Lifetime Data Analyst Robert Briggs has been with the company for over a decade. ‘Ten years and counting’, he says.
Here , in his own words, is a reflection of his ‘Lifetime journey’:
“I often hear it said that, as you get older, time seems to pass much quicker. Whereas I don’t believe there is any quantum proof this is the case, I have to admit it is a phenomenon I have experienced, certainly over the last ten years since arriving at Lifetime.
“A recent anniversary caused me to reflect on the fact that I have just completed ten years of service with Lifetime and can’t help but ponder where that time has gone – it has flown by!
“Ten years past I was invited to take up a technical development post, to grow and expand for Lifetime the then little known process of WRAP Platforms, something that is now a significant building block within the operation and a tremendous support facility for our client base. Ten years ago the UK knew little if anything of WRAP platform facilities, yet Lifetime had no hesitation in seeing the major advantages their use could bring to investors.
“Implementation was a “must do building block” and Lifetime created the internal energy, enthusiasm and resources for it to happen, making it a real success way ahead of the market place.
“Long before our industry regulator started talking about firms being banned from payments through commissions, Lifetime was already a “fee only” company, agreeing in advance with clients what costs would be involved for the work we were undertaking.
“These are just a couple of examples of the outstanding foresight and innovation that, for me, is typical of Lifetime and certainly amongst the qualities that impressed and attracted me when I first got to meet the directors and listened to their plans as to where this service-orientated business was heading.
“Timely innovation after innovation has followed over the last ten years, covering numerous benefits to clients such as: the use of money management systems (Truth); technology developments; passive investment funds and structured plans; the creation of “specialist” departments and “specialist” financial planners; the addition of satellite offices; and the unique ways by which we partner our Introducer Businesses; right through to the methods by which all our personnel are rewarded and share in the success and ownership of the business itself.
“Innovations that make certain everyone in every role has an opportunity to take full advantage of the benefits hard work, application and maximum effort brings.
“Individual to Lifetime, these innovations all reflect an internal culture that nothing is sacred simply because “it has always been done like that” and, just because we do it that way now, doesn’t mean it is appropriate to carry on doing it tomorrow.
“A culture of change, not just for changes sake, but change targeted towards increasing efficiency and new opportunity for those individuals who buy into the needs and objectives of a successful business.
“So, yes! A lot has changed for me in the last ten years at Lifetime, which is why I never seem to stand still, always thinking about the next possible developments.
“Time flies? Yes it does, especially when you live and work with inspirational people. People who take the time to encourage you to be the best you possibly can; people who want you to contribute and share experiences; people who value personal input, encouraging and challenging people to constantly be better; people who don’t believe in the “ivory towers” of status, but see everyone as an integral and equally important cog, in what is increasingly a very complex financial services industry.
“Why the gushing of praise? Well, I’ve been in financial services for thirty years and you can imagine the changes, challenges, and different business models I have seen in that time.
“You can also appreciate the numbers of businesses I have witnessed who couldn’t make their models work, simply because no one had the time to stand back and look at the operation from afar and be honest about what they were seeing.
“In those 20 years prior to Lifetime I have come across so many business owners who have worked themselves into an early grave because they didn’t have the foresight to develop a workable exit strategy, or, were so close to and wrapped up in the day-to-day operation of their businesses they failed to see the “cliff edge” direction they were heading.
“Fortunately I have always managed to work for good, compliant employers and interesting line managers, but, prior to Lifetime, I have never felt as close to a business and its people as I do here, and for me that is a most important consideration. A business and people who want to share a successful future for all and are prepared to make it happen.
“No, it’s not perfect – nothing and no one is, anywhere – but in its unique difference, Lifetime is getting very close, and one can’t help but feel comfortable in the fact that everyone wants it to be just that – perfect!
“Is it for everyone? No, of course not. We all have a whispered mumble about issues and personal concerns from time to time, but are any of them so significant in stature that you would walk away tomorrow, before at least trying to have them resolved? I would certainly hope not, because everyone here is open and approachable to discuss any topic that may improve the environment for everyone. But you have to be open enough to listen to the alternative point of view.
“However, in my personal opinion, people who don’t feel comfortable as part of a family like Lifetime, will never feel truly part of anything significant. Such people are always selfishly looking for what they want, not what they can contribute to making the “whole” better for all. Wherever they are, wherever they go, they will always be seeking an elusive motivation and reward that frankly does not exist, therefore can never be satisfied. They can’t define and identify long term goals for themselves, so how can anyone make it right for them? Sadly, whatever they undertake, it will never provide personal satisfaction and a sense of belonging, and the next stop will rarely prove to be their final destination. For them, Nirvana is always just over the horizon, and the ladder to climb to see further over that horizon will never, ever, be tall enough to get a clear view of the direction they need to take.
“A philosophy I have always lived by for such people is, “go with God’s good grace and seek that elusive, total happiness elsewhere” and if you do find it, then, by all means show me the comparison and possible benefits – if indeed they firmly exist.
“For me, if you are genuinely involved in our environment and genuinely can see the “bigger picture” then time is passing quickly here, perhaps too quickly, in which case you don’t have any time to spare to consider poorer alternatives, nor should you.
“Ten years and counting, because the last ten, for me, has been a blast and I can’t see it easing off anytime soon!
“There are still so many exciting things to achieve, so many new opportunities in which to bask. Would we want it to be any different?
- Robert was presented with a ‘bottle of bubble’ on Wednesday – and received the well wishes of his work colleagues – to mark his 70th birthday.