A PROMINENT Hexham business has merged with a national firm based in the Tyne Valley.

AYP Financial Planning Ltd (AYP) was founded in Hexham in 2005 by Kim Alexandra. It started by offering a unique, independent financial planning service for women, including those with their own businesses and those going through divorce or separation. 

AYP has now been acquired by Perspective (North East) Ltd, originally established in 1985 as Wilkinson Hatton in the village of Bardon Mill by Mitch Wilkinson, a fellow financial advisor.

Hexham Courant: Suzanne Gould, Amanda Knowles, Stephanie Ryder, Sue Wardle and Sarah Chandler; Sitting: Ian Wilkinson and Kim AlexandraSuzanne Gould, Amanda Knowles, Stephanie Ryder, Sue Wardle and Sarah Chandler; Sitting: Ian Wilkinson and Kim Alexandra (Image: Supplied)

His son, Ian Wilkinson, joined the business in 1989, aged 19, having worked for three years on a farm after leaving school.

Ian’s sister Sarah Chandler also joined the business. After significant growth, including merging with another firm, Ian’s firm became one of the four inaugural acquisitions for the newly formed Perspective Financial Group in 2008.

Hexham Courant: Suzanne Gould, Kim Alexandra and Sarah ChandlerSuzanne Gould, Kim Alexandra and Sarah Chandler (Image: Supplied)

Ian has risen to be both managing director of Perspective (North East) Ltd based in Seaton Burn, and chief executive officer of the overall Perspective Financial Group Ltd, one of the leading national financial planning and wealth management firms in the UK with over 30 offices, 120 financial planners and 450 staff.

Kim said: "I knew we needed further help and support to sustain and grow the business and wanted to be happy that it would be capable of providing a continued high level of service for our clients, not just now, but long into the future.

“We decided the best solution for our clients and our people was to find a larger partner who could not only provide access to the next generation of advisers, but also help with the increasing regulatory burden.

“Having carried out an exhaustive search, it is wonderful to have found Perspective, especially as their origins also began in the Tyne Valley. They fully share our values and levels of respect, professionalism and client service. “This move will provide long-term security to the provision of financial advice for our clients, career security and indeed greater opportunity for our people, and the ability to grow our office in Hexham."

Ian added: "“Whilst Perspective has the scale of a national group, we retain the feel of a local firm. The combination of AYP and Perspective promises to bring something different to Hexham with access to national-level specialisms and expertise on the doorstep."