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IN THE NEWS

BLACKSTONE

PLAN  |  INVEST  |  RELAX

 

Our investment process places huge emphasis on team work, not just for decision making, but also for implementation. Decisions are applied by the whole team across the full range of portfolios. To aid us in the process, we employ the services of an Independent Investment Specialist to be a member of the Blackstone Financial Management Ltd Investment Committee and provides an independent view on all aspects discussed during the investment process.

The Blackstone Financial Management Ltd Investment committee use a wealth of tools and expertise to ensure that the risk rated allocations remain commensurate with our client’s expectations, we also consider the investment market and provide us with comprehensive research allowing the Investment Committee to make informed decisions with the clients at the forefront of our decisions.

We believe that asset allocation is the key to long term consistent and above average performance. Fund selection is an important part of our process and we will not hesitate to sell a particular investment for reasons of under-performance.

BLACKSTONE | SERVICES

WEALTH MANAGEMENT

 

Investment

In a generation where people are living longer, and generous pension schemes have all but disappeared, investors are often seduced by the promise of easy returns. Instead of ‘spend less, save more’ attitude, people pile in at the top of each investment bubble hoping this time things will be different.

 

There’s no shortage of investment opportunities offering plenty of upside, and none of the downside – until you read the small print that is. Being human we’re influenced by recent experiences, so we invariably invest into markets close to the top, and then sell near the bottom. And this cycle is often repeated.

 

Through the financial planning we do for clients, we give them the clarity they need to decide exactly how they should invest their money. This helps to avoid the repetitive cycle of boom and bust investing. It also gives the confidence to ride the peaks and troughs of investment markets without panicking or over reacting.

 

Unlike the majority of the investment world – which looks more like advertising than advice – we don’t keep promoting the latest investment fads. Instead we rely on tried and tested academic research, alongside sustainable processes (so avoiding sentiment) to develop long lasting investment strategies for our clients.

Individual Finance Plannning

Financial Planning sits at the heart of everything we do for our clients. It’s the map that shows them how they get from where they are, to where they want to be.

 

Our clients come from all walks of life, with an array of complicated financial objectives and personal circumstances. The professional service that we provide serves as a clearly structured pathway which aims to meet your financial objectives.

 

What we will do for you:

 

  • We will arrange a meeting with you so that we can learn about your current financial situation and answer any preliminary questions you might have. Working closely with your other professional advisers when required, we will assist you in defining your needs and financial goals.
  • We will create a strategic financial plan which will show you how to achieve your stated objectives, utilising the various tax allowances and incentives available to you.
  • We will regularly review and monitor the progress of your portfolio in order to ensure that our recommended solutions are still appropriate as time goes on. We do this through actively managed, risk-adjusted portfolios, taking into account your changing financial planning requirements.
Retirement Options

Blackstone Financial Management are completely independent and committed to ensuring that our clients maximise their retirement income, taking into account factors such as level of inflation, spouse’s pension needs and health/medical conditions.

 

We will clearly explain the appropriate options available to you at retirement. Advice is individually tailored to each client’s specific needs.

Family Wealth

Every family hopes to pass their advantages to future generations. Not only the material and financial assets they’ve accumulated but also knowledge and experiences acquired along the way.

 

They want their wealth to inspire future generations to go forward into the world and achieve great things for themselves. Yet often there is a fear their wealth will lead to financial dependency and a loss of drive and initiative, often the qualities that generated the wealth in the first place.

 

We don’t want the beneficiaries of our wealth living unhappy and unfulfilled lives. There are too many stories in the press to know that this can be a real problem. We want to keep it in the family – but at what cost?

 

We work with families to help them understand their philosophy to long-term wealth preservation. We then help them develop the strategies and practices to help each generation understand their role and responsibilities with regard to family wealth.

 

How do we teach financial responsibility to the next generation? Who mentors whom? Which structures should be used; private family trusts, the family business? In a complicated world it helps to have an independent third party to act as a sounding board.

 

It’s a special role that requires knowledge and experience of psychology and coaching as well as understanding financial matters.

