One year before his business turns 40, a Northumberland businessman is celebrating a milestone anniversary of his own.
In April, Stephen Sumner, managing director at Cramlington-based financial services firm Explore Wealth Management, is celebrating 20 years at the head of the business.
“They say that time flies when you’re having fun, but the same can honestly be said when you’re building and growing a business,” Stephen said.
Thriving in a market where others are merely surviving, Stephen puts Explore Wealth Management’s success down to its unique, customer-focused approach to business and the firm’s ability to adapt to change.
“I have seen lots of changes during the course of my career, both inside the business and in the wider financial advice industry,” Stephen said.
“I’ve seen everything from changes in staff, to advances in technology and changes in the services that we provide; including a move towards charging fees for our advice and the introduction of our very popular annual review service.
“The biggest change however, has to be the way in which the business itself has adapted and grown over the years.”
Explore Wealth Management started out as a one-man band operating from a small room above a bakery in Chester-le-Street, offering general financial advice to business owners and individuals.
From these humble beginnings, Explore Wealth Management is now recognised as one of the Top 250 IFAs in the UK by VouchedFor and has helped over 400 clients to manage their money and create a very happy and comfortable future.
Stephen included, Explore Wealth Management now employs six people on a full-time basis and operates from a state-of-the-art office facility on the Northumberland Business Park in Cramlington. The firm offers a wide range of innovative services to its clients from cash flow forecasting, to retirement planning and everything in-between.
Although business has always been steady, in the last five years, Explore Wealth Management has grown from a £190k per annum turnover business to a £680k per annum turnover business and has doubled its number of new client wins.
With further growth predicted for 2017, Stephen has no plans to go anywhere just yet.
“I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every second of my time at Explore Wealth Management and I am looking forward to many more successful years ahead,” Stephen concluded.