After graduating with a degree in quantity surveying and joining a large construction company, Martin admits that at that time in his life he did not realise careers existed in the financial services industry!
After serving out 2 years in construction, as a quantity surveyor and then in the marketing department, he took his Financial Planning exam (just for fun); and in 1997 moved to The Prudential as a Financial Adviser – becoming ‘the man from the Pru’. This was the beginning of Martin’s career in financial services.
After 2 years with The Pru, he joined a smaller financial services company as an associate, before being made a partner. Developing his own vision for the future, Martin took the decision in 2001 to set up Platinum IFS and to work towards achieving his own goals.
Seventeen years on, Martin is a very successful and highly respected Financial Adviser; and the owner/director of Platinum IFS.
Martin has a clarity of thinking with respect to finance. Where clients cannot see ‘the wood for the trees’, Martin can empathise with them, while more importantly, see what to do, when to do it and how to do it. With his financial decision making based on fact, not emotions.
This gives clients a reassurance that Platinum will look after them and advise of the right course of action to deliver their financial security.
The success of Platinum, who are a relatively small team, is evidenced by the amount of money they handle in terms of managed funds. They are professional, friendly, offering everything in simple terms – which delivers reassurance to clients. And with Martin always on hand when needed.
Outside of the financial world, Martin is an avid (if not obsessive) reader. He enjoys his family, eating out, socialising and holidays; as well as keeping the garden neat and tidy. On the sporting front he is a rugby coach: primarily at Bowdon RUFC (Rugby Union Football Club); but also coaching the South Trafford Raiders – a community club associated with rugby league’s Salford Red Devils.
After graduating in 1994 Jennifer secured a position with Standard Life, initially working in the administration team and soon moving to the sales team where she took her Financial Planning exams and was responsible for selling Standard Life financial products and/services to Financial Advisers to sell on to their clients.
During this time she and Martin married; and in 2005 she left to become a Director at Platinum IFS.
In this role she has seen Platinum evolve into a very successful Financial Services provider, with an ever expanding client base. Many are long-standing clients who have been with Platinum for many years. Jen says that her job satisfaction comes from giving client’s confidence; and making them feel at ease and welcomed into an industry which is normally associated with stiffness, jargon and a corporate outlook.
It’s making that difference, doing a good job and getting back to people when you say you will, that give her a buzz.
In the office, Jen is responsible for general staff management, marketing, and business development. She says that Platinum are a small team of professionals, working in a relaxed environment; and who readily take on the ever-changing legislation in the financial services industry. Their knowledge and professionalism is appreciated by their clients. This gives the whole team job satisfaction.
She is also responsible for ensuring Platinum are compliant with FCA legislation and meet all regulatory requirements. Jen says that seeing how Platinum has evolved, from its small beginnings to the recognition they have today, gives tremendous satisfaction.
For relaxation, Jen enjoys her family, including 3 children; their large garden (and giving Martin a list of what jobs to do); eating out, socialising and holidays. To keep fit she attends yoga and has now taken up running.
Jon has been interested in money, shares, and currencies since his teens. So it is not surprising that he pursued a career in finance! His financial services background spans nearly 37 years, having worked for the Midland Bank, insurance companies such as Standard Life and Friends Provident, and even an estate agent!
He made the move to the IFA sector more than 14 years ago, when he became fed up with corporate life and targets (with the potential for mis-selling). Jon was introduced to Martin and joined Platinum in 2010; bringing with him a wealth of invaluable knowledge and experience, heavily focused on the investment market and wealth management.
Jon likes talking to people and always has his clients at heart. He likes his clients to be happy; and gains immense satisfaction when he is able to deliver a financial strategy which achieves the impossible in the eyes if his client. For example, retirement earlier than expected.
His aim is to give his clients peace of mind – in an area where most see a ‘foggy haze’, saying ‘My clients buy peace of mind off me’.
As to what makes Platinum different, Jon says ‘Flexibility, trust and working together. We know what we want to do (for our clients) and what we are targeting to ensure their long-term financial security’.
Totally content with life, outside of work Jon enjoys travelling, sport (a keen walker and cyclist) and money! He is also heavily involved with Macclesfield Town Football Club.
