Meet... Andy Kirk
Posted on Sep 04, 2018
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Andy Kirk is a Partner at The Goodman Partnership and joined the firm in January 2012.
“I was originally brought in by Keith Goodman to support one of our employee benefits clients with a pension project,” Andy explains. “It was a role which involved writing lots of reports and presenting to employees at our client, plus follow-up meetings. Looking back, it gave me some useful experience of dealing with people in my new role as an adviser.”
Today, Andy’s role is as an investment specialist and he advises clients – mainly at or approaching retirement – who are looking for wealth management as well as those who need advice on funding for care fees.
“This has given me a much broader and deeper responsibility for clients than when I first joined the firm,” says Andy. “After six years working with some of these clients, a real trust has built up and I’d say many have become friends. I’m a bit like their financial ‘doctor’, as I have to ask some pretty personal questions about their life and they have to be willing to share information with me.”
He adds: “Often one of my clients will read something online or in a paper over the weekend and phone me up saying ‘this might sound like a stupid question’. However, my attitude is that there’s no such thing as a ‘stupid question’. My colleagues and I are here as a sounding board for our clients.”
The Goodman Partnership’s focus on funding for care fees has developed over the past few years.
“It seemed like a natural add-on to what we offered already and helps us support our clients and their families on their life journeys,” Andy explains.
Andy was made a Partner of the firm in 2015 and he now has responsibility for marketing, the firm’s accounts and salaries, as well as managing the client services team.
“I must admit that it totally changed the way I think about work,” he says. “It turned from being a 9-5 job to my business. I became involved in the fabric of the firm and giving thought to things like whether we’ve got the working environment right for our team.”
When Andy left school, his school careers adviser suggested that he look at banking or retail – as he had studied for ‘A’ levels in Economics and Maths. In the event, he ‘fell into’ a role at Swiss Life in Sevenoaks.
“It was during a period of quite high unemployment in the UK, so I took the opportunity that was presented to me,” says Andy.
He then spent around 30 years in insurance and worked for both Prudential and Standard Life during that time.
“I got to know the team at The Goodman Partnership back in the early 1990s,” says Andy. “Now, I’m on the other side of the fence, talking to clients and seeing the results of the work we do. I think this is the part of my role I enjoy most – helping clients to ‘see the wood for the trees’ and to achieve their goals and ambitions through their retirement.”
Andy says that people are drawn to The Goodman Partnership because of strong solicitor and accountant contacts and personal recommendations. New clients and professional contacts are also impressed by the level of qualifications and accreditations both the firm as a whole and its team possess.
“Anyone advising the public on personal finance has to have a minimum level of qualifications but the four of us are well above that and are all Chartered. We are all willing to learn and invest in ourselves if it benefits our clients,” he says. “Over the years, many of us have also developed specialisms in the areas we enjoy working in.”
Andy is a Chartered Financial Planner and Associate of both the Personal Finance Society and the Chartered Insurance Institute, as well as being an accredited member of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). He was awarded the Later Life Adviser Accreditation in December 2013 and, in January 2016, was awarded the SOLLA Retirement Advice Standard. In addition, Andy is an Affiliate of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
He adds that clients are also impressed by the years of experience the team has.
“We’ve been in the town for over 25 years and this gives clients peace of mind,” says Andy. “We’re also a very settled team and we’ve built up a really good reputation among other professional advisers.”
Andy lives in Tunbridge Wells with his wife Steph and their two boys. He loves football and appreciating real ale and, according to The Goodman Partnership website, enjoys ‘gardening’. Andy though, says this should really just say ‘cutting the grass’.