Our mission is to help our clients and their families achieve more with their resources, positively impacting their own lives and the lives of their loved ones and creating a better future in a world worth living in.

For more than 20 years we have been helping clients and their families accomplish their dreams. Through developing meaningful and enduring relationships, we are able to help our clients consider their true aspirations and then create a financial roadmap to help them reach those goals. Our strategies reflect our understanding that no two clients are the same and each financial plan is tailored to individual needs, underpinned by our desire to support our clients live happy and fulfilled lives.

Meet the Team

“Having the right team is fundamental to us delivering a service beyond our client’s expectations. Every one of our team is a specialist in what they do but most importantly, they are specialists in people.” David Penney, Chief Executive

David Penney

CEO & Founder

David Penney

CEO & Founder

David was just 28 when he became one of the youngest Partners with St. James’s Place Wealth Management. In the two decades since, he has overseen the business grow to a team of almost 20 with more than 700 clients and in excess of £200m under management. His expertise is Intergenerational wealth, tax and estate planning and ensuring the well-being of all his clients. David is also a staunch advocate for better financial education and outside of work has raised thousands of pounds alongside his wife Beverley for Supporting Nepal’s Children.

Will Harrrison

Senior Financial Consultant & Director

Will Harrrison

Senior Financial Consultant & Director

Will is a proud Yorkshireman who started his career with one of the large life insurance companies before working for an IFA as a stepping-stone to establishing his own business in 2010 and aligning with St. James’s Place in 2012. The privilege of building potentially life-changing relationships with clients and helping to demystify complex financial situations is what makes Will tick. A Chartered Financial Planner, he will often draw pictures for clients as he helps them through their retirement planning, the latest pension legislation or effective tax strategies. His passion for providing clear and straightforward advice for his clients is matched only by his love of travelling with his young family and sport, having played cricket for Yorkshire and rugby for Sale and England Sevens in a previous life.

Sam Johnston

Financial Consultant

Sam Johnston

Financial Consultant

A graduate of the prestigious St. James’s Place Academy, Sam is passionate about creating effective, efficient and relatable financial plans for his clients. Based in our Cheltenham office, Sam has a particular focus working with contractors and helping them gain financial clarity, certainty and security in what can be an uncertain world. Passionate about sport and fundraising, he has helped raise more than £30,000 through numerous golf days and a white-collar boxing bout.

David Penney

CEO & Founder

David was just 28 when he became one of the youngest Partners with St. James’s Place Wealth Management. In the two decades since, he has overseen the business grow to a team of almost 20 with more than 700 clients and in excess of £200m under management. His expertise is Intergenerational wealth, tax and estate planning and ensuring the well-being of all his clients. David is also a staunch advocate for better financial education and outside of work has raised thousands of pounds alongside his wife Beverley for Supporting Nepal’s Children.

Will Harrrison

Senior Financial Consultant & Director

Will is a proud Yorkshireman who started his career with one of the large life insurance companies before working for an IFA as a stepping-stone to establishing his own business in 2010 and aligning with St. James’s Place in 2012. The privilege of building potentially life-changing relationships with clients and helping to demystify complex financial situations is what makes Will tick. A Chartered Financial Planner, he will often draw pictures for clients as he helps them through their retirement planning, the latest pension legislation or effective tax strategies. His passion for providing clear and straightforward advice for his clients is matched only by his love of travelling with his young family and sport, having played cricket for Yorkshire and rugby for Sale and England Sevens in a previous life.

Sam Johnston

Financial Consultant

A graduate of the prestigious St. James’s Place Academy, Sam is passionate about creating effective, efficient and relatable financial plans for his clients. Based in our Cheltenham office, Sam has a particular focus working with contractors and helping them gain financial clarity, certainty and security in what can be an uncertain world. Passionate about sport and fundraising, he has helped raise more than £30,000 through numerous golf days and a white-collar boxing bout.

Adam Carson

Financial Consultant

Adam Carson

Financial Consultant

Adam spent much of his early life on the golf course and his first career was as a professional golfer before a wrist injury led him in a different direction.

Prior to joining Penney Financial Partners, Adam worked for two investment platforms as part of their sales teams before joining a national firm as an advisor, during which time he achieved his CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning and a CFA Investment Management Certificate.

Adam is committed to helping clients understand their finances and to support them in planning for their future, whatever it may hold for them, and is also a vocal and passionate supporter of initiatives to help tackle the looming climate crisis.

Dan Salt

Financial Consultant

Dan Salt

Financial Consultant

Dan has packed plenty into his 25 years. For the last four of them Dan, who graduated with a maths degree from Nottingham University, has worked as a paraplanner at the practice where he prepares documents for client meetings, completes applications, carries out research and processes investments. His true passion is tennis in which he represented for his university and he has been a qualified coach for a decade although he can also turn his hand to Olympic weightlifting, running and golf. One of his proudest achievements is being part of a team that trekked up the Salkantay Pass and Machu Picchu and helped raise more the £1.7m for Breast Cancer Now.

Ryan Smith

Financial Consultant

Ryan Smith

Financial Consultant

Ryan is a self-proclaimed petrol head who initially studied engineering before a spell as a sales executive in the car industry encouraged him into a career in financial services.

He has since gone on to become a qualified financial advisor and has now entered the prestigious St. James’s Place Academy to develop his knowledge and experience and support him towards his goal of becoming Chartered in the coming years.

With his background in engineering and a passion for motorsport, Ryan loves nothing more than finding solutions to complex problems and not surprisingly, if he had a super-power it would be extreme speed – so that he could play his guitar faster.

Adam Carson

Financial Consultant

Adam spent much of his early life on the golf course and his first career was as a professional golfer before a wrist injury led him in a different direction.

Prior to joining Penney Financial Partners, Adam worked for two investment platforms as part of their sales teams before joining a national firm as an advisor, during which time he achieved his CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning and a CFA Investment Management Certificate.

Adam is committed to helping clients understand their finances and to support them in planning for their future, whatever it may hold for them, and is also a vocal and passionate supporter of initiatives to help tackle the looming climate crisis.

Dan Salt

Financial Consultant

Dan has packed plenty into his 25 years. For the last four of them Dan, who graduated with a maths degree from Nottingham University, has worked as a paraplanner at the practice where he prepares documents for client meetings, completes applications, carries out research and processes investments. His true passion is tennis in which he represented for his university and he has been a qualified coach for a decade although he can also turn his hand to Olympic weightlifting, running and golf. One of his proudest achievements is being part of a team that trekked up the Salkantay Pass and Machu Picchu and helped raise more the £1.7m for Breast Cancer Now.

Ryan Smith

Financial Consultant

Ryan is a self-proclaimed petrol head who initially studied engineering before a spell as a sales executive in the car industry encouraged him into a career in financial services.

He has since gone on to become a qualified financial advisor and has now entered the prestigious St. James’s Place Academy to develop his knowledge and experience and support him towards his goal of becoming Chartered in the coming years.

With his background in engineering and a passion for motorsport, Ryan loves nothing more than finding solutions to complex problems and not surprisingly, if he had a super-power it would be extreme speed – so that he could play his guitar faster.

Thomas Kelly

Head of Client Relationships

Thomas Kelly

Head of Client Relationships

Apart from some youthful fishmongery, Thomas has clocked more than 30 years in the financial services sector. In his early career Thomas worked in retail banking before working for an IFA where he was technical manager for 12 years. Prior to joining the practice, Thomas worked for a specialist pensions provider as its Head of Operations. Today Thomas is the engine room of our business – helping drive everyone towards the goals and targets that we set ourselves. Ensuring that every colleague has the right support – be it technical, practical or emotional – at the right time is what gets him out of bed in the morning. He is also a quiz stalwart and is a longstanding charity quiz night organiser and compere.

Rob Hawkins

Business Development Consultant

Rob Hawkins

Business Development Consultant

Rob is another colleague with a strong St. James’s Place Wealth Management pedigree having enjoyed a successful 23-year career at the firm. His most recent role at St. James’s Place was as Head of Division Private Clients but prior to that he held a number of positions across the business including in training & development and communications. A Cotswold resident for more than a quarter of a century, Rob has brought his extensive client experience and local knowledge to help develop our Cheltenham office, which was opened in 2019. Joining Penney Financial Partners was not the only exciting recent appointment for Rob having also secured a volunteering role at the Cotswold Wildlife Park where he is learning a good deal about lemurs.

Dave Lardner

Senior Technical Consultant

Dave Lardner

Senior Technical Consultant

Whether it’s cleaning his car (or his neighbour’s) or working with clients to help them meet their financial objectives, for Dave it is very much about the detail.

Over a career spanning almost a quarter of a century – including 16 years at St. James’s Place’s head office in Cirencester - Dave has developed a specialist skillset having worked in a range of areas and roles including product development, advice, compliance and operational management with a particular proficiency and in Tax, Trusts and Estate Planning.

In his role with us at Penney Financial Partners, Dave supports the consultants in building and maintaining client relationships through his expertise in navigating complex technical matters and building advice for clients in line with regulatory and corporate principles.

Outside of work he enjoys nothing more than spending time with his son Dexter and walking his dog Norman – oh, and obviously keeping the car spotless!

Thomas Kelly

Head of Client Relationships

Apart from some youthful fishmongery, Thomas has clocked more than 30 years in the financial services sector. In his early career Thomas worked in retail banking before working for an IFA where he was technical manager for 12 years. Prior to joining the practice, Thomas worked for a specialist pensions provider as its Head of Operations. Today Thomas is the engine room of our business – helping drive everyone towards the goals and targets that we set ourselves. Ensuring that every colleague has the right support – be it technical, practical or emotional – at the right time is what gets him out of bed in the morning. He is also a quiz stalwart and is a longstanding charity quiz night organiser and compere.

