Top 100 2018: check out the next 25 firms in our list!

The NMA Top 100 is back! Here is tranche two of four of our lowdown on the top IFAs in the UK.

The NMA Top 100 is back! In this gallery, you can view a second set of 25 IFAs who we think are best in show for 2018. 

Keep reading to see the firms.

Once again, congratulations to the businesses that made the list. It is great to see such a diverse range of successes across the country. 

Will Robins, Editor. 

The NMA Top 100 is back! In this gallery, you can view a second set of 25 IFAs who we think are best in show for 2018. 

Keep reading to see the firms.

Once again, congratulations to the businesses that made the list. It is great to see such a diverse range of successes across the country. 

Will Robins, Editor. 

Charlie Reading

Efficient Portfolio Wealth Management, Oakham

Efficient Portfolio Wealth Management is enjoying a purple patch at present, and has doubled its number of registered individuals from four to eight in 2018. Alongside this, assets under advice have grown from £125 million to £180 million, sending Efficient Portfolio towards its most successful year to date. The Oakham-based firm is active in the community, offering work experience placements to school students, and paid summer internships for university students. Director Charlie Reading has made several radio appearances on LBC and the BBC. A ‘referral dinner’ for clients is one of the many schemes it uses to stimulate organic growth.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
90 125 180

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
12 15 18

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
532 757 1000

Gemma Siddle

Eldon Financial Planning, Durham

One of New Model Adviser®’s top 35 Next Generation Advisers last year, Gemma Siddle’s career has gone from strength to strength at County Durham-based Eldon Financial. Now director of client services, she oversaw a team effort this year for a client with weeks to live, who was in the middle of a DB transfer when his adviser’s permissions were revoked. After the firm’s cashflow analysis showed the family would be financially comfortable, Siddle recalls: ‘We made provisions for our client to pursue his dreams as far as possible in the last few weeks. He drove his dream car and had desired experiences with his family without worrying about finances’.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
150 177 195

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
10 11 11

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
303 321 325

Barry Newbury

Epoch Wealth Management, Bath

Bath-based advice firm Epoch Wealth Management has held a number of significant charity fundraising events in recent months. Managing partner Barry Newbury and co-founding partner Jon Rolfe trekked across the jungles of Costa Rica to raise £29,000 for The Lewis Moody Foundation, which helps fight brain cancer. Helen Witcombe, executive assistant to Rolfe, also completed a trek to Mount Everest base camp, raising £20,000 for Children’s Hospice South West. This year the firm also helped to launch a new cashflow modelling tool, i4C, which is now being marketed to other IFAs.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
370 420 512

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
26 30 33

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
581 646 711

Jeannie Boyle

EQ Investors, London

EQ Investors is using its size to invest in the next generation. It has joined the Spear programme, which provides pre-employment training for young unemployed people, mainly in London, initially via a six-week intensive course. EQ has employed a number of Spear graduates. An area EQ is well known for is impact investing and it has an established range of portfolios it runs for its own clients. This can be accessed by other advisers. The impact theme has also featured in EQ’s series of client seminars that cover a wide range of topics, from options at retirement to the UK’s obesity crisis and youth violence.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
600 780 850

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
45 60 65

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
2485 2630 2900

Colin Lawson

Equilibrium Asset Management, Cheshire

Equilibrium Asset Management has had a busy year with impressive developments internally and externally. The company, which is led by managing partner Colin Lawson, has launched new IFSL Equilibrium funds and developed a DB pension transfer switching service for clients that it says is ‘unique’ and ‘one of the most thorough, wide-ranging, and informative processes available.’ Externally, Equilibrium has promoted its brand in the Manchester area with social events and a conference for clients that featured former rogue trader Nick Leeson and security expert Alexis Conran. Managing partner Gaynor Rigby was a New Model Adviser® cover star in February.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
595 742 855

