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.
And what better place to start than with our Director, Mark Stewart. Mark set up Sheards Financial Management in 2008, so we thought we’d dig a little bit deeper into the path that led him here.
Tell us about your background and how you got into financial services?
I began working for a major Independent Financial Advisory firm, Towry Law, in 1998 which is where I undertook my qualifications to become an Independent Financial Adviser.
Before that, I worked in the insurance industry at Refuge Assurance, and within a few years I was promoted to Assistant Branch Manager. I later went on to work for Prudential as a Financial Consultant. It was then that I decided I wanted to become an IFA.
In 2007, I noticed that a firm of accountants in Huddersfield, Sheards Accountants, were looking at setting up a financial advisory company so I got in touch with the Directors. The rest, as they say, is history!
What skills and experience have you developed on this journey?
I have always been a people person, and I truly believe that people buy people and therefore a personable and friendly manner is key in this industry.
In terms of experience, I’ve definitely learnt the importance of having a good team around you and how to achieve that. Our support staff are the backbone of our business and it’s vital to have a team around you that share your passion and growth plans.
We’ve recently taken on two new Financial Advisers – our team has doubled in just under a year. It’s not been an easy road getting the right staff but I have learnt from any mistakes along the way and feel we now have a fantastic, passionate team at Sheards Financial Management.
Can you give an example of a great client relationship?
I first met one of my clients in my Towry Law days back in 1998. We made contact again when I set up Sheards Financial Management to discuss his personal financial requirements. And I have been working with him ever since, getting on for 20 years.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Not a lot of people know this but I used to be a competitive boxer. Now I just do it for fun, training at the gym about 3 times a week. But in my heyday, I used to compete as an amateur with 20 or so fights. I then had a 27-year break before returning to the ring as a semi-professional with 5 more fights.
I also really enjoy making gin and wine – it’s been a hobby of mine for a while and I got into partly because of the scandalous prices of wine & gin in the supermarkets! I now believe that I can create a similar if not better product than that which is mass produced. I really enjoy the mixing of botanicals to get to the correct taste for the gin.
Finally, what do you love about Yorkshire?
It might be said all the time but the Yorkshire countryside is unrivalled – I absolutely love my drive to work! And I can’t not mention the Yorkshire folk. They’re a prudent bunch which makes our job that little bit easier.