Eeshan always wanted a career in finance, but realised at an early age that he was not suited to sitting behind a desk all day! Having obtained a BSc in Business Management & Finance he moved on to obtain his MSc in International Business Management. During this time he did volunteering work in the finance sector, working for free to gain experience.
In the early days of his career Eeshan worked his way up from Administrator to Paraplanner, gaining further financial qualifications along with way. He is now a Financial Adviser and is very grateful to Platinum for being given this opportunity as he is thoroughly enjoying the role what he is doing. He has a wealth of knowledge in pensions and savings, which he applies when working with his clients to define their investment strategy and ensure their financial future. Not being a desk man, Eeshan meets most of his clients in their home surroundings; with one living over 100 miles from the office!
When asked what makes Platinum different, he responds ‘The people. These guys are brilliant; a great team. When I walk into work there is always a smile on my face’.
As well as his financial knowledge, Eeshan speaks several languages, including Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi. When not in the office, he can be found in the gym, swimming, playing cricket or on the squash court. He also relaxes by walking his dog Romeo or…engrossing himself in his PlayStation!
After leaving school at 16 Dave joined the Yorkshire bank and worked his way up from the office junior! After they were taken over by National Australia Bank, he became a ‘Tied (financial) Adviser’. But with ever more emphasis on targets and goals, he became somewhat despondent with the banking sector. Dave left to join a local company where he became an Independent Financial Adviser, undertaking a range of roles during his 18 year tenure.
Due to changes within the company, Dave found himself looking to move on and received various job offers. Of these, he felt that Platinum was the right place for him, where he now specialises in Protection, Pensions and Investments. He believes in fairness to clients and their financial security. This is the ethos of Platinum; adding that it is the nicest place he has ever worked.
Dave is very proud of his ever increasing client base and client retention. He gets many referrals from clients; and over the years he has built strong client relationships. He is a ‘completer and finisher’ and hates going home with any tasks uncompleted.
What makes Platinum different? ‘The people. Everyone has the client at heart. We all get on with each other and are all totally professional in what we do; yet at the same time we have fun, often taking Friday lunches together and enjoying evenings out’.
Outside of work Dave is passionate about sport. He enjoys the gym and playing golf; coaches a boys’ football team and is heavily involved in his son’s cricket club (having given up playing himself).
He spends one week a year with the family on a lambing farm in Wales, where his son Oliver (11), is learning a lot about lambing and general life skills. Oliver loves animals. He feeds the lambs and successfully pulled out a new-born that was emerging feet first!
Relaxation for Dave also comes from his large garden, holidaying in Spain and his ‘cavapoo’ dog called Striker (his second child!)
Nick chose to follow in his father’s footsteps when he started his financial career over 20 years ago in a corporate financial services company. But after working his way up to Financial Adviser, his career slightly changed direction when he took a job selling hair products and then worked for an estate agent. But it was here that his true career started: working in the Mortgage & Protection section.
Then, at 29, he decided to go travelling – visiting Australia and South East Asia. This was to have a major impact on his life, meeting the woman he subsequently married.
On his return, Nick took various jobs including working in a call centre and with a firm of insurance brokers, before he was introduced to Martin and brought his wealth of Mortgage & Protection experience to Platinum.
Nick’s passion lies in helping people to achieve their biggest purchase – their home; and to pay off debts. Nick always strives to get the best deals for his clients, whilst giving them choice; and is a bit like a dog with a bone during negotiations with providers.
As to what makes Platinum different…‘it is a family run business where you are a person rather than a number. No two days are the same, so it never gets boring. The atmosphere is nice and relaxed; we have a banter, but get the work done. Platinum are a good group people, who help each other. We all want to help our clients and you know you are achieving that when clients recommend you to others’.
Satisfaction for Nick is the reward of helping people buy their home.
For relaxation Nick enjoys football – now watching rather than playing. Some years ago he played for Crewe…now he watches Manchester United! Nick still enjoys travelling, but fourteen years on he and his wife have an 2 year old son who takes up much of his time!
From a degree in French & Criminal Justice, Faye spent time travelling the world before starting a career with the National Westminster Bank where she gained her professional qualifications as a financial planner. Then, her personal circumstances changed, and years later she wanted to broaden her work experience, joining another independent IFA before settling with Platinum.