Rob Hawkins

Business Development Consultant

Rob is another colleague with a strong St. James’s Place Wealth Management pedigree having enjoyed a successful 23-year career at the firm. His most recent role at St. James’s Place was as Head of Division Private Clients but prior to that he held a number of positions across the business including in training & development and communications. A Cotswold resident for more than a quarter of a century, Rob has brought his extensive client experience and local knowledge to help develop our Cheltenham office, which was opened in 2019. Joining Penney Financial Partners was not the only exciting recent appointment for Rob having also secured a volunteering role at the Cotswold Wildlife Park where he is learning a good deal about lemurs.

Dave Lardner

Senior Technical Consultant

Whether it’s cleaning his car (or his neighbour’s) or working with clients to help them meet their financial objectives, for Dave it is very much about the detail.

Over a career spanning almost a quarter of a century – including 16 years at St. James’s Place’s head office in Cirencester - Dave has developed a specialist skillset having worked in a range of areas and roles including product development, advice, compliance and operational management with a particular proficiency and in Tax, Trusts and Estate Planning.

In his role with us at Penney Financial Partners, Dave supports the consultants in building and maintaining client relationships through his expertise in navigating complex technical matters and building advice for clients in line with regulatory and corporate principles.

Outside of work he enjoys nothing more than spending time with his son Dexter and walking his dog Norman – oh, and obviously keeping the car spotless!

Nina Sahota

Client Services Lead

Nina Sahota

Client Services Lead

Nobody can doubt’s Nina’s pedigree when it comes to understanding the business, having worked under the St. James’s Place umbrella since graduating with her Law LLB Hons degree from the University of Birmingham 20 years ago. She initially worked for another Partner Practice when the company had just changed from J Rothschild Assurance to St. James’s Place and two years later, she joined The David Penney Practice - and has been with us ever since. Nina is responsible for the overall delivery of client services and there is not a computer yet invented that will diminish her passion for interacting and assisting our clients. In short, if our clients are happy then Nina’s happy.

Megan Ward

Advice Support Lead

Megan Ward

Advice Support Lead

Megan was potentially destined to one day join the practice having enjoyed a number of work experience spells during her school and college days. Although passionate about art and a keen artist, Megan decided a career in financial services was for her and for the past year she has been working towards her paraplanning qualifications, the first step she hopes towards one day joining the Consultant team. However, she can still be found with a paintbrush and easel when winding down, or possibly even playing the electric guitar she is learning.

Linda Askey

Senior Consultants Hub Lead

Linda Askey

Senior Consultants Hub Lead

Linda has worked with David for 15 years and is currently a Senior Paraplanner, primarily supporting the Consultants by writing reports for investments although her general experience is an invaluable asset for the smooth running of the practice. In a previous life Linda worked as a legal executive with experience across a range of specialisms including family, commercial law and will & trusts. Outside work you will find her with the grandchildren or playing golf although unfortunately not yet at the same time.

Nina Sahota

Client Services Lead

Nobody can doubt’s Nina’s pedigree when it comes to understanding the business, having worked under the St. James’s Place umbrella since graduating with her Law LLB Hons degree from the University of Birmingham 20 years ago. She initially worked for another Partner Practice when the company had just changed from J Rothschild Assurance to St. James’s Place and two years later, she joined The David Penney Practice - and has been with us ever since. Nina is responsible for the overall delivery of client services and there is not a computer yet invented that will diminish her passion for interacting and assisting our clients. In short, if our clients are happy then Nina’s happy.

Megan Ward

Advice Support Lead

Megan was potentially destined to one day join the practice having enjoyed a number of work experience spells during her school and college days. Although passionate about art and a keen artist, Megan decided a career in financial services was for her and for the past year she has been working towards her paraplanning qualifications, the first step she hopes towards one day joining the Consultant team. However, she can still be found with a paintbrush and easel when winding down, or possibly even playing the electric guitar she is learning.

Linda Askey

Senior Consultants Hub Lead

Linda has worked with David for 15 years and is currently a Senior Paraplanner, primarily supporting the Consultants by writing reports for investments although her general experience is an invaluable asset for the smooth running of the practice. In a previous life Linda worked as a legal executive with experience across a range of specialisms including family, commercial law and will & trusts. Outside work you will find her with the grandchildren or playing golf although unfortunately not yet at the same time.

Lauren Chapman

Advice Support Specialist

Lauren Chapman

Advice Support Specialist

Lauren provides technical support for our Consultant team, conducting investment research and formalising recommendations while also keeping in regular contact with our clients to ensure they receive the personalised and friendly service they have come to expect. She is an expert multi-tasker, a superpower she has been able to hone after recently becoming a mum for the first time and when she’s not out making memories with her young family, she loves to cook and makes a mean roast duck with plum sauce and dauphinoise potatoes - although she does prefer it when it hasn’t been mashed up.

Sonia Choudhury-Mills

Advice Support Specialist

Sonia Choudhury-Mills

Advice Support Specialist

Sonia enjoys working for Penney Financial Partners so much that she has recently returned for her second spell at the company. Sonia first worked in the client experience team before relocating to a different part of the country in the knowledge that she would always be welcome back in the Penney family.

In the intervening years Sonia continued to work in financial service including working with another St. James’s Place partner practice and then in 2021 Sonia returned to join the advice support team, based in our Cheltenham office.

Using her extensive experience working for both St. James’s Place and a number of independent financial advisors, Sonia’s day to day focus identifying, targeting and managing advice business opportunities and ensuring that new and existing clients are receiving the high-quality advice that they need.

When not working, Sonia can be found in the garden tending to her fruit and vegetables and staying away from all the distractions of modern technology

Jo Jackson

Advice Support Specialist

Jo Jackson

Advice Support Specialist

Investment and tax research, viability analysis and compiling client strategy documents are all in a day’s work for Jo. Providing merchandising support for her sons and their band fills the rest of her time.

Lauren Chapman

Advice Support Specialist

Lauren provides technical support for our Consultant team, conducting investment research and formalising recommendations while also keeping in regular contact with our clients to ensure they receive the personalised and friendly service they have come to expect. She is an expert multi-tasker, a superpower she has been able to hone after recently becoming a mum for the first time and when she’s not out making memories with her young family, she loves to cook and makes a mean roast duck with plum sauce and dauphinoise potatoes - although she does prefer it when it hasn’t been mashed up.

Sonia Choudhury-Mills

Advice Support Specialist

Sonia enjoys working for Penney Financial Partners so much that she has recently returned for her second spell at the company. Sonia first worked in the client experience team before relocating to a different part of the country in the knowledge that she would always be welcome back in the Penney family.

In the intervening years Sonia continued to work in financial service including working with another St. James’s Place partner practice and then in 2021 Sonia returned to join the advice support team, based in our Cheltenham office.

Using her extensive experience working for both St. James’s Place and a number of independent financial advisors, Sonia’s day to day focus identifying, targeting and managing advice business opportunities and ensuring that new and existing clients are receiving the high-quality advice that they need.

When not working, Sonia can be found in the garden tending to her fruit and vegetables and staying away from all the distractions of modern technology

Jo Jackson

Advice Support Specialist

Investment and tax research, viability analysis and compiling client strategy documents are all in a day’s work for Jo. Providing merchandising support for her sons and their band fills the rest of her time.

Emily Pritchard

Client Services Specialist

Emily Pritchard

Client Services Specialist

Emily is a relative newcomer to the financial services sector having previously worked for a number of years as a beauty consultant for a major cosmetics brand.

Emily gained her first experience in the financial industry as a customer advisor at Lloyds Bank before joining the client services team at Penney Financial Partners where she now provides meeting support for consultants and assists clients with any inquiries.

She can often be found walking in the countryside with her dog but when circumstances allow, she will most likely be found at the airport waiting for a plane to take her somewhere they serve great cocktails.

JUDY DAVIES

Front of House & Client Services Specialist

JUDY DAVIES

Front of House & Client Services Specialist

In many ways, Judy is the face and voice of Penney Financial Partners as it’s often her beaming smile and dulcet Californian tones that will be the first thing visitors see and hear when they visit our Shrewsbury office. Having spent almost 30 years working for the Motion Picture Group at Universal Studios in the Golden State, Judy knows a thing or two about customer service and if her infectious warmth and good humour could be bottled then it would be a best seller. When she’s not facilitating a smoothly run practice, Judy is busy exploring the country she now calls home.

BEV PENNEY

Client Services Specialist

BEV PENNEY

Client Services Specialist

If you have an emergency, then look no further than Bev – as a former 999 operator she is well versed in getting to the nub of the problem and putting the wheels of a solution in motion. Thankfully emergencies are few and far between at Penney Financial Partners so she is able to concentrate her efforts elsewhere, such as assisting with events, seminars and financial education initiatives as well as supporting the development of the practice’s social media output. Outside work she is passionate about animals and is currently embarked on a lifelong mission to get the family dogs to do as they are asked.

Emily Pritchard

Client Services Specialist

Emily is a relative newcomer to the financial services sector having previously worked for a number of years as a beauty consultant for a major cosmetics brand.

Emily gained her first experience in the financial industry as a customer advisor at Lloyds Bank before joining the client services team at Penney Financial Partners where she now provides meeting support for consultants and assists clients with any inquiries.

She can often be found walking in the countryside with her dog but when circumstances allow, she will most likely be found at the airport waiting for a plane to take her somewhere they serve great cocktails.

