Photo: Clare Mayhew, Beckett Invest
Jonathan Swift, the famous author of Gulliver’s Travels once said ‘A wise man should have money in their head but not in their heart.’
That approach, which has arguably seen many firms in the financial sector providing binary advice to their investors, is changing. National investment management group Becketts consciously communicates why the business is about ‘hearts and minds’ in the service they provide.
"It is not about being different for the sake of it", Ian White, the Managing Director of Becketts says in an interview for the Institute of Directors.
It's in the Research
"In 2020 companies are under the spotlight like never before as they struggle for competitive advantage,” he said. “At the end of 2019, research from Accenture Strategy explained that customers aren’t just making decisions based on service or price anymore. They are making decisions on issues such as sustainability, transparency and fair employment practices.”
The research that Ian refers to shares data that shows 62% of 30,000 people surveyed want companies to take a stand on current and relevant issues. That same research also explains that 47% of customers will walk away in frustration if a business does not step up.
“For any serious business, deciding whether to do this is not an option,” Ian said. “Consumers expect that brands align with their personal values. Therefore the opportunity lies in building more authentic relationships with customers. We want clients to say with confidence that Becketts supports the ideals they believe in.”
It is important to spend time, money and effort in listening to the business's clients. Following a series of focus groups and client interviews, the business understands in real depth what their clients want and what they believe in.
“Our purpose is to personally know our clients,” Ian White continued. “We had to accept that, as a business, our assumptions and thoughts on what our clients want and need was always going to be subjective. We have heard independently and objectively from them, and what we have heard is invaluable to the future service we deliver.”
The Importance of Being Purpose Led
The company launched an online campaign where their staff and their clients explain what the business stands for and why it genuinely has a purpose led brand. The messages are shown on video, social media and personal imagery. It is important to be passionate about playing a valued role in the community you serve. A company's responsibilities connect it to the wider society ensuring they can support and promote services as well as emotional health and well-being.
“We have a responsibility to deliver trusted advice, support and influence. This enables the community to make choices that lead to greater control in their lives.”
“We believe that fulfilment comes from reaching personal goals. That purpose of community, empowering control and working with clients to achieve their goals leads to a final pillar of the brand that is more relevant than ever.
“Locally and globally, change is the only constant,” Ian said. “Our purpose is to empower the community to think responsively and clearly and in 2020, with change upon us almost every day, it is more important than ever that we stand up and deliver in this area.”
The research from Accenture Strategy explains that price, product quality and customer experience are important – but they are expected. “No bonus points are awarded for Becketts doing its job,” Ian White concluded. “We are finding new ways to stand apart and showing that we are ‘purpose driven’ and will provide the differentiation that our clients seek.”
“That is why our staff want to work here, why our clients want us to manage their investments and why I am extremely proud to lead the team. I believe we really are making a difference.”
Managing Director | Beckett Invest
Ian is a Chartered Accountant and Managing Director of Beckett Investment Management Group. With senior experience at a number of different organisations across sectors including healthcare, distribution and financial services, Ian is passionate about building best in class teams that are engaged with their organisation’s goals and can deliver the best customer experience. His philosophy has helped Becketts win awards for being the Best Employer and for Customer Service in recognition for their exceptional employee engagement and customer satisfaction levels.
Ian was awarded the IoD Director of The Year for Corporate and Social Responsibility in the 2017 Institute of Directors East Awards. The Institute commented on the efforts Becketts has made to become an Employer of Choice in the region.
Away from work, Ian has recently become Chairman at Suffolk Mind and hopes to continue the charity’s excellent work in helping Suffolk to become the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health.
Ian is married to Sue with three children and ten horses!