Business & Economy
Lycetts focused on maintaining the momentum
November 10, 2023
Having switched headquarters from Newcastle’s Milburn House to the city’s new Bank House development over the summer, independent financial adviser Lycetts is matching the momentum of its move with fresh impetus across its financial services division. Here, Steven Hugill speaks to Chris Booth, the firm’s head of financial services, to find out more.
When you’re based halfway up a newly-erected, glass encased office block looming large over the Tyne Bridge, it’s difficult to remain inconspicuous.
That, though, is the point.
For more than six decades, insurance broker and independent financial adviser Lycetts operated unobtrusively amid the ornate, maritime-themed corridors of Newcastle’s Edwardian Milburn House.
But having set sail for the nearby Bank House development over the summer, the firm has cast aside its discreet nature.
With its new headquarters come co-ordinates set for growth, not least the expansion of its financial services division, which is headed by Chris Booth and delivers specialist advice across areas including investments, life assurance and protection, and pension and inheritance tax planning.
“We were previously a little bit like a best kept secret,” says Chris.
“With the new office, though, with its modern spaces and place within Newcastle city centre’s regeneration, that is no longer the case.”
And with the veil of secrecy lifted, word is spreading at pace, both inside and outside its fifth-floor base.
Chris says: “We are on the acquisition trail and are heavily recruiting for members of staff.
“We have 16 offices across the country, and we’re keen to use Bank House as a catalyst to increase our financial services provision across the UK.”
However, while the exposure and volume grows, one element of Lycetts will stay constant.
Right from its 1961 founding as Wright Deen Lycett, the business has prided itself on the highest standards of client service.
And though its name has evolved and its geographical footprint has now shifted, Chris says the firm’s commitment to clients will remain forever fixed, with its team of specialists continuing to deliver advice that complements individuals’ unique circumstances with changing market currents.
He says: “We help people protect their futures from a fully independent position.
“Dealing only with regulated products, we look at the full marketplace to assess what suits each and every client.
“Furthermore, we are highly trusted, thriving on word of mouth for more than 60 years,” says Chris, revealing 80 per cent of the firm’s business comes from referrals.
He adds: “And having operated for such a long time, we have built a wealth and breadth of clientele, from professionals to estate and landowners, farmers, business owners and private individuals.
“That demographic, allied to our industry connections, really sets us apart.
“The way we break through legislation and literature, so the process of financial planning is as understandable and relatable for clients as possible, is also a major differentiating factor,” adds Chris of Lycetts, which recorded 50 in its latest Net Promoter Score and secured 100 per cent satisfaction levels across service and key service metrics in separate surveys.
And in an ever-fluctuating financial world, where interest and inflation rate spikes, and potential Government interventions to inheritance tax and the pension lifetime allowance continue to create uncertainty, such support is invaluable.
Chris says: “Clients have lived through a torrid time of market volatility since the 2008 banking crash.
“Because of that, they are continuing to become ever more sophisticated, with a bigger play on generational planning – more than there has ever been – taking place in the market.
“People are becoming more au fait with movements, and because of that are more prone to staying within the investment world, rather than going into cash and withdrawing all of their money.
“They have seen the peaks and troughs, and they see value in long-term investing – and we are here to help them take that long-term approach.”
But, says Chris, the most recent temperamental period, within which interest rates on some savings products have been resuscitated after months of flatlining, has ignited fresh flux.
Which is where Lycetts’ advice is vital.
He says: “Some people may have diversified or looked into it – because interest rates, having been so low for so long, have changed.
“Against such a backdrop, in a constantly evolving situation, there has never been a better time to get professional financial advice.
“And if you haven’t yet spoken to our team, now is the best time to do so.”