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News: Week in Review: #23

June 02, 2020

Sue McFarlane


Hello and welcome to the latest edition of my ‘Week in Review’


I know last week was a short week, but it really seems to have flown, as we are all really busy at the moment.

We are currently setting up the next IHT Seminar with Triple Point which is due to be held on 8th June and we are a few days away from launching both our Cash Flow Analysis Service and our Social Media support packages.

I have had a sneak preview of both services and they look really exciting.


Paraplanning – Complex Cases

At Plus, we are well known for dealing with complex cases and often help the St. James’s Place Private Client Team with cases that they are involved in.  It won’t come as a surprise that a lot of these require very detailed IHT planning.

We have been working on one particular case that both the Private Client Team and the Partner first received more than 3 years ago.  This was due to complex tax planning that was required, to enable the Clients to transfer existing investments to St. James’s Place, in a way that would protect them from potentially high tax charges.  Overall, we have produced 3 separate reports for this case.

Private Client Paraplanning SJPThe Clients had a very large investment held in an Offshore Investment Bond and we have been working to bring the tax liability down, by disinvesting in stages over the years and moving the funds into the most appropriate products.

This final stage had left the Clients with £1.,5 million in their Offshore Bond and the tax liability was over £80,000.  By a careful combination of VCTs and pension contributions, enough tax relief was provided to cover the tax bill.  The remainder of the funds was investments into multiple loan trusts for longer term IHT planning.

Although this type of case can take a lot of time and planning to put together, whilst working very closely with both the Private Client Team and the Partner to get things just right, it really is satisfying when the end result works in the Client’s favour.


Administration Support

I was having a chat with another of our fabulous Administrators today about what she was working on and she mentioned that was just sorting out her next list of Birthday cards.

She does this each month for her Partners by pulling off a list of clients who have Birthdays due in following month.  The lists are then sent to her Partners, who mark off those they would like to send cards to. She then handwrites the cards and has a diary system set up to ensure that they each get posted a few days before the Clients Birthdays are due.

It is something she really enjoys doing as it is very much a personal touch and shows Clients, that the Partner is thinking about them on their special day.  In the current climate, I am sure that this little extra thought will go a long way with a lot of people, and it doesn’t take too much time to organise it all.


Chasing Team

Our team of Chasers are experts in obtaining information from providers, and I asked them what they do, that makes them so successful in getting what we need as quickly as possible.Rachael Hackett

Team Leader, Rachael Hackett provided her top 3 tips:

  • Try and cover more than one client on a call. For example, see who has Prudential plans that are due to be chased that day and go through them all on the one call. Most providers encourage this. Some may have a limit, say no more than 6 clients on one call, but some have no limit.


  • Keep a note of contact numbers/email addresses etc. Sometimes the hardest part is getting through to the correct team first time of asking, so if you have made a note from your last call it can save so much time.


  • Be nice to the person who answers the call.  Be understanding, praise them. They are only trying to do their job and even when things go wrong or information is taking a long time to be issued, it isn’t necessarily something the call handler can control.   If you are nice to them, they tend to want to try and help get it sorted for you.

Finally, and I suppose following on a little from the Chaser’s team comments about being nice, we sent out our 3rdweekly Wellbeing email to all our staff.

These cover a range of topics on to how to take care of not only their physical health but their mental health too.  The emails seem to be well received and even if they are not needed on the day, they are received they are always there to look back on if needed and that they are only a call/message away from speaking to someone if they need to.

Take care, 


Sue McFarlane
Operations Manager
Plus Group 

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