JUDY DAVIES

Front of House & Client Services Specialist

In many ways, Judy is the face and voice of Penney Financial Partners as it’s often her beaming smile and dulcet Californian tones that will be the first thing visitors see and hear when they visit our Shrewsbury office. Having spent almost 30 years working for the Motion Picture Group at Universal Studios in the Golden State, Judy knows a thing or two about customer service and if her infectious warmth and good humour could be bottled then it would be a best seller. When she’s not facilitating a smoothly run practice, Judy is busy exploring the country she now calls home.

BEV PENNEY

Client Services Specialist

If you have an emergency, then look no further than Bev – as a former 999 operator she is well versed in getting to the nub of the problem and putting the wheels of a solution in motion. Thankfully emergencies are few and far between at Penney Financial Partners so she is able to concentrate her efforts elsewhere, such as assisting with events, seminars and financial education initiatives as well as supporting the development of the practice’s social media output. Outside work she is passionate about animals and is currently embarked on a lifelong mission to get the family dogs to do as they are asked.

Di Harrison

Client Services Specialist

Di Harrison

Client Services Specialist

Di’s first career was as a marketeer in the financial and healthcare sectors, latterly as Marketing Manager at Allied Healthcare. Her second career has been to raise her two young children while also providing administrative support for the senior Consultant team at the practice. Her greatest desire is to develop the magic powers of her children’s favourite TV character Nanny Plum so she could swish her wand to tidy up, cook and clean. Until then however, the Consultants will have to continue to do it themselves.

Samantha Capener

Executive Assistant

Samantha Capener

Executive Assistant

Sam was a legal secretary before joining the Penney team and co-ordinating client meetings, managing busy consultant schedules, helping with research and running client events are all in a day’s work. To unwind she can often be found striding out across the mountains of Snowdonia or slightly less energetically, pottering in the garden. If the day is concluded with something French and a good bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape then you will hear no complaints from Sam.

Alun Thorn

Communications Consultant

Alun Thorn

Communications Consultant

Alun is an aging raver and former journalist who in a previous life edited some of the UK’s leading regional newspapers before embarking on a career in communications. After five years as global head of public relations for a major international architect’s practice, Alun established his own consultancy and now helps clients from across the public and private sector get their messages across. In his diminishing spare time, he is passionate about grassroots football, managing both a boys and girls team as well as being club secretary for Shrewsbury’s largest youth football club.

Di Harrison

Client Services Specialist

Di’s first career was as a marketeer in the financial and healthcare sectors, latterly as Marketing Manager at Allied Healthcare. Her second career has been to raise her two young children while also providing administrative support for the senior Consultant team at the practice. Her greatest desire is to develop the magic powers of her children’s favourite TV character Nanny Plum so she could swish her wand to tidy up, cook and clean. Until then however, the Consultants will have to continue to do it themselves.

Samantha Capener

Executive Assistant

Sam was a legal secretary before joining the Penney team and co-ordinating client meetings, managing busy consultant schedules, helping with research and running client events are all in a day’s work. To unwind she can often be found striding out across the mountains of Snowdonia or slightly less energetically, pottering in the garden. If the day is concluded with something French and a good bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape then you will hear no complaints from Sam.

Alun Thorn

Communications Consultant

Alun is an aging raver and former journalist who in a previous life edited some of the UK’s leading regional newspapers before embarking on a career in communications. After five years as global head of public relations for a major international architect’s practice, Alun established his own consultancy and now helps clients from across the public and private sector get their messages across. In his diminishing spare time, he is passionate about grassroots football, managing both a boys and girls team as well as being club secretary for Shrewsbury’s largest youth football club.

CREATING A BETTER FUTURE IN A WORLD WORTH LIVING IN

Join the Team

We want Penney Financial Partners to be a vibrant, inclusive community where difference is recognised as a strength. As part of this focus, we seek to foster an inclusive culture where everyone has clarity of purpose and feels valued as we all strive towards a common goal.

We strongly believe in investing in our people and nurturing talent and our training and mentorship is focused not just on driving your professional growth but also helping you explore the barriers to diversity in the workplace and how you can support us build an inclusive culture for everyone.

Experienced Financial Consultants

Candidates should be qualified to at least Diploma-level, possess a strong technical knowledge and have excellent client-facing skills. There is significant potential on offer for the right candidates with a competitive base salary plus performance related pay.

Contact us
Paraplanners / Trainee Consultants

Previous financial experience is required for potential candidates and you will be Diploma qualified or working towards. Key attributes include attention to detail, an aptitude for technical matters and a willingness to learn. Salary is negotiable depending on experience.

Contact us
Client Services / Administration

Ideal candidates will have strong people, computer and organisational skills. Experience in a professional office environment is essential and knowledge of the financial services sector preferable but training can be provided. Salary is negotiable depending on experience.

Contact us

PENNEYTALKS

When it comes to relationships, we believe communication is everything.

Connecting the Dots

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Connecting the Dots

Connecting the dots is a big deal for us at Penney Financial Partners. The dots are all the things that are important to you and only when we can draw lines between them are we able to reveal and then deliver the life that you want to live. As part of this philosophy, we are committed to providing you with regular, engaging, high quality and occasionally thought-provoking information that we hope will help you in your quest to connect the dots.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward

So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever

This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life

Steve Jobs

Connecting the Dots videos
Our Connecting the Dots videos are designed to support you along your life journey, whether that is providing practical issues to consider from a financial perspective, important new initiatives from the practice or more philosophical themes that might make you contemplate your outlook on life a little differently.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH MORE >

Webinars

Join our regular webinars where we aim to inform and inspire in equal measure.

More

Webinars

Join our regular webinars where we aim to inform and inspire in equal measure.
SOCIAL MEDIA

Follow us today for all the latest news, views and insights from Penney Financial Partners.

More

Social Media

As part of our commitment to continually improving our communication with clients we expanded our social media channels - so make sure to follow us for all the latest news, views and insights from Penney Financial Partners.

Connecting the Dots

Connecting the dots is a big deal for us at Penney Financial Partners. The dots are all the things that are important to you and only when we can draw lines between them are we able to reveal and then deliver the life that you want to live. As part of this philosophy, we are committed to providing you with regular, engaging, high quality and occasionally thought-provoking information that we hope will help you in your quest to connect the dots.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward

So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever

This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life

Steve Jobs

Connecting the Dots videos
Our Connecting the Dots videos are designed to support you along your life journey, whether that is providing practical issues to consider from a financial perspective, important new initiatives from the practice or more philosophical themes that might make you contemplate your outlook on life a little differently.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH MORE >

Webinars

Join our regular webinars where we aim to inform and inspire in equal measure.

Social Media

As part of our commitment to continually improving our communication with clients we expanded our social media channels - so make sure to follow us for all the latest news, views and insights from Penney Financial Partners.

The Dots

Some regular thoughts on things you might like to know.

Business is a journey – have the courage to stay on track

By David Penney

There is a well-known saying that if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.

It is a maxim that appears to make perfect sense, with its suggestion to the reader that if a different outcome is desired then only through change can it be achieved.

However, from a business perspective there is a fundamental issue with the original premise of this oft mentioned phrase – it just isn’t true.

The reality is that by always doing what you have always done, it is actually highly unlikely that you will always get what you’ve always got.

Even for the most conservative of businesses, understanding and responding to everything from changing customer expectations to market trends has always been an essential ingredient for success – and this is something that is more important today than it ever was. 

At the beginning of 2020 companies embraced aggressive changes in order to respond to the realities of the pandemic and Penney Financial Partners was no different to many others.

We adopted different working practices, invested in the right technology and reassessed our approach to ensure that we were providing a service that not just responded to the physical challenges of the pandemic but recognised the changing needs of our current and future clients.

Across all sectors, businesses were making business critical decisions which in many cases fundamentally changed their companies forever, hopefully for the better although the process was never going to be an easy one. 

Today we can see the light shining ever brighter at the end of tunnel as the pandemic slowly but surely wanes although the challenges that this has created combined with other factors such has Brexit has taken a hammer generally to business confidence, as was highlighted in the most recent Institute of Directors’ sentiment survey.  

For any business that has enjoyed success over the years, there is always an undoubted temptation at times like these to believe that maintaining the processes and behaviours that historically served so well would be sufficient to maintain the required business performance.

And in a difficult market – and regardless of the sector, the trading environment over the past couple of years has been anything but straightforward – that back-to-basics approach has an undoubted appeal. 

But the mark of every successful business is their ability to innovate, adapt, evolve and have the courage to continue to challenge themselves - as difficult sometimes as that may be. 

We are currently living through what is being called the hinge of history, potentially the most influential moment in human history where the decisions we face around issues like AI, the internet and climate change will likely affect humanity far into the future - and the impact on every business will be huge.

How people live, how they interact and how they think is being transformed before our very eyes and so aspiring to nothing more than maintaining the status quo is no longer a realistic option, if it was ever thus. 

Disruption and disrupters are all around us and that is even before the full impact of the global covid crisis has truly played out in terms of how it will impact those complex yet fragile ecosystems that connect us all.  

Committing to continuous, if incremental, improvement will be absolutely key in maintaining relevance in an unpredictable future.

This means continuing to enhance capabilities through recruitment and training, investing in the talent that will carry your business through to the next generation and embracing the very best technological tools to enable the best possible customer experience. 

It also means developing a culture that is able to respond to a future as yet unknown, a culture where difficult questions are encouraged, initiative is the norm and colleagues have the courage to thrive when others are in retreat. 

Of course maintaining those core principles and values that form the DNA of every successful business should never change and committing to excellence as standard is an absolute pre-requisite.

But running a successful business is a journey where one should never believe they have reached the final destination, even if aspirations are limited to just getting what one has always got. 

As the celebrated author CS Lewis wisely said: “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird, but it would a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.” 

