By Richard Potts, Chief Executive, IM Asset Management Ltd

 A look back on 21 years

It all began in 2000, 21 years ago, following two realisations. Firstly, that too many clients were being badly served by financial advisers once they had received a Personal Injury award and secondly, clients preferred to have all their services provided by Irwin Mitchell as they had come to trust the firm meaning they didn’t have to worry about the advice or service they were receiving.

Our first few years were relatively slow as we began to hire the team and put the necessary infrastructure in place. What those early years demonstrated, however, was the commitment clients had to Irwin Mitchell and it’s of great pride that we can say that almost all of those early clients remain with us today. Momentum began to increase as we focused on providing holistic financial advice at various stages of a personal injury claim, beginning with what is now our Periodic Payment Reports and later adding Family Financial Health Checks as well as ongoing investment management and financial planning after settlement.

Assets under management

Starting in 2000, the value of client assets we looked after rose to £45m mid-way through 2003, passed £100m in 2005 and £500m in 2017 to stand at £930m today.

Our clients

Client care has always been central to what we do. We’ve evolved from what was essentially a Private Client Stockbroking firm where each individual looked after a number of clients as they saw fit, to one operating as an integrated wealth manager providing a range of services designed to address most financial needs that individuals have over a lifetime. Over the years we’ve either responded to client needs and introduced new services to answer questions such as “should we take a lump-sum or Periodical Payment and in what proportion?” through the creation of “life-span” graphs which provide an insight to how a lump-sum investment can be used to fund future needs for many years, to periodical payment checking and wider services to family members in need of financial reassurance.

While it’s reassuring to hear what our clients say about us in various surveys, such as our client retention rate of over 99% and a Net Promoter Score of 94, what is most rewarding is to see the 240 clients who have been with us for over 10 years including the very first client who sought permission to leave the court appointed brokers and set up, with us, their own financial arrangements.

Our colleagues

None of this would be possible without the dedication and commitment of our team. While we have grown quite significantly over the years, we’re very fortunate to have many colleagues who’ve been with us a long time. Within our 21 years we have two colleagues who have been with us for over 18 years, nine over 15 and a further six over 10. It’s no coincidence that our clients remain committed to us given the stability seen throughout our team.

Our communities

We are proud of the partnerships we’ve formed over the last 21 years and have most recently become the first ever Trusted Financial Partner of the Spinal Injuries Association where we are working with their support network officers to reach out to the spinal cord injured community. We are now also the official wealth management supplier to British Wheelchair Basketball and have renewed our support for Nathalie McGloin, the only female tetraplegic racing driver in the world, as she prepares to get behind the wheel once again this year. In addition to partnerships we continue to fundraise and work with many charities to support their initiatives.

A look to the future

Looking forward, the future is very promising so long as we stick to our core principle of providing the best possible service to all our clients whatever their needs. Our core focus on Personal Injury clients will remain and expand as we build new relationships beyond Irwin Mitchell but will be complemented by providing the same level of service and care to those from a non-Personal Injury background. It has been very interesting to see clients join us from a range of different organisations where increased standardisation of service has left them frustrated and dissatisfied. It doesn’t have to be that way as we seek to demonstrate every day.

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Financial planning and wealth management services are provided by IM Asset Management Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.