Blue Sky Financial Planning Autumn Newsletter 2017


12 pages of our news and... WOW! What an exciting year it's been! Click to read about our feature in the Parliamentary Review, our growing team and changes within the industry that could be affecting you in 2018.


Autumn Newsletter

"I think it’s fair to say we are

not short of news!"

From Brexit to the US Presidency, the Italian

referendum, elections in the UK, France and

Germany, Catalonia’s fight for independence and

not least the involvement of US aides being cited as

colluding with Russia over the US elections, there

is never a dull moment… and then there is North


Yet life still goes on. Personally, I’m very selective

nowadays over how I receive the news. I find the

main TV channels very sterile in the quality and

choice of their reporting and equally, I find the

jingoism of the newspapers quite depressing in

that they are so focussed on their own agendas.

Despite all the uncertainty, stock markets continue

to push on with the VIX index in the US (a measure

of volatility) resonating around all-time lows.

Good news on the one hand but a concern on

the other, with valuations in some sectors looking

overstretched. Traditional bond markets don’t

look attractive as quantitative easing programmes

begin to unwind and interest rates rise in response

to high inflation. Alternative asset classes with low

correlations to stock markets are now becoming an

important consideration.

Throughout the year there have been many

encouraging developments within Blue Sky, with

new additions to the team, the development of our

client management system and an expansion of

our services allowing us to offer advice to a broader

range of clients.

We have been inundated with enquiries concerning

transfers from final salary pension schemes. The

significant increase in transfer values has led to

many considering moving into a personal pension

environment. For the right person, in the right

situation, we have facilitated a transfer but only

after we have stress tested all possible scenarios

and are convinced that the benefits are worthwhile.

However, we deem this as high-risk business and are

selective as to who we work with.

Managing risk is a key element within any business

but especially in a regulated financial services

company. We have an avalanche of new legislation

impacting us by the end of the year but we have

everything in place to meet the requirements,

including recording all telephone conversations.

At Blue Sky we have always been innovative and

it was a privilege to be recognised as a flag bearer

of best practice when we were asked to contribute

to the first Work and Pensions Parliamentary

Review, which was published in September 2017; a

testament to the hard work and professionalism of

the Blue Sky team.

I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter, giving you

a flavour of what’s been going on and what may be

fast approaching.

Best Regards


Gary Neild, Managing Director



We are delighted to announce that Blue Sky has featured

in the 2016/2017 Parliamentary Review for Work and

Pensions, published in September 2017.

Blue Sky Financial Planning features alongside the

Prime Minister and a small number of outstanding

organisations in a document that looks back on

the year in industry and Westminster. The main

aim of the Review is to showcase best practice as a

learning tool to the public and private sector.

Across all policy areas, the Parliamentary Review

is sent to over half a million leading policymakers.

The articles in the Review act as both a blueprint

for success and a template for reform.

The Prime Minister commented that “this year’s

Parliamentary Review follows a significant year

in British politics” and this is reflected in the

articles from leading journalists and best-practice

representatives alike.

Theresa May’s former cabinet colleague, Sir Eric

Pickles, who was recently appointed Chairman

of the Review, said “it has never been more

important for government to hear the views of

businesses and the public sector, in a constructive

forum. It is also a vital time to share best practice

and progress.”

The Parliamentary Review’s director Daniel Yossman

concurred, saying “Blue Sky Financial Planning and

other hardworking organisations from across the

country have come together to make this year’s

Review possible. Sharing knowledge and insight

with both peers and Government is essential

work, and I am delighted that this year’s Review

will reach every corner of the British economy. It’s

always a real joy to hear from policymakers who tell

me that something they have read in the Review

has had an effect on their thinking. It is my belief

that innovation is contagious, if only it is given the

platform to spread. It is the Review’s purpose to

provide this platform and I am confident we are

fulfilling it.”