SPECIALIST SERVICES

 

Tax & Estate Planning

The UK has one of the most complex and opaque tax codes in the world – it costs more than £11billion just to operate it (that’s equivalent to nearly £180 for every man, woman and child – simply to collect it). Compared to your home or your pension, tax can easily be your biggest single cost. It’s taken from your earnings, your investments, and ultimately, your estate.

 

Over their lifetime (and even on their death) most people will pay significantly more tax than they need to. Even simple tax-saving actions are regularly ignored or done late.

 

Using allowances at the earliest opportunity each year would amount to a significant tax saving over time. But it’s complicated.

 

The UK tax system resembles a Heath Robinson creation. It’s been bashed, bodged and hammered by each successive government, trying to grab as much as they dare, often by stealth and apathy. There’s little wonder we end up paying more than we should. One of the benefits of on-going financial planning is that we help people use the tax system more efficiently.

 

Our clients for example are encouraged to transfer investments from taxed accounts into their Individual Savings Account (ISA) at the beginning of the tax year, avoid the usual end of tax year rush, and enjoying a whole year of tax efficiency. It’s a simple thing, but it works.

 

We consider how the pension rules can be used to save tax more effectively, particularly for people who earn enough to see their personal allowances cut.

 

We also work alongside our client’s solicitor and accountant to provide a cohesive approach to managing their wealth in a tax efficient way. And with your professional advisers working together, it allows you to relax and enjoy life more.

“Nothing is certain but death and taxes” 

 

The above phrase is attributed to Benjamin Franklin who was of course one of the founding fathers of the United States and a renowned polymath. Clearly a very wise man, this phrase has been aired on many occasions by tax planners and advisers.

 

When it comes to taxes such as Income tax, Capital Gains tax or Inheritance tax it makes sense to try and ensure that you are not paying more in tax than your fair share. The tax rules are complex and impact on every aspect of your personal financial plan as well as your business interests. Furthermore, the rules, reliefs and allowances are always potentially subject to change in the main spring Budget or the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement which means that it is sometimes difficult to keep pace with the current legislative structure.

 

Tax planning is the implementation of a financial strategy designed to make use of all the legitimate reliefs and allowances, to reduce your tax bill to the minimum level and ensure that these efficiencies complement your overall financial plan and objectives.

 

Blackstone Financial Management Ltd have assisted clients for many years, in conjunction with their other professional advisers, in the planning and execution of efficient tax strategies to augment the overall effectiveness of their financial plans and ensure that financial objectives are achieved. There are a number of specialist financial products that can assist hugely in the reduction of Income tax, Capital Gains tax and Inheritance tax.

 

Trust Planning

Trusts are very useful tools, but if not used correctly they can cause more harm than good. A poorly constructed trust could mean having to pay more tax than the trust saves.

 

Or you could even lose access to your funds, as could the beneficiaries! This is an area where expert advice from a specialist could be worth its weight in gold.

 

When employed correctly, the right trust can be a very powerful IHT mitigation vehicle. Discounted Gift Trusts for example can provide you with an income, and immediately reduce your IHT liabilities, plus all future investment growth falls outside of your estate for tax purposes.

 

Other types of trust we may utilise include gift and loan trusts, where you lend money to a trust that is gradually repaid and that also provides you with a form of income should you require it. Again, any investment growth in this kind of trust will not be subject to IHT.

 

In terms of trusts, the simplest solutions are often the best, which is why a straightforward gift trust is usually a key element in IHT planning.

 

It is vitally important that the trust is the correct type for your circumstances. Although some trusts are more ‘flexible’ than others, they could prove ineffective if the amounts gifted are above the allowances. Absolute trusts on the other hand, are more tax-efficient but less flexible. By carefully combining the two options, it’s possible to gift on a flexible and totally tax-efficient basis.

CORPORATE SERVICES

 

Auto Enrolment

From 2012 for the biggest companies and 2016 for all existing employers, it will become compulsory for employers to pay into a pension scheme for almost all their employees (those over the age of 22).

You can join the Government pension scheme (NEST) or choose your own pension scheme.

All employees must be entered into the pension scheme within 3 months of starting employment. Employees will automatically be enrolled into the scheme, but can opt out if they wish.

