Interview with Nick Dando, Haven Director.

Haven Director, Nick Dando, talks about his experience of working for Haven.

When did you start working for Haven?

I joined Haven in 2001. I’d been area manager at Halifax Financial Services, previously. But the opportunity to move on and make use of my skills and experience was too good to miss. I haven’t looked back since.

What’s your main role at Haven now?

My time is mainly spent helping clients to organise their finances and provide for their future. But in 2005 I became a Director of the company. My focus is the finances, and helping the business grow successfully.

What’s your greatest achievement at Haven?

We have great achievements everyday when we get a good result for our clients. That’s what really fires me and makes everyday different and exciting.

When it comes to the company, I’ve had a leading role in our growth over the years. We’ve grown a lot since I joined in 2001. We now have seven full time advisors as apposed to four or five that we were two or three years ago. It’s meant that we can work with more clients, which is great, but it also means we have so much more expertise to draw on. Everyone has their own particular specialities, so it gives us a much broader, deeper knowledge, which is, of course, passed down to our clients.

What do you think the main advantages of working with Haven are?

As a company, we have values, they are very important to us. We like to make sure our clients know that we aren’t a fly-by-night business, out for a quick buck, but long term investors in our clients futures. We want to be with our clients for the long run.

That value is born out in our strap line, which we thought long and hard about  – Securing Financial Futures, means that we are going to be there in the future to help make sure that everything is secure.

I like to think of us as providing the breakwater between clients and open sea. We spend the time to take the bumps out of the road and create plans that will make sure that our clients are looked after, whatever the future holds.

What are your core values at Haven?

Doing the right thing every time, respecting our clients and understand what it is they are looking for. We provide a service, but it’s a service our clients enjoy. We have feedback time and time again that our clients enjoy our time with them! And to be honest, we enjoy spending out time with our clients. Many of them I have known personally for many years. So what starts out as financial advice quickly evolves into an ongoing relationship.

For me, that’s vital – transactional IFA work is not what we do! We find people we can work with and work with them again and again, together we can achieve the secure future our clients need.

Is there any area your specialise in?

At the moment in the firm, I would say that 80% of our work is pensions related, looking at securing futures in and around retirement.

With pension transfer values being so high at the moment, there is a lot of interest in moving from Defined Benefit pensions to Defined Contribution pensions. Some of our clients have had spectacular results, but it’s not for everyone, so it’s really important to see an advisor and understand all the implications first.

I’m also involved in advising on tax saving and VCTs. With changes in legislation it’s important for clients to be able to make the most of their savings and pass them on to their loved ones, without losing more than they should. I spend quite a lot of time advising clients on inheritance tax and transferrable rate bands. It’s all knowledge that we try to make clients aware of.

What’s the future of Haven?

We like what we are doing, and how we work. We don’t want to change our process or our values. But we want to continue to learn and work hard to make sure that we are always moving forward.

We aspire to be the best we can be now, and that means that we take the time to continue to develop personally and professionally. We’ve gone through growth, but we don’t want to become so big that we don’t know our clients. There’s no way I would advocate us being bought up by a large, faceless organisation. That would go against everything we hold dear, and it wouldn’t be best for our clients.

Our recent rebranding, and the move to a new office has given us the opportunity to grow as well. I’m really looking forward to getting to know the new area and the businesses in the local vicinity, whilst still holding onto our values and how we see company. Our client will always remain at the centre of everything we do. It’s reflected in our branding and in our actions. We are a true haven, and buffer between markets and investment world.