Chartered financial planners celebrate 35 years in business

Ron Walker from Clarion
Ron Walker started his business in 1985

Cheshire chartered financial planners Clarion Wealth Planning is celebrating 35 years in business.

Alderley Edge-based Clarion, led by Ron Walker, a founder member of the Institute of Financial Planning, has worked with individuals and business owners to simplify complex financial affairs since 1985.

Ron began the business in a Liverpool office furnished by luxurious office furniture brand Herman Miller with just himself and a secretary. It was at the inception of the financial planning industry, making Clarion one of the longest-established firms in the sector.

He said: “People thought I was mad spending that much to start out but I knew I wanted to attract the right clients.

“I set out to be something different. The industry was – and still is to some extent sadly – too product sales-oriented. Our company vision is entirely advice and guidance based.

“Although we have saved our clients countless millions of pounds and grown their wealth, we are also deeply involved in the wellbeing of them and their families.

“Through our wide network of contacts built over 35 years, we have helped our clients with matters ranging from buying property in Switzerland to introductions to private GP services.”

Clarion still retains the loyalty of clients won in that first year but has grown the client base and alongside this, grown the team to 15 staff.

In 2012 the business divided into two sister companies, Clarion Wealth Planning Limited for financial planning and Clarion Investment Management Limited.

And after more than 20 years based in Knutsford, Clarion moved to its present home in Alderley Edge in 2017.

Although the coronavirus has thrown the world into chaos this year, Ron says he is focusing on taking the positives from the pandemic

Ron said: “There had been plans for a lavish reception for our clients, business partners and friends to celebrate our 35 years and thank them for their support.

“However, the unprecedented circumstances of covid have made it a low-key but nonetheless significant milestone to mark.

“Alongside the fact that we have not had to furlough any staff and continue to serve our clients’ needs during the pandemic. The experience has brought the team even closer together, from daily online meetings to virtual cooking lessons led by me.

“I am so proud we have been around for 35 years. I am unlikely to be here in another 35, but one thing I know for certain is Clarion will still be at the forefront of financial planning to create better lives for our clients.”