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
60 69 81

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
790 900 1125

Nigel Barthorp

Ermin Fosse, London and the Cotswolds

With offices based in both the Cotswolds and London, Ermin Fosse has highlighted its marketing efforts this year, with a clear focus on digital. Collaborating with a digital agency, the firm has been working hard to devise a strategy to drive web traffic and new client enquiries via its new website. New technical content is uploaded on a regular basis and general improvements are made frequently to enhance the web user experience. The firm now receives an average of 10 new enquiries per month compared with the previous count of two a month. A ‘right fit’ template smooths the process of matching the right service level to new clients.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
90 105 135

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
8 7 10

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
350 380 360

Stephen Evans

Evans Hart, London

Engagement has been a priority at London-based Evans Hart this year. The business is redesigning its client database, upgrading its website, and embarking on a social media mission to promote the firm’s work with informative videos. The firm is also aiming to get bigger by ‘suitable’ acquisitions, however, and has begun identifying and mentoring a future management team made up of potential leaders within the firm. Evans Hart has also run a series of events for clients in a bid to enhance its relationship with its clients. Two of its advisers are also members of the College of Will Writing.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
300 460 500

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
12 14 16

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
1200 1500 1800

Ed Fairey

Fairey Associates, Chelmsford

Managing director and avid gardener Ed Fairey’s firm is aptly good at organic growth, bringing most of its clients in from referrals. Fairey is also keen his clients get the correct legal advice, so has hired a solicitor to provide another input angle to its holistic financial planning efforts. Fairey Associates can also claim to have made a contribution to its community. The Chelmsford-based business has supported several charities this year, namely Dementia UK, Breast Cancer Research and the National Gardening Scheme, which funds a variety of hospice care centres around the UK.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
190 260 320

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
23 40 45

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
1300 1600 1900

Anthony Villis

First Wealth, London

London-based First Wealth is one of the growing number of advice firms to have signed up to the Women in Finance Charter over the past year. The Treasury initiative aims to get more women in senior roles at financial services businesses. For its part, First Wealth has committed to having a 50/50 split between men and women in management positions and is trying to encourage more women to enter financial advice.

Aside from this, First Wealth also increased the number of planners at the firm last year to deal with its growing client bank. Looking to the future, the firm has made connections with Bournemouth University for its graduate scheme.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
200 220 280

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
10 13 15

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
800 670 700

Shane Mullins

Fiscal Engineers, Nottingham

Nottingham-based Fiscal Engineers has continued on its successful trajectory this year, building assets under advice through organic growth and a focus on client referrals. The firm continues to provide a highly dedicated service, with a client-to-employee ratio of roughly one-to-six. If Fiscal Engineers maintains its current momentum, it will pass half a billion in assets under advice by the end of 2019. Director Shane Mullins attributes the firm’s growth to attention to detail and regular collection of client feedback. The business has found particular success working with senior professionals approaching retirement, and entrepreneurs who are selling businesses.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
300 381 432

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
23 26 25

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
140 154 161

Margaret Abrahams

Fogwill & Jones Asset Management, Sheffield

Fogwill & Jones has prioritised its staff this year. The Sheffield-based firm has helped one administrator become a paraplanner, and another to become an administration manager. Staff are encouraged to not only take internal training on product and technical matters, but also to study once a year for one of the R0 exams, says managing director Margaret Abrahams. Abrahams adds one of her most satisfying moments this year was seeing former paraplanner Sophie Smith getting within reach of chartered status in three years. The business is now hoping to obtain Solicitors Regulation Authority approvals for its legal arm.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
70 95 120

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
8 10 13

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
400 450 520

Mark White

Fortitude Financial Planning, Towcester

The Towcester-based firm takes client feedback seriously and this year held a client advisory group meeting to get their thoughts on how it can improve. The firm has an eye firmly on the future. A five-year business plan will facilitate the exit of two of the current directors (one in two years and the other in five years). To this end the firm has recruited a planner, paraplanner and graduate trainee. These roles fit alongside a new career development track that sets out the possible progression of a graduate to board director.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
76 100 105