Clearly, we are delighted here at Blue Sky and Gary

stated “we are honoured to be chosen to contribute

in this way. We have always been committed to

delivering the best possible outcomes for our

clients and have continually reinvested to improve

efficiencies and to enhance our service. I’m a great

believer that a culture defines an organisation and

being one of only fourteen companies chosen

across the UK is testimony to the hard work and

commitment from the Blue Sky team”.

Gary added “to receive this level of

recognition and to be categorised as

leading the way in Financial Planning,

is a tremendous achievement for us”.



We are pleased to announce that

both Russell Skinner and Tammy

Smith have become Directors of

Blue Sky Financial Planning Ltd.

This is good news for all concerned

and ensures continuity of advice for

clients as we move forward.

Russell is 35 and has worked at

Blue Sky since 2009. He has been

instrumental in delivering support

planning services to clients, whilst

also developing technology

solutions to drive efficiencies

and enhance the Blue Sky service

proposition. Russell is our pensions

specialist and is a Chartered Financial


Tammy has been a member of the

team since 2010. Tammy is renowned

for her organisation and efficiency,

which allows her to provide a ‘top

notch’ service to clients. Tammy

is a Fellow of two Institutes, the

Chartered Insurance Institute and

the Chartered Institute of Securities

and Investments.

In many instances, both Tammy and

Russell are solely responsible for

clients’ affairs and are lead planners.


In my view, financial advice in isolation will become less

and less desirable as comprehensive planning becomes the

‘go to’ approach whenever financial decisions need to be

made. Whilst there will still be a need for individual advised

transactions, many of these may be possible via digitalised

systems in the future.

The key for personalised advice is for it to be given in context

of a broader financial assessment of lifetime objectives. As

in physics, where every action has an equal and opposite

reaction, short-term financial decisions may have unforeseen

long-term effects. Through planning, recommended

strategies can be stress-tested to explore the possible effects

in other areas and to ensure these would not derail overall


At the root of all these future services, there will need to

be planners with the right skills to understand what clients

hope to achieve overall. Tools and technology will develop

over the years, which will seek to automate even this aspect

of the client/planner relationships. I do not believe, however,

an Artificial Intelligence will be capable of the empathy

required; not this century anyway. Adopting and embracing

new technology as it becomes available will allow planners

to provide a better, more efficient service, but hiding behind

computers and expecting them to build and maintain a

client relationship certainly isn’t the way forward.


I’m really pleased to become a Director of Blue Sky and be

part of an organisation which has always put our clients

first. Blue Sky have always been innovative and free thinking

about how it communicates, with the core emphasis being

about ‘making a difference’. In the years I have been here I

have frequently heard comments from other experts in our

field commenting that we are “ahead of the game”.

The Financial Advisory sector, up until recently, had a poor

reputation as, historically, the focus was on selling products

with the aim of making the company the most commission

possible. Thank goodness the industry has moved on to more

transparent charging and a focus on providing comprehensive

planning strategies, as opposed to single transactions with

little on-going support.

Young advisers are more technically proficient than their

elder peers were at the same age and with the qualification

requirements, it’s pleasing to be recognised as Professionals.

Moving forward, whilst the introduction of technology will

remove the need for advice in some areas, with a higher

complexity of regulation, and products and services, good

quality financial advice will be required more than ever.

There are some things that a computer can’t do and so having

a knowledgeable adviser who understands an individual’s

needs cannot be underestimated.

Blue Sky have always sought to be innovative in our use

of technology to drive efficiencies and keep our clients

informed regarding investment and regulatory changes.

However, it’s our team that makes the difference and helps

clients live the lives they want.


With all the new technological advances we see

in our daily lives, it seems clear the march towards

digitalisation is unstoppable. Here at Blue Sky we

have embraced this as an opportunity and are now

proud to offer all clients an Online Portal.

Yet another log-in to remember? Well, yes, We're

afraid so. But, there are huge benefits to be had.

Our new client portal will enable each client to

see all their financial information in one place –

investments, pensions, assets, liabilities and so on.