It’s never too early to talk about pensions

By David Penney

We all have our memories from our school days.

A favourite teacher, the pain of cross country in the snow, the coagulated custard for school dinners, covering your maths textbook in pictures of Pink Floyd – to name but a few. 

One thing however you are unlikely to remember is ever talking about money - and I think I can say with some certainty that the word pension was not a word you are likely to have heard in the classroom.

The reality is that financial education has never been a priority in the UK and despite some improvements in recent years, its provision remains limited at best.

Even though the Money Advice Service, a Government-backed agency, claims that most children’s financial habits are formed by the age of seven, there remains no requirement to teach primary school children the basics of money management and secondary school children fair little better.

There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that it really does matter. 

Academically, financial education can improve maths performance in key stage one and two as it provides children with a context when solving problems.

More importantly however, evidence from the United States shows that those states that include financial education in their curriculum have higher rates of saving which one has to assume will lead to high levels of financial security in adulthood.

It is an issue that was brought into sharp focus earlier this month during Pensions Awareness Week when we were reminded that while we may not be heading towards the pension timebomb once predicted, there are still many millions of people who are not properly considering how they will be supported in their retirement.

I say the timebomb is no longer ticking – well certainly not as loudly – as the introduction of auto-enrolment has brought an extra nine and half million savers into pension schemes so things are undoubtedly heading in the right direction.

However, this only tells half the story as low contribution rates, passive involvement and limited understanding of the opportunity provided by pensions means that balanced with increased life expectancy, the amount in your average defined contribution pension schemes is likely to fall some way short of providing that financial security that we all crave in later life. 

More worrying still is that according to a recent survey by Unbiased, one in six Britons over the age of 55 still have no private pension provision at all and that rises to more than a fifth when looking at the entire working age population.

In fact, despite being part of the auto-enrolment generation, nearly a quarter of adults under 35 have no pension savings at all. 

The plain fact is that as a society we just don’t do enough, early enough, to emphasise not just how important a pension is for long term financial well-being but what a fantastic opportunity they are for all.

In a world where everywhere we turn, somebody wants to relieve you of your hard-earned money, we should be shouting from the rooftops about how the tax relief makes a pension a more effective money grower than almost any other mainstream investment.

We should be doing more to encourage those millions of workers with workplace pensions to find out how much they can increase their own contribution by and whether this means their employer will increase theirs. They often will and that is fundamentally free money!

In the end it all comes back to financial education and developing a culture from the earliest age that embraces the concept of delayed gratification, where making a small sacrifice today can have significant benefits tomorrow.

Young people should be leaving school and heading off into the world of work with the seeds of financial capability already firmly planted, where they understand about budgeting, saving, pensions and that wonderful world of compounding.

Of course it is never too late to start saving for retirement but maybe in the future, rather than posters on a maths books, some Pink Floyd lyrics might be more appropriate. 

You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you

No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

Or to misquote another Pink Floyd classic, when it comes to financial education, we can no longer afford to leave them kids alone.  

In a world of change, not everything has to

By David Penney

We are currently living in an age of technological revolution that is unprecedented in the history of mankind.

The sheer speed of change with billions of people connected by mobile devices, unlimited access to knowledge and emerging technologies ranging from artificial intelligence to 3-D printing is creating a future that even a decade or so ago was almost unimaginable.

For business owners, this so-called fourth industrial revolution will inevitably offer a wealth of opportunity as the next generation of technological innovation transforms how we work, live and almost certainly how we think.

We are living in an era where it is impossible to stand still with businesses having to work increasingly hard to stay at the right end of the curve and ensure they can continue to compete in an ever-changing world.

But for all the innovation and opportunity, one of the biggest challenges facing businesses is not exploring how it can change but understanding where it needs to stay the same.

The pressures to continually evolve is certainly nothing new – since the advent of steam, then electricity and most recently the computer, businesses have been successfully adapting to change.

Over its 20 years or so of existence, Penney Financial Partners has been through its own evolution and like many, our business today is very different to the one that first opened its doors two decades ago.

It has been a journey of change that has accelerated significantly over the past couple of years as we have responded to the challenges of the pandemic and embraced the digital reality of the modern world.

Over the past months we have launched a new website, sent almost 30 video updates to our clients and prospects, hosted or been involved in more than a dozen webinars, started our own podcast and posted more than 100 times with several thousand engagements across our social media platforms.

We have also launched a range of new digital tools to support enhance the client experience, from the Client Advice Portal that allows us to engage with our clients remotely to the use of cash flow modelling software that can be transformative for clients in helping them develop long term financial plans.

It has been an incredibly exciting period that has undoubtedly added a new dimension to our business and our brand, allowing us to remain connected to our clients during these uncertain times while also enabling us to get our message out to a completely new audience.

However, while we are continually looking at where the next opportunity may lie that will either enhance our client experience or help build our market presence, we are also conscious that there are some things that we do that remain as relevant today as they ever have, irrespective of their origins in a more analogue world.

For example, despite the huge increase in digital client communications over the past 18 months, we continue to send out our printed newsletter to clients twice a year.

In a world increasingly dominated by all things digital, the newsletter could easily have been seen to be surplus to requirements and there was certainly a debate as to whether it was compatible with our decision to become a carbon neutral business in 2021.

However, we have continued to send out the newsletter (on recycled and recyclable paper with plant-based ink) and each time we send the newsletter we get a fantastic response from our clients.

The newsletter’s success will certainly in part be down to the demographic of the recipients, but I really do believe that there is more to it than that.

Firstly, with so much of the world becoming increasingly paperless, our business included, receiving something of value in the post has become something of a comparative rarity.

The advantage of this is that most people will open every piece of post they receive and while it may not receive their undivided attention, it is always opened and for anyone who works predominantly in the virtual world, this is certainly half the communications challenge.

The reality is that even though many of us spend the majority of our time in the digital space, we do think differently about print than we do about digital.

According to a recent study by neuroscience researchers at Temple University, there is an undeniable difference in the way the brain processes advertising for instance, depending on whether it is delivered in print or digitally.

The study examined eye tracking and biometric measurements to gauge initial reactions and while digital adverts were processed more quickly and the same amount of information was absorbed from both adverts, there were significant differences in the lasting impact of each advert on the viewer.

Reviewed a week after seeing the adverts, the viewer had a greater emotional response to the physical advert, better recall of the detail and there was more brain activity in the areas of the brain associated with value and desire. 

In a world where what was once science fiction is rapidly becoming science fact, the printed newsletter may seem like something of an anachronism but for me it is a small but important example of the importance of ensuring that the tail doesn’t always wag the dog.

Technology has already transformed our business for the better and we are excited about how it can support us to become even more effective in the future but we must never forget that for all the rapid change, some things will always be better just as they are.

Paying the penalty of inconsistency

By David Penney

The dust has now settled on the England football team’s latest ‘so near, so far’ moment at a major tournament.

After a steady rather than stirring journey through to the final, there was a certain inevitability that after failing to overcome the Italians in normal time, England’s quest for glory would succumb to the vagaries of the dreaded penalty shootout.

It was certainly a heroic effort to make it to a major final for the first time in more than half a century and in the end and there is certainly no shame in losing to a fantastic Italian side who had looked liked potential winners from the opening game of the tournament.

Afterall, when it comes down to a penalty shoot-out, the form guide often goes out the window and it all becomes something of a lottery – or so the prevailing narrative would have you believe.

In fact, while there are undoubtedly unique pressures that come with taking a penalty on which the hopes of a nation rest, the reality is that luck has very little to do with it.

Sir Clive Woodward, who managed the England rugby team to their World Cup win in 2003, said the issue was not necessarily temperament or technique but one of consistency – a word that comes up again and again when trying to understand the difference between good and great.

Sir Clive cites the example of the legendary Jonny Wilkinson who would practice his penalties aiming at just a single six-inch wide post and wouldn’t stop until he was hitting the post every time.

The mercurial George Best was undoubtedly one of the most gifted footballers of his or any era but he would apparently practice hitting the ball against the crossbar with each foot from the edge of the penalty area and then the half way line in every training session so that when it came to a matchday, his accuracy was a closed skill and seemingly instinctive.

As the great Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said, successful people aren’t the people who are motivated, but are those who have consistency in their motivation.

To be talented and motivated will take you so far but it is consistency that is key to really getting ahead of the competition, something that we certainly have seen in Gareth Southgate’s management style, which has been unwavering in its commitment to building a team based on key values such as respect and integrity. 

It is a lesson that is as important in business as in sport, and never more so as we continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic.

Consistency is such an important concept when it comes to running a successful business and broadly speaking, a business of any scale will struggle to achieve its goals without a consistency in its strategy, its planning and in its execution. 

It is the desired panacea in all aspects of business, from creating a consistent brand that customers recognize and understand to ensuring a consistent approach to management that underpins rather than undermines all the hard work that goes into creating a winning culture.

Most importantly for a business like Penney Financial Partners, it is maintaining a consistency of service and ensuring the same client service every time – or better – regardless of whatever else may be happening in the business or the wider world.

This has been a huge challenge for many businesses through the uncertainty of the pandemic, particularly with many responding to the crisis by adopting new processes that are unfamiliar to both clients and colleagues alike. 

It was Thomas Edison who said that the value of an idea is in the using it but many a great idea has failed to live up to its promise through a lack of consistency in its application. 

However, the great thing about consistency – whether in sport or business – is that it is not a skill or a talent – it is something that we all have direct control over.

Leadership guru John Maxwell said that small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time, an understated but powerful mantra that really gets to the heart of what it means to be a successful business – and one that the England football team’s penalty takers might do well to take note of.  

The value of experience

There are very few people who have not been impacted in some way by the recent pandemic.

