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Jane’s story

Following the collapse of Equitable Life 15 years ago we were left with a large hole in our pensions savings. Although I was teaching and my husband was a working as a solicitor, we decided to start doing bed and breakfast to replace our pension funds.

I was introduced to David through our accountant and he was fantastic. He was very helpful, not just with sorting out our investments and advising on how to run a business, but in helping us with lots of things such as accounting, tax and National Insurance, which up until then had just been part of our jobs. 

Without that backup it would have been hard

It was a challenging time, but David never made us feel incompetent. He was kind and helpful and got things on an even keel. 

We’ve worked with David for over 10 years now so his advice has changed as our lives have moved on.

We’ve worked with David for over 10 years now so his advice has changed as our lives have moved on. For example, we retired last August and moved to a flat across the road. Once again, David has been amazing because the house was twice the value of the flat – which is a nice position to be in – but he was enormously helpful about how to deal with that money. 

We really can’t fault him for his advice and help

At one point I wanted to help my son with school fees and David was very clear about what would be appropriate. We’d just sold our house and were feeling flush for the first time and it would have been tempting to hand the amount over in a lump, but he advised us on what would be the more sensible timing. 

Money can be quite contentious in families. When it’s your own children you’re keen to help as much as you can – but David made a potentially very complex situation very simple. It was easier to have an external reference point that allowed us to say “We’re going to do it like this, and pay it straight to the school.” 

We feel as if we have someone backing us up

My husband’s not well now so I’m dealing with things that he would have, which includes the finances, but it really couldn’t have been simpler. David has once again stepped in liaised with our accountant and kept whole thing straightforward.

He also helped my daughter when she was going through her divorce – she just happened to be visiting me at a time when I had come to see David and he offered some advice. He didn’t have to do that, but when you’re in an emotional whirl and trying to do the right thing for your family, but without the expertise, it feels very comforting to have someone at your back who you know and trust.

Friendly, efficient and rapid

David is more accessible and less threatening than other professionals we’ve worked with before – he doesn’t use jargon or language that makes us feel inadequate and he really has become a friend.

It’s lovely to see Sutherland Independent as a business develop and succeed over the 10 years we’ve been with them and I have of course recommended them to others who have all had a similar experience to me. 

You really couldn’t have anything negative at all to say about David. He’s very good at listening, he’s reassuring and clear – and he makes excellent coffee!

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