Wembley showdown for finance expert

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Robert Little

Financial planner Robert Little is looking forward to a Wembley appearance after being shortlisted for one of the industry’s most prestigious awards.

Robert Little, managing director of Redcar firm Bob Little and Co, is one of three experts who will vie for the title of Personal Finance Society Investment Advice Specialist 2016 at a gala awards black tie dinner at the home of football on Thursday November 24.

Robert, 28, says it’s an immense privilege to receive recognition from the PFS, which is the professional body for financial planners and sets examinations for the industry.

“Being awarded Chartered status by the Chartered Insurance Institute two years ago was very important for the firm because that’s the gold standard among advisers,” he said.

“To also add the words ‘award-winning’ before our name would be another great honour. It’s one thing us saying we believe we do a good job for our clients but Chartered status and awards such as this provide invaluable third-party verification.

“Getting this far wasn’t easy because there was a two-stage selection process and my final submission was 11,000 words long. I’m delighted to be have been shortlisted and I feel quite confident. I know the competition will be extremely stiff but I just hope my answers are better than the others’!

“Entrants were asked questions about pensions and inheritance tax, showing we have to be all-rounders and not just good at one part of the job.

“We’re not just investment specialists, we focus on all areas of financial planning, including tax and retirement.”

Bob Little & Co was founded by Robert’s father, Bob, in 1985. Robert took charge of the business after Bob died from cancer in 2011.

He was one of Britain’s youngest Chartered Financial Planners and includes a First Class degree in Financial Economics among his long list of qualifications. The firm, which employs ten staff and has its headquarters at Kirkleatham Business Park, has enjoyed a busy year.

“We’ve all seen a huge increase in the number of pension enquiries due to changing pension legislation over recent years,” he said. “Some people want to know whether their existing pensions are in the right place, while others want to set up retirement savings plans.

“We’ve also had lots of enquiries asking how the cut in the interest base rate would impact on clients’ mortgages, investments and savings.”

The awards night will begin with a drinks reception at Wembley’s Bobby Moore Suite before the main event hosted by comedian Rory Bremner in the Great Hall.

The Investment Advice Specialist Award is open to all practising financial planners who are Financial Conduct Authority authorised to provide investment advice and are full members of the Personal Finance Society.


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