Reflecting on 2021 and the Added Value of 2plan blog post page header image

Reflecting on 2021 and the Added Value of 2plan

Chris Smallwood Published 05/01/2022

Reflecting on the events of 2021 remind us all how far we’ve come, and we should be proud of ourselves and our efforts over the last 12-months. Life continues to deal a tough hand, and for many of us there have been difficult challenges. At 2plan, we’re pleased to report that it’s been another strong year, although again there have been plenty of bumps in the road.

As we’ve embraced a more permanent change to working habits with many of the team continuing to work from home, we’ve also developed and enhanced our processes and technology to meet our needs in an agile way.

The end-of-year numbers are positive, with the retention and recruitment of advisers and firms reflecting our targets, alongside a solid organisational performance on turnover.

We continue to strive to make watertight compliance as easy as possible, and we’ve been working hard to streamline some of our existing tools and methods in order to do that. This has included rethinking our Suitability Letters to provide a clearer, more practical, and comprehensive version to deliver benefit to both the advisers and their clients.

In addition, as part of our mission to constantly review and refine what we do, we have carried on undertaking quarterly surveys with our members so that at any one time we have a grasp on what works and what needs to evolve to suit our ever-changing needs within the organisation and wider industry.

We’ve also been busy undertaking interviews with some advisers to get a deeper understanding of their individual situations, experiences, and levels of satisfaction with 2plan after several years working with us. Here are three advisers, all interviewed in December 2021, talking about their own journeys and how 2plan has added value to them.

Andy Marsh

Andy Marsh has worked in financial services his whole career and joined 2plan in 2015. Reflecting on why he joined at that time, he recalls being ‘very impressed’ by the technology in place and professional marketing materials - all of which he would have easy access to as a 2plan adviser.

Andy is one of very few Chartered Financial Planners, and in 2012 and having moved around a number of financial services firms including Standard Life, he decided to give up the 9-5 and set up on his own.

On his experience since, he confesses he loves the freedom of working for himself alongside the support and protection provided by 2plan, and even though he works hard, it’s the people who make it all worthwhile for Andy. As an added bonus he also enjoys the fact he can work flexible hours and take a day off when he wants to!

He remains an avid fan of 2plan. When asked about his top recommendations to anyone currently looking around he rates 2plan’s efficiency, being left alone to do your job, and the fact that his income is paid quickly as the biggest things for him.

Ian Galston

Ian Galston joined 2plan in 2014 after running a Directly Authorised business alongside his brother. For them, dealing with regulators started to become incredibly burdensome, so they decided to look around for a network they could work as part of to alleviate some of the burden.

They looked at a number of firms. Ian states that while 2plan were not the cheapest option, he and his brother were attracted by the robustness of the organisation and package. They knew early on that the priority for 2plan was to do the job properly above all else. This mattered hugely to Ian as after carrying the worry of ever-evolving regulation and compliance on their shoulders for some time, they ultimately wanted to be able to sleep at night! 2plan not only carries the bulk of regulation and compliance, but they will shoulder the burden should client complaints occur. This way of working with 2plan, and retaining autonomy but with protective oversight appealed greatly.

In addition, Ian spoke to several people at 2plan during the assessment phase and got a great feeling. In Ian’s words “It felt like the right people with a warm, family atmosphere and I felt we weren’t going to be just a number.”

Many years on, and Ian confirms working as part of 2plan has been everything he’d hoped for. He acknowledges that it took him time to get to grips with changing his way of working to the 2plan way, but once he did, things fell into place quickly and life became easier.

After 7 years he declares 2plan a good place to be and having been in a number of different places and worked through different networks, Ian maintains that 2plan is the easiest to deal with.

Andy Marsh

Mike Robinson joined 2plan in 2013 with his firm, Halcyon Wealth Management. Mike started his career in financial services straight from school in the 1970s when he joined Prudential and it’s the only industry he knows. 2plan appealed to him and his colleague, Terry, for two very clear main reasons.

  1. The approach to compliance - Mike was impressed that at 2plan compliance is done in such a fair way which puts clients first but with a huge amount of bubble wrap around the adviser.
  2. The approach to technology - Mike saw that technology was advanced for the time, even then. The completion of work became straightforward. He acknowledges that today 2plan remains ahead of other networks and offers fantastic support systems, which hit right at the right time for the pandemic. Mike also appreciates how advisers were consulted when 2plan were developing the central systems and tools.

Eight years on and one of the big additional advantages for Mike is that he is able to speak to people at the top of the 2plan company and things get heard and addressed. He specifically appreciates the fact that Chris Smallwood (CEO), James Marshall (Head Of Business Growth And Recruitment) and the wider head office team are all accessible and supportive.

Mike’s words of wisdom for other advisers considering joining 2plan are that they will never regret it, they will be personally and professionally supported, and that head office will find you the answers. He believes working with 2plan creates a world in which you feel supported, comfortable, don’t feel at risk, and can deliver the work that really matters to you.

For Mike today, the best part of his job is meeting client objectives and affecting people’s lives in the way they want. One client couple recently sold up and bought a dream lodge in Scotland. When catching up with said client post-move, something they said to him stuck - “We’ll never forget that living here is thanks to your advice”.

For Mike, this encapsulates everything he loves about what he does and for many advisers, this is exactly what it’s all about.

For more on 2plan and joining us, go to or call 0113 302 1360.

About The Author
Chris Smallwood

Chris co-founded 2plan Wealth Management in 2006 and over the last 17 years has sat at the forefront of one of the UK's most exciting wealth management companies. Chris is responsible for strategic development and growth of the business, leading the management team, and the overall profile and brand of the company.