The level of employer contributions will start at 1% eventually rising to 3% of employees mid band earnings by 2017.

NEST Considerations

  • Using your own pension scheme allows you to outsource the admin responsibility
  • Using your own pension scheme allows reduced National Insurance costs through salary exchange – not available through the government scheme
  • If you have no existing pension scheme then you are obliged to implement the NEST Scheme which offers limited investment options, no transfers in or out of the scheme and a cap on total annual contributions

Blackstone Financial Management Ltd will be able to advise the start date specific to your company and undertake an audit to project your costs, secure an appropriate

Pension Provider and help you through the maze of legislation to ensure you implement your scheme on time and in line with the Pension Scheme Regulators requirements.

The earlier you start planning, the better chance of a remuneration strategy being in place to match your increased costs.

For more information on Auto Enrolment and its future implications, please contact us as we would be happy to help.

Employee Benefits

Whether it is Death In Service cover, Critical Illness protection, Private Medical insurance or a Flexible Benefits Package -Blackstone Financial Management Ltd can help you choose the type of scheme that will most benefit your employees and identify the most cost efficient providers of that cover.

By working closely with Employers we take away the administrative burdens that can be associated with group schemes. To ensure that you receive the very best attention an

individual administrator is assigned to each employer as a single point of contact. This means that he or she is familiar with your circumstances and in a position to help if needed.

We visit with the Companies we look after on a regular basis and conduct individual joining meetings with every employee who joins a company. We ensure that the new employee fully understands his/her options in and fully appreciates the value of it.

We will not simply send out joining packs and expect the new employee to read through endless literature and potentially make critical decisions based upon limited knowledge. Where your employees are spread through, the country we will arrange to visit every one either at home or their place of work in order to ensure that they understand the value of the benefits on offer.

Many Group benefits are reviewed annually. At the review date, we provide a full and concise overview of the costs of renewal together with market comparisons so that you can see clearly any alternatives available. This way you ensure that not only are costs kept to a minimum but also that your group benefits are just as valuable and efficient in future years as they were when first implemented.

In order to arrange or a visit or simply chat with a member of our team call us on 0161-482-8285.

PROFESSIONAL PARTNERS

 

Solicitors

Working with our clients’ legal advisers has always been a key part of our business here at Blackstone Financial Management Ltd. Whether it is something as simple as sending your local solicitor a list of your life assurance policies when you’re making a will – or working with the specialist estate planning department of one of the UK top 50 law firms – we have the expertise and the experience needed to guarantee that your financial planning exactly complements your legal adviser’s recommendations.

In the unfortunate event of a marriage break-up we have extensive experience in the areas of pensions and divorce and pensions sharing. We’ve been working alongside solicitors to pursue personal injury claims for many years. And our specialist investment department has produced consistently above-average returns on investments for trustees.

Accountants

If you own a business – or if your personal financial affairs are complex – then often your financial planning cannot be arranged without reference to your accountant.

Here at Blackstone Financial Management Ltd, we recognise and welcome that fact. We work with hundreds of business owners and high net-worth clients and working with their accountants has always been an integral part of our financial planning process. Whatever your accountant’s recommendations, our expertise and experience guarantees that your financial planning will complement them.

That’s why we have developed – and continue to develop – close working relationships with firms of accountants throughout the UK.

We have expertise across the whole range of corporate financial planning – from keyman insurance and shareholder protection to corporate pension schemes for both directors and employees. With the introduction of auto-enrolment in October, we’re now also working closely with accountants and their clients to make sure that their plans for auto-enrolment are both cost-effective and compliant.

At Blackstone Financial Management Ltd, we will work with you and your accountant – not only to help you grow your business, but also to make sure that you receive the maximum benefit from the eventual sale of the business.

Lifetime Financial Planning Service

This unique and very powerful planning tool places you and your family at the centre of our focus, your investments, pensions and assets are evidently a part of this but of equal importance is your financial objectives ensuring that you progress from where you are now to where you want to be and you enjoy the best life possible from the money that you have and earn. We regularly update and review your individual  “Lifetime Financial Plan” to make sure that you are on track.

