New wealth management firm launched by former rugby player
A new wealth management firm launched by an Alnwick-based entrepreneur is already handling the assets of some of the North East’s wealthiest residents.
Alister Gaines, 42, is a well-known figure in the local rugby community having played for Alnwick’s first team, captained the 2nds and coached in the mini and junior section for more than ten years.
Now, having long since hung up his rugby boots, Alister is one of the most qualified independent financial advisers in the North East and has just founded Akrivis Wealth.
The company, operating from both Newcastle and Alnwick, is offering clients a comprehensive financial planning service, including bespoke investment and retirement expertise, together with tax saving advice.
Alister is also giving Akrivis Wealth clients a unique opportunity to benefit from his in-depth knowledge of the fast-growing and increasingly appealing ethical investment market.
"Akrivis is a Greek word that means accurate and precise, not words that anyone who has played in the same rugby team as me would use to describe my skills on the pitch," joked the father-of-two.
"Fortunately, after more than 20 years being trusted to look after other people's money, I'm a far better financial adviser and investment manager than I ever was a rugby player."
Alister was a senior private banking manager working for the wealthiest customers of Lloyds Bank in Newcastle, before being headhunted 11 years ago to become a director of financial advice firm CDC Wealth Management, based in Sunderland.
"We went from a standing start at CDC to becoming a significant regional wealth firm acting on behalf of a wide range of clients," said Alister. "I look back fondly at my time there, but I now want a fresh challenge and to open up new opportunities.
"Every one of the clients whose financial affairs I have managed for many years at CDC has committed to carry on working with me through my new company Akrivis Wealth. The sense of trust and loyalty they have shown in me is very humbling and I look forward to building on that moving forward.
"Significantly, Akrivis has also already signed up several new high net worth clients across the UK who appreciate what my firm offers.
"A key issue for me is always being open and honest with people while sorting out their pension and investment needs and not making it seem too complicated. Frankly, some financial advisers just leave their clients confused by the complexities of this business.
"Not many in this industry have my level of experience. I'm a chartered financial planner, which means I'm among the top professionals within my field. I'm also a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, that's a real badge of honour."
While Alister's core business is handling the finances of those with significant assets to invest, he is also looking to host free financial advice sessions in Alnwick and Berwick for anyone, regardless of their assets or income level, looking for expert pensions and retirement guidance.
"My business won't be the right fit for everyone, but absolutely everyone should get good financial advice of some sort," he said.
"With regulations becoming increasingly complex and a real savings gap in this country, the need for quality advice and financial know-how is more important than ever. The over-arching direction of travel is that it's now up to each and every one of us as individuals to make good financial decisions in our working years and beyond to be sure we are well looked after.
"With fewer major employers in our area and the erosion of so-called 'gold plated' final salary pensions, it is vitally important that we each take responsibility for our own retirement. I know from conversations I’ve had that far too many people in our part of the world don't do that," said Alister.
"So, I'll be making myself available at a couple of events in the months ahead to help point them in the right direction."