Tell us about yourself and your organisation.
I have Russian heritage and originally came to the UK at the age of 9. Having completed my education in a school in Bath, I went on to study Accounting and Finance at the University of Leeds. My love for languages and travel sent me to the Netherlands, where I spent the next few years working in asset management and travelling the world, whenever I could get the time off.
I returned to London to develop my career further, my passion has always been managing investments and financial strategy, and after several years in the finance sector in London, I decided to set up on my own. I joined St. James’s Place Wealth Management because it allowed me to run my own business in a supportive environment and with a market leading brand and reputation in financial planning and investment management. I am passionate about helping people to make the right choices for them when it comes to financial and legacy planning. I love the diversity of my job and the people I get to meet and help on a daily basis. One of the areas I specialise in is working with foreign nationals residing in the UK, which is a niche area that I am keen to develop further.
The support of the St. James’s Place Partnership has been incredible and enables me to offer my clients a truly bespoke service and creative market leading financial planning solutions.
What is wealth management?
Wealth management is about taking care of all your financial needs together with those of your family. The reality is that very few of us manage our finances in the best way we can, which is not surprising given the multitude of choices available and the ever-changing financial environment and tax legislation. To achieve the best possible outcome, you need to spend many hours (if not months) researching your options and choices. Time is precious to working families and people running their own businesses, so having the support of an expert who they trust and can rely on can really make the difference for them.
At the core of wealth management is a personal service and a long-term relationship, helping the client and their family to achieve their financial life-time and legacy goals. It’s about looking at the bigger picture, creating a bespoke plan, implementing it and then regularly reviewing it to ensure that the results still meet your initial or sometimes changing objectives and goals.
- What are the minimum provisions for tax-efficient financial planning?
Tax planning is an important aspect of financial planning. I would reinforce that every person and their situation is unique and we are all exposed to tax in different ways. Some may be non- or basic rate tax payers exposed to no or low tax rates, others may be exposed to the additional rate of tax, which currently stands at 45% on income. For some, capital gains tax liability is more relevant due to a sale of certain assets (such as an investment property), or perhaps your family’s exposure to Inheritance Tax is weighing heavily on your mind.
Whatever the scenario – there is no one solution fits all, which is why an advised process, such as that offered by St. James’s Place advisers is so important. In my experience, the best approach is to understand the client’s circumstances, financial position and goals, in the context of their current tax exposure. It is also important to review and understand which reliefs, exemptions and allowances each person is entitled to and how (or if) they are using them effectively. Only after this analysis is complete, we can begin to look at more active strategies to achieve a reduction in tax liabilities for the individual and their family.
- How do you think Brexit will impact wealth management?
Brexit has been dominating the headlines in the UK for some time, now we are in the delay stage once again meaning further uncertainty for UK businesses and investors. The new leadership may change UK legislation dramatically and it is difficult for anyone to comment on what the impact will be at this stage but monitoring the situation continually is essential for effective financial planning.
One thing is for certain, having an expert on your side, who can keep you informed with latest economic information and any changes in tax legislation, can really make a difference.
- What advice would you provide to freelancers and self-employed contractors?
Working for yourself has many advantages, including flexibility, job satisfaction and being in control of your own destiny. It’s no surprise so many people leave full-time employment and set up on their own.
However, many don’t appreciate all the risks associated with becoming self-employed. We all know about the potential unpredictability of cash flow and that being your own boss means that you often cannot afford to take time off when you’re ill or for holidays, so it is important to put measures in place to protect yourself in the event of not being able to work for prolonged periods of time. I would always recommend that self-employed people review their critical illness and life insurance provisions. Arranging life cover through your business (rather than as an individual) can save you up to 49% on the cost of your premiums.
As a company director you should also review how you draw income from your company and look to optimise your tax position that way. Getting the right blend of salary, dividends and bonus payments is the first step, however, it is also worth exploring other tax efficient options such managing pension contributions from your business for your own benefit. Pension contributions are treated as a business expense and can therefore be offset against Corporation Tax. This in turn helps to reduce profits and the tax exposure of your company, ultimately protecting your own earnings. Pension contributions also avoid NIC’s (National Insurance Contributions) further increasing your savings.
The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.
The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time and are dependent on individual circumstances.
The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The title ‘Partner Practice’ is the marketing term used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.