50 Years and Beyond: Roderick Rennison Reflects on Lessons Learned from Financial Services So Far

Financial Planners


Roderick RennisonFrom door-to-door sales to boardrooms to non-executive roles and acquisitions. Below is my take on everything I’ve learned so far, what’s changed (mostly for the better), and what remains to be done.

A week after leaving school on July 12, 1973, wanting to take a holiday job to save money before going to college in the fall, I found a job with a life insurance company. rice field.

After three days of “training” (learning the script by two actors named Ray and Vince), we were dropped off at Hounslow West at 5:00 pm by the site manager. The site manager told me which road would knock on my door that night. They will pick you up at 10pm.

That was my introduction to the life insurance and investment worlds. I never went to college.

I continued my studies until I was 60.th Date of birth, date of passing the Board Certified Director Examination

I’ve learned two important lessons from the months I’ve spent knocking on doors. The first was resilience. It takes focus and tenacity to be successful, but not to the point of being perceived as aggressive. The second was about people. Everyone is different and one size does not fit all.

He then joined Barclays Bank’s in-house insurance brokerage subsidiary, where he worked for 10 years.

The additional skills I learned made an impact. The route to the customer was through bankers, which required patience.

I also found it rewarding to acquire and improve my specialized knowledge and qualifications. So I studied for an associateship with the Chartered Insurance Institute and continued my studies right up to the age of 60.th On my birthday, when I passed the Certified Director Examination for the Board of Directors.

Most of my colleague’s partners were even running a mile from customer development.my resilience was a valuable commodity

In 1988 I got a job at an accounting firm where I became a partner. Again, there were two aspects of her that improved my skills and held me firmly in my subsequent career.

The first was working on a compensation rather than a commission basis, allowing me to justify my worth to clients based on my knowledge and ability rather than my skill as a salesman.

The second is to hone your marketing skills. Most of my colleague’s partners were even running a mile from customer development. My resilience is invaluable and I have learned the benefits that come from developing a deep knowledge of industry sectors to reach new customers.

I then worked at Mercury Asset Management (which later became BlackRock), and my time there taught me to be more patient.

After the first month, I went to see my line manager and told him I needed to make a major change. I almost got fired for not seeking to understand both the business and the culture first, but a great HR manager stood up for me.

Fast-growing businesses have to adapt quickly, and not all employees can grow at the same pace, so some employees have to retire.

Ultimately it turned out well and my three years there gave me valuable insight into building funds and interacting with life insurers.

Then I was headhunted as Group Financial Services Director at Bradford & Bingley (this was the first time in my career).

My role was to oversee product procurement and supply, as well as provide technical support to our 1,000 strong mortgage and financial planning sales force. I’ve honed my talent and critical thinking skills… I mean, I like to think.

The last role in my corporate life was at Think, the predecessor of Succession. There, I worked with the late Simon Chamberlain as Chief Operating Officer and then headed the Compliance and Risk function after the acquisition of the business. By Axa.

What did I learn there? First, a fast-growing business has to adapt quickly, and not all team members can develop and grow at the same pace, so some members will retire and others with different skill sets will be replaced. should be adopted.

An open question remains as to the extent of regulation required and how best to apply it. Lively discussions will continue!

Another lesson was that buying a company is easy with the money, but much harder with the right process, especially an effective integration process.

Since 2008, I have been in consulting and have held a series of non-executive and committee chair roles, most recently with a focus on mergers and acquisitions.

A major lesson I’ve learned since becoming a consultant is to develop more sophisticated skills of influence. To be effective, you need to convince business owners to make changes. I couldn’t force them.

My non-executive role included learning how to challenge and encourage without crossing the line of business management.

Over the last 50 years, there have been enormous regulatory changes. Financial Services Act 1986; Financial Services and Markets Act 2000; Financial Services Authority; Fair Treatment of Customers; RDR; Financial Conduct Authority; Articles and consumer obligations, just to name a few.

What I have learned from regulatory oversight is that change is continuous and regulators react to what is happening in the market.

Good compliance and risk management is about having the right culture, mindset and resources in place, and anticipating change, not reacting to it, waiting until it’s too late to act, or ignoring change completely. It builds on what you do.

So what has changed for the better in the last 50 years? Professionalism and technology, in my opinion. Most clients get better advice and service, but there is always room for improvement.

I almost got fired, but a great HR manager stood up for me

An open question remains as to the extent of regulation required and how best to apply it. Lively discussions will continue!

What hasn’t changed is that people need advice to effectively manage their financial affairs, and technology is an enhancer, not a replacement.

The role of financial planner remains entrenched and continues to offer great career opportunities and the job satisfaction that comes with it. Conversely, planners will be more effective if they continue to listen to their clients and are open to change.

Roderick Rennison is Founder and Partner at Catalyst Partners





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