BEHIND THE BUSINESS:
Between climbing mountains and cooking at home, Zokit caught up with the Financial Planning Expert of Sanctuary Financial Planning.
Read On ↓
Outline Your business in a nutshell:
Sanctuary Financial Planning as the name suggests offers a full financial planning solution to its clients. We differentiate ourselves from being financial advisers, because we help our clients to clearly define what their goals are, which many have never done before, and then come up with the most appropriate solution for them. This may involve, but is not limited to, pension planning, investment planning, tax planning, Mortgage planning, Estate planning or protection.
We also pride ourselves on full transparency, in terms of what we will do for our clients and what they will pay us, which in most cases is based on a fixed fee.
Why did you start your business?
We saw a gap in the market. Firstly, Financial advice in general is an ageing profession with the average age of an adviser being 58. As such many firms don’t fully engage with new technologies. We saw how through the use of this technology, we could streamline the amount of time it takes for us to do the ‘behind the scenes’ technical work on cases. This allows us to keep our fees highly competitive, and also allows us to commit more time to really getting to know our clients, which we believe brings about better outcomes for them. Furthermore, whilst there are lots of financial advisers in South Wales, there are very few planners.
Inspire us with a quote…
Fall down 7 times, stand up 8.
What are you reading / watching / listening to at the moment…
When I get a chance, which is rare, I love to read adventure novels. I love pretty much anything by Andy McDermott.
I watched the new Netflix series, Cursed, in less than a week. I really enjoyed the different take on the Arthurian legend. As parts of it were filmed fairly locally, in the Forest of Dean, it was also fun to spot places I recognised.
Music wise, I have a really eclectic taste. I’m doing quite a bit of running at the moment, and I need a good beat to keep me moving, so I’ve been listening to a lot the Prodigy, Underworld and the Chemical brothers. When I’m working or relaxing though, I like the XX, London Grammar, and more recently Freya Ridings.
Interesting fact about yourself…
I’ve been to three active volcanoes!
How do you relax?
My happy place is in the kitchen, with the door shut, music on, wine in hand, cooking up a storm!
What luxury item is on your shopping list?
I did recently treat myself to some designer luggage.
What would you say to your ‘five years ago’ self?
5 years ago I was still working as a Radiographer, and just about to make the leap into the world of finance. Whilst I was excited, and knew I was doing it for the right reasons, I was full of doubt. I was giving up a well paid, secure job that I loved, to go into an industry renowned for scandals on a self-employed basis. Looking at where I am today, performing a role that I love just as much, in my own company, I guess I would just tell myself to believe in myself.
Who would be round the table at your dream dinner party?
My grandfather. I have never met a more knowledgeable person, nor any man who is as much a gentleman. I would love the chance to have one more conversation with him.
Lenny Henry. I love his larger than life character. He’s done so much good in the world, and it would be great to chat too him about that, but if nothing else he would make us all laugh.
Marie Curie. The discoverer of radiation, which I obviously have an interest in given my previous profession, but so much more than that. She was one of the first female scientists to be taken seriously in a very male dominant world at the time. To this day she is the only individual to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences and she ultimately gave her life to Science. Why there isn’t more written about her, films about her, I really don’t know.
Steve McQueen. The coolest person to have ever lived?
Bill Gates. Self made billionaire and philanthropist. He doesn’t normally say much publicly, but when he does, we should listen.
Your Podcast Recommendation
The Ground Up Podcast. It focuses on how to look after yourself when managing a business, such as what you might do for a morning routine, setting life priorities etc. The guy behind it, Matt D’Avella is a filmmaker and so he does talk about the lessons he’s learned in that industry mainly, but most of the content translates well in to all industries I think. I’ve found it really useful.
Life changing experience?
Having my first child. I previously worked in healthcare as a Radiographer. I found it to be a very fulfilling job, as it’s very technical and I’d always loved helping people. However, when I learned that my then wife and I were going to have a daughter, my priorities changed and I realised that whilst the role was fulfilling, the hours were often very anti-social. I wanted more than anything to be present for my daughter, and so I started to look for a new career; one that would still allow me to help people, but that would also give me some flexibility in how I worked. My role now is perfect for me. Whilst I am not helping to heal anyone, I love being able to help others achieve their goals, whether that’s buying their first home, or making sure their estate passes to their loved ones. It also allows me a certain amount of flexibility. If I want to go and see my daughters school play, I can just make sure I don’t have any meetings and make the time up elsewhere.
What’s next for your business?
Despite the current pandemic, the amount of work we’re undertaking is growing quickly and so we’re taking on our first member of staff, since we started the firm 18 months ago, which is really exciting.
Tell us a joke…
A client asks his financial adviser, “where should I invest my money?”
“Put it on booze,” the adviser says. “Where else are you going to get 40%?”
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?
I think most people think of financial planners as men in pinstripe suits and polished shoes. They believe that finance is some form of secret mytstic art. I can tell you that this is simply not me at all. I am always professional, but try to work in a much more relaxed way. My clients tell me that it’s the main reason they like to work with me. I also find i get much more out of my clients by working in this way. When they’re relaxed, they’re comfortable, and if they’re comfortable, they’re far more likley to tell me about their pie in the sky dream, which I may just be able to turn into a reality.
How can people get in touch?
Most people tend to email me in the first instance at email@example.com
I’m equally happy to accept calls too though on 07875576023
Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy is Gavin’s favourite spot
Nobel Prize winning scientist, Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) would be one of Gavin’s guests at his dream dinner party
Gavin with his fiancé
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