Scott clocks up 25 years offering advice - including how to sell the 'wife'

North Devon Gazette

Although selling wives was not in the job description, becoming a financial planner was Scott Pickard’s dream from an early age.Â

He is still living that dream as he celebrates a quarter of a century with a well-known North Devon firm.Â

Scott has clocked up an impressive 25 years of service with Philip J Milton & Company Plc and to this day still enjoys sharing the aspirations and goals of his clients, and giving guidance on how to achieve them.Â

He joined the Company in 1996 and settled in well but there were some amusing hiccups along the way, including a draft report which mentioned a client had sold his wife.Â

Scott said: “When checking one of my earlier pieces of work, I recall I made an error referring to a client who said he had recently sold his wife’s car.Â

“I actually referenced in my draft report the client having sold his wife. (Philip noted in red alongside out of curiosity that I may wish to ask how many camels he received for her!)  Â

“I didn’t get the hump, but it shows the attention to accuracy and detail we have always done our best to achieve!”Â

Now aged 48, he started work for PJM & Co as a newly qualified adviser and was appointed a director just a year later. Â

Since then, he has gained numerous additional qualifications and by age 37 achieved the prestigious Chartered Financial Planner qualification, considered among the highest in the industry. Â

Born and bred in North Devon, Scott went to Park Community School and then on to study at North Devon College (now Petroc). Â

From a young age he had an interest in becoming a financial planner – often called a financial adviser – and that ambition has turned into a professional lifetime of dedication to his industry. Â

Initially he got a job with an insurance company, in the days when that meant knocking on doors once a month to collect payments and discuss policies with clients.Â

However, no spouses ever changed hands and Scott continues to enjoy a close relationship with clients.Â

He added: “People seem to feel at ease talking to me and share a lot of very personal information and it is very humbling when your opinions and recommendations become so valued – you come to know their aspirations and goals and it’s a privilege they are prepared to let you into that.  Â

“It’s that recognition of your value and contribution and encouragement to become the best you can be, which you can get in a smaller local business that you wouldn’t get in a larger national group.”Â

PJM & Co Plc managing director Philip Milton praised Scott’s contribution to the business and said he was a very trustworthy pair of hands.Â

He said: “Scott has a natural rapport with his clients and they know they can entrust their financial or investment needs to him.”Â

“It seems that very few people these days stay with the same Firm for such a long period of time and that kind of loyalty and talent is very hard to find.”Â

In recognition of his long service, Philip presented Scott with an oil painting A Larchwood Garden by well-known English landscape painter and book illustrator Ernest William Haslehust, sourced from Elford Gallery in Chagford. Â

Philip J Milton & Company Plc is independently owned by Managing Director Philip Milton and co-director Helen Milton.Â

The Company offers a fully independent financial planning and wealth management service to individuals, companies, trusts and charities from its sympathetically restored Grade 2 listed property at Choweree House in Barnstaple. Â

It also offers a taxation and accountancy service along with a department undertaking will writing, trusts, probate and estate administration. In 2018, the Company was awarded the prestigious Corporate Chartered Firm status by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the ultimate symbol of professionalism.Â