Financial Planning In Retirement

Life can be unpredictable and none of us know what is round the corner, the “ What if” facility ensures that clients and their finances are fully prepared for the unexpected. This service can ensure that you have sufficient funds to enjoy retirement to the full, cover the cost of care and minimize your Inheritance Tax liability ensuring that your assets pass onto your family on death.

Financial Planning Pre Retirement

This simple but powerful service transforms the way our clients save, invest and enjoy the retirement they deserve at the age they want to stop work. This interactive planning tool assists our clients to clearly visualize their financial future , pay off their Mortgage, retire comfortably when they want to, fund their Children’s education, and instantly understand the key decisions and plan for life events in the future.

REQUEST A NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION

BLACKSTONE | MEET THE TEAM

About Chris

I have enjoyed a successful and diversified career spanning over 28 years in the Financial Services industry gaining invaluable experience during my employment with a National Stockbroker, Investment House, Corporate Pensions Specialist and Private Bank.

Over 15 years ago I set up Blackstone Financial Management Ltd to enable me to focus on High Net Worth clients mainly based in London, Manchester and Cheshire

We pride ourselves in offering a bespoke, holistic approach ensuring all clients achieve their financial objectives and independence in the timescales they require

Experience
  • Investments and Savings

    Get help generating a better return on your savings, with a full range of investment options which could include equities, funds, bonds and alternative investments.

  • Pensions

    Get help on making a plan for a comfortable retirement; whether it’s starting a pension or understanding how much you should be contributing to one.

  • Retirement income (annuities, drawdown)

    Get help understanding and evaluating annuities vs. drawdown, or discussing the other available retirement income options for you.

  • Pension Transfers – Non Specialist

    Get advice on transferring pensions where you do not need a specialist, for example a standard personal pension or one through your employer that is made up ONLY of regular contributions from you and your employer (this should not be a defined benefit pension)

  • Inheritance Planning

    Get help with planning your inheritance and understanding the tax implications of an inheritance you leave, or accessing an inheritance you have received.

  • Insurance and Protection

    Get help to understand the best level of life cover, critical illness cover and income protection for you.

Qualifications

I have over 30 years providing Independent Investment, Tax and Pensions advice to wide variety of clients and am Certified by both the Chartered Insurance institute and the financial Planning society and have been accredited with DipPFS and Cert CII(MP).

Fees

Chris’s fees will vary from client to client, based on each client’s individual needs. For an accurate estimate of any fees involved, please contact Chris to explain your circumstances and what you are looking for advice on.

To give you some general guidance, for Investment and Pension advice, advisers usually charge a percentage of any amount you invest or transfer through them. This amount would typically vary between 1% and 3% of the amount invested, depending on the amount.

Should you wish to receive regular advice from the adviser, there may be an additional annual charge, usually between 0.5% and 1% p.a. Some advisers will instead offer to work for either an hourly fee or a fixed fee, or some combination of the above. Any charges would be agreed with you upfront and only applied with your explicit consent. The payments would typically be deducted from your investment or pension pot.

Since 2012, it has been prohibited for advisers to receive commissions from any investment or pension companies when recommending their products or funds – they are paid only by you, the client.

e:  chris.brennan@blackstonefm.com
m: 07795 576059

Anthony Ward

DipPFS | Director, Blackstone IFA (Midlands) Ltd (Appointed Representative)

Anthony has gathered 26 years experience in the Financial Services industry and has concentrated his career advising clients on individual financial matters.

Financial VoucherFor
About Antony

Anthony has gathered 26 years experience in the Financial Services industry and has concentrated his career advising clients on individual financial matters.

Experience
  • Investments and Savings

    Get help generating a better return on your savings, with a full range of investment options which could include equities, funds, bonds and alternative investments.

  • Pensions

    Get help on making a plan for a comfortable retirement; whether it’s starting a pension or understanding how much you should be contributing to one.

  • Retirement income (annuities, drawdown)

    Get help understanding and evaluating annuities vs. drawdown, or discussing the other available retirement income options for you.

  • Inheritance Planning

    Get help with planning your inheritance and understanding the tax implications of an inheritance you leave, or accessing an inheritance you have received.