This is a tool for helping to plan, make decisions

and see financial worth at any one time, all in one


There are other benefits too – it offers a means

of direct and secure communication with your

Financial Adviser, as well as secure online document

storage. This will make it so much easier for clients

to share paperwork and information with us

quickly, as well as encouraging communication to

help clients set goals and track progress.

We have thoroughly tested the platform and the

results have been brilliant. We look forward to

encouraging those that wish to utilise this service.

If you wish to register please speak with your

adviser, or visit

account/register. To register, you will need to enter

the email address we have on file for you and you

will be asked some additional personal details to

create the link between your existing investments

and the portal. Any investments or pensions we

manage for you will automatically appear shortly

after you register. We can then help you build the

detail within the portal to include other accounts,

your property or other assets and any debts.

The result will be a financial hub you can refer to

whenever considering your overall circumstances

– a powerful tool to have at your fingertips.


The Chartered Financial Planners

title is awarded by the Chartered

Insurance Institute (CII) and is

widely accepted as the ‘gold

standard’ for professional financial

planners and advisers in the United


By definition, holders of the

Chartered Financial Planner

qualification are among the most

experienced and most qualified

advisers in the profession.

Being Chartered, we now carry

comparable qualifications as other

established professions such

as Chartered Accountants and

Chartered Surveyors. Membership

of the Personal Finance Society,

the leading professional body for

financial planners, allows us to

use the professional designation

'Chartered Financial Planner'. A

badge of honour if you like!


We are pleased to announce a new service that

ensures financial advice is available for all via our

new automated investment offering.

A bi-product of strict legislation and the

requirements laid down by the Financial Conduct

Authority (FCA), is that the cost of transacting

business has increased for advisory practices.

Whilst we are keen to protect clients from any such

cost increases, (in fact we are lowering costs for

those with over £500,000 invested), it has meant

that we have questioned the level of investment

we can advise upon. This feels to us somewhat

elitist and doesn’t resonate comfortably with our

ethos. Blue Sky works with schools and the Young

Chamber of Dorset and we feel that we have a

responsibility to be able to advise everyone who

needs help and has the right attitude towards

building a stable financial future.

As the Blue Sky business matures, so do our clients

but we believe that we need to be able to help

their children and grandchildren in making astute

financial decisions early in their lives. Hopefully,

this will create strong and robust habits.

The automated advice system is commonly referred

to as ‘Robo Advice’ and is now deemed an actual

class of financial adviser. This provides financial

advice and portfolio management with moderate to

minimal human intervention. It works by providing

digital financial advice based on mathematical

rules or algorithms. These algorithms are executed

by software and thus financial advice that does not

require a human adviser. The software utilises its

algorithms to automatically allocate, manage and

optimise clients' assets.

If you know people, perhaps younger family

members or friends, that have savings earning

very little interest, then it would be worth talking

to us about this possible low cost solution. Please

contact Roy Saxty on





January 2018 marks a year of working with another of our investment

partners, LGT Vestra. We are pleased to report that we are delighted

with our choice and the relationship has gone from strength to

strength over the past year.

We chose to work closely with LGT Vestra for a number of reasons:

Seven Investment Management

(7IM) have been one of Blue Sky’s

investment partners for a number

of years and we are thrilled to

announce that Gary Neild has

been invited to join their Financial

Planning Advisory Panel. The aim

is to provide a channel for the 7IM

Management Team to request and

receive open and unbiased feedback

on strategic areas of interest within

the UK intermediary market, with

specific reference to 7IM’s current

and proposed sales and marketing

activities. Feedback will be provided

with the end client at the forefront

of the thinking. This enables 7IM to

understand the key requirements

that clients have, to help 7IM ensure

that their thinking, application

and product design meets both

client and planner demand. Being

instrumental in positive change is

very much what Blue Sky is all about,

and so this appointment for Gary is

a great step for the company - Gary

is pictured above with 7IM's Justin

Urquhart Stewart

Past performance

Research capability

Track record on minimising losses when markets fall

Active investment approach

A culture of transparency and co-operation, placing clients

at centre of everything they do. This is particularly important

to us at Blue Sky.

