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A warm welcome and a fond farewell

02/01/2017 … Author:

As Lowes Consultant Gary Summers retires and Chris Large steps into his role, we talk to both about being Independent Financial Advisers

After 20 years’ serving clients, Consultant Gary Summers has decided to take well-earned retirement. “A decision I’ve been helping Lowes clients to make for many years,” Gary says with a smile.

When Gary joined Lowes in August 1996, he had been in the profession for 13 years already, working for different providers. It was his desire to become an Independent Financial Adviser, rather than an agent tied to one company, that saw him begin his career with Lowes.

“One of the things that struck me most when I joined from a large insurer was how like a family Lowes was – as many of the people had been with the firm for many years, which says a lot.

“It had a really good feel to it. Being independent made a big difference as well, as I was able to offer clients so much more.”

This resonates with Chris Large too. He began working in financial services straight from A-Levels in 1990, preferring, he says, to gain degree-level qualifications as part of his career progression – and he has been adding to his qualifications ever since. He too spent his first years working for providers before becoming a financial adviser in a private bank and then for a financial network, where he became Head of Client Services. Eventually Chris became a self-employed financial adviser, before a good friend down from Newcastle suggested a catch-up and that he bring two industry colleagues along with him. They turned out to be Lowes’ directors Ian Lowes and Neil Mclachlan.

“We got talking and immediately hit it off,” Chris says, “Shortly thereafter I received a phone call asking if I would be interested in a more formal interview for the role of Consultant.

“Lowes has the outlook and ethos that are important to me as an Independent Financial Adviser so for me it was too good an opportunity to miss.”

Chris joined on 1st November 2016 and spent the first two months shadowing Gary, meeting with clients and learning how Lowes works.

“We’re working hard to make it as smooth a handover for clients as possible and I’m pleased that Alex, Gary’s son, will be my assistant as he was Gary’s, providing continuity and consistency and that first point of contact for clients.

“My 2017 year planner is already almost full and I am looking forward to meeting all my clients and building on the relationship they have had with Gary, helping them and their families with their financial planning in the years ahead.”

The question for Gary, of course, is what is he going to do with his retirement?

“I’d like to travel to some of the places that I’ve not been to as yet – Australia, China and South America,” he says. “Also, having spent my 20s as part of a rock band, I’ve continued playing in a band – the Loudshirts – on Friday and Saturday nights, so I’d like to step that up. Other than that I have five grandchildren who I’m sure will keep me very busy.

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