It has been a real pleasure to be part of the journey that Nicola and the team here are on. From my first meeting I have felt comfortable and informed, indeed the journey for me has been made quite special by the way the team have made my journey, theirs. The professional advice has always been spot on and has left me feeling excited and looking forwards to the next phase of my, and my family’s life. Long may the business and the people of Trentham Invest prosper and grow. May I finish by thanking Nicola and the team.
Mick Rayner, November 2014
My career spanned 35 years in the insurance industry, most of it as a Lloyd’s broker in the London insurance market. Just under six years ago the recession had hit America and was starting to bite in the U.K. and, at the age of 53 I was made redundant by the U.S. parented company I’d been working for in London for two and a half years.
Nearly six months later the recession was really hurting in the U.K and, given my age, the prospects of finding a new and reasonably paid position in the industry I’d served for 35 years were looking grim. Also, following an earlier and unexpected divorce, I had taken a large mortgage on an apartment in London and my redundancy pay out had virtually run out.
Backed into a corner and very concerned about my situation, I thought long and hard and reached the conclusion that my best option might be to take early retirement, let my apartment in order to cover the mortgage and relocate to a cheaper location. Twenty years of my career were spent with a previous employer which provided a non-contributory final salary pension, but early retirement would severely cut my pension from the scheme. I was also aware that the scheme was heavily underfunded at the time, which was a concern. I had another very small pension from my last employer.
A very good friend with his own business advised me that he had greatly benefitted from Trentham Invest’s advice in establishing his own pension arrangements. He felt Trentham Invest were very professional, more cutting edge than most IFA’s and suggested I make contact to establish whether they could help me too.
This I did and, following an initial fact sharing session, in our next meeting I received the encouraging news that there was a viable alternative to my existing pension arrangements. The proposal involved withdrawing from my “holy grail” (to most IFA’s) final salary pension scheme arrangements. However, Trentham Invest’s projections that I would receive a larger average monthly pay out over an initial 15 year term, plus a larger tax free lump sum and widows/ dependants benefit, in my opinion fully supported their recommendation.
Essentially, the proposed solution involved transferring the funds out of my existing schemes and investing them across a broad range of different funds with Skandia on a suitable degree of risk basis to be agreed. Once the arrangement had been completed, I would be able to claim the tax free lump sum and also draw down on my funds monthly to pay my pension.
When my initial concerns regarding the cost of Trentham Invest’s advice (subsequently offset by remuneration from the effected scheme) and commissions (when fully explained totally acceptable) had been allayed, I confirmed I would be entirely happy to proceed with the proposal. The costs involved were far outweighed by the enhanced benefits I was to receive.
It didn’t take very long to complete the arrangement, for the tax free lump sum to be paid into my bank and the first monthly pension payment to be received. Subsequently, I have been receiving a regular monthly pension payment from the scheme into my bank account.
Trentham Invest’s advice, proposal and the effected scheme have provided me with considerable peace of mind as well as enhanced benefits over my previous arrangements. Once I’d made the decision to go ahead with their proposal, there was very little for me to do as the company took care of setting up the scheme with Skandia and all subsequent amendments.
I benefit from regular meetings with and scheme specific/ general pension related news updates by email from Trentham Invest. The company regularly reviews individual funds’ and my overall scheme’s performance. Any concerns regarding my overall scheme or particular funds are promptly addressed with a recommendation and, if accepted, administration from Trentham Invest.
I’m delighted, having received monthly pension payments from my scheme for nearly five years through the very difficult recession and global financial crisis, that my funds are virtually the same as their initial level.
The pensions arena is very difficult for most people to understand. Trentham Invest led me through the minefield with their excellent knowledge, sound advice and excellent service, to a point where I now have a very good understanding of and feel very comfortable with my pension arrangements.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Trentham Invest’s services to others seeking enlightenment.
David Cooper, September 2013
We had a problem which was beyond our expertise, in fact probably the biggest quandary of our married life. It was causing friction between us and one which would materially affect our financial standing for the rest of our lives.
I had a reasonably sized Final Salary Pension (like most, unfortunately, now shut), and a pretty ordinary replacement Occupational Salary version. We were informed by the Trustees of the Pension Fund (eventually) that the Company was behind on the payments that should have been made to the Final Salary Pension, and that the likelihood of these arrears being made good in the next few years was uncertain.
Did we hope against hope that things would be ‘alright’ within the next five years before my retirement, (and just carry on worrying and bickering) or withdraw the greatly diminished value and invest elsewhere? What if the Company went under? We soon learnt that the much trumpeted Government Protection Legislation in place was not a solution.
We weren’t qualified to make a decision either way. We needed help.
In addition to the above, both of us had had our hours reduced and were struggling to meet our financial commitments which was having a detrimental effect on our quality of life.
We did fairly extensive research and started making enquiries; we quickly found that many financial advisors were reluctant to advise regarding transferring out of a company pension scheme. However, Trentham Investment kept surfacing as a possible solution. We made contact with Nicola Downs, the Principal, and immediately felt we had a ‘fit’, someone who almost innately understood our predicament, our fears and our hopes for the future. Ms Downs has an awesome CV that can only be achieved by somebody extremely highly regarded in her field of expertise, (wonderful thing is Google) and if such a thing as an ‘holistic’ approach to Finances exists, she has it.
We spoke to existing Clients who all echoed what we believed; the gut feelings we had when we first approached Ms Downs. We spent many hours in her offices in Surrey on a beautiful day in July, exploring options, desires and expectations. The weather was propitious! Our final decision as to the way we chose to proceed is irrelevant to anyone else; however, we obviously believe we made the right decision both for now and for the future, and would never have been able to reach that decision without her valued input.
We are now feeling positive about our retirement again, and with the help of Nicola have also been able to rearrange our financial commitments resulting in a massive improvement in our quality of life.
We now value Nicola as our Financial Investment Advisor totally and absolutely. The added bonus is we feel very fortunate that we have made a lasting friendship with a person of great personal integrity.
A valued client of Trentham Invest. Manchester
I am writing to formally thank you for taking over the administration of my pension scheme which, prior to your controls, was difficult to understand and manage. I congratulate you that your estimates both, financial and in timing of completion of the first part of the scheme, have been accurate. I look forward with confidence to the smooth, successful running of the ongoing aspects of my pension.
Richard J Evans, Evans Autos
Thanks to Nicola’s input, I now have a pension plan and structure that deals with most of my concerns. I now have the confidence that the funds are being tended by someone with experience and expertise and who will be proactive in reviewing my pension planning in the future.
Graeme Jones, Chasophie Ltd
Over the past couple of years since you have been helping and advising us, our financial affairs have been very much simplified and now also gives us a far better return than we had before. You always manage to explain what you are proposing in words that we can actually understand! For this we are most grateful and look forward to many more fruitful years from your advice.
Richard & Janet Punnett, The Visionary Company