Continuing our series of Adviser Diaries, giving a glimpse into the daily routine of our team members during lockdown, we meet Ian McKenzie, Associate Director, Wealth.
Ian specialises in investment, retirement planning and Inheritance Tax mitigation.
How are you finding lockdown so far?
I’ve adapted to it pretty well. Progeny IT department have been fantastic in setting all staff up remotely and providing all the technology to ensure I can still look after my clients.
So I have all the required tools to support my clients remotely, working from home. I miss the face-to-face contact with my clients and colleagues, but, like all of us now, I’m completely used to screen or phone-based advice.
What does your lockdown office look like?
I set myself up in my dining room. It’s like having my own personal office to work from! Importantly, it has a nice plain background for my Webex videoconference meetings.
Take us through your daily routine
I get up at 7.15am and always get a coffee to start the day. Then I look at my diary and the things I have to do in the day ahead.
I normally have one client review in the morning and one in the afternoon. I speak to clients on the phone throughout the day and deal with any incoming emails as they arise. I make a point, and always have, of making sure all emails are dealt with the day they are received.
Also, one of the great benefits of lockdown is that I get to have lunch with my family every day!
What are the biggest professional challenges you’ve faced during lockdown?
I’m sure many advisers would say that the downturn in markets has presented challenges, but I would turn this into a positive.
I’ve been proactive in contacting my clients and as a result I feel I really have never been so close to them all. I think they have really appreciated this, as well as the regular updates they have received from Progeny throughout.
What are your proudest achievements of the lockdown period?
I’ve actually lost 10 pounds in weight. I was eating far too much initially and that had to stop!
We’ve talked about what has changed in your role. What has stayed the same?
The commitment to providing a very good service to my clients. That will never change.
What have you learnt from working remotely and is there anything you’ll keep doing?
That it can make us feel much more relaxed. You’re able to get on with work and you don’t have any traffic issues in the morning or on the way home. As such, I also feel like I can get more done in a day working from home.
This is something I would like to continue once lockdown is over. I will target working from home at least one day a week. We’ve all proved that we can stay connected as a business, with teams and all staff getting together via Webex videoconferencing.
What are the positives we can take away from it?
There are plenty. That we have been able to still provide a great service to our clients. That we have adapted to this situation really well as a business. We have kept our staff safe. The technology has worked well.
The Progeny senior team have brought all staff together and I genuinely feel it has made us stronger. There could be a hybrid advice model going forward, where we blend the strengths of a people-focused approach with remote advice and technology. It gives the choice to clients.
What are you looking forward to doing most once lockdown is over?
Getting married in February next year. I’m also looking forward to meeting up with my clients and colleagues face to face. Could be quite emotional for everyone. I miss them.
Any final thoughts you’d like to add?
The forward planning and handling of this situation has been a credit to the Progeny senior team. I’d like to say a big thank you to our IT department who have been invaluable to the business. I hope we can all get back to normality in the months to come.
Stay safe and see you all on the other side!!!