Meet... Andy Smith
Posted on Nov 29, 2018
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Partner Andy Smith joined The Goodman Partnership 20 years ago.
“I had been working in training with an insurance company that I’d been with for a while. When news of a merger was announced, I enquired about taking redundancy,” says Andy. “I knew I wanted to move into an advisory role and I thought that this would give me some time to look for the right opportunity.”
That opportunity came in the shape of The Goodman Partnership.
“While I hadn’t met the partners, I had heard very good things about the firm,” says Andy. “I found out about the opportunity from a colleague who felt that I would like the firm’s culture and attitude, as it matched mine.”
Andy admits that the first few months were a steep learning curve.
“Having only considered products from just the one firm before, I now had a big world of products opened up to me but I enjoyed the challenge,” he says.
For a while Andy worked in a general role but in the early 2000s, the decision was made for the team to specialise.
“My natural bent was towards pensions and retirement planning, so it made sense for me to focus on that area, primarily working with clients at or near to retirement,” Andy explains.
He adds that meeting clients is the part of the role he enjoys the most.
“I really like sitting down with clients and having a proper conversation with them, working with them to devise a strategy for their retirement,” he says. “We look at their particular requirements, whether they need a guaranteed income and how risk adverse they are. I get to know them pretty well as I need to find out what makes them tick and how they want to spend their retirement – that might be travelling the world or simply pottering in the garden.”
Andy says that some people have been his clients for 20 years now.
“We really are trusted advisers and they rely on us, feeling they can ask all sorts of questions,” he continues. “We know our clients value the face to face contact we offer them as it’s a chance to explain things and reassure them. We’ve also been with them through some difficult times – perhaps their partner has died or they are facing a decision regarding moving into care.”
He adds that sometimes it’s a case of actually encouraging clients to enjoy their money a little.
“People can be naturally cautious if they’ve been used to an income for so many years and then it stops,” says Andy. “They worry about spending their retirement funds but I encourage them to take a balanced view and make a few memories if they can.”
Andy became a Partner at The Goodman Partnership in 2000. Today, in addition to his day to day role, as a member of the management team at the firm, he is the compliance officer with responsibility for areas including anti money laundering and data protection. He also handles all communications with the firm’s regulator.
Back at school Andy says that he always enjoyed maths and working with figures, so isn’t surprised that he ended up with a career in finance. His studies also covered computing and he was offered a role at an insurance company in the computing department. However, before joining that department, the firm encouraged new recruits to spend time in other areas, so they built an understanding of what the firm did.
“I ended up in pension admin and when my time came to move into the computing department, I asked if I could stay in pensions, as I was really happy there,” Andy remembers.
He spent a few years in that role before moving into sales and then training.
Andy says that The Goodman Partnership has built its reputation on its honesty.
“Our whole proposition is based on the service we give our clients,” he explains. “We know people value our honesty. We are not pushy and if we don’t feel that it’s the right time for any particular action, we will tell them – not try to sell them something which simply isn’t suitable.”
He adds that clients and potential clients are also impressed by the technical expertise within the firm.
“We always push the boundaries when it comes to our knowledge,” Andy says. “The exams all staff have passed here gives people confidence in our ability.”
In his spare time, Andy loves anything to do with sport. He plays golf regularly and enjoys watching both rugby and football. At home he likes to spend time in the garden and has a fairly productive vegetable patch. Over recent years, an increasing amount of time has been spent with his two young grandsons, which he really enjoys.