JLD Talks: Daniel Gornall, Centurion
Our Chair interviews Daniel Gornall from Centurion Chartered Financial Planners, about his day to day role, involvement in the welsh legal sphere and why this should matter to junior lawyers.
1. Could you briefly outline what your role is?
I am a Chartered Financial Planner and Resolution Accredited Specialist that specialises in giving independent financial advice to those going through separation and divorce.
2. In terms of your day to day role, how often do you encounter younger clients?
Whilst I specialise mainly in finances on divorce, typically working with clients between 40 and 60, I also advise a wide range of individuals and families of various age groups. I frequently receive referrals for younger clients looking to get started on their journey to becoming financially independent.
3. Do you think it’s important for younger people to engage in financial planning early, and why?
Absolutely! Engaging in financial planning at a young age is crucial for establishing positive habits and securing long-term financial success. Starting early allows individuals to harness the benefits of compounding returns, effectively work towards and achieve long-term goals, and manage risks through strategic investment approaches. It also facilitates the development of a strong financial foundation, enabling individuals to navigate unexpected expenses, manage debt, and prepare for career transitions.
4. Can you think of some examples where younger people would need to consider planning or investing, but maybe don’t think about doing this?
Very few individuals are proactive when it comes to their personal finances, so there are several critical aspects of financial planning that might be overlooked. Establishing an emergency fund, managing debt effectively, and planning for retirement are key considerations that contribute to long-term financial stability. Investing in financial education, setting aside funds for short-term goals, and incorporating tax planning into one's strategy can further optimise financial outcomes. Even basic estate planning, such as creating a will, is relevant for younger individuals.
5. What would be the primary advice you’d give to a prospective young person considering engaging Centurion?
At Centurion, we gladly provide an initial meeting at no cost to discuss your individual circumstances and determine if we can be of assistance. If we believe that we may not add value to your situation, we will be straightforward and let you know.
6. In terms of the legal sector in Wales, what types of law do you regularly come into contact with (i.e. conveyancing, wills, private client, family) and in what ways?
Most of our referrals come from professional introducers and we regularly work with solicitors across various aspects of law. In my role as a Resolution Accredited Specialist focusing on divorce finances, I collaborate closely with family lawyers and their clients. At Centurion, we also have advisors holding accreditations from SOLLA (Society of Later Life) and STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), who work in close partnership with private client lawyers. In a recent case, I facilitated a client's acquisition of a commercial property within their pension fund. Consequently, I directed them to a conveyancing solicitor to facilitate the smooth progression of the purchase.
7. What is the most common reason that you’re instructed by clients?
Most of my instructions come from clients going through divorce who have yet to agree to a settlement and want to know whether they will be financially secure. I can help them evaluate their post-divorce financial position and determine what actions may need to be taken to ensure a secure financial future. Once the settlement is agreed upon and the divorce finalised, I can then provide advice and assistance in implementing the necessary orders.
8. Are there any more niche and less frequented services that you offer?
We have recently introduced a Benefits Advice service, offering individuals and families the opportunity to schedule a fixed-fee benefits review meeting with a specialist adviser. Additionally, Professional Deputies and Attorneys can also use this service to fulfil their Professional Standards requirements.
9. Is the demand for the different services different between England and Wales? Is there a disparity in demographics?
Centurion has offices on both sides of the bridge, and honestly, I would say that the demand for financial advice is largely the same in both England and Wales.
Dan is available to assist all junior lawyers and associates, who are seeking advice on financial planning, setting up a will, have financial uncertainties about changing or transitioning careers or going through a separation. Dan can be contacted at Daniel.Gornall@centurioncfp.co.uk.