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Halloween nightmares: advisers' toe curling tales

Moreterrifying than insistent clients, unregulated green oil plantation schemes anda visit from the FCA combined, advisers share their toe-curling tales ofmishaps and social awkwardness this All Hallows’ Eve

Jarrod Ellis

Director, Delta Financial Management, Hertfordshire

I was due a client meeting with a husband and wife, plus their two daughters. One of the daughters was due to get married.

I strolled into the meeting and asked the daughter: ‘How are the wedding plans going?’ She turned to me and said: ‘It has been cancelled.’

Normally I would have organised individual meetings with each of them. But on this occasion I had decided to see all of them together.

Still, I managed to get more out of the meeting as a result, so it was fine. She actually thought it was quite funny in the end.

I was kind of OK with it, but that was an embarrassing moment!

Jarrod Ellis

Director, Delta Financial Management, Hertfordshire

I was due a client meeting with a husband and wife, plus their two daughters. One of the daughters was due to get married.

I strolled into the meeting and asked the daughter: ‘How are the wedding plans going?’ She turned to me and said: ‘It has been cancelled.’

Normally I would have organised individual meetings with each of them. But on this occasion I had decided to see all of them together.

Still, I managed to get more out of the meeting as a result, so it was fine. She actually thought it was quite funny in the end.

I was kind of OK with it, but that was an embarrassing moment!

Yvonne Goodwin

Managing director, Yvonne Goodwin Wealth Management, Leeds

I went to see this couple that had a little dog. They were new clients and it was the second meeting.

I was struggling with an armful of files, my handbag and my keys and this little terrier dog was fussing around my ankles.

I accidentally trod on its paw and the dog had a seizure. Luckily the client was a GP. He administered CPR and the dog came round. I thought I had killed the poor thing!

I was wearing stilettos but luckily I had caught the dog with the front of the shoe, not the heel. The client said, ‘Don’t worry, he’s done it before’, but I love animals and it was horrific at the time!

Once the dog had come round it did not try to bite me so it did not hold a grudge. 20 years later the couple are still clients.

Pete Matthew

Managing director, Jacksons Wealth Management, Penzance

I started my career going door to door collecting insurance premiums in cash in Newport, South Wales.

One day I went to collect the premium from a house on a really run-down estate in the city. They told me to come into the house. I had never been into this house before, as I had always done transactions at the door. I went in and the smell was unbelievable. It was enough to make you throw up.

Something moved at my feet and I looked down and saw a seriously mangy dog, so bad it was completely bald from the front legs back. I took a step to the side and stepped in dog poo inside the house. These people clearly could not look after themselves or their dog. It is pretty sad really.

They just said: ‘Sorry about that!’

Chris Budd

Managing director, Ovation Finance, Bristol

I was at the launch party for a friend’s new art gallery when an adviser I knew approached me. He worked for a large national firm and we had a few friends in common.

He took me gently by the elbow and asked for a quiet word. He had heard a friend of his had approached my firm for pension advice. His firm had received the letter of authority.

‘They have been a client of ours, and a personal friend, for a long time, so probably best if you leave it to us,’ he said. ‘We’re on the case, so if it’s alright with you, we’ll pick it up from here.’

‘That’s fine,’ I said. I paused, deciding how to play the situation. ‘It is a bit awkward, as you say. They’ve been paying us a retainer fee for about four years.’ The look on his face will stay with me for a long time.

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