Faye’s day will involve preparation for client meetings – both new and old; keeping up to date with progress; and generally ensuring that other team members are aware of what tasks need to be actioned. Satisfaction is seeing a job through from start to finish: from the initial phone call to a potential new client and starting a relationship, through to a satisfactory conclusion – where the client selects Platinum as their financial partner.
She likes the challenge of something new, client contact and building relationships. To achieve this demands the utmost professionalism and getting on with everyone in the office, while at the same time being able to have a laugh and a joke. She likes nothing better than clients requesting to speak with her, because they know and trust her.
‘At Platinum’ she says, ‘we are quite unique. Very people oriented, but at the same time very professional in the structure of the business and its processes. There’s an easy going feel, yet highly professional’.
In her spare time Faye likes watching drama (particularly dark crime) and going to the gym, where she does various classes, including a boxing cardio workout with her son. She also has two cats called Jacob and Mylo; the latter being particularly demanding of attention!
After leaving school and studying Business & Finance at South Manchester College, Catherine was asked to join Barclays Bank in Brooklands, where she had carried out a work placement whilst at college. She then worked her way up, working in branches across Greater Manchester; and while working in St Anne’s Square could be regularly seen ‘walking the streets’ as she delivered the post to local city banks.
Catherine excelled in the bank achieving the role of International Services Officer – working with large, multi-national, high net worth corporate clients.
After starting a family, Catherine joined Platinum in 2005 – which then comprised Martin plus two others – and was working out of a converted garage in Martin’s house! As the business grew, Platinum moved into their present premises and Catherine has continued working with the company on a part-time basis.
Catherine loves problem solving and will follow up queries and discrepancies; and chase providers when necessary. Satisfaction is problem resolution at the end of the day and a clear desk! …as well as happy clients
At Platinum, Catherine says, all staff have the same aims and are in sync with each other, providing good quality, accurate service, ensuring clients their financial security. That, as well as the office banter and general buzz generated in the office makes Platinum different. We have a likeability factor and our clients see that we like our jobs as soon as they walk through the door.
Outside of work Catherine has three children plus a 20-year old cat called Choccy. She loves cooking and entertaining, yoga and holidays!
Having spent virtually all her life in financial services, Anne has accumulated a wealth of experience across the financial sector. Starting at 18 in insurance, she has worked for several companies in financial roles as she gained her qualifications; as well as working for a short time in Human Resources (HR).
Having little experience in mortgage legislation, Anne took up the challenge to familiarise herself with another aspect of financial services and was soon up to speed and proposing new ways of working with respect to the paperwork required to meet regulatory standards. Anne was in her element – developing protocols, systems and procedures to ensure they meet the brief, are fit for purpose and are compliant with regulatory standards.
Anne originally joined Platinum as cover for maternity leave but was offered a part-time contract after; which suits her down to the ground. She is satisfied when she completes the work and targets she has set herself for the day – but knows that with such a great office team, she can always rely on their support if she needs it.
As to what makes Platinum different, Anne says ‘It’s a great team; everyone works together, something that was clearly evident when she came for interview. We work in a happy, caring environment; we are professional and have detailed standards to which everyone adheres to and respects’.
Outside of work she loves cats (her daughter’s cat Tabitha, now appears to be part of Anne’s family!), gardening, eating out and holidays; she also goes to the gym and enjoys walking to keep in trim!
Starting her career in secretarial roles, Luisa gained experience in finance when she supported several financial advisers in different financial services companies. Then, whilst working within a new financial services arm of an accountancy practice, a position was created to establish administration support. Luisa was in her element – being given the opportunity to start something completely afresh and put her stamp on it!
Realising that her career path lay in finance, she undertook her financial planning exams and now has over 26 years’ experience in the financial sector, taking up her role at Platinum in 2017.
During her interview Luisa could see the benefits of working in a smaller, family run financial services company, where your input can really make a difference. It was clearly evident that Platinum’s values matched her own – wanting to provide the best advice to clients and honest service.
