What a year it’s been for The Aspire Partnership! As another eventful 12 months draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the milestones, triumphs, and growth that have marked our year.
Much like the rest of the UK, we faced challenges that tested our resilience, but within each hurdle lay an opportunity for growth and innovation.
To end the year on a high, we’re excited to share the best bits of our 2023. It’s not just about looking back; it’s about embracing the positive moments that shaped us and sharing our excitement for what lies ahead in 2024.
Let’s take a look at the events that have made 2023 such a memorable one.
The launch of our new website
Back in February, we proudly unveiled our brand-new website and, if we do say so ourselves, it looks marvellous.
The launch marked a pivotal moment after months of hard work behind the scenes, including a professional team photoshoot around the sights of Bristol. You might spot our smiling faces sprinkled around the site!
Needless to say, the whole makeover was about more than just a shiny new look. The redesign was done to capture the essence of who we are, including our values and culture, our dedication to high-quality work, and a peek into our team’s expertise and personality.
We hope you agree that our new website makes finding the answers to your questions much easier and you have a better sense of who we are as a team.
Integration of a new ESG investment solution
We believe our clients should be able to invest sustainably and responsibly. For this reason, we’ve been excited to add a new investment partner to our ESG range and have new solutions on offer that could align better with your views.
Sound like something you’re interested in? Speak to your financial planner and they will explain our ESG solutions in more detail and help you decide whether you would like your investment choices to consider any ESG, sustainable or values-based criteria.
Awards and recognition
Winning awards is always the icing on the cake for the efforts we make and is a sign that we are doing something right.
This year, we were delighted to have won the following accolades:
- VouchedFor Top Rated 2023: We were the only Chartered firm in the south west to be included as a Top Rated Firm and we hope to achieve the same again in 2024. The guide, distributed by the Times, identifies and celebrates the UK’s best financial advice firms, all based on client feedback.
- Professional Adviser Adviser Firm of the Year Award — South-west and Wales: We won the award for the local region, beating many excellent advice firms in the area, including the 11 other shortlisted nominees. This award recognises firms that have delivered excellent advice and service to their clients.
- New Model Adviser Top 100: Citywire released its annual New Model Adviser Top 100, recognising the very best firms in the UK financial planning community. We were delighted to be named as one of the top 100 financial planning firms in the country.
New starters and exam success
This year, we welcomed new support team members Jake, Lisle and Josh. Jake joined us with a first-class honour’s degree in economics from the University of the West of England, Lisle came to us after being a mortgage adviser for eight years, and Josh relocated from Exeter where he gained extensive experience in a financial advisory firm and building society.
Our team as a whole has had plenty to celebrate this year:
- Jack Powell passed the CII Personal Tax and Trust Planning advanced exam and obtained Chartered status.
- Charlotte Croose, Ken Hall and Naomi Keith all passed the CII advanced exam, Retirement Income Planning.
- Naomi Keith passed the CII advanced exam, Financial Planning Process.
- Kate Gillings passed her final two exams to gain her Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.
- Ryan Kent passed three diploma exams since he joined in January: Personal Taxation, Pensions and Retirement Planning and Financial Protection.
- Jake Barber passed two CII diploma exams: Financial Services, Regulation & Ethics and Investment Principles and Risk.
- Thomas Dewar passed his CII diploma exam: Financial Protection.
- Izzy Strozewska passed the CII Certificate in Mortgage Advice and the Certificate in Equity Release.
And last, but most definitely not least, congratulations are in order for Thomas Dewar and Jack Powell on their recent promotions, Thomas to Paraplanner and Jack to Chartered Paraplanner.
Memorable social events
When the team isn’t busy helping clients, we love to unwind together as a company with regular social events.
Earlier in the year, we challenged ourselves with a Mission Impossible outdoors day at Mendip Activity Centre and recently we took a boat trip and quiz around Bristol Harbour.
We have had two offsite team meetings, one at the iconic Bristol Observatory and another at The Square Club in picturesque Berkeley Square. A bunch of us also bundled down to Sussex to celebrate Sean’s 60th and as a bonus got to explore Brighton and its sights!
Continued community support
We have had an active year supporting the Bristol Bears Community Foundation with their Bright Sparks and Bear in Mind programmes. We’ve contributed financially and practically, with our team giving talks to the young people about money, budgeting and employability.
We are already excited to be planning next year’s activity, which will expand our support to the Premiership Rugby’s award-winning HITZ program. It will include offering office visits and our team delivering workshops on interview techniques and careers.
Our ambitions for 2024
Always thinking ahead, we have plenty in store for 2024, including:
- Our mission to reach the VouchedFor Top Rated Adviser list for 2024 published in the Times, the Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday in January
- Our entries into the Professional Adviser Awards – Adviser Firm of the Year and Website of the Year
- Integrating the FCA’s new Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and investment labels, which will come into force during 2024
- Participating in the annual Break the Cycle ride hosted by the Bristol Sports Foundation.
Steve Pine, Senior Partner, has the following to say about investing in 2024: “Although inflation is likely to be lower and the cost-of-living crisis may ease, 2024 will no doubt have its challenges. We will continue to offer investment strategies that aim to provide higher than expected returns for investors while ensuring their investing journey is aligned to their experience and risk profile.”
The new year brings about the all-important run-up to 6th April, as Naomi, Associate Partner, reminds us: “The end of the financial year is a deadline that many clients need to be aware of both personally and within their businesses. By working closely with clients and their professional advisers, we can ensure they utilise all their allowances before 6th April.”
That’s a wrap!
We are off to Weymouth for our Christmas do. A train ride, walk along the coast, and a blow on the beach – all probably in the rain – will earn us a well-deserved meal in the evening!
Until then, if you have any pressing financial concerns or would like to discuss your plans for 2024 in more detail, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 9303510.