When they met in 1992, Derek worked for Scottish Widows and John was an IFA in the City of Plymouth. Fast forward 24 years, multiple business models and a lot of hard work, Westward Trust Services is a company to look out for. We sat down with Derek Hall and John Rio to find out exactly how they got to the position they are in today.
As the famous saying goes, “there are 2 things you cannot avoid in life, Death and Taxes”, and at the same time these are 2 things most of us will try to avoid. However, the inevitable will get to all of us in the end so a secure updated Will is something we should all take into serious consideration. Westward Trust is looking to help guide people with just that, by provide wills, lasting powers of attorney and trusts that can secure your assets and protect them against the hostile creditors, and other unforeseen situations that can happen in your future. The idea is to ensure you and your family will have control of your hard earned wealth and that you are the only ones who ultimately benefit from it.
Going back to where it all began in 1992, Derek tells us how he was a sales consultant for Scottish Widows, which meant that he could call on independent financial advisors and encourage them to do business. John was one of those IFA’S working in Plymouth.
John took over his father in laws business in 1994, and kept in close contact with Derek during this period. Derek on occasion was asked to present Inheritance tax Solutions to John’s clients and it was after one of these meetings that they sat down and discussed the merits of going into business together using Inheritance Tax and other related issues as a target market. Their business relationship became very strong, “we came to know each other very well” said Derek.
Derek became an associate in 2001. It made perfect sense given the duo’s history. In 2003 a new company was formed with both John and Derek as its directors dealing solely with Inheritance tax and investment issues. They set up a seminar programme covering their target market and so the future was set. Over the next twelve years, with close to £40 million under management Derek and John considered they had been successful and were looking for the next big opportunity to rise. This opportunity became apparent when talking to new and existing clients with regards to Long Term Care and asset protection. Derek and John both agreed there was potential in this market and established Westward Trust Services Ltd, a company which could give advice specifically for those needs.
These days the financial services industry has become a lot tougher to qualify in compared with previous years, with the introduction of regulation and compliance things have changed a lot to how they used to be. “You used to be able to become a financial advisor or insurance salesman with nothing, no qualifications and
no experience whatsoever” says Derek. However, with new rules you need to have a minimum of a diploma in financial planning. Strategically Derek and John pre- empted the need for this qualification before it became a requirement, and gradually started passing the exams ready for the changes they had already foreseen.
“We like to think that if we are working in such an area, especially when you’re talking to high net worth clients, they’re the first ones to ask how we’re qualified, and so we took the exams that were relevant before they were compulsory.” Derek and John have gone way beyond that now, passing advanced papers in taxation trust and investments- one of the highest qualifications you can get from the Chartered Insurance Institute.
So who are Westward Trust looking for? Their ideal demographic is what they call ‘middle England’. John explains how the Trust would work in regards to a target client; “People who’ve never had anything who eventually require care, will have that covered for them by their local council”. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re very wealthy with pension funds then you don’t have to worry about care because you’ve got the funds to cover it. Middle England is the people who get affected, because they could potentially lose out on a lot.
If you have an issue or you want information on how best to use the concessions that you’re allowed to use, then you need to come and talk to us
Westward Trust wants to show that they are a personalised and friendly service. They can visit people in their own home, or clients can visit them at their office. “Clients like the option to be able to do that, particularly older clients who perhaps can’t get around so easily, and they might prefer the luxury of their own home”.
The future for the industry looks set to grow as babies being born today are expected to live as long as 100. The medical technology we are researching means that people are living longer, people are going to need care in the later stages of their lives and will need financial aid. With all that in mind the market will continue to grow.
Looking ahead, Derek and John see Westward Trust Services as a one stop shop for Wills Lasting Powers of Attorney and Asset protection Trusts, marketing it to say “Here we are, this is what we can offer and this is what we do”. John tells us that they’ve always believed Westward Trust Services to have great potential and now they have more time to focus on building the business. They are in the process establishing a brand new website, which will be up and running in a few months time. They have an office in Lockyer Street Plymouth which has recently been set up opened and they are both looking positively to the future.
As John and Derek would say, “If you require information on Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney or want information on the concessions available regarding care costs, then you need to come and talk to us”.
Call: 01752 229992 | Email: email@example.com | 5 Windsor Villas, Lockyer Street, Plymouth, PL1 2QD