An adviser in the spotlight – Nikos Christoforou
Foster Denovo is a multi-award-winning national firm of financial advisers providing bespoke financial advice to individuals and their families, charities and employers. Each and every one of our advisers have their own unique qualities and style of working but all of them have our client’s best interests at heart.
We know our advisers are great but to help you get to know them better, we are delving into their role at Foster Denovo, their day to day lives as well as finding out more about them personally. We are starting with Self-Employed Financial Planner, Nikos Christoforou, who has been at Foster Denovo since January 2018.
Nikos predominantly focuses on individuals who are in the accumulation phase and looking to grow their wealth as tax efficiently as possible before they retire. He can also help clients with:
- protection planning for unforeseen circumstances such as death, critical illness or serious injury;
- pension planning which includes optimising existing plans, exploring unused carry forward allowances and looking at clients’ risk appetite to help achieve higher levels of performance; and
- investments where clients are looking at using both capital gains allowances and ISA allowances.
Hi Nikos, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what qualifications you have?
I currently have a CISI level 4 Diploma in investment advice and financial planning. I have been in the financial planning world for 5 years now, with previous experience in stockbroking. I have mostly learned through self-driven education and my actual client work. Qualifications are so important, but I also believe that experience is very important too.
I am interested in developing further. I am currently working towards Chartered Financial Planning status and then I will move onto a STEP qualification (for estate planning – Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners).
This sounds great! You certainly have a wealth of knowledge and experience in financial advice and planning. What led you to this career?
When I was 17, I started my career selling solar panels back when they were a hot product. Very quickly I excelled and had a natural ability to communicate with people in a way that could shift perspectives and help them make decisions. I decided to research different sectors so that I could choose what area I wanted to sharpen my skills in, and stockbroking was the area that I decided to pursue. I will not bore you with the intricacies, but over the course of 4 years I became a Junior Broker, the top account opener, I passed all my qualifications and successfully started advising clients.
However, this didn’t fulfil me as advising on stocks is a very fickle game. You are very much at the mercy of the market and you are in a very transactional relationship. I wanted to be more integral to someone’s financial future rather than just advising on what stocks to buy. So, I stepped away from stockbroking and into the world of financial advice.
What a great story of how you started your career as a financial planner. You have clearly done a lot in your career already, what would you say is a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
I started Foster Denovo in 2018 without any clients. Over this time, I have worked hard to help individuals and their families achieve their specific financial planning and life goals; which I love to do. I have built the number of clients I work with through networking, referrals from existing clients and of course grit and determination!
In 2020, I was awarded the accolade of top Associate Partner within Foster Denovo.
So, we now know a lot about your career and role as a financial planner. Can you tell us one thing most people don’t know about you?
I started a car washing business in the 6 weeks holiday when I was 13 years old. My neighbour and I used our push bikes and travelled all around the area we lived in and ended up building a large client bank (in a note pad) to wash their cars. I think over the 6 weeks we managed to earn around £1,000! Unfortunately, school meant we had to dissolve the company
Let’s find out more about you. If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
Tony Robbins, the life and business coach! I would love to see how much impact he creates in one of his seminars. That is what you call real influence, in my opinion.
What animal would you say you are most like?
Wolf – that was suggested by my girlfriend.
If you were a cocktail what would you be?
To arrange an initial meeting with Nikos or any of our experienced financial advisers please contact us. Or, if you are an adviser looking grow your financial planning business and would like to find out more about Foster Denovo, get in touch here.
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