When it comes to financial advice, it’s important to be armed with the correct information to ensure you can run a successful business. Kelly Newstead speaks with ex-plumbing & heating engineer Darren Carter, Associate Partner at St. James’s Place Wealth Management, to find out about his move from the trades.
Finding the right financial adviser to assist you with your business can prove paramount to its success. This can be even more crucial if you select someone who has previous experience in a trade role and someone who knows the ins and outs of the plumbing and heating industry.
This is exactly where Darren Carter believes he can help. Now an Associate Partner at St. James’s Place Wealth Management, his career originally began in the plumbing and heating industry working predominantly with domestic and commercial gas and renewable technologies.
He worked in the industry for around 13 years running his own company and working as a sub-contractor, where he was able to build a trusted reputation within the sector.
While considering his options about a career change, it was by coincidence that he was completing a plumbing job for someone who worked at the Wealth Management company he is now part of. Because of family commitments, as well as a desire to take his career in another direction, Darren felt as if it was an opportunity not to be missed.
He explained: “It was actually by coincidence that I was fixing a boiler for someone that works at St. James’s Place Wealth Management. We are good friends and he messaged me and asked if I was still thinking about doing something different. I said yes and he suggested taking a look at the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Academy.”
The academy is focused on individuals who are looking to start a second career and takes them through a training process to become a qualified financial adviser.
“I had a look and it just seemed perfect. Everything was based on me, my knowledge and my ability to do the job – the flexibility and control in managing my diary fit perfectly with having children. I would be self-employed but working under the umbrella of a big company, but it’s all about my personal relationships with people which is what I seemed to be good at.”
After completing the necessary qualifications, Darren is now practicing and looking at ways in which he can help tradespeople run their businesses more efficiently, as well as support his clients in all areas of finance.
Darren understands that the busy nature of working in the trade means the business side of things can sometimes get pushed back on the list of priorities. However, he wants to raise awareness surrounding the importance of good financial planning, but also make sure tradespeople take care of their families.
He continued: “I know the nature of the beast, as plumbing is what I have done for the last 13 years; I know the problems and the way we generally work, in terms of how we are good at our trade but the business side isn’t always our strength.
“My core job is to look at how tax efficient people are and what tools we can use to help achieve a client’s financial goals. My aim is to get people thinking about putting money towards their future – understanding the tax benefits from it and developing a plan to give them the option, to retire when they want.”
As well as providing financial advice, Darren and the company run a number of initiatives to encourage people to use their services. These include events on different areas of running a business specific to tradespeople, as well as working on initiatives such as negotiating discounts on products, including vans and tool insurance.
Darren also commends the trade on the great charity work that they participate in, giving up their valuable time to help communities and to give back to their customers. This is an area he is keen to expand on and hopes in the future he can assist in these types of projects.
Darren concludes by saying: “As an industry we don’t always take financial advice from a professional, we baulk at the plumbing DIY’ers but we then take a DIY approach with our finances – I want to change this. I strongly believe that tradespeople are undervalued and underserved in this country.
“I want to be the person giving quality advice to tradesmen and women – why shouldn’t we get the same service! I hope that looking beyond the scope of my job with certain initiatives will help reinforce that and will give me trust from within industry.”
For more information about the financial services Darren can offer, email: [email protected]
The legal bit
The Partner is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website: www.sjp.co.uk/products. The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.