Luisa says that satisfaction comes from helping people in an industry that is filled with jargon. Her aim is to put her clients at ease by explaining everything in simple terms so that they can understand the consequences of their decisions and not be frightened by them. That is what makes Platinum different.
She says that working with providers and pension scheme administrators can be frustrating. But that satisfaction comes from achieving a realistic time-scale, with assurance that everything is underway and within process. Once everything is achieved, there is huge satisfaction across the Platinum team.
Outside of work Luisa enjoys walking, socialising and seeing as much of the world as possible. She supports Manchester City…well a bit difficult not to when your Dad has been their manager!
After working in financial roles in the retail trade, Danielle moved to Platinum in 2017 describing it as ‘her long-term career move’. She had always wanted a financial role and started her career in the cash office of H & M. Feeling that this did not provide a long-term career path, she moved to a similar, but much larger role, with Merlin Entertainment and responsibility for Global Attractions; and the opportunity to study for accountancy exams.
After three years she saw a job advert for a role at Platinum. Some background research suggested the role would be similar, but in a smaller, family run business; and it gave her the right vibes. She says ‘There was something there – but I couldn’t put my finger on it’. An interview with Directors Martin and Jen confirmed everything she had felt – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Danielle is currently an Administrator, using her customer service experience to support advisers and the administration team, where she excels in providing complex spread sheet data. She also liaises with valued clients. Ideas of accountancy have now taken a back seat and she is now studying for professional exams in Insurance & Protection.
As to what makes Platinum different, she says the following ‘You are encouraged to express yourself and make suggestions. Even small things get recognised and can make an immense difference. It gives you job satisfaction and you want to do a great job. Everyone is friendly, we are not just colleagues in work; we go out and socialise together. I feel I have met with friends for life’.
‘Platinum provides a really welcoming environment for clients. The job is mentally challenging, but without the stress. Our clients are so important to us and we must ensure we look after them and their financial security’.
Outside of work Danielle is a very keen supporter of Salford City Reds. A season ticket holder; she follows them both home and away, including matches in France. Other relaxation includes, Manchester United, socialising with friends and family, going to the cinema and eating out.
Michelle is our newest recruit and began her career as a secretary, working in healthcare, construction, and as a personal secretary to the Director of an independent estate agent. Her career took a change in direction after personal circumstances forced her to take on the challenge of finance. Working her way through legal and financial jargon, she became fascinated with the financial business sector and secured the position of Administrator within a local financial services company.
Unfortunately Michelle became disillusioned with the company she worked for but had come to love the financial sector and wanted a job that was both challenging and rewarding, giving her job satisfaction.
Then fate took over. She was put in touch with Platinum IFS, who were seeking an Administrator to work 3-4 days a week. Just what she wanted. Having been told a little about the company she researched their website, and saw smiling faces that gave the impression that Platinum was a nice place to work. She read the biographies of the team and looked forward to her interview with Jen. She was not disappointed, describing it as ‘like meeting a friend’. A further interview followed with both Martin and Jen; and she took up the job offer.
Eager to start she has not been disappointed. As she learns how Platinum operates she knows she has made the right choice. The job is both challenging and rewarding.
She says that they are completely different in the attitude they take towards clients, staff, the working environment, the office, everything! Staff well-being is clearly a high priority, together with client welfare and securing their financial future.
As Michelle begins working with both established and new clients, she knows she has made the right decision in choosing Platinum; and goes home with the satisfaction that she has done a good days work and that clients are in very safe hands.
Outside of work she loves holidaying in Europe; walking, particularly in the Lakes; looking after her garden (leaving the lawn for her husband to cut) and enjoying their two cats: Tom and Moody; which he apparently is!
Henry is the newest member of the team and is looking forward to starting his Trainee Financial Adviser apprenticeship programme in September 2019. He has always been interested in finance and after having a series of jobs including fitness instructor; events’ organiser and sales rep for Portland Wine; he knew that ultimately he wanted a career in financial services.
Currently learning how the company operates, Henry is already speaking with clients and working with other members of the team to maintain Platinum’s reputation in helping clients to make smart decisions about their finances.
Henry says ‘It’s nice working in a family firm where you can see the positive impacts of what you are doing and achieving for your clients’.
Outside of work Henry enjoys keeping fit, the great outdoors and history.