Uttlesford financial planning company partner says business award was a ‘surprise’

PUBLISHED: 13:53 17 September 2017

KMD won Medium Business of the Year at the 2017 Uttlesford Business Awards. Presented with their award by Sarah Watson of Watson Legal and host Steve Scruton. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

KMD won Medium Business of the Year at the 2017 Uttlesford Business Awards. Presented with their award by Sarah Watson of Watson Legal and host Steve Scruton. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Photo 2017

A partner for a chartered financial firm in Stansted says the company was “a little surprised” to win big at the inaugural Uttlesford Business Awards this summer.

The KMD table at the 2017 Uttlesford Business Awards. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO The KMD table at the 2017 Uttlesford Business Awards. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Liam Sheils, who is also a charted financial planner for KMD Private Wealth Management, attended the ceremony to scoop Medium Business of the Year.

He said: “We were delighted, and a little surprised to win the award. We have won a national award before, where we had been up against other financial planners, but this was different as we were being compared against other business sectors.”

The company, which started in 2008, currently works as a team of 12 and looks after the financial life of more than 100 families, primarily in the Stansted and Saffron Walden area.

They also build retirement plans, manage pensions and help clients to understand their current and future financial position.

Steve Scruton with Sarah Watson from Watson Legal presenting Medium Business of the Year to KMD at the Uttlesford Business Awards 2017. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Steve Scruton with Sarah Watson from Watson Legal presenting Medium Business of the Year to KMD at the Uttlesford Business Awards 2017. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Mr Sheils added: “We started out with a team of four looking after just 50 clients, so that we could provide fully comprehensive advice, and really understand our clients’ needs, in terms of what they want out of life, not just what investment products they might need.

“Sitting alongside clients as we plan for their future is exciting, and can be fulfilling, for example when telling a client that they can afford to retire early, or make a significant gift to a family member.”

As well as Mr Sheils, Kevin Deamer is also a partner of the firm and both live in Great Chesterford and Little Walden.

Asked what made the company win the award, Mr Sheils said: “Our attention to detail in managing the short term, medium term and long term finances of our business.

“Having a detailed business plan, and then monitoring what actually happens compared with the forecast plan keeps the business moving forward. It is exactly what we do for our clients, so it is pleasing the judges recognised that we do it well.”

Mr Sheils also credited the business’ team approach to its success.

He added: “Twelve members of the team looking after 105 families means service levels are extremely high, and every client is a big fish in our pond.

“This is the opposite of what we all generally experience when dealing with most large companies, such as banks and insurance companies.

“Our advice team of five know all of our clients’ circumstances and we work collaboratively on all of those clients, to provide a unique level of service, combining our knowledge and experience to the benefit of each client.”

The business is looking to move to a bigger office in Stansted and grow its team and client base in the coming years.

The Uttlesford Business Awards were run by Archant, publishers of the Saffron Walden Reporter and Dunmow Broadcast.

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