Sharing Ryan’s insights from 2019’s NextGen Conference
05 November 19  /  News

In October, Dan, George, Giedre and Ryan travelled to Manchester to attend this year’s NextGen Conference alongside around 150 other young financial professionals.

This year’s theme was ‘Influence’ and we are delighted to share Ryan’s insights around the conference and the wider impact that NextGen Planners are having on the industry.

What is NextGen?

Originally founded by Adam Carolan and Rohan Sivajoti (both practising lifestyle financial planners), NextGen is a community for young financial planners all over the UK. The purpose of the community is to modernise the industry for the next generation of financial planning. I don’t think that there is another community quite like NextGen - members of lots of different firms are able to come together to network, solve problems, share client stories and help each other out.

A key example of how they encourage collaboration is the NextGen Slack group (an instant online messaging portal) where all members can fire across #FridayWins, #LiveCases or #Technology, as well as general and one-to-one chats with members of the group.

Why did Mathews Comfort become involved?

Being a young financial planner himself, Dan got involved in the NextGen community and attended their first annual conference back in 2017. He has brought many of the values of the NextGen community back into our philosophy. George and I attended last year’s conference in the absence of Dan but this year he was able to join us alongside our newest team member, Giedre.

As well as the conferences, we have also been able to attend a number of NextGen’s events such as a roundtable in London and training sessions in Bristol. Giedre is also heavily involved with NextGen as she progresses with her journey to becoming a financial planner. Our team have become fully immersed in the community and we have been able to forge relationships with other financial planning firms and young professionals from across the industry.

Power Hours:

The day before the conference, Dan took an early train up to Manchester to be part of the scheduled power hour sessions that were being put on by NextGen in the lead up to the conference. This was an open forum discussion and different people were grouped together to discuss various topics, such as operations within their respective firms, any setbacks with their systems and how they thought it could be improved. Dan fed back that this was a very thought-provoking and helpful session and he took some ideas away on how our systems could be improved and streamlined. Many of the financial planning firms in the community use the same technology and systems, so some of the problems seemed to be felt by all.

After the power hour sessions had finished and once George, Giedre and I arrived in Manchester later that afternoon, we all met up in the city to get together with some of the NextGen team to spend some quality time together. This was followed by a curry night organised by NextGen at a local restaurant, which made for a great pre-conference evening!

The 2019 Conference:

This year’s ‘Influence’ theme began with an interesting talk from Joanna Gaudoin who took us through networking skills and confidence for success. This gave us a great insight into creating new and mutually beneficial relationships. We focus heavily on building and maintaining long-term relationships, so there were lots of key takeaway messages that are relevant to our clients and how we present ourselves.

The next speaker was Dominic Colenso who now works with businesses around the world, helping people to be more confident. He talked about what it means to “Make an Impact.” He used an acronym of the word IMPACT as the main basis of his talk: I for Intention, M for Mindset, P for Presence, A for Audience, C for Content and T for Technique. This is a tool to provoke ideas on how to make a positive impact on people, which is key for financial planners who need to be able to make a great impact on their clients.

In between some of the talks we had two panels of NextGen members who covered topics such as “changing a business from the inside” and “starting up your own advice business.” Many of the panellists have their own financial planning companies and gave us an insight into how they started the company and how they retain their core philosophies within their business models.

We also heard from Daniel Priestley who runs his own company called Dent. The company runs programmes with smaller firms to develop their businesses; his talk was based on having a “key person of influence,” which was very fitting with the conference’s title.

He covered many topics such as how to improve pitching skills, publishing your own material, having well-developed products and having a strong profile. This was very interesting, coming from a guy that has sold and built multi-million pound businesses, as it gave us key ideas into what we could be doing at Mathews Comfort to promote our influence on our clients and those that we work with. Daniel Priestley has published 4 books and Giedre managed to grab a copy of his latest book after the conference, and I’m sure most of the team here will enjoy reading this.

The last speaker of the conference was Stephen Jones who works for a company called Cooper Parry Wealth, a leading financial planning firm in the UK. His main focus was around why he felt Cooper Parry had been so successful.

His message was that ‘Great Culture + Great Client Experience = Business Success’. He shared some of the company’s values, mainly promoting an excellent working environment to ensure that all members of the team stand for the same core values. Some of the key parts of their great client experience included a one-page financial plan that was easy to read and covered all the key areas, which is something we are working on ourselves at Mathews Comfort.

After a long and focused day, most of the attendees and all of the NextGen team headed out once again into Manchester. We got a chance to talk to some of the people we had listened to that day, as well as catching up with old friends from the community. The Mathews Comfort team headed back to Oxford the next day, safely returned by our driver George.

Going Forward:

We all took some key messages from the conference after speaking with and listening to lots of other young professionals in the industry. We have already booked our place and increased our numbers to 5 as Vicki will also be joining us at NextGen’s 2020 Conference in London.

Overall, it was a great few days that we have taken a lot away from: new faces, new contacts and new ideas for the company.

Next Article
An update on Giedre’s progress in her financial planning journey
18 November 19  /  News