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
9 10 11

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
202 205 202

Roger Brosch

Foster Denovo, London

Growth has been the key objective for Foster Denovo and will remain so over the next five years. The firm looks to achieve this partly through organic means but also through the acquisition of four or five ‘culturally compatible’ firms. In October 2017, it acquired TEBC. The London-based firm has also had a strong focus on adviser recruitment for a number of years, which plays an important cog in its growth strategy. The aim is to bring in more high-quality clients and advisers. So far this year, the firm has recruited 11 advisers.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
1300 1700 2100

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
160 168 170

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
3153 3400 3700

Jillian Thomas

Future Life Wealth Management, Sheffield      

Future Life has set in place a number of new initiatives to considerably grow its client base. The Sheffield-based firm has collaborated with a legal practice on marketing, campaigns and client referrals, and with the practice’s corporate client section to further provide financial education. ‘This scheme was launched in June, referrals have been gradual and we are now working with eight new clients with more to come,’ managing director Jillian Thomas says. Future Life has also carried out presentations to 10 local accountancy practices on pensions, salary remunerations and tax implications of salary supplement that produced a further nine referrals.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
100 140 150

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
8 9 10

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
1200 1356 1450

Mark Denley

Gibbs Denley Financial Services, East and Southeast

Gibbs Denley Financial Services is looking to consolidate and build on its success, and that goes beyond a polish up of its website and refurbished offices. In a busy year, it bought out Gibbs Denley Insurance Services, and then sold it. It also launched Gibbs Denley Investment Management as a discretionary fund management (DFM) service for other IFAs. Focusing on the client proposition, Gibbs Denley has overhauled its annual suitability process. It has also aimed to improve outcomes for clients and staff by updating its professional development programme. Accordingly, staff are now offered greater initiatives for completing relevant exams and qualifications.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
370 450 490

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
29 30 31

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
1191 1413 1600

Lee Glennan

Glennan Wealth Management, West Yorkshire

Superficially it looks like West Yorkshire-based Glennan Wealth Management is content not to chase further growth. The firm does not actively market itself to new clients and has no plans to hire any new staff. But the company is instead looking to grow through referrals from its current bank of high-net-worth clients. Professionally the business is also looking to push itself further, with plans to work with consultant Brett Davidson and attend financial life planning godfather George Kinder’s week-long course next year. Managing director Lee Glennan is also on the editorial board and steering committee of the CISI.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
35 59 58

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
3 4 4

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
85 90 94

Mark Redman

Gould Financial Planning, Newport

Gould Financial Planning has committed to investing in its staff. It now boasts a highly qualified team including its first PFS fellow, two chartered members of the CII, seven staff with the level 4 diploma and four staff qualified to certificate level. When taking on new business, the Newport firm now conducts interviews for all prospective clients and only agrees on ‘those where we can add real value over a long-term relationship’. Its business operates on a ‘four-eyes’ approach, where every client report is approved by the adviser and another diploma-qualified employee.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
150 173 190

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
15 15 16

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
257 280 296

Phillip Rose

Group IFA, Bolton

PFS Chartered Financial Planner of the Year 2017 Phillip Rose is at the helm of Bolton-based advice firm Group IFA. Standards and staff training are important to the firm, which plans to develop a professional connections framework in the next 12 months, tapping into the knowledge and experience at the Bolton office and extending this out across the group. It also wants to improve the administration and paraplanning teams, providing training plans for each member of staff. Rose and the board have already made changes based on feedback on its staff surveys and hope employees feel empowered to share their views frequently.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
800 1000 1200

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
60 74 60

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
2700 2500 2500

Mandy Dale

Hanbury Wealth, Hertfordshire

Charity work is important to Hanbury Wealth, both as a firm and to the individuals on the team. The Hertfordshire-based firm has sponsored a player on the Bishop’s Stortford rugby team, supported recital evenings at Bishop’s Stortford College, covered the cost of a defibrillator machine in the town centre for the British Heart Foundation, and worked with disabled children at Greenside School. Director and recent New Model Adviser® cover star Mandy Dale, who is involved in the work at Greenside, says: ‘Getting involved within the local community is crucial to us as individuals of Hanbury Wealth and our company ethos.’

