Smith & Wardle

From mentor to member of the team, our director, Vicky Pearce, plays an integral role in the continued success of independent financial planners Smith & Wardle.

Transformational compliance support

“I met Vicky in 2019 through the PFS’ mentoring scheme and now we wouldn’t be without her,” says Smith and Wardle’s founding partner, Helena Wardle.

By her own admission, Helena and her business partner Jonathan Smith are very reliant on B-Compliant, as we take the stress out of ensuring their firm stays up to date with FCA regulation.

“We get Vicky, and Vicky gets us,” continues Jonathan. “We quickly realised we could work with her. She is direct, no-nonsense and isn’t patronising. She advocates writing things for the client, and it has transformed the way we communicate essential information.”

But it isn’t just Vicky’s experience that benefits Smith and Wardle, as the firm works closely with our entire team. We challenge them and help them see things from a client’s perspective, improving both their business performance and levels of service.

Training is provided in areas such as competency and financial promotions, and regular case checks maintain consistency.

Stepping into a senior management function

Having worked together for another firm, Helena and Jonathan decided to take the plunge and set up their own practice in 2020. Despite being experienced advisers, they lacked the relevant regulatory knowledge to fulfil the SMF16 requirements.

We provided significant assistance during the set-up period, culminating in Vicky taking on the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SMCR) role.

“We wouldn’t have been authorised without Vicky’s intervention,” states Helena. “She and her colleagues were very reassuring at a highly stressful time.”

To date, Vicky still acts as Smith and Wardle’s SMCR officer, spending one day a month at the firm. We provide another day a month in regulatory assistance, along with frequent support calls.

Helena concludes: “We had engaged a compliance provider before meeting Vicky, but it didn’t offer anywhere near the same attention to detail. In fact, the firm’s hands-off approach nearly cost us our FCA application.

“We learned a valuable lesson very quickly – the reassurance B-Compliant provides adds a huge amount of value to our business. Long may it continue!”

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