Jenny Moloney reveals to IIBN that Challoner Wealth Management Ltd is a Partner Practice of St James’s Place Wealth Management Ltd. We work with business-owners and entrepreneurs to help protect their business and build a financial future of their choice. It’s really exciting to work with founders from the scaling up stage through to planning for their business exit. With some simple steps, a strategy can be put in place to help reward them for all their hard work down the line. It can also be lonely being The Boss, and many appreciate an independent sounding-board to discuss financial matters or simply a realistic exit-plan.

You can visit the Challoner Wealth Management website here

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

To build a trusted and collaborative relationship with the people I work with. Once we have that in place, my priority is to understand what success looks like to them in 5, 10 year and beyond and put in place a strategy accordingly. It’s not unusual for a business-owner to focus so much on their business they take their eye off building their own financial security.

What are your biggest challenges?

The ever-changing compliance landscape. It is in place to protect my clients as well as me. But as with any self-owned business, the job of monitoring, adopting and being compliant with new rules and regulations falls mainly on me. Of particular concern since we have all been working from home is Cyber Security and the increased threat of online crime.

How has your business strategy been adapted in the context of the Covid-19 crisis?

My team and I were already set up to work from home efficiently, so the transition was fairly seamless. My main concern was whether my clients would be as adaptable – but I have found almost all have jumped into virtual meetings well. The new normal for face-to-face client meetings  means accepting what would have been considered odd a year ago. Only last week I met a client on the stony bank of the River Thames at low tide for a walk and a talk.

Tell us something interesting about the business.

My youngest client is in her 20s and is really focussed on saving for her retirement. My oldest client is age 99 who manages his own shares portfolio and checks the markets daily. Every client is unique and has their own story.

Tell us the about the biggest risk you have taken in business. 

Probably taking on debt to purchase the business of someone retiring. It is a great way to refresh and recharge client relationships. However, you need to have a strong team to manage the transition and settle clients into a new way of managing them without the history built up over many years.  Client retention is very important and we put a lot of effort into ensuring they are receiving an excellent level of service.

Tell us about the worst day you’ve had since you started in business. 

Last March when it became clear that COVID-19 was fast approaching the UK, the FTSE fell 30% and my phone did not stop ringing for days with calls from clients concerned about what was happening to their investments. But my role is to reassure and remain calm in situations of great pressure. At that point it would have been easy to panic, or just stay in bed all day! But in the bad times, you have to look at the tide and not just the waves.

How can IIBN members help your business?

I’d love to work with anyone considering exiting their business in the next 3-5 years, or at the point of sale. It is almost never too late to put in a place a strategy to remove money tax-efficiently from a business and gain the benefits of planning for your future post-sale.

In addition, I am looking for strategic alliances with anyone that works with businesses and entrepreneurs. My speciality is not getting the business ready for sale; rather working with the Directors to plan what to do with cash reserves leading up to sale and beyond.

How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already? 

I have had calls from clients who have moved back to Ireland about whether they will be able to access their UK bank accounts – or even if they will be closed. With doubts remaining about the shape of a trade deal between the EU and the UK as we near the end of the transition period, it remains a very serious concern for them.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?

Have the confidence to say no; it’s not possible to do everything. Also, Seth Godin mandates offloading 20% of your clients who create 70% of your problems without appreciating what you do. It takes some confidence to do that, but the idea is it benefits the clients you keep and allows you breathing space to build your own business in the best way possible.

What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2020/21?

Throughout the lockdown, the M&A market has remained vibrant and a number of business owners have been using it as an opportunity to exit from their business, or put an exit strategy in place in a positive way. That’s where I see more opportunities in 2021.