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
100 130 150

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
10 13 16

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
400 480 550

Duncan Hannay-Robertson

Hannay Robertson, Cambridge

Duncan Hannay-Robertson undertakes regular communications training given by Bill Bachrach, creator of the values-based financial planning turnkey business model. For this, Hannay-Robertson attends annual workshops in San Diego, as well as attending speaker and author Nick Murray’s annual behavioural strategies conference in New York.

Hannay-Robertson passes this training on to his staff at the Cambridge-based firm, saying he trains them ‘not only in-house, but with the best coaches in the world, who are usually in the US. I am training them so they can go and work anywhere they wish’. This is part of his succession planning for the firm.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
39 49 55

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
3 2 3

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
47 57 61

Ian Brady

Harpsden Wealth Management, Henley-on-Thames

Since 2013 Harpsden Wealth Management has recruited two second-year undergraduate interns from the investment banking course at the University of Reading ICMA centre to complete paid summer internships. In the past two years the firm has employed five interns on this programme.

It also offers shorter paid work experience opportunities, of around one week in length, to graduates and sixth form students. As well as Reading, Harpsden has been talking to Durham University. This focus on the next generation has informed part of director and chief investment officer Ian Brady’s succession plan to train up existing staff.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
303 396 456

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
15 17 19

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
651 715 755

Nicholas Platt

Henwood Court, Midlands

Having recently undergone a rebrand with a new logo and website, Midlands-based Henwood Court has placed strong emphasis on marketing and branding this year. The firm prides itself on being able to now call itself ‘social’, with presence on all main social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Henwood Court has also sponsored various events and looks to increase local presence. The firm was established in 2004 in Wolverhampton on Henwood Road. It briefly relocated to Aldridge between 2006 and 2009 before finding its current home in Sutton Coldfield.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
95 121 140

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
11 12 13

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
250 255 267

Chris Jordan

Heron House, Newport

Heron House director and New Model Adviser® cover star veteran Chris Jordan, alongside managing director Saran Allott-Davey, represents a beacon for holistic financial planning in south Wales. The firm’s family focus was evident this year when it took on a client who had sold his business for a substantial sum. Jordan met with the client’s children individually, and devised an optimal strategy for the client to transfer wealth through generations. ‘There was the requirement for all investments to consider their detailed ethical preferences,’ says Jordan. ‘This included the establishment of a platform-based pension to allow transfers of old pensions into a new ethical pension portfolio.’

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
232 255 290

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
14 17 19

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
477 504 600

Jeremy Hoyland

HFMC Wealth, London

2018 was a busy year for HFMC Wealth with the advice firm acquiring a client bank from an adviser, adding £89 million to its assets and £668,000 to its recurring revenue. The firm has now grown its assets under advice to £1.21 billion and its employee numbers have reached 76.

This year HFMC Wealth also penned a three-year agreement to become the official wealth management partner to the Porsche Club of Great Britain. The deal, which will give the advice firm access to the thousands of Porsche Club members, saw the firm race ahead of competitive bids from larger firms including St James’s Place.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
815 967 1210

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
70 72 76

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
2302 2453 3014

Rod Milne and Colin Hayden-Cook

HFS Milbourne, Guildford

New Model Adviser® cover star firm HFS Milbourne made its mark in the Guildford area by working with the legal profession, sponsoring the Surrey Law Society, Young Professional and containing professional development events for the legal profession. The firm has designed a seven-step guide for family lawyers and holds the Resolution Solla Investors in People Gold Accreditation. Over the next year, joint managing directors Rod Milne and Colin Hayden-Cook would like to expand into different areas of law, such as corporate law, and set up a legal joint venture to complement the three joint ventures the firm has with accountancy practices.

Funds Under Advice (£M)

2016 2017 2018
315 350 390

Total Number of Employees

2016 2017 2018
29 31 32

Total Number of Clients

2016 2017 2018
4100 4300 4600

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