A FAMILY-run retirement advice company which helps people invest their wealth for maximum return has seen its portfolio rise to over £115m – having started with just one person.

Wealth of Advice is headed up by East Durham entrepreneur Chris Breward, who launched the business in 2012 having worked for a number of years for financial firms in the North East and North West.

At just 33 when he set up the business, Chris wanted to change the image and reputation of financial and asset management firms, instilling in his clients a trust that would help him grow through word of mouth and recommendations.

Now, seven years later, Wealth of Advice employs 12 people from its Belmont Business Park offices in Durham and manages a portfolio of over £115,000,000 on behalf of clients.

Chris, who is from Peterlee and lives in Trimdon with his wife Jodene, who also works for the company, said: “When I launched the business, I wanted to do things differently. As an industry the working demographic is at the older end of the scale and is perceived as quite stuffy and elitist.

“I wanted to change that. I wanted my clients to trust me, to understand that the advice I was giving them was based on their best interests, not mine. If I met with someone and it wasn’t right for them to transfer their financial management to Wealth of Advice, that’s what I would advise them, even if it meant we lost out on that business.

“That approach very quickly paid off and gradually we got more and more people coming to us. That led to us moving into our offices at Belmont Business Park and adding to the team with the right people who shared my vision.”

Chris now employs a team of 12 people, including experienced financial advisers and training paraplanners, as well as administrative and management personnel.

And as well as his wife, Chris also employs his sister, and two of his nieces, both of whom graduated from Northumbria University and joined the firm to embark on being trained into their current roles.

Wealth of Advice has access to all solutions available across the entire investment universe, enabling the team to advise clients on the best places to invest their assets based on current trends and market fluctuations. It’s this approach which has seen its portfolio of manageable assets rise to over £115m, including managing the wealth of many clients with over £1m of assets.

Chris added: “Our growth has been significant since we launched back in 2012 and my aim is for that growth to continue.

“I’m very keen to add to the team, particularly with young talent who are keen to develop under our guidance and share our ambitions for the company. My ethos is that Wealth of Advice is the caring arm around our clients’ finances, providing them with the right advice to ensure they become better off as a result of trusting us to manage their money.

“Our next significant target is to grow the number of great clients we have as we grow the number of quality people in our team and then hopefully get the funds under our management to over a quarter of a billion.”