All great stuff, but the really exciting news is that Blue Sky will continue

to run bespoke portfolios for our clients. Blue Sky’s Managing Director,

Gary Neild, also sits on an the Asset Allocation Committee and has the

facility to override LGT Vestra’s core proposition in the interest of Blue

Sky’s clients.

In essence, LGT Vestra offer an experienced, personalised, flexible

and direct approach to investment planning across multiple asset

classes. The ability to move money quickly has meant that Blue Sky no

longer has to provide switch notices requiring an individual response

from each clients. Like Blue Sky, LGT Vestra is privately owned which

ensures stability and long-term outlook instead of a focus on shortterm


Phoebe Stone and Sanjay Rijhsinghani from LGT Vestra


New reforms will impact our business, and indeed all our clients, on 3rd January 2018. It is called MiFID II. It

doesn't exactly roll off the tongue we grant you but it's important in that it focuses on giving clients greater

insight into what is happening with their money.

The broad aims are:

Increased transparency of markets

Improved best execution

More structured trading marketplaces

Orderly trading behaviour within markets

Lower-cost market data

Costs of trading and investing made

more explicit

The reality is that many of these initiatives will not have a great impact on our clients. The changes that will

have an affect have been translated into something meaningful below:


We will record all phone calls as from 3rd January.


If there is more than a 10% fall in the value of a

portfolio in any one day we will be duty bound

to inform you within 24 hours. Logistically, this

will present a number of challenges although

this doesn't happen very often. As an example,

according to Quilter, this has happened with the

FTSE 100 only eight times since 1998.


Under MiFID II, a significant change is that clients

must receive a breakdown of all proposed costs

and associated charges related to investment or

ancillary services and financial instruments, ahead

of making an investment. Blue Sky do currently

provide a breakdown of costs and charges, but

the investment houses must provide greater



Blue Sky will need to ensure that clients receive

quarterly valuations, transaction reports and

performance updates.

We believe that many financial advisory firms

will struggle to cope with the new requirements.

However, in 2016 Blue Sky invested heavily in a

new business management system, and for most

of this year have been working towards complying

with MiFID II so that we have a compliant business,

and happy clients.


We have just introduced a service, which enables

people, businesses, trusts, charities, power of

attorneys (and court deputies), pensions, clubs

and associations to maximise the value they

receive from ALL CASH DEPOSITS.

Not only this, we can demonstrate how to structure

your deposits to get the most out of them. The

worst place to leave any money is in a 'dormant'

instant access account. This is exactly where the

banks and building societies want you to leave

money because it maximises the profits they make.

Personal Deposits

Charity Deposits

Cash ISAs

Pension Deposits

Corporate Deposits

Power of Attorney Deposits

Trust Deposits

Court of Protection Deposits

As interest rates slowly rise, then

this cash management approach

will prove to be a valuable tool in

managing money on behalf of our




Under the Open Banking Standard, banking data

will be shared through secure open APIs. What

on earth are those we hear you cry? Application

Programming Interfaces! In other words, a direct

line between one system and another allowing

data to be shared easily and with minimum fuss.

The purpose is for customers, be it individuals

or businesses, to more effectively manage their

money. This should result in helpful services and

tools that customers can utilise.


Open Banking doesn’t actually just apply to

Banking. Open Banking brings both the consumer

and companies the possibility of new types of

interactions. This will solve some of the challenges

that lie at the core of creating a new open market,

particularly when it comes to exchanging sensitive

data in a way that is both secure and transparent.

Expect huge innovation in this space resulting in

greater transparency of information and lower

costs for the end user.


As our business grows, so do the demands, not least

because of the increased legislation. As usual, Blue

Sky will continue to re-invest in our proposition.

A combination of technological development, in

harmony with individual expertise, ensures our

continued progress.

In February, Roy Saxty (pictured right) joined us

as part of the support team - the engine behind

Blue Sky. Roy previously worked for Capita and his

understanding of technology has already helped

us enormously.

