In her column focused on local small businesses, Waltham Forest Business Network's Jo Sealy interviews a creative financial adviser.
Two years ago Antony Smith was confronted with a dilemma. His employer was shutting up shop and he felt he had to make a decision – look for new job or do what he really wanted to do?
"At that point, I had to quickly decide on my next move, and decided to take the plunge and follow my heart," explained Antony. "So I set up my own company as an independent financial adviser, rather than join another. It was an exciting time. The business was up and running from August 2015 after receiving speedy compliances from the Financial Conduct Authority – and we were on our way."
Antony's new firm, Providus Financial Ltd, aims to help people make better financial decisions for the longer term. His team of financial professionals take a more creative view on finances, looking at the wider picture in terms of services such as mortgages, life insurance, pensions, investments, savings plans, wills, trusts, and power of attorneys.
"In terms of setting up and running the business I had great support from my family, my accountant, and from personal contacts made through networking. Former colleagues, trusted clients and suppliers also encouraged me."
Antony is extremely proud that in its first year of trading Providus made a profit, which enabled him to move his team into their new office in Highams Park.
"Starting the company has been one of the best moves I've ever made. Despite the pressures of being the decision maker and juggling the needs of family, clients and employees, it's given me the freedom and exibility to manage my time and to be in full control of my personal future."
"In 12 months' time I'd like the business to be self-managing, so that I can focus on more strategic decision making. If I was to give any advice to other new entrepreneurs I'd say go for it!"
"Focus on what you are best at and where you get your best results. Employ other people who are better than you and delegate."
To find out more about Providus Financial Ltd:
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Waltham Forest Women in Business