Tony Larkins

MONEY with

BEACON WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD

September 2016

Being self-sufficient and determined started early on for me. I was a sixer at Cubs, had 2 paper rounds, a leaflet distribution round and enough energy left over to be a keen athlete. By the time I was 10 I broke the district record for 800m in 02:28:01. Running was my passion and I trained most days and broke several records, it’s funny to think that most of my school records still stand over 40 years later. School results had not been great, I had no GCSEs and only 1 CSE grade which was in Archaeology.   

When I was 16 I left school on a Friday and started working the very following Monday as a post filing clerk. After 2 months as a “post boy”, I was promoted into customer services and in the September started a day release course at the local college, apparently the first employee ever to do so. 

A year later, I had gained a certificate in Basic Office Studies and was on my way to completing  a ONC Qualification in Mathematics; I was also promoted into the accounts department. 3 ½ years later, I had worked my way up to be the Accountant’s Assistant. I was now studying 3 nights a week for the professional accountancy exams.

A week before my 21st birthday, I joined another company as an  Assistant Accountant and Supervisor of both the accounts and computer department. Five years after that, I left the company as a fully-fledged accountant before moving into a Group Accountant position with responsibility for 5 companies. 

This was a great challenge and after a couple more years, I left to become an Accountant at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Unfortunately in hindsight, this move turned out to be a mistake.
I became bored as an accountant and looked for something else that involved “numbers”.

My search came to an end when I attended a recruitment conference by a Life Insurance Company. In 1991, I joined Windsor Life as a salesman. Having never sold anything before I took a different stance to all my other self-employed colleagues. In my mind, I didn’t sell, I gave advice and if they thought I was right, they would buy. Many people would argue it’s the same thing, but I felt it was different. 

 

To give up a secure salary and career was a gamble. At this point, I was 30, had been married for 7 ½ years and had 2 children as well as what was then, a big mortgage. In my first 3 months, I earned just £736 in total from 2 clients and had spent the last of our money on a car. My third client earned me £2000 and qualified me to attend the Annual Sales Conference. My wife and I looked on in wonder as the top Salesmen/ Advisors received accolades, gifts and applause. I was 30 and nearly everyone was between 50-70, I felt I could do better given my unique approach and energy. Sure enough, the following year I was no: 4 in the company and it just got better from there, eventually leaving in 2001 as the top advisor.

I had found my next big challenge. I became one of the founding partners of the Lighthouse Group, forming a partnership with another advisor who shared my enthusiasm. We endured a couple of difficult years before everything fell into place. 

However, in 2006 my business partner was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Fortunately, it was caught early but it meant he was off for over a year. 

He returned in 2008 and it was at this point that I offered to buy him out and he left a short while later. This gave me full control and responsibility but also extra pressure to make it the success it is today.

 

I started to gather a great team around me; I redesigned the practice and founded Beacon Wealth Management (BWM) in 2010, the same year as winning the Hunts Post Businessman of the Year. The new vision was clear and the team evolved to produce a few  like-minded individuals that now make up the management team of BWM. 

By this time, I had taken most of the professional exams and was one of the highest qualified financial advisors in the UK. BWM was also the first chartered Finance Planning Practice in Cambridgeshire and one of the first in the UK. My daughter has also joined me to run the Marketing division. Further awards followed via the Hunts Post, the Chamber Of Commerce and FSB, and we have won Citywires Best Financial Advisors in East of England 2013 and 2015 with runner up in 2014.

Each award gave the team confidence. We grew in numbers and moved to new premises; I bought and converted an old Chapel into new offices, which provides a great environment with lots of parking. 

After years of profitable turnover and managing well in excess of a £100 million pounds of funds, I am now almost “examed out”. My titles are: Chartered Financial Planner, Charted Investment Manager, Certified Fund Planner, Charted Fellow of Management Institute, a qualified Life Coach and a Pensions Specialist.

Having designed the offices to include space for an in-house solicitor, the opportunity arose 

to buy Jeffery Mills Solicitors (JMS) and their offices in St Neots, St Ives and Sawtry. The acquisition brought new and exciting changes and in the first 18 months, I brought in improvements that we hope the clients can see.

Under the guidance of the Practising Director, Linda Eaton we are now looking to recruit and expand further. Our search for new talented solicitors and the continued growth of BWM means a very positive and healthy future for the Beacon Wealth Group.  
 

In Summary:
Q: So who am I?
A:
Someone who grew up in a council house and left school with no GCSE’s but a determination to be the best I could be.

Q: Why have I chosen this path?
A:
Because I like to benefit from my own efforts whilst helping others for a good reward.

Q: What has been achieved?
A:
I’ve achieved financial security, a company that is a pleasant working environment and a culture of great service.

Q: When did you realise you had something that worked?
A:
When more people became clients through my style of advice rather than the sales patter others used. 

Q: Where will you end up?
A:
About twice the size it is now in terms of terrain and with 3 times the profit, but for no extra effort and only a few extra staff.


Q: How have you done it?
A:
I had a clear vision, a detailed plan, control of finances and above all,  I built a great team I trust.


Q: What next?
A:
We have just brought 3 Alpacas which we hope to add further to and I recently acquired the title of “Lord of the Manor” for Buckden Britons and Hail Weston. 

 

Further Details:
Should you require financial assistance for pensions, savings, investments, mortgages, protection, long term care, employee benefits... contact the team at Beacon Wealth Management Ltd. 


Website: www.beconwealth.co.uk
 

Email: info@beaconwealth.co.uk
 

Tel: 01480 869466
 

Facebook: /BeaconWealthManagement
 

Twitter: /BeaconWealthIFA