Practising What We Preach
Chancellor recently published its Vision Statement, which sets down our one Core Value, our Mission, who we help and what we pride ourselves on:-
This document will serve as a reference for the Chancellor team to ensure that we remain focused on what “makes us tick”. It is also now available to our current and future clients, as well as our long-standing professional connections. Whilst we do not expect to have to make major changes to the document, we will be reviewing it on a very regular basis, to ensure that we keep on our chosen track.
In a forthcoming regular series of articles, we will be focusing on one aspect of the Vision Statement each time to expand on what this means in practice whilst, at the same time, giving examples of how this has worked in the past.
This time we will be focusing on the bold statement that Chancellor advise “clients on a course of action that we would take ourselves, if the circumstances were the same”. So, how can we demonstrate this?
One area that we are actively involved in on a regular basis is that of “business protection”. In a nutshell, this includes key person policies that are designed to pay funds to the Company to guard financially against the death or disability of a key employee (who need not necessarily be a Director of the business, but someone whose skills are essential for the trade and profitability). We also actively advise on shareholder protection arrangements, which can enable the surviving Directors of a business to acquire the shareholding of a deceased colleague from their legal personal representatives. This would ensure that the deceased Directors’ family receive payment for their shareholding in a tax efficient way, and that the remaining shareholders gain full control of the Company. This would avoid a family member of the deceased needing to become involved in the business, and exercising some control, when they may have no business experience to bring to the Board table, or indeed any interest whatsoever in running a business.
When Chancellor was formed in 2006, the shares were held equally by our current Director, Grant Farnell alongside John Smallridge. A decision was taken to put in place the type of shareholder protection scheme that we recommend to our clients. When John sadly passed away suddenly in 2015, Grant was able to acquire John’s shareholding, which provided money to John’s family and allowed Chancellor to continue to expand with the minimum of disruption to the business.
This is not the only example of us practising what we preach. Our employee benefits division is headed by our Director, David Torkington, who advises our corporate clients on a range of employee benefit arrangements, which are designed to help recruit, reward and retain quality staff. Like our clients, Chancellor must offer our colleagues membership of a qualifying workplace pension scheme (QWPS), which is a legal requirement for most employers in the UK. Members of Chancellor’s team actively participate in this arrangement, which will be invaluable in them building up funds in a tax efficient way for their eventual retirement. Whilst there is no legal requirement to do so, Chancellor also provide their staff with membership of a Death-In-Service scheme, which is designed to pay out a lump sum to their families should they die whilst an employee of the business.
Even though Chancellor was a young business back in 2009, they also provided their team with membership of a long-term Income Continuance Scheme. These schemes are designed to pay a large proportion of an employee’s pre-disability income, if they are unable to work for a number of months (known as the deferred period), due to long term sickness or disability. Early one morning the Directors received a call from the partner of our internal Accountant, to explain that they were seriously ill and were unlikely to be returning to work for some considerable period – if at all. Fortunately, the scheme was in place by then and this scheme covered the bulk of their salary, allowing us to keep them on the payroll, but without the financial burden of having to pay two amounts of salary for the same role – one for our disabled employee and one for their (hopefully) temporary replacement. Thankfully, the scheme worked as it was supposed to do, and it allowed them to concentrate on their recovery – rather than focusing on money worries.
As well as the protection side of things, Chancellor’s Financial Planners personally make use of the various tax efficient allowances, such as making pension contributions and investments into Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs).
If you feel that the financial planning that works for us will also work for you, then don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and have a no obligation chat with one of our Chartered Financial Planners.