As our team continues to grow at pace, we thought it was about time we shared a little bit more about the Advisers behind Sheards Financial Management.
This month, we sat down with Independent Financial Adviser, Darren Brock. Darren joined the Sheards Financial Management team in October 2017 – he’s definitely can’t take the title of a newbie anymore!
Darren has over 35 years’ experience in financial services from a broad range of services, dealing with both personal and corporate clients.
Tell us about your background and how you got into financial services?
I started working in the financial services sector straight after 6th Form College. My first job was in the Broker Division of Hambro Life in Leeds City Centre. In 1989, I joined Scottish Amicable as a Broker Consultant, dealing with a panel of IFA’s along the M62 corridor, which included Huddersfield as well as Morley, Castleford, Pontefract and Selby.
After 10 years, I decided it was time to advance to an Independent Financial Advisers role and took a leap in setting up my own business, working closely with professional introducers at Accountancy and Law firms. Shortly afterwards, I was invited to form a partnership with 3 other IFAs, with offices in Rothwell, Leeds. This is really where I cut my teeth and gained years of adviser experience, primarily dealing with client’s retirement options and investment needs.
Following a brief period outside the industry, I returned to financial services in 2017 and I haven’t looked back since joining the exceptional team at Sheards Financial Management.
What skills and experience have you developed on this journey?
Since my first job within the financial sector, I have always been focussed on my client’s needs, taking pride in delivering positive outcomes for customers.
A skill I’ve definitely developed along the way is having a knack of explaining technically complex areas, in words customers can understand – absolutely vital in our line of work!
Having a friendly, personable and diligent manner has helped me to build strong and lasting relationships with all of my clients. With years of experience behind me, clients can trust me to deliver what they need from their investments and pensions funds.
Can you give an example of going above and beyond for a client?
Some areas of financial advice require more specialist knowledge and expertise. At Sheards Financial Management, we are fortunate to be highly thought of, by our peers and, consequently, there are occasions where a case is passed to us to transact the business and provide the advice when the client’s own adviser is unable to.
This was the case recently, with a client in the North East. The client wished to transfer their pension fund but had been unsure of what to do or who to speak to about it, for a number of weeks. They contacted an adviser in their local area but they were not authorised to transact such business, so the adviser approached Sheards Financial Management.
The transfer was subject to a deadline date, which is typically 3 months, but the problem was, that instead of 3 months to the deadline, we had less than a month to collate information, do our research, compile our recommendation and suitability reports, as well as returning all the correct paperwork, before the looming deadline.
By calling in a few favours and pulling a few strings, the whole team worked tirelessly to ensure every stage was completed in record time. With cases like this, the back office staff really are worth their weight in gold as once we had everything prepared, my job was easy… visit the client and complete the paperwork and submit it. The client was delighted and passed her thanks to our whole team, on a job well done.
What are your hobbies and interests?
These days my sport is limited to watching, save for the occasional gym visit, but growing up in Africa enabled me to swim competitively from an early age and play tennis to a high standard.
I also represented my school at rugby, cricket and athletics. I’m still proud of being captain of the 1st XV Rugby team at college and being voted ‘Most Outstanding Senior Player’ in my final season, by my teammates.
Outside of sport, I enjoy music, always have done and to this day, I still have my vinyl collection of LP’s. I suppose like many guys (of a certain age), I have a couple of guitars which I enjoy playing – but I accepted that I’ll never be Jimi Hendrix, a long time ago.
My other interests include watching Formula 1, cinema trips and photography. I’ve also always had an interest in the Far East and Japan (and so does my teenage son), so that’s on my bucket list.
Finally, what do you love about Huddersfield?
Huddersfield has really changed since I was last here in the early 90’s. Just look at how cosmopolitan it is now – fancy bars, restaurants and new shopping centres.
In my opinion, it’s now one of those ‘hidden gems’, full of different tastes and flavours and there’s a diversity and a vibrancy which is unique to the town.
Anyone travelling from Manchester to Leeds should do themselves a favour and stop off in Huddersfield, They’ll be amazed when they re-discover it for themselves.