FS3 - Case Study - FP Advance - A Boutique Consulting Firm


Sold for £3.5 million

Mike Godfrey
Mike Godfrey of FS3

Mike Godfrey was the main business writer supported by two other advisers. Before it was sold to Bluefin for £3.5 million, FS3 reached a turnover of £1M. This was from humble beginnings when he sat alone with just a phone and a computer. Mike is now creating a new business using some of our tools and techniques. Watch this space!

FS3 specialised in provision of top quality financial planning in the areas of Employee Benefits, Corporate Financial Planning and Personal Financial Planning.

Challenges facing FS3

  1. To develop and define their high quality pro-active wealth management proposition in a way that client’s would see and respond to.
  2. To ensure their mix of strategic advice, pricing, and ongoing service would appeal to their high net worth niche market.
  3. To make their business duplicatable and scalable to facilitate its ongoing expansion.
  4. To raise the quality of the new clients they attract to the business.

What did FP Advance do?
In Mike Godfrey’s words …

  1. Improved the client service proposition

    With the help of FP Advance we clearly defined our client service proposition and packaged this into a powerful range of services that matched our positioning with clients. This allowed us to articulate clearly and simply our value to clients. We then had the justification for receiving our initial fees and a premium pricing on our renewal income stream. A subsequent client satisfaction survey highlighted our clients are happier than ever with what we did for them.

  2. Developed our client segmentation

    Having defined our wealth management service proposition we needed to differentiate how we delivered this for our different “levels” of clients. Following guidance from FP Advance we became much more focused on ensuring we are providing an appropriate level of value and service across all sections of our client bank. Clients benefited from a more focused approach that was appropriate for their needs, and we benefited from significant back office simplification and efficiencies as a result.

  3. Created systems, processes, and scalability

    We worked at all aspects of our proposition to incorporate the FP Advance mantra “business is a system; compliance is a process”. This encompassed defining our client meeting processes, defining what we do at each stage, developing our review meeting process/content, and developing a system/process for all tasks. In Brett Davidson’s words we were “building a business process one step at a time”. This led to efficiencies that enabled us to manage larger business volumes without having to increase human resources. Improved efficiencies and a more consistent delivery of our service is without doubt the main driver of what were fantastic client satisfaction survey results.


  1. FS3 knew exactly who it worked for (and who it didn’t), what it did for each client segment, and how it would deliver that service same time every time.
  2. Improved efficiency and quality of delivery created benefits for our clients which increased satisfaction and referral rates significantly. The flow on to our renewal income stream and future business sale value was enormous.
  3. Our segmented client focus helped us increase our Gold clients (a client with over £1M of assets that we manage) by 300% in just 9 months. This was exactly what we were looking for.
  4. By treating our entire business as a series of processes we were able to extract more value from the technology we used at the heart of the business (1st Software and James Hay Wrap). The average portfolio size on our Wrap platform reached £750,000, a significant increase on years gone by and much higher than the industry average.
  5. FS3 was awarded The New Model Adviser of the Year – South East Region in January 2006 and January 2007. They were also awarded Bankhall Member of the Year 2006. All of these awards were superb for credibility, PR and positioning with our clients.