Steve Young has spent over 30 years working in financial services. He has an in-depth knowledge of regulatory requirements, broad commercial experience and has spent many years in senior roles responsible for sales, marketing and business development.

Having spent over 9 years on the Board of Sesame and having led the acquisition of Bankhall, Stephen brings with him a wealth of relevant knowledge and experience. He has a deep understanding of lending, savings and investment products from both a manufacturer and intermediary perspective. He is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, has completed the Columbia University Leadership Programme and Cranfield University Strategic Marketing Programme.

Steve lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. In his spare time, Steve loves to watch cricket and remains a die-hard Derby County supporter.

We need some new kids on the block

Over the past few months I’ve been thinking about the future; not mine I hasten to add, but that of our profession. It’s clear we need the next generation to come through, yet I’m concerned it’s not happening as fast as it should. Worse, there are some signs its actually getting harder to forge a...

Vertical integration; the myth is finally being exposed

If there’s one thing guaranteed to get me on my soap box, it’s the prevalence of vertical integration in financial services. There’s no doubt that it is polarising the profession and, in my view, skewing client outcomes. I am therefore delighted that the FCA is proposing action on the subject. The RDR ‘loophole’ Let’s cast...

Adviser fees, turnover and type of advice: How do you compare?

I’ve been studying the FCA’s latest data bulletin which focused on the retail intermediary sector; the spotlight it shines on our profession is fascinating. I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t on the top of your reading list, but I can highly recommend it. Some of the statistics it reveals are hugely useful, allowing you...

Cold calling, is there really any reason not to ban it?

Financial scams are a cancer eating away at our profession, undermining credibility, whilst costing investors and advisers millions of pounds each year. I’m therefore delighted to see a group of advisers standing up and trying to make a difference. But they need your help. Free pension reviews Most scams start with a cold call offering...

Is independent advice heading towards extinction?

Last year, I had the great fortune to visit New Zealand and to spend six weeks travelling around the North and South Islands. The natural beauty of New Zealand well deserves the superlatives that have been accorded to places like Milford Sound, Queenstown and the brooding presence of Mount Ruapehu (Mount Doom from The Lord...

Reducing cost, improving service, building long term value; one solution to achieve all three

Last month, I wrote about the importance of advisory firms working efficiently to help reduce fees charged to clients and improve profitability. There are many ways firms can reduce cost and find efficiencies. At least one such option will accomplish this, whilst enhancing the service offered to clients. Sceptical? You’re probably right to be. I...

Restricted advice – does it ever benefit the client?

Over the past weeks my thoughts have returned to the independent v restricted debate. I’m not alone either, it currently seems to be a favourite topic for a number of “thought leaders” in the advice profession.

I must confess to being conflicted by the whole debate. On the one hand, I do understand that RDR has profoundly altered the availability of advice. And, if restricted, simplified or ‘Robo’ advice can help people to build wealth and security in their lives, this must be a positive thing.

Adviser charging, the good, the bad and the ugly

Over the past few weeks a number of conversations have led me to consider how advisers charge for their services.

The majority of those conversations have been hugely positive, with advisers determined to build a profitable and sustainable business, built on the foundations of value for money and high quality on-going service.

However, a small number of the conversations are potentially extremely worrying, so in reverse order…

Advice Wars – Return of Commission?

Is it really credible that the Advice Review will re-introduce commission?

The RDR, as predicted, has produced an advice gap and in the wake of the Government’s flagship pension reforms, there now appears to be a rush to increase the supply of advice simply to save red faces in the Treasury.

Is this good news or not?

Robo Advice: The emperor’s new clothes?

The hot topic of the year has to be ‘Robo Advice’, hardly a day goes by without a new launch and I’ve rarely seen a topic which has so polarised opinion.

I’m all for propositions which efficiently deliver high quality advice to victims of the ‘advice gap’. Having said that, I have my doubts whether some of the recent ‘robo’ launches will ever gain the critical mass needed to become profitable. Indeed, a report earlier this month showed that the cost of a ‘Robo Adviser’ acquiring a customer could be as high as £200; that’s a lot of money when the margins are wafer thin.