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Independent Financial Advice in Leeds & Harrogate

Martin Hirst APFS, Certs CII (MP&ER)

Chartered Financial Planner
Chief Executive

Martin has always been in the Financial Services Industry. He initially trained as an accountant from 1975 and then identified an opportunity to set up his own business within retail financial services through Hambro Life in 1979. He quickly progressed to become one of the youngest managers in the company in 1982 and soon progressed further to become Group Manager for Leeds. Hambro Life then became Allied Dunbar 1985 and in 1992 his group were the most successful in the country.

In 1998, when Allied Dunbar became part of the Zurich Advice Network Group, an opportunity arose to build a "super franchise" where 100% of time was spent on client work and in 1999 the practice was recognised as being the most successful in Allied Dunbar/Zurich history.

In 2005, seeing limitations in client offering and market changes, Martin made the decision to become directly authorised by the FCA as Independent Financial Advisers. As a result, we now have access to a broader and improved product offering that creates enhanced value for our clients.

In recent years, the financial services industry introduced a ruling that all Financial Advisers required a Diploma in Financial Planning to be able to continue offering investment advice. All the Advisers within the practice achieved this in six months.

Given this success, the firm decided to offer full support for Advisers to progress to Degree Level and Chartered Financial Planner status. Martin was the first to achieve this at the age of 59 (I know he looks a lot younger!)

Martin has always believed in encouraging all Advisers to progress to Chartered status as:-

"Being a Chartered Financial Planner is more than just a piece of paper, it is an internationally recognised benchmark of quality and ethical practice for professionals involved in giving financial advice, and widely accepted as the 'gold standard' qualification in the United Kingdom.

Now, more than ever, clients are demanding that professional advisers demonstrate professional capabilities. Clients want to deal with professional individuals and professional firms who can provide first-class service, advice and support. Chartered status is the ultimate symbol of trust for financial planning".

Martin is a follower of the company ethos of spread of assets and is a keen investor in property, equities and other investments. He feels this gives the practice a keen business edge over competitors. Martin supports various charity organisations and enjoys all aspects of sport being a member of Royal Ascot and Sandmoor Golf Club. He also supports Leeds United FC.

On a personal basis, Martin is married to Michelle and has three children, Rebecca who is a Fashion Buyer with Select in London, Elliot is a Lawyer with Clifford Chance and Olivia has a Psychology Degree and is currently studying for a further Degree in Mental Health Nursing.

Martin Hirst