manage our phone systems, keep our connection speeds running and arrange new keyboards when we spill our tea, he also works with us to improve business processes. Chris takes a real interest in our client relationships and trying to ensure we are as efficient as possible. That way we can spend more time looking after you – and not banging the mouse on the desk in frustration!

Financial advice businesses are subject to some pretty stringent and ever-changing regulation. We rely on our Compliance team to ensure we stay up to date. At the moment, Nicole and Richard from Evenlode provide our Compliance support. We will soon be looking to hire a dedicated Compliance Manager of our own.

Katie is our Finance Manager. As well as keeping a close eye on the books, Katie does our company accounts, produces our financial reports, manages our company bank accounts, runs our payroll (so we’re always nice to her) and processes our invoices.

Robert and Natascha make up our Investment Management team. They work closely with our Financial Planning and Paraplanning teams. Between them, Rob and Tasch do all of the research into the funds and equities that we recommend to you. They maintain our ‘Investment Universe’ which is essentially a long list of things that our Financial Planners can recommend you invest in. They also guide the teams on asset allocation, monitoring holdings both geographically and by sector, review investment risk, and they manage our Model Portfolios. The Investment Team host a monthly meeting with the Financial Planners and Paraplanners to review the markets and discuss any changes that may be necessary.

Pictured below left is Natascha.

Then there’s our Operations team. They are responsible for managing our data and keeping things running smoothly in the background. They monitor, maintain, and audit our various databases – they just love a really complicated spreadsheet! The Ops team are also responsible for preparing the data for your quarterly valuations, consolidating your annual tax information, and managing fees and cash balances in client portfolios. The Ops team assist with project work and help identify business efficiencies. They really can’t help themselves when it comes to challenging and improving processes.

Pictured above right is Head of Operations, Heather, who has been with us at Wise for over 25 years!

Last but not least is our Management Team. The Management team comprises all of the department heads, as well as our CEO Alex. They meet weekly to discuss business operations, review team projects and workloads, as well as process efficiency and reviewing the company business plan. This helps ensure the teams are well supported and maintains good inter-team relationships. During the pandemic, the Management Team met online daily to ensure that any issues arising from us all suddenly being at home didn’t interrupt business functionality.

Pictured below from left to right are Alex, Robert and Deborah

We are certainly not as small as we once were, but we remain a very close-knit team. Many of us take on extra responsibilities or functions, and we are all working together to deliver the type of service we would like to receive ourselves.

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