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Career Spotlight – Rich Ellis

What is your name?

Richard Ellis

What is your occupation?

Business Owner & Financial Planner

Where do you live?


When did you start your career in finance? How did you get into it?

I finished A levels in 1998. I originally wanted to be a firefighter like my uncle but a combination of being encouraged to follow an academic career by my parents and being told I wouldn’t pass the assessment on account of my poor eyesight. I chose to try and get into Finance but had no idea what that entailed! I got a job at Royal & Sun Alliance dealing with financial advisers, arranging quotations and product literature. Here I started my CII exams with FP1 and FP2. I left RSA in 2001 to spend 6 months travelling/living/working in Australia. I worked for 3 month at ING Bank in Sydney which supported my lifestyle there. I returned and got a job at Clerical Medical and started my study of FP3. I left Clerical Medical in 2004 after finding an excellent opportunity to join Standard Life just as they were demutualising. I had 6 great years at Standard Life making some great friends, learning lots about the industry and meeting my future business partner at the same time…..

If you could start your business again, what would you do differently?

Well that was 2017 so I’d probably make PPE gear as a side project!! … but seriously I think I would have budgeted more to marketing activity. We were busy and had plenty of leads but I wonder if we could have raised the profile of the business to a greater extent in the local community. We held a successful business leaders lunch in 2019 and COVID19 somewhat restricted plans to repeat this in 2020. We could have invested in this type of event earlier which I would do if we had our time again.

What would be your biggest piece of advice to someone coming into the financial planning profession?

  1. Surround yourself with great people, in your personal life, workplace or via a support network of peers such as NextGen Planners. Always offer help first in expectation of no personal gain.

  2. Be a sponge – listen to great ideas from peers, read, listen to podcasts.

  3. Don’t ever be afraid admit you need help and to ask for it. So many great people in this profession will help raise you up.

  4. Be authentic and be vulnerable with you clients, people will warm to honesty and openness and don’t expect you to know all the answers.

  5. Listen intently without judgement.

  6. Treat every client as if they were your only client

How would you define your personal mission?

To help people work out their purpose in life, what is most important to them, and to help them direct their time and resources to this end.

How would you define your personal vision?

To lead a life of fulfilment by helping others to visualise and realise their dreams. This will help me to achieve my own personal life goals and objectives.

How would you define your personal values?

  1. Give first & help others

  2. Act with honesty and integrity at all times

What is your greatest achievement outside of work?

I’d have to say becoming a father. That might sound a bit of a shit, cop out answer. However, around 10 years ago we were trying for a family and not really getting anywhere. Long story short, I left a stressful job whilst at the same time being at the latter stages on deciding on IVF treatment. We got pregnant naturally and found out the day before the appointment to decide on IVF strategy. Close to three years of trying and thought it would never happen. Sobbed with joy.

What is the greatest book you have ever read that helped you in your career?

There are a few books that have really helped but I’ll give three;

What is your most valuable asset of being a NextGen Planners member?

Having a go-to community on Slack for shared best practice. I have a close friendship with a few members who I have called/WhatsApp regularly on various things. There are few who I called during lockdown to check in with. The most valuable asset are the members.

(Only answer this one if you truly want to…) Who is your favourite NextGen Planners member?

Outside of the ‘Bristol Massive’… I’m gonna have to say Rohan.

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