Viewing through the prism of physical health, it has undoubtedly been the older generations that have borne the brunt, but it is young people that will face disproportionate economic and social challenges over the longer term.

Navigating through our teenage years to adulthood and finding a pathway to gainful employment and financial wellbeing has never been easy at the best of times and it is a process that has undoubtedly been made more difficult by the events of the past 18 months.

One of the most important routes into employment is the oft-maligned work experience placement, designed to provide young people with an insight into the world of the work and help that transition when the time comes to leave education and start earning a living.

However, according to a recent YouGov poll for the Sutton Trust, one of the significant impacts of the Covid-19 crisis has been a huge reduction in the number of businesses considering offering work experience placements.

The survey found that two thirds of the businesses surveyed had cancelled all their work experience and internship placements through the pandemic with a quarter admitting that the pandemic would make it more difficult to be proactive about social mobility in the workplace. 

With the downward pressure that is likely to see more graduates taking entry level jobs and the fact that many school leavers may be disadvantaged by not having taken exams through the pandemic, making that jump from education has never been more challenging. 

Thankfully there are signs that slowly but surely businesses are regaining the confidence necessary to begin welcoming young people back into their workplaces. 

However, ensuring that placements are properly planned and managed is absolutely critical – I described work experience as oft-maligned as we all have experience of those placements that are so bad that they can be counter-productive for both the candidate and the host business. 

There really is nothing worse then seeing a poor 15-year-old slumped in front of a computer screen with the only highlight they can look forward to is when it’s their turn to put the kettle on or pop out and get somebody a sandwich.

With the right attention and support, the transformational potential of a good work experience placement should never be under-estimated.

There is of course always a significant onus on the young person themselves to make the most of the experience before them - treating the experience with the respect it deserves by arriving on time and sporting the appropriate attire is always a great way to start on the right foot.

Being pro-active, asking questions and projecting a can-do attitude are all hugely important attributes when it comes to developing the kind of rapport with other workers that often leads to the kind of experiences that have the potential to be so valuable.

However, it should also be recognised that it is not every teenager that has the confidence to stroll into a workplace and create their own opportunities. 

At Penney Financial Partners we have recently started a new work experience programme where we are planning to run a minimum of six placements a year, allowing us to provide the appropriate level of support so that each placement becomes an event rather than an imposition. 

As well as providing the placement with a programme of meetings and activity that will provide insight into each aspect of the business, each candidate also has a real-life project to complete and then present to internal and external colleagues at the end of the placement.

Each candidate also has to complete a learning log which is reviewed every day, providing an insight into the areas of greatest interest and helping to shape further learning opportunities during the placement.

Having recently welcomed our first two placements since re-opening our offices, we have been absolutely blown away by the response of the candidates to the programme that has been developed by our business development consultant Rob Hawkins.

The level of engagement was outstanding and the final presentations made a hugely valuable contribution to some important issues facing the business and I am confident that both placements have taken significant knowledge and inspiration from their couple of weeks at Penney Financial Partners. 

Being able to provide this kind of platform for young people as they consider their next steps is a contribution that we are delighted to provide for our community but while the motivations for providing work experience are predominantly altruistic, there are also internal benefits that are equally valuable and potentially unexpected.

One of the great positives we found is that through their interactions with the placements, each colleague had to really think about their role, the best practice that they employ and the important part each colleague plays in the smooth running of our business.

The result was that our colleagues were able to remove the blinkers that we all wear as we focus on delivering our day to day responsibilities and remind themselves of how much they actually enjoy what they do and being part of a successful team.

The pandemic has been tough for us all and every one of our colleagues has continued to work through the uncertainty while adapting to the changing circumstances of work as well as the evolving needs of our clients.

Through our new work experience programme we hope that we can make a real difference to a handful of young lives every year but equally importantly, it is has already shown itself to be a great opportunity for the wider team to re-energise, reconnect and celebrate the wonderful things they do for Penney Financial Partners.  

It’s never too early to plan your succession.

By David Penney

At the end of August this year Warren Buffett will be celebrating his 91st birthday.

A famously frugal man, Buffett is unlikely to make too much of a fuss of the occasion and despite his advancing years, he still has much to occupy him as CEO of the company he started more than half a century ago.

Buffett is a living legend and rightly considered one of the great investor minds of our times and through his leadership, Berkshire Hathaway Inc has grown into a $631bn conglomerate with major holdings in some of the world’s biggest companies including Apple, Coca-Cola and American Express.

However, as he moves further into his 10th decade (and his business partner and vice-chairman Charlie Munger moves closer to his 11th), the question about succession and who will take over the reins when he decides to step aside has become ever more pertinent.

It is a topic that has generated much recent conversation and speculation and this week it was confirmed that current vice president Greg Abel – a veritable spring chicken at the age of 56 - would become the next CEO.

Of course, Berkshire Hathaway is not your average company and the succession conversation is made all the more difficult due to the standing of Buffett, particularly with Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

However, the fundamental necessity of having a good succession plan, whether for a business or a family that is looking to smoothly transfer its wealth to the next generation, cannot be underestimated.

History is littered with examples of financial empires that have crumbled in the face of change – when wealth is transferred without the requisite wisdom to match. 

The success of most corporations – Berkshire Hathaway included – derives from the successful transfer of knowledge and understanding so they can successfully protect and grow the company’s assets, a scenario that makes perfect sense in business, but surprisingly few people think like this when it comes to their personal lives.

More often than not, a wealth transfer will be in the form of a Will – a division of assets that is often little more than a divide and dump with no attempt to focus on the desires and beliefs that will help protect and grow assets in the future. 

From our experience dealing with many different families over the years, leaving the future to chance is a strategy that very rarely works. 

Families are complicated organisations – often more so than your average business – with second timers, step-families and multiple generations all scenarios that need to be considered. 

Unfortunately, it is often a crisis that initiates the first conversations about succession and while people like ourselves may be appointed to support the process, we don’t often meet them until the point of need and that can be too late to provide the best service. 

There has undoubtedly been a shift in attitude over the past decade, but the reality is that as a general rule, people are still not thinking about succession early enough to ensure that future generations reap the full financial and emotional benefits – indeed, half the population still does not even have an up to date Will.

There is roughly £11 trillion of wealth currently held in the UK and over the coming decades there will be the biggest transfer of wealth to the next generation in the history of mankind and yet too many people who intend to transfer their wealth don’t know when or how to do it. 

Succession planning is never easy, whether considering a business or a family. Those responsible for building the wealth may be reluctant to entrust the fruits of their many years of toil with others or be fearful of the impact of change, something Buffett intimated when he this week when he said “there are no perpetuities” even for a company as revered as Berkshire Hathaway.

Whether a family or a business, there is never a bad time to start to talk about succession. Ultimately it is both natural and a necessity and done in a structured and timely manner, it can have huge long-term benefits.

And of course, we would certainly recommend making succession a priority long before reaching your 91st birthday but then the great Sage of Omaha doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. 

No future is worth more than your legacy

I must confess, I am not a great football fan. 

I can easily be swept up in the emotional rollercoaster of a World Cup, but you are unlikely to find me at Stoke on a rainy Tuesday night.

Nevertheless, it is a sport (or should that be soap opera?) that is hard to ignore at the best of times and even more so in the last couple of weeks.

If we were all back in our offices, then it is a fair assumption that the rise and fall – for now - of the new European Super League would have been the talk of the water cooler.

There has been many a column inch written on the subject over the past week, very little of it in support of the now failed initiative although there has been something of a consensus of its inevitability in a sport where success is defined as much in monetary terms as it is in silverware. 

The protests that followed the announcement were laced with irony of course, particularly when led by players earning millions of pounds a year from clubs that are mired in hundreds of millions of pounds of unsustainable debt.

But regardless of the fact that football threw open its doors to unrestricted market forces a long time ago, when it came to the European Super League, there was a united feeling across football that a line had been crossed – it was a decision that had been made with absolutely no consideration at all for the respective club’s fans.

Well, I should actually clarify that – it was a decision that gave no consideration to the existing fans, or as the ESL described them, ‘legacy fans’.

Instead, it was a vision that was focused not on the fans that have supported the club and helped make it what it is today but was much more interested in what the ESL called ‘fans of the future’ – fans from around the world with disposable income and a thirst for European football.

Professional football is a business and always will be but there are those that will argue that the loyalty and tribal nature of its fans means that it is unlike a more conventional business.

Well, to a degree this may be true but the fundamentals about business and the relationship with what football clubs call fans and we would call customers or clients is far closer than one might imagine.

It is no coincidence that this provocative initiative has emerged at this moment in our history when so many industries have been savaged by the pandemic and yet the virtual opportunities have never been greater.

Football clubs are not the only businesses having to adapt and evolve to stay relevant in a fast-changing world – it is something we are seeing in many businesses in every conceivable sector. 

However, as we have seen so clearly in the last week or so, it is an incredibly delicate balance that has to be struck by any business that aspires to embrace the opportunities of the changing demographics in our society.

A business should never underestimate the value of those customers that have helped it to establish itself and they must never be forgone in the rush to win new business.

Well served customers are incredibly loyal – they may not wear a scarf with your company name on but they will be some of your most important advocates in an increasingly competitive world. 

They will be the customers who share your values and have kept you true to them over the years, the ones who stuck with you when times may have been tough. 

Now change is inevitable. Most successful businesses are continually changing and innovating to retain that competitive edge but to go on that journey without your legacy customers, as the ESL would describe them, is to undermine the very thing that gives your business its strength.

Every business needs ‘fans of the future’, they are the very lifeblood that drive growth and success but they should not be pursued at all costs, a lesson that the owners of the 12 breakaway clubs will have learned, potentially at some significant cost, in the last week.