  • Insurance and Protection

    Get help to understand the best level of life cover, critical illness cover and income protection for you.

  • Auto Enrolment

    Get help with setting up auto enrolment as an employer, or understand any auto enrolment scheme you are signed up to as an employee.

Qualifications

I worked for Save and Prosper as well as GRE before becoming an IFA which then led to me to create my own business called Blackstone IFA Ltd with my business partner Chris Brennan.

Throughout my professional career I have gained extensive and varied experience, advising both businesses and their owners but also individuals and help them plan their financial future. My approach to this is to try and get them to understand ‘what their number is’.

Fees

Anthony’s fees will vary from client to client, based on each client’s individual needs. For an accurate estimate of any fees involved, please contact Anthony to explain your circumstances and what you are looking for advice on.

To give you some general guidance, for Investment and Pension advice, advisers usually charge a percentage of any amount you invest or transfer through them. This amount would typically vary between 1% and 3% of the amount invested, depending on the amount. Should you wish to receive regular advice from the adviser, there may be an additional annual charge, usually between 0.5% and 1% p.a. Some advisers will instead offer to work for either an hourly fee or a fixed fee, or some combination of the above. Any charges would be agreed with you upfront and only applied with your explicit consent. The payments would typically be deducted from your investment or pension pot.

Since 2012, it has been prohibited for advisers to receive commissions from any investment or pension companies when recommending their products or funds – they are paid only by you, the client

e:  anthony.ward@blackstonefm.com
m: 07776 196873

Leon Nesbitt

DipPFS | Director, Bluerock Wealth Management Ltd (Appointed Representative)

Leon founded Bluerock in 2012. He provides tailored, professional wealth management services, specializing in investment advice and tax planning.

He has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry.

e:  leon.nesbitt@blackstonefm.com
m: 07887 928005

Joe Dervin

DipPFS CeMap | Director, Joseph Dervin Ltd (Appointed Representative)

Joe has specialised as an independent financial adviser in serving the medical and dental professions and that of other high net worth professionals.

Kerry Vilchez
Senior Paraplanner for Christopher Brennan & Financial Planner/Dip PFS

Kerry has 20 years’ experience in financial services and has held a role in Paraplanning since 2006.

 

Kerry holds the Financial Planning Diploma, has attained the Advanced Personal Tax & Trust qualification and is currently working towards achieving the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.

Mark Perraton
Technical Analyst/IFA

Mark began his career in financial services in 1987 after graduating from University College London with a BSc in Microbiology.

 

Mark has been involved in report writing and technical support roles, although he does have a number of his own clients. He joined Blackstone Financial Management in April 2020 as a Technical Analyst/IFA, mainly involved in supporting Anthony Ward with his clients in the West Midlands

Sara Cantor
Office Manager / Paraplanner

Sara has been with the company since 2008 & has worked in the industry for over 20 years, garnishing experience across a wide range of roles.

 

Sara is responsible for the day to day office management whilst also providing paraplanning support to the registered individuals at the firm. Sara is working towards completing her Level 4 qualification in Financial Planning.

Claire Butterworth
Senior Administrator

Claire joined us in January 2017 and has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years, and provides office based support to our advisers.

Max McGreal
Junior Administrator

Max started with the company in January 2020 as a junior administrator and is being trained in house. He is currently assisting Claire with admin and provides support for both the paraplanners and advisers. Max is keen to learn and progress through his exams.

Harvey Brennan
Digital Marketer/Content Creator

Harvey became a part of our team in August 2020. He manages and controls all our online presence, creates graphics and content for our social media channels whilst keeping them active. The company website is kept up to date and maintained by him.

Contact Us

Please do not hesitate to get in contact with us and request a no-obligation consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Our offices

HEAD OFFICE

Blenheim House
Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire
SK8 7AB

Contact

t: 0161 482 8285
f: 0870 7625901
enquiries@blackstonefm.com

MIDLANDS OFFICE

Arden Cottage
Old Warwick Road, Warwickshire
CV35 7AD

Contact

t: 01564 782 483
f: 0870 762 5901
enquiries@blackstonefm.com