2021 – End of Year Letter
Chris Broome – Chartered Financial Planner
Greetings from Longhurst HQ!
As is now becoming a Longhurst custom, I wanted to take the opportunity to provide you all with an update on everything that’s happened to us, as a business, during a challenging 2021.
CHARITY & GIVING BACK
At Longhurst we’re deeply passionate about supporting our local communities, and more so supporting our fellow community businesses. As such we focused this year’s company donations to the following community member:
Virtual Reality Therapies
Virtual Reality Therapies, which is a unique social enterprise dedicated to utilising virtual reality (VR) and immersive tech for children with special needs and adults with disabilities.
They take those too poorly to walk swimming with dolphins, children undergoing chemotherapy flying through space, people with dementia down memory lane and so much more. The experiences and benefits are truly endless.
They were raising money to save our multisensory centre, featuring a world-first combination of hydrotherapy and underwater VR so you feel like you are truly swimming with dolphins!
And they achieved their fund raising target – which was amazing news!! Read more here.
We also supported clients, professional connections, and our colleagues with their charitable fund raising:
Carbon dioxide is one of the biggest drivers of climate change, and we all know we should be playing our part in reducing and negating carbon emissions.
Tree planting not only helps offset your emissions, but it comes with tonnes of other benefits too.
As such, in 2020 Longhurst became a Certified Partner to MoreTrees, an organisation set up to empower both individuals and businesses to offset their carbon footprint.
Since then we have been busy planting trees for a whole bunch of cool reasons, such as when a new client household joins us.
So far we’ve planted in excess of 500 trees and, as we did last year, we also plan to plant at least another 100+ instead of sending out Christmas cards.
GROWING THE LONGHURST TEAM
2021 saw the following people join the Longhurst family:
- Adam Owen – Adam joined Longhurst as our first Non-Exec. Tasked with assisting us with strategic advice and guidance, he’s been instrumental in a number of key decisions and directional pivots. I for one am delighted Adam’s been part of our 2021 journey, thank you sir. Let’s make 2022 even stronger!
- Randi Weaver – Randi joined our business to support our clients with their Good Giving planning. Randi is a professional acquaintance of mine and is someone I’m thrilled our clients now have access to. Having helped one very happy client already, we positively know that this additional service is only at the very beginning of his journey within Longhurst.
- Lucy Byrom – Lucy joined as our new Operations Manager. Already very busy with a number of internal projects, Lucy is proving a huge hit with the rest of the team. I for one am already seeing the personal wellbeing benefits (as the owner) of having an Operations Manager I can forward tasks and ideas to. So, Lucy, thank you. We all look forward to seeing the results of your hard work in 2022!
HOW OUR BUSINESS GREW
Longhurst has once again exceeded its annual growth expectations for the current business year.
I continue to believe that this is because of our focus on providing a human touch and a premium service to our clients – something that remains in high demand.
Our comprehensive business plan incorporates a long-term vision which should not be unduly impacted by short term volatility (as the markets experienced last year)– exactly like your financial plan. We practice what we preach.
As with 2020, this year we continued to receive a significant amount of new client enquiries (c.100+), mainly referrals from existing households and our strategic external partners. As such we continue to grow our client family responsibly.
We also provided some ad hoc transactional services to other busy families. And, with a family-law and separation focus, Steve supported a number of couples with Financial Neutral work.
Ahead of our company year end in March, all in all for the year 2021/22 it appears profitability is once again up from 2020.
We continue to be assured with how our business is growing, with it hopefully reflecting confidence in us, from you, that you have made the right decision to partner with our firm.
ISO 22222 Certification
I, as Longhurst, were successfully awarded the ‘ISO 22222 Certification’, covering Personal Financial Planning. ISO 22222 is an internationally agreed benchmark that assesses and awards financial planners who can demonstrate that they have the knowledge, skills, experience and ethical values to deliver a first class service to their clients.
Financial Vulnerability Charter
We signed up to the newly created ‘Financial Vulnerability Charter’. Its ultimate purpose is to promote greater UNDERSTANDING, encourage appropriate BEHAVIOURS and establish GOOD PRACTICE in respect of consumer vulnerability.
We signed up to a new virtual lease at our London based Smithfield Farringdon office building. Based in Farringdon and the City of London, their centres offer unparalleled customer service and flexible terms to meet your specific requirements. The address being: 5 St John’s Lane EC1M 4BH.
Financial Planning Savvy Report
We launched a new website feature, enabling site visitors to test how ‘Financial Planning Savvy’ they are. By completing a quick online assessment, you can download a free report direct to your inbox. It’s been a huge success so far. Check it out here.
AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS
During 2021 we were nominated for 8 awards, of which we won 7. These covered both our financial planning efforts, and our business/SME success.
For financial planning, we won:
- ‘Best Client Engagement’ – Professional Adviser Awards – Recognising our human-focused approach to supporting the clients and households that employ us.
- ‘Future Leaders Delegate of the Year’ – NextGen Planners – Recognising me (and therefore Longhurst) as going above and beyond in all aspects of delivering a human-focused financial planning and wealth management service to our clients.
- ‘Top 100 Firm’ – Citywire/New Model Adviser’ – Independently assessed based on branding, marketing content, business financials, well-qualified staff, robust investment propositions, excellent client service, good use of technology, willingness to share best practice, client education, recruitment; and contribution to professional standards.
- ‘Best Use of Custom Content’ – MoneyInfo – For our ‘MyLonghurst Client Portal’ – Recognised the firm who had seen an opportunity to maximise the impact of using custom content to engage and excite their clients in innovative ways.
For business/SME, we won:
- ‘National SME Website of the Year’ – following our award for Northamptonshire, we went to Wembley in the summer where we won the national award also!
- ‘New Business of the Year’ – Silver- SME South Northamptonshire
- ‘Business Person of the Year’ – Silver – SME South Northamptonshire
For all award wins and nominations, we take great pride that these all provide positive indicators that we are on the right pathway as a financial planning practice.
As some of you know, I will occasionally talk about the positive impact reflection has in our lives.
Reflecting on the year Longhurst has had, during another period of great difficulty for the entire planet, is to be quite honest – humbling.
Longhurst continues to grow from strength to strength, but we will not be resting on our laurels. We will continue to invest into our business, our people/family, our regional and professional communities, and of course, our clients.
This will also see, during 2022, Longhurst start the process to become a Certified B Corporation, something I’m particularly excited about.
Our relationship with you all, we hope, has deepened. Onwards into 2022 we go, together.
On behalf of the entire Longhurst team, we wish you all a relaxing festive break, and a healthy and happy New Year.