Financial Planning update: Spotlight on…Martin Vale

Continuing our series of spotlight interviews to meet the people at the heart of Hazlewoods, here we catch up Financial Planning Technical Manager, Martin Vale. With over 20 years in the financial planning industry, Martin looks after the non-advisory staff in Hazlewoods Financial Planning with a focus on co-ordinating the technical and back-office functions.

Why did you choose financial planning and how has your career progressed?

I started as an apprentice para-planner straight after school, working first at a small boutique wealth management practice and then in the financial planning arm of a top 100 law firm, developing the technical and problem-solving skills I have honed for my role today.  It is through this exposure that I’ve gained a thorough knowledge of inheritance tax and trust planning matters. As I understand the whole financial planning process from start to finish, I can really help the team come up with the procedures necessary for delivering high-level client advice and support.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

No day is the same! From crafting career plans for new starters, managing industry-wide compliance projects, identifying technical efficiencies, conducting 121’s, producing workflows for the team, as well as some of my own para-planner work, I am there to make my team’s life easier. Essentially, I try to get people to do what they are good at and make sure it all runs smoothly

What is the best career lesson you have learned so far?

Making sure you invest time in your team. To be able to solve sometimes complex solutions you need a team around you with a diverse range of skills in whom you can trust. We are lucky in that our team are bright, enthusiastic, and ready to learn, willing to make the roles their own. The more time you invest in your team, the more trust you build, and the better the outcome for everyone.

What challenges do you help your clients with?

Investment portfolios are understandably facing a tough environment at the moment. We make it easier for clients to understand what is happening in the market, to provide context to the highs and lows. By making sure our service standards don’t slip, we inspire confidence in our clients to ensure that they are getting the high level of service they have come to expect.

Tell us about what you enjoy outside of work?

With two young children and an energetic labrador, we spend as much time as possible outside exploring the countryside near where we live trying to tire them all out!

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