Michelle Watson (pictured left) joined us from

Investec in September as a lead administrator

and trainee support planner. Her impact has been

significant and has proved a great conduit for an

improved service.

We thought we should lower the average age in

the office too by employing Max Morgan (pictured

second from left). Max is a Brighton University

student and ex-pupil of Bournemouth School for

Boys. He is on an internship with us for one year.

Having to get up early each morning has been a

shock but he is now effortlessly resonating with

the demands of full time work. Having new and

youthful ideas has thrown up some interesting and

stimulating conversations, some of which will be

embedded into our proposition.

Our latest recruit is Paul Andrews (pictured second

from right), brought in to be our Compliance

Manager. With all the changes in compliance

that lie ahead, we thought it prudent to have a

dedicated person helping us embrace change. Paul

has a wide and varied background within financial

services and his all-round knowledge will help us








One of Gary’s great passions is working towards

better financial education for young people.

This led him to become involved in the Dorset

Chamber’s ‘Young Chamber’ programme –

working particularly with Queen Elizabeth School

in Wimborne.

Gary firmly believes that there is so much more

that businesses can do to engage with children of

all ages, to teach them not only about money but

share experiences and inspiration to get young

minds thinking beyond the school walls.

It seemed a natural progression therefore to accept

Ian Girling’s invitation to sponsor one of this year’s

Dorset Chamber Awards categories; the one that

honours an organisation making a huge difference

to young people through their engagement

with schools, colleges, universities, clubs and

other educational establishments. The Young

Chamber Award looks to recognise companies

that strengthen the link between education and


Gary was responsible for putting together a panel

of judges to review and mark the award entries, and

in early October our three finalists were announced:

Atlas Elektronik UK based in Dorchester, Biotrack

Ltd based in Wareham and LoveLove Films based

in Bournemouth. Representatives from all three

businesses are pictured below with Gary.

Gary says “it has been an eye-opening experience

to find out just how much effort some businesses

go to in order to engage with youngsters. Not only

for their own gain in recruiting excellent new talent

but for the greater good of society, showing a real

dedication for spreading knowledge, experience

and information. The business leaders we have

met have been nothing sort of inspirational!”

We are all looking forward to the Gala Dinner on

the 23rd November when the winner for the Young

Chamber Category, and all the other categories, will

be announced. Nothing like a good celebration!



Our friends at the Dorset Blind Association deserve support for all

the great work they do. They are all lovely people and have a positive

impact in improving people’s lives which resonates with us at Blue Sky

on so many levels.

For the second year running we were the sponsors of their fantastic

Film Premiere! The title was ‘Victoria and Abdul’ and it stars the

exceptional Dame Judi Dench. If you haven’t yet seen the film we

recommend you do

as it’s great viewing.

This follows on from

our sponsorship

last year of the film

premiere in Dorset

for 'Florence Foster

Jenkins.' This year,

the charity raised

Another second for us was sponsoring Dorset

Blind's Masquerade Ball, this time held at the Hilton

Hotel in Bournemouth. A great time was had by all,

and some looked better with masks on!

The evening raised £16,042.30.



On the 17th October 2017, Gary and the team

held an afternoon tea event for clients and special

guests, with Justin Urquhart Stewart from 7IM.

With an early career that spanned the vineyards

of Europe, the docks of Southampton and finance

in Asia, Justin went onto establish Broker Services

at what became Barclays Stockbrokers. Today he is

one of the most recognisable and trusted market

commentators on television, radio and in the press.

He is also one of the co-founders of 7IM.

Justin, in his inimitable

style, provided insight

on world events and

the likely impact on

financial markets. The

audience was also

invited to submit any

questions to Justin in

advance in order for him

to tailor his talk around

topics of interests. His

views and presentation

style both informed and


Blue Sky Financial Planning

7 Vista Place ! Coy Pond Business Park

Ingworth Road ! Poole ! Dorset ! BH12 1JY




01202 756560