Barry Wells loves helping people with their finances. Eighteen months ago he left his job as a financial adviser at a top bank to start his own company Wells Wealth Management, a partner practice of St James’s Place Wealth Management. He is based at Hampshire Workspace in Winchester.
What makes Wells Wealth Management different to other financial advisers?
We look after our clients’ wealth in a holistic way, so we’re quite different to other companies. We look at customers’ whole scenario. Lots of people I come across have bits all over the place. They maybe saw an adviser 20 years ago who set up a pension which might have been good then but probably isn’t now. Then maybe they saw someone else 10 years ago who did the same. So people think they’re in a good place but when you start to dig in a bit, they’re really not.
How is St James’s Place different when it comes to how they manage people’s money?
We don’t want to be committed to any particular fund manager, so we use all different ones from around the and we review them regularly. We see the client regularly too to make sure they’re always getting the best.
So do you only offer financial advice to rich people?
There isn’t a number but probably the more money people have the more complicated it gets. Inheritance tax is something I spend most of my time on because people usually don’t understand that there are lots of different things you can do to avoid paying, in the main. On the other hand, I’ve got clients who’ve just done an ISA.
How did you get into the world of finance?
I’ve been in financial services nearly thirty years. I joined a bank and I loved it. I like the numbers and I like complicated stuff but I like dealing with people the most. The vast majority of roles I’ve done over the years have been people facing. I went from employee to self employed 18 months ago and I wish I’d done it 20 years ago.
How did you become associated with St James’s Place Wealth Management?
You have to be invited to become a Partner Practice and they only take established advisers. I looked at lots of other places but St James’s Place is head and shoulders above the rest. I get the benefit of a massive operation behind me. It’s the biggest and most successful wealth manager in Europe and they deliver all their advice through partners like me for whom the client is very important.
Why have you based your financial services business in Winchester?
I moved to Winchester three years ago. It’s is a nice city and there are lots of people here needing advice. Hampshire Workspace has been very useful. It suits me down to the ground, for budget, space and service.