What does good really look like?

By David Penney

We are all about the future. Indeed, it is the very essence of the service we provide at Penney Financial Partners.

When we are working with our clients, we will often ask them what their ideal future looks like. We want to know what good looks like to them.

Only when we understand this can we help them build a plan that will allow them to achieve those future goals. 

It is a hugely personal process. Everybody’s aspirations and individual goals are different and as such, every financial plan is tailored to meet a client’s needs.

However, meeting a client’s needs is merely the starting point of the process. If we really want to understand what good looks like then we also need to talk about values, something that is becoming as important to our clients as it is to us.

There will be many consequences of the recent pandemic – both positive and negative – but one of the most important consequences of the past year is that it has allowed us all to reassess and examine who we are and where we stand on the biggest issues facing our planet today.

The writer and activist George Monbiot has described this moment as a time to rekindle our moral imaginations – a time when we need to understand the impact we each have on the planet and then take steps to reconnect with other people and the natural world.

Few of us now can be under any illusions about the crisis this planet faces if we fail to take measures now. The climate science is pretty unequivocal and the damage that is being done to the delicate eco-systems around the world by more than seven billion consumers is clear for us all to see.

As part of the St. James’s Place family, we are proud to be part of an organisation that has been responding to these issues for a number of years and responsible investing is not just a defining characteristic of our investment approach but is also a critical component in creating long term value for our clients.

Increasingly, the way a company approaches environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues will have a significant influence on its long-term prospects and as such, its appeal to its investors, suppliers and customer.

Responsible investing is now standard practice at SJP and its entire fund range meets high standards of responsible investing by integrating ESG considerations into all investment decision making and actively engaging with company decision makers. 

To coin a phrase that you may have heard me use before, when it comes to how and where you invest, there is no need anymore to put purpose before profit. 

But how and where we invest is just one part of the jigsaw. For us all to really make the difference that our planet desperately needs, it is not just important that we better consider how we grow wealth but also better consider how we then use it. 

Many or even most of us will already have taken some personal measures to live what we consider to be more sustainable lifestyles, from driving an electric car to ensuring we fulfill our recycling obligations once a fortnight. 

Both actions are important steps to lower emissions and minimise waste and yet there remains something of a disconnect between how we live our lives and the impact we have on the wider world.

According to research led by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan, the average western consumer of coffee, chocolate, beef, palm oil and commodities is responsible for the felling of four trees every year – many in wildlife rich tropical forests.

In five G7 countries – UK, Japan, Germany, France and Italy – more than 90 per cent of their deforestation footprint was in foreign countries and half was in tropical nations. 

The situation in our oceans is equally as perilous – according to the new Seaspiracy show on Netflix, industrial fishing has already wiped out 90 per cent of the world’s large fish and is currently deforesting nearly four billion acres of the seafloor every year. 

These are undoubtedly alarming statistics, and they are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. This really does feel like the moment when we all have to take personal responsibility for our own impact on the planet. 

At Penney Financial Partners, we are on the beginning of a journey. This year we have committed to becoming a carbon neutral business and we are also partnering with the Everyday Plastic Project at the Cheltenham Science Festival later this year, a fantastic school initiative that highlights the unsustainability of plastic use in the UK, where we discard 35 billion pieces of plastic every year.

We feel that this is a really important step in the right direction towards our goal of being a voice for reflection and change around these hugely important issues - because what good looks like to us is creating a better future, in a world worth living in.

Penney lays new building blocks for the future.

Penney Financial Partners is delighted to welcome three new colleagues to the team to support its ambitious plans for future growth.

The new recruits include two new members of the advice team and one in a client support role, growing the overall Penney team to 20 across its two offices in Shrewsbury and Cheltenham.

Ryan Smith joins Penney as a Trainee Financial Consultant and he has now entered the prestigious St. James’s Place Academy to gain further knowledge and experience before helping expand Penney’s service offer from its headquarters in Shrewsbury.

Adam Carson is also a qualified financial adviser in the early stages of his career in the industry and he joins Penney as an Associate Financial Consultant where he will be joining the team in Cheltenham as part of plans to build the business’s reach across the Cotswold region.

Joining the Client Services team is Emily Pritchard, who previously worked as a customer advisor for Lloyds Bank and will work as part of the growing support team that ensures the highest possible service standards are maintained.

The new appointments are the first at the practice since the beginning of the Covid crisis and according the Penney Financial Partners CEO David Penney, reflect not just a confidence in future opportunities but are also part of the business’s long term planning.

He said: “It is fantastic to have Ryan, Adam and Emily join the Penney family at what is a really important moment for us at Penney Financial Partners.

“We are now more than 20 years old and have been on a fantastic journey to build the business over that period and it was in 2019 that we decided to take the next step and open our new office in Cheltenham.

“However, as we all know, the year or so that has followed has been unlike any other and so while last year was a successful year for us, it was also one of consolidation as we evolved and adapted to the realities of the pandemic and the changing needs and aspirations of our clients.

“As we move deeper into 2021, we feel there are major opportunities ahead of us as a business and we are incredibly excited about the potential for growth, particularly around the Cotswolds where we are working hard to build our presence and capabilities.

“What is most exciting is that Adam, Ryan and Emily are three ambitious and talented individuals who are at the beginning of their career journey with huge potential to be really important parts of the Penney story for years to come. 

“We are continually on the look out for the right people to join us at Penney Financial Partners to not only help us grow from a business perspective but also to bring the energy and ideas that I think is so important for the continuous development of any team.

“These remain unusual and often uncertain times so while our focus remains very much on ensuring our clients’ needs are met today we are also very looking to the what I am confident is a bright future, both for Emily, Ryan and Adam and the business as a whole.”

The art of decision making

By David Penney

In life, as in business, there are apparently three kinds of decisions that we have to make. 

There are those operational decisions that are taken multiple times a day to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible.

Then there are those tactical decisions – the decisions whose impact will be felt more over the medium term, something that needs to be planned for and factored into the future. 

And finally, there are those strategic decisions. These are decisions which will shape the long term, the ones that plot not just a direction of travel but also the desired destination.

The best way to come to those decisions has been a subject of conjecture and debate ever since we have been making decisions.

Clearly many of those decisions that we take every minute of every, from the words we say to what we have for breakfast, are so instinctive as to barely register on the decision-making scale, or certainly so we would imagine.

For those more tactical and strategic decisions that we make in our lives – those ones that we believe will have the greatest impact - one would assume that these are decisions that will be best made after a much more considered approach. 

It is an assumption that may not necessarily be correct. 

There are two points that should be considered here. Firstly around what part conscious decision making actually plays in determining the outcomes of our lives and secondly, does thinking differently about decision making depending on the situation actually make any difference to the overall outcome. 

A key point to recognise when considering our decision-making processes and capability is that our lives are actually dominated by decisions we take in almost complete ignorance.

Take having children for instance. We were of course all children once and most of us had the opportunity to study our parents growing up but we ultimately all become parents with no real knowledge of what it truly is to be a parent.

It is also a truism that many of those big decisions we make in our lives, those decisions that will have a profound impact on its direction and quality, are much easier to make than the smaller ones because very often they are not decisions in the most obvious sense at all. 

Many will have watched the film Sliding Doors where the life of the character played by Gwyneth Paltrow takes two fundamentally different courses dependent on whether she rushes to make it through the closing doors of a tube train.

The message of this film and ultimately the reality of life – and this is as true for business as it is for individuals - is that the decisions we make that have the potential to have the greatest impact are those multiple decisions we make every day without hesitation.

They are the decisions we take with little or no thought or consequence beyond the immediate even though every single one could have multiple unintended consequences that will shape the future direction of your life or your business.   

It is a liberating thought although it is not many of us who are prepared or mentally equipped to consciously leave our futures down to chance and so there remains value in having a better understanding of how and why we make the decisions we do. 

Whether it is a conscious process or not, what is clear is that we all have our own way of making decisions. 

Whatever the decision that needs to be made, some people like to react from the hip – it feels right, decision made. Others like to take a much more methodical and analytical approach. 

The second approach to decision making certainly seems like the most rational but does this necessarily lead to the best outcomes? The reality is that people often make decisions that are neither necessarily rational or even predictable and yet it doesn’t mean that those decisions they make are wrong.

If you dig a little deeper into the psychology of decision making, humans have a tendency to create mental shortcuts to simplify decision making using something called heuristics.

This can mean that decisions are influenced by a wide range of factors including how a question is framed, our tendency to ignore statistics and focus on stereotypes, our most recent experiences and our own prejudices, regardless or whether they are material to the matter at hand. 

So, when it comes to making the best decisions, which way is best?

Well the reality is that it actually both or neither – depending of how you frame the question!

What is clear is that if you understand heuristics and deliberately sidestep those mental shortcuts that simplify decision making, there stands a more than reasonable chance that the decision you make will be a better one.

However, there is also plenty of evidence that the brain is sufficiently evolved to process all the available information almost instantaneously to allow you to make a snap decision that will often lead to the most favourable outcome.

So, whether you are somebody who makes decision on the fly or likes to approach decision making in a much more methodical way, the most important thing ultimately is to make that decision.

If the decision turns out to be a poor one, that’s ok. It will immediately become part of your lived experience and will enter the psychology of your decision-making process in the future.

Procrastinating (as opposed to being deliberately thorough) undoubtedly has some advantages – it provides more time to gather evidence and it is said to potentially enhance creativity – but it can also become something of a habit.

In this one precious life of ours, taking action and living out the consequences would always seem a much more fulfilling existence than a lifetime of wondering. 

Positivity is nothing without optimism

By David Penney

By this Friday the sun will begin to rise before 8am – and by the following Friday the sunset will be closer to 5pm than 4pm.

