Clifton Asset Management: Life since Everline Future 50
Following on from our previous blog posts about disruptive businesses, we have interviewed Adam Tavener, chairman of Clifton Asset Management, to talk about his success as an entrepreneur, challenges he has encountered and advice he has for other companies.
Clifton Asset Management was established in 1986 offering specialist financial services to business and individuals throughout the UK, using a well-established pool of capital to create an innovative new route.
Its Pension Led Funding service provides a way for business owners to grow by utilising their pension pot.
Why did you start the business?
I previously worked as a director of a local independent financial adviser business which had four equal board members and, to be honest, I really didn’t enjoy the politics of the business.
Did you encounter any problems and, if so, how did you overcome them?
We absolutely did – find me a small business that didn’t! Our biggest challenge was probably momentum – attracting and retaining enough customers to make the business viable before it all came apart. We just didn’t have any capital to burn. There was no clever solution to overcoming this – I simply worked like a complete lunatic!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Don’t think of your business as just a job. It sounds obvious, but you must realise that you have overall responsibility for the outcome and so you have to do everything you can to secure success. Every problem is your problem!
What are your most rewarding achievements to date?
Being named Business Moneyfacts ‘Best alternative finance provider of the year in 2014’ has got to be up there. On a more day-to-day basis, I would say my feeling of pride in having assembled an outstanding team that are truly committed to ensuring great customer outcomes makes me feel really good about what we do.
Tell me something about yourself that isn’t on your CV?
I was once part of a team that held the world bus pulling record in the Guinness Book of Records!
Which disruptive businesses outside of your industry do you admire and why?
It’s hard not to admire what the aggregator sites have done for insurance and other retail financial products. In a very short space of time, they have become the new normal and almost completely wiped out the traditional high street broker.
How has your business changed since becoming a Future 50 winner?
We really welcome the recognition and are pleased to be included in the Future 50 group with some other great businesses. In terms of our business strategy, we are still delivering what we set out to achieve. We want to transform the way that business owners view their pensions by making them a compelling way of funding your own business. We would recommend entering the awards to other businesses – it’s great recognition and a real buzz to make the 50.
What’s next for your business?
Continuing to inform and educate SME owners about alternative ways to finance their business, and, in particular, educating them about the role their pension can play in that process.
Do you know a disruptive British business that is transforming an industry? Real Business and Everline are on the search for talented young companies from across Britain for the 2016 Future 50 Awards. You can make your nomination (or nominate your own business) here. The deadline – 11th December – is fast approaching so you don’t have long!