“Trust me, I’m a Fellow”

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    “Trust me, I’m a Fellow”

    Serving Equilibrium veteran, Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Personal Finance Society, Chartered Financial Planner, and font of all knowledge… meet Nilesh Patel.

    It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do. – Steve Jobs

    This is what Equilibrium does best; it hires smart people and just over fourteen years ago, it made one of the best business decisions to date, by hiring a young man named Nilesh.

    Clients value Nilesh for his quick responsiveness, efficiency, and ability to simplify the complex, perfected by an extremely warm and down-to-earth manner.

    Here we chat with one of our longest-serving members of the Equilibrium team…

    How did you come to work here?

    “It’s an interesting story. Originally, I came for an interview with Debbie Jukes (Head of Client Care) and Andrew Clarey (ex-adviser and former partner) who were at the start of their recruitment process so were unable to offer me an immediate post.

    “At the time, I was offered a job with Cowgill Holloway in Bolton which I took but soon realised it wasn’t for me.

    “In the meantime, Debbie (via a recruitment agent) offered me a three-month contract to assist with the migration of accounts to a new platform provider, Nucleus. I was then offered a permanent position and the rest, as they say, is history.”

    What drew you to Equilibrium?

    “When I joined, the team consisted of about 30 people, and I could tell from very early on that everyone knew each other well and the culture was the best I had ever experienced. Colin Lawson (our founder) was (and still is) inspiring and took pride in building strong relationships with clients, giving them confidence to spend their money rather than save it for “the future”.

    “The role here was ideal for me as I had both financial planning and accountancy qualifications and plenty of experience in new business processing, internal auditing, underwriting and training to name but a few.”

    What have you most enjoyed about working here?

    “Feeling valued and appreciated and making a difference in client’s lives. Above all, I enjoy doing the best job I can for my clients.

    “I have particularly enjoyed training people, joining our Academy, which gave me the confidence to present to a wide audience, and dressing up as a penguin for our Christmas ‘decorate your desk’ competition!

    “It was my 14th anniversary in August, and I can safely say that this is more than likely going to be my last role before retiring in the future.”

    Your job title is Associate Financial Planner, have you considered becoming a full-time financial planner at Equilibrium?

    “I have thought about it, but my current role provides the best of both worlds – I am authorised to give advice and look after several clients (mainly on behalf of Colin and Andrew Hirst) but I also work alongside financial planners of high-net-worth clients which involves incredibly challenging reports and huge sums of money, where accuracy is key.”

    That sounds stressful…

    “Experience helps but also confidence in my ability. It’s all about backing yourself and knowing that your ultimate goal is to help the client in the best way possible.”

    What advice would you give a new member of staff?

    “Come and speak to me for five minutes if you’re unsure about anything. When team members come to me for help and I’m met with a slightly worried or anxious expression, I ask: “How long has it taken you to come over to me?” Invariably, if they’re new to the business, their reply is usually: “Hours!” I usually respond with: “I am here to help; money cannot buy time and if there’s one thing, I know I can do well, it’s to save time.”

    What three words sum up how you feel about Equilibrium?

    “Trusted, autonomy, appreciated.”

    Finally, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?

    “My children (who are 16 and 12!) keep me busy, but I also enjoy watching football (Manchester City fan), cricket (obviously!), walking (I’ve rambled up Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon over the last 12 months) and travelling.”



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