Adviser and client support Carole Loynd is celebrating ten years with Clarion Wealth Planning.

She joined the team on August 8, 2010 and works closely with our Founder Ron Walker.

Carole said: “I had been dealing with Ron for a number of years while working at one of the big Providers in Manchester so I was aware Clarion were one of the top Advisers in the area and were very demanding to ensure they delivered good service to their clients. That was something I wanted to be part of.”

As office manager at what is now Old Mutual Wealth, she gained her Chartered qualification – a rare achievement at the time – and began to fulfil a more technical support role to the sales team.

“I think it was the need to understand the bigger picture of how products and investments worked together over time to achieve what people want to do in their lives. It is far more interesting and complicated than people tend to think with the various tax angles to negotiate and other regulations that can trip you up if you were trying to do it on your own.

Carole now uses this expertise and experience to provide specialist administrative support to our Advisers, Financial Planners and clients.

“Everyone here works well together and it is very much a team effort. Because we keep changing things it keeps the job interesting.  And working with Ron is always a good challenge because he wants to test the boundaries of what can be done. Clarion now probably have the best team of people we have ever had.”

Founder Ron Walker said: “We’re very particular about who we invite into the team at Clarion and when we spot someone who ‘ticks all the boxes’, we can be quite determined to bring them on board. I spoke to Carole regularly in her role at her previous employer and each time she would impress me with her polite efficiency and laser-focus on providing solutions (happily, two of Clarion’s core values!).

“I regularly teased her along the lines of ‘You are wasted where you are, you should be working for Clarion’. One day, many years after we’d first spoken, Carole rang me and said ‘Now is your chance, my company are making redundancies’. We didn’t need to be asked twice, and we’ve never looked back since.”

There have been many changes in the financial sector during Carole’s career, not least during her time at Clarion Wealth.

She explains: “Clarion never stands still.  We have grown in staff numbers and there is now more technical support and technology than ever before.  Everything is always challenged regularly, even when it is working well. We never stop looking for ways to get better and do more for the clients.”

For people starting out in a career the financial planning sector, Carole has this advice: “While qualifications are important, it is what you do with the knowledge that makes the difference.

“In the financial planning industry as a whole, the emphasis has changed from just Advisers recommending products to the more holistic approach of planning for life events which is what Clarion have been pioneering for years.  Everyone is more qualified now which is a good thing, and more sophisticated technology helps to confirm that everything is on track.  With so much more flexibility in areas such as pensions, this is now more important than ever.”

Of course, 2020 has seen a profound shift in everyone’s working life as the challenges of a global pandemic and a nation in lockdown came into effect

Carole observes: “All Clarion staff have been working from home. We have had great IT support and very regular video meetings so it has been pretty much work as normal once we got over the initial shock.  The main problem has been dealing with the Providers and big insurance companies who have found it much harder to keep providing the kind of turnaround times we are used to and this is something that looks set to continue for some time and impacts on the service we provide to clients.”

Carole added: “We are still committed to providing financial peace of mind so our clients can get on with living their lives.”

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