Ashley Brooks

19th August, 2022

Blog, Hot Topics

Business Update – Where we are Heading, Part 2

It is incredible to think that our business is progressing towards its 50th birthday. The world has shifted a lot across that period, and although right now it feels as uncertain a place as at any other time, generally speaking the speed of change has accelerated across the last 50 years. As a consequence, it is more important than ever that as a business we look towards the future.

Our core principle is to be centred around our clients. To continue to do that better every year, we must strive for consistent improvement internally as well. We have been fortunate that a large swathe of our team have been with us across many decades, but as is always the case, those more senior team figures are getting older as the business matures.

Questions inevitably arise from colleagues and clients around how long certain team members will remain in place, and it’s important to address them, to give confidence that we have a succession plan in place that will continue to allow us to service clients to the best of our ability.

As regular readers will know, we invest much of our resource back into our infrastructure, particularly into evolving technology and developing our own in-house recruitment and training programme. This is a significant time and cost commitment, and as a result that needs to be matched by attracting new clients. Happily, our new client referral levels typically rise year on year, with 2022 already well ahead of our anticipated run rate, and despite market conditions being tough, we expect to have another record-breaking year for client referrals.

As well as investing in our team, we are constantly looking at ways to reduce the time spent on areas that have less direct impact on clients. The idea is if we can become more efficient, we can spend more time on the things that really matter. Examples of efficiencies are the development of centralised support for back-office systems, and the pooling of analytical resources. In addition, with more scale we have a greater ability to negotiate costs down with fund groups, again helping to drive better client outcomes.

Consequently, we have been looking to build partnerships with financial planning businesses who operate with similar values and with a similar growth trajectory to us. We have developed this idea significantly over the last eighteen months, and we are now delighted to announce a new initiative with the Amber River Group.

Amber River are looking to invest into, and develop these ideas as a central body, allowing DB Wood to leverage from increased scale and resource, whilst leaving our business to concentrate on managing its team and delivering for our clients.  From the perspective of the senior team, assuming all remains good from a health perspective, this change will provide them with additional time needed to concentrate on the things that matter most – our investment and financial planning strategies. In addition, with greater resource in place we will be able to continue to invest in the younger side of our team, reinforcing our commitment to the challenge of continuous improvement.

One of the most important parts of anyone’s success is to have a plan in place. So particularly when the world is presenting many challenges, we felt it was important to update you on ours, which will set the foundations to build towards the next milestones.