The Power of Trust

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 22nd of January 2020.


jonny roundel.png Jonny Arr, ex-Professional rugby player, Mortgage Adviser, up and coming Financial Adviser.

I know a thing or two about trust. 

I’ve come from a profession where trust is often placed at the centre of everything. The best performances and the greatest of victories on the rugby field are all born from teammates with relationships entirely trusting of each other. Teammates that are selfless, bound by a unique affinity, ultimately prepared to put their own safety in the hands of one another and on the line for the benefit of their team. I take this trust as inherent. So what I have found interesting, is entering a profession where the industry regulator is putting a spotlight on the trust between adviser and client.  

You only need look back at some of the major headlines to emerge from the financial services industry in 2019 to see why this is happening. The last 12 months saw the downfall of the once celebrated fund manager Neil Woodford, resulting in hundreds and thousands of investors losing out on huge sums of money. Money, which they trusted an individual to look after. There was also St James Place, who came under scrutiny for their incentive programme for advisors as well as its charging structure, which highlighted high advice and exit fees. Furthermore, historical examples of miss selling has placed further doubt over the integrity of the financial service industry as a whole and the advisers at an individual level.   

So how is trust built in the first place? From my experiences from sport, trust is built away from the field. It is built in the changing rooms, in the coffee shop, at the bar. It is built by getting to know the individual, the human being they truly are, not the rugby player that takes to the training field with you each day. It is developed through a deeper understanding of a person, one which often aligns with your own values and beliefs. Only once an understanding on this level has been established can trust be displayed on the field of play. It comes when you are speaking the same language and working together towards the same goals.

This outlook from a sporting perspective is one that I intend to utilise as I continue to form new relationships away from the field. As a financial adviser, the best advice can only be delivered by forming relationships that are based on this deeper level of understanding. Getting to know a client for who they truly are, what they believe in and what they want out of life. Taking a long-term view of building, deepening and strengthening this relationship will go a long way to removing the doubts surround the integrity of the profession. In a way, it’s about humanising the relationship between client and adviser and demystifying the ‘science’ of financial advice . Clearly, this takes time to develop. It takes time shared over the phone, over a coffee or a bite to eat. It takes conversations initially not about pensions or investments (enough to send most people to sleep!) but about life, family, the ups and downs and the goals and aspirations we have for ourselves and our future generations.

Evidently, just having a trusting relationship isn’t enough to achieve a client’s financial objectives. A level of expert knowledge is required to get this done. This comes about through not only the complex exam knowledge I’m acquiring but working in real life situations.  I’d be the first one to say that I do not anticipate being an expert in every single aspect of financial advice, in fact I’d argue there is nobody out there who is. I spent 12 years as a professional rugby player and the intricacies and dark arts of the scrum still elude me. I’d say in this case they still elude some referees! Despite this lack of personal knowledge, I wasn’t a bad rugby player for it.

Just as any rugby team is made up of  a diverse group of individuals all equipped with their own strengths and weaknesses who together are potentially unstoppable, the exact same can be said within the team at The Financial Advice Centre. Together, as a collective with over 100 years of experience in the industry, - we form a team that has the knowledge and experience to deliver a trustworthy service that clients deserve.

It’s exciting to identify any kind of opportunity in life and I believe, thanks to my time in professional sport and ongoing development off the field, I possess the right blend of skills and traits to make a positive impact in my new profession. I’m enjoying the challenge so far and excited to continue the journey!