Within a month we will begin to see the green shoots of spring flowers and the first bumblebees will emerge on sunny days, looking for untidy corners to start building their summer nests. 

These seasonal realities may seem relatively inconsequential against the seemingly perpetual stream of challenges many of us are facing at the moment, but how we view the former tells us a lot about how prepared we are to face the latter.

One of the most common refrains to be heard around the recent lockdown is about how much harder it will be to manage in the cold and dank winter months compared to the beautiful late spring and early summer weather of the first lockdown last March.

It is a completely understandable expression of pessimism in light of all our experiences over the past 10 months but also reflects a mindset that focuses on the challenges of today rather than the opportunities of tomorrow.

As the great Winston Churchill said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

To be an optimist is to look at the world differently. To be optimistic allows you to react to problems with a sense of confidence and often with an ability to overcome them.

Optimists have a strong belief and understanding that negative events are temporary, have limited scope to impact the long-term direction of their lives and that all issues that befall them can be managed. 

Of course, optimism can be repeatedly challenged – we are in a period that seems to be doing that on an almost daily basis – but by remaining optimistic is to look beyond events and focus on your assumptions that everything will work out in the end.

To be optimistic is linked to thinking positively but it is not the same. Thinking positively is undoubtedly the best way to live your life but there is a downside to always taking the positive view to the point of it being potentially destructive.

Being positive does not automatically make things ok – it can be a screen for challenges that are not being faced and can be a slippery slope to accepting mediocrity, both in our personal and business lives.

Indeed, being exceptionally positive is in many ways no better than being overly negative – we need to balance both extremes to live a life that has equilibrium and authenticity. 

When we always think that everything is going just great, we lose that all important motivation to improve. 

It is positivity that motivates us to respond to the moment, but it is optimism that provides us with the comfort and hope that there are better times ahead.

Positive thinking is about telling ourselves that everything is good even when it may not be whereas optimism accepts the truth of reality and looks forward to a brighter future.

The Four Pillars of Financial Freedom

It is this optimistic mindset that provides the fundamental underpinning of our four pillars of financial freedom – growing wealth, family, wellbeing and community.

Within each of these four pillars you can find a lessons that provide the support and reassurance that allow us look to the future with an optimism that invigorates our lives rather than leading to stagnation and paralysis.

Growing wealth

When investing to grow wealth, the prevailing view will always be to take a long-term view and look beyond short-term fluctuations as has been reflected in the bounce back in the markets over the past 10 months. 

By embracing a long-term orientation, we are reflecting an optimistic view of the financial markets, reinforced by experience and cold hard facts.

Wellbeing

When it comes to wellbeing, optimism is the very essence of personal well-being. Our own physical health and those around us is more important than anything else in our lives and having an optimistic mindset can have a hugely positive influence on this. 

Not surprisingly it is considered an important factor in the fight against depression and anxiety but there is also strong and credible evidence that it improves the immune system and can make you less likely to suffer from chronic disease. 

Family

Not everybody is naturally optimistic, but it is a state of mind that can be learned through a range of processes, not least by focusing on those important virtues of selflessness and a gratitude, virtues that are intrinsically linked to those other key pillars, family and community.

The dictionary definition states that to be to be selfless is to be more concerned about the wishes of others than one’s own, something we all do as parents or indeed as children, particularly as more of us join the so-called ‘sandwich’ generation.

While our feelings and actions towards our own families are often instinctive, we should also recognise in ourselves the effort and sacrifice we make to make their lives better. Serving other people, whoever they are, is inspiring, fulfilling and full of reward.

Community

Gratitude is something that we have all probably had much more of in recent times as we have focused on the importance of community and those who have been such a support throughout the pandemic.

Gratitude is such a fantastic initiator of optimism and when you look at all the things that you are grateful for in your life, it is difficult not to be optimistic. 

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to deal with the challenges in our lives but the benefits of approaching life with an optimistic mindset undoubtedly allow us to solve the problems before us in a more calm and courageous way.

So whatever challenges you are facing today, remember that we are another day closer to the bluebells and daffodils emerging to remind us that a new and wonderful year of opportunity is upon us. 

Neutral by name but not by nature

By David Penney

You will often read that a company stands for something – indeed you will find it written on our own website.

But what does it actually mean?

The expression “what a company stands for” often relates to its core values and brand – for Penney Financial Partners these include trust, integrity, passion and innovation, ideals that underpin how we do business and all essential in delivering the service that our clients expect.

However, I am not sure that is what we actually stand for. For me, standing for something is more fundamental than what we do or how we treat our customers. 

Standing for something is about aspiring to make a positive impact that reaches beyond the expected, that transcends a business’s natural sphere of influence.  

In our mission statement we state our commitment to helping families achieve more with their resources, creating a better future in a world worth living in.

This is a mission that that has successfully guided us over the past 20 years although it is the final part of that statement that is the most important and the part that truly expresses what we really stand for – and what has driven us to make a key decision about our business for 2021.

The recent pandemic has been hugely disruptive to all of our lives, but it is climate change that is the great crisis of our age and will eventually have the greatest impact on all of our lives.

It is an issue that has to be everybody’s responsibility, particularly businesses that currently account for half of all carbon emissions in the UK. It is for this reason that we have committed in 2021 to become a carbon neutral business. 

In simple terms this means that as a business we will take responsibility for absorbing as much carbon as we emit.

Ultimately this will mean investing in technologies and mechanisms that offset the amount of carbon that we produce at Penney Financial Partners, but our commitment has to be greater if we are truly committed to creating a better future in a world worth living in. 

Becoming a carbon neutral business is not just about offsetting but about behaviour. Our goal is not to emit the same amount of carbon and then use the profits we generate to offset that carbon but ultimately to reduce our carbon footprint itself.

This means reviewing our energy use in our offices and switching to sustainable sources, reducing commuting by supporting a more flexible approach to office working and developing a best practice culture where colleagues are encouraged to question and challenge the sustainability of all our business activity. 

There is no doubt that it is an approach that is good for business as fewer costs means better efficiency and what business doesn’t want that - but it is about so much more. 

At the heart of the service we provide for our clients is to help them manage their wealth for today, for their future but also for future generations – if we don’t stand for taking clear action to provide a better future for all of us then supporting our clients pass on their wealth to the next generation becomes somewhat moot. 

Of course, we understand that our contribution to reducing overall emissions will be small but this is also about creating a platform to meet the information demands of our clients.

After all, it is our clients who are our partners in delivering our mission and if we can support them in considering a more sustainable future, then we will know that this was something that was really worth standing for. 

The sense in being a good business

By David Penney

When the history books are written about those individuals who helped shape the 20th century, very near to the top will be Steve Jobs.

As a founder of Apple, he can rightly be considered one of the pioneers of the technological age with a visionary approach that literally changed the world.

But of course, his successes were not down to him alone – something he readily admitted in one of his best-known quotes:

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.”

Indeed, no matter what the business, building the right team and creating the environment for them to thrive both collectively and individually is the fundamental base on which success is built. 

Of course, we are very much at the other end of the scale compared to a global giant such as Apple, but the principles remain the same whether you are a team of 20 or a team of 20,000.

And building a team who are engaged, committed and happy in what they do is not just good for business but it often has a wider positive impact beyond the office – I think most people’s experience is that if you are happy at work then you tend to be happier in other areas of life.

So, for all these reasons and more it was an incredibly proud moment earlier this month when Penney Financial Partners was accredited by the Good Business Charter in recognition of our commitment to good employment practice as well as our attitude towards tax, the environment, customers and suppliers.

The Good Business Charter, which has the support of both the CBI and the TUC, was established by the Good Business Foundation.

The charter consists of 10 components, more details of the which can be found at www.goodbusinesscharter.co.uk, but at the heart of the charter is a commitment to maintaining a fair and ethical approach in all aspects of our business.

This means ensuring equitable pay and conditions for all, providing clear and transparent policies that support wellbeing and committing to investing time and money in creating an inclusive workforce that recognises the importance and opportunities presented by diversity.

Our accreditation also recognises our work towards minimising our own impact on the environment, the fact that we are signatories to the government’s Prompt Payment Code and our commitment to upholding the standards in the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code. 

In short, it is an accreditation that recognises the responsibility we feel as a business both to our employees and also to the wider community, a responsibility we have felt particularly acutely during this recent period of uncertainty but for which we have also been richly rewarded. 

For while this accreditation is technically about how the business behaves towards its employees and other stakeholders, it is actually recognition for the team themselves.

They are the ones who are carrying our vision forward and creating the kind of business that is important to them and this very accreditation is the result of a huge amount of work led by our Head of Client Services Nina Sahota, a colleague for almost 20 years, which I hope tells a story in itself. 

To coin another phrase by Mr Jobs, “the only way to do great work is to do what you love.” I would not be so bold to suggest that every colleague does what they love but I can say with absolute certainty that they do great work.   

Pivoting to success in a crisis

The impacts of the ongoing Covid crisis have been many and varied.

One of the more frivolous has been how it has introduced a range of new words and phrases into the everyday lexicon.

For the generation that has lived through this moment in history, words like lockdown, quarantine, furlough and even pandemic itself will carry so much more meaning than they did before we have ever heard of Covid-19.

In a business environment, one of the words we are hearing a lot at the moment is pivot.

It is far from being a new word and has long described that process when a business changes its direction or approach to respond to unfavourable economic conditions, a surge in competition or responding to a previously hidden opportunity. 

In a world where nothing is very certain and people are behaving and thinking differently to how they have ever behaved or thought before, it is no surprise that there is an awful lot of pivoting going on.

History is filled with companies and organisations that have successfully pivoted but it is also a process that is fraught with potential pitfalls, from undermining your hard-earned brand to alienating the customers who have been key to your success up to that point.

However, in times of adversity, being able to adapt and evolve may not just be the difference between survival and demise but in many instances, the outcome can be a business or organisation that is better than before.

As the saying goes, businesses are very much like relationships – bad ones fall apart in a crisis, good ones get by and great ones are better because of it. 

This is certainly the case for the Cheltenham Literature Festival, an internationally important annual event that celebrates the very best in global literature every October and one that we were privileged to be involved in this year.

The event is part of Cheltenham Festivals, which also includes the excellent jazz, science and music festivals and like for so many people and organisations, 2020 has not been a kind year.

However, having had to cancel the three previous events, the organisers developed a new hybrid approach so that while some of their 160 events would continue to be live to a socially distanced audience, all would be livestreamed for free to a new global audience or viewers could pay £20 and watch the events at their leisure over the next three months.

The response to this innovation, both from the literary world and its audience, was nothing short of outstanding. 

The packed festival programme included 290 authors and speakers and was full of great names from Malcolm Gladwell to Mary Beard, the venues were as full as guidelines permitted and the streaming figures beat even the most optimistic of expectations with more than 200,000 viewers. 

The organisation and commitment to changing the direction of the festival was a huge undertaking and relied not just on an incredible amount of hard work but also the belief of all involved that the event could not just be delivered but that it would actually create something that was better than before.

Through establishing a clear vision, supporting it with strong messaging that took their customers on their journey with them and then delivering an exemplary product that exceeded expectations, the festival managed to turn adversity completely on its head.

The approach was as brave as it was creative and the result is a template for a future that will enable the festival to reach into places that it was never possible before, opening an exciting new chapter where the sky’s the limit.

The impacts of the Covid crisis may be many and varied but there is no doubt that the experience of Cheltenham Literature Festival offers a fantastic lesson that we can all learn from as we pivot in our own ways to respond and overcome the challenges of today. 

Why Cheltenham?

By David Penney

There are many attributes that combine to give a town its identity.

For some it could be a rich history for which it has become synonymous, for others it might be its distinctive architecture or perhaps an industry in which it excels. 

When it comes to Cheltenham, it is a little bit of all of the above – and a good deal more.

When I established my own practice in Shrewsbury more than 20 years ago it was always with the aspirations to one day expand beyond our Shropshire heartland. Cheltenham was on the radar for a number of years and when the time was right to open our second office in 2019, it just felt like the natural choice.

First and foremost, there are some clear synergies between Shrewsbury and Cheltenham that make it such an attractive proposition for a business like ours that aspires to work with successful individuals and families.

Agriculture and farming have long been an important staple of the local economy for both towns but they have both evolved to become increasingly dynamic hotbeds for a wide range of exciting businesses, from tech and e-commerce to the full plethora of creative industries – with plenty in between. 

Both towns are well connected into larger cities but are thriving hubs of activity in their own right, with Cheltenham acting as a natural gateway into all that is wonderful about the beautiful Cotswolds.

Both Shrewsbury and Cheltenham are also blessed with a host of excellent state and independent schools, indeed some of the best performing in the country, providing a fantastic local education service but also a real lure for those looking to relocate.

From a business perspective, Cheltenham is also within striking distance of St. James’s Place’s HQ in Cirencester and home to many of its senior team. It’s hard to think of a town with a richer pool of talent and experience to interact with and support our delivery of an exceptional service to our clients.   

But for all these exciting characteristics, there is something more about Cheltenham that is slightly more difficult to define – an energy and a vibe that is infectious.

It is from this energy that has seen the Cheltenham Festivals emerge over recent years to establish the town as a town right at the heart of the UK’s arts scene with a jazz and science festival to partner the literature and music festivals that were first established after the Second World War.

Make no mistake, these are wonderful events that over the years have attracted some of the biggest names on the planet, from ex-Presidents to multi-million selling authors, and I was delighted this year to get behind the festivals by becoming a patron.

These festivals have always led the way in terms of content and innovation and with the recent Covid crisis, the organisers have had to pull out all the stops for the forthcoming Literature Festival in October but what a job they have done in creating a hybrid physical and virtual festival which again looks like it will be absolutely world-class.

This year for the first time Penney Financial Partners will be supporting the festival and we are delighted that we will be sponsoring an event at the wonderful Everyman Theatre where the bestselling author and explorer Ben Fogle will be discussing his new book Inspire: Life Lessons from the Wilderness.

There are a huge number of events at this year’s festival but we felt the subject matter of Ben’s new book really talked to a subject that means so much to us at Penney Financial Partners – the concept of inspiration and where we find it.

Amongst other things Ben has climbed Everest, rowed the Atlantic, re-enacted the race to the South Pole between Scott and Amundsen, swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco and completed the six-day Marathon des Sables. I’m sure you’ll agree that the opportunity to listen at first hand from someone who has achieved all that will be pretty inspiring in its own right!

If you’ve never visited one of the Cheltenham festivals, I would highly recommend it and this year’s Literature Festival looks like it could be one of the best. As well as offering a great insight into the world of literature, it will also help you understand why Cheltenham is such a great place to be. 

Appointment marks new phase for Cotswold office

Rob Hawkins has joined Penney Financial Partners to help the practice grow its office in Cheltenham.

Rob has extensive experience working in the financial services sector having most recently been Head of Division Private Clients at St. James’s Place Wealth Management, where he enjoyed a 23-year career.

Before embarking on a career in financial services, Rob worked for a number of years in the travel & tourism industry, an experience that had strong synergies with his future career. 

He said: “The stakes may be very different but whether it is the travel industry or financial services, fundamentally it’s about people – delivering a great service that makes people happy.

“This was very much at the heart of my most recent role at St. James’s Place working in the private client space where our approach was always that there was no problem that couldn’t be solved. 

“Indeed, the fact that I found these values so clearly embedded at Penney Financial Partners become one of the key drivers for me accepting the opportunity to join the team.”

Rob has joined the Penney team as business development consultant for the practice’s Cotswold operation, which was established in 2019 with the launch of its new office in St George’s Road in the heart of Cheltenham.

West Country born and bred and having lived in the Costwolds for the past 25 years, Rob will work with the Penney team to help build relationships and support the practice’s ambitious growth plans for the region.

He said: “The experience and expertise that Penney bring in understanding the needs of clients from all backgrounds and circumstances and delivering fantastic outcomes provides them with a really strong opportunity to build something exceptional in Cheltenham.

“By supporting them through making connections, relationship building and driving initiatives to build the Penney brand in the region, I am thoroughly looking forward to being part of that journey.”

Penney Financial Partners CEO David Penney believes Rob will have a crucial role to play in helping the practice achieve its aspirations in Cheltenham and the wider area.

He said: “Rob is someone who had been on my radar for a number of years through his work with St. James’s Place and when he had decided that he was looking for a new challenge, he was clearly somebody who we felt could play a big part in supporting our next phase of development in Cheltenham.

“He has huge experience in the sector and is completely aligned with the beliefs that underpin our practice, from our commitment to excellence in everything we do to a belief in the importance of doing business with a smile on your face.” 

Events Calendar

Make sure you sign up for our upcoming events

Inspire: Life Lessons from the Wilderness with Ben Fogle

The Cheltenham Literature Festival
Friday 9th October, 3-4pm
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Ben discusses his latest book in an event supported by Penney Financial Partners.

Find out more
Succession Planning webinar with Farmer’s Weekly

Thursday 29th October, 5pm

Chief Executive David Penney joins a Farmer’s Weekly panel to discuss issues around intergenerational planning on the magazine’s popular webinar advice series.

Watch Now
The Secrets of Sleep

InspireMe webinar series
Wednesday 21st October

Penney Financial Partners CEO David Penney is joined by sleep consultant Dr Ari Manuel and life coach Laurence Udell for our latest Inspire Me webinar.

Watch Now
Planning for a successful 2021

Our Community series
Wednesday 27th January, 4pm

Join CEO David Penney and Will Harrison and Sam Johnston as they look at the lessons learned from an unprecedented year and what that could mean for the year ahead.

Watch Now
Take a step in the right direction – Part 1

Wednesday 10th February, 4-5pm

Penney Financial Partners' Director Will Harrison is joined by St. James’s Place’s Claire Trott to look at what action to take before the Budget and the Tax Year End.

Watch now
Take a step in the right direction – Part 2

Wednesday 24th February, 3-4pm

CEO David Penney is joined by Tony Wickenden and Claire Trott to discuss the optimal use of tax allowances with a focus on planning for the next generation.

Watch now
Budget review 2021

Our Community webinar series
Friday 5th March, 11am-12pm

Penney Financial Partners' Director Will Harrison will be joined by Obi Nnochiri from St. James’s Place where they will discuss the contents of the Chancellor’s latest Budget.

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Life’s big questions and how coaching could help answer them

Thursday 6th May, 4-5pm

David Penney sits down with business coach Clare Downes to discuss the role of coaching in helping people take control of their lives.

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In conversation with...

Our Community webinar series
Thursday 20th May, 4-5pm

David Penney will be joined by SJP Director of Marketing Claire Blackwell, to discuss the importance of a personal approach to building connections in business.

Watch Now

GALLERY

Look back at our previous events.

The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James's Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group's wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group's website www.sjp.co.uk/products The 'St. James's Place Partnership' and the title 'Partner' are marketing terms used to describe St. James's Place representatives.

Penney Financial Partners is a trading name of Penney Financial Partners Ltd. Penney Financial Partners Limited is registered in England and Wales, Number 09964340. Registered Office: Kensington House, Knights Way, Battlefield, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 3AB, UK