Our Culture

The German Poet Hanz Magnus Enzensberger once said “Culture is like dropping an Alka-Seltzer into a glass of water – you don’t see it, but somehow it does something”

Here at Active, we have invested heavily over many years to ensure our culture can be defined not only as ‘how we do things’ but ‘why we do things’ also.  We have a clear company vision and set of company values that are embedded and understood by our entire team, no matter what role they play.

Striving to reach the highest possible standards, our coveted Chartered Financial Planner ‘Firm’ status by the CII (Chartered Insurance Institute) shows commitment towards ethical behaviours, higher levels of expertise and being 100% committed to acting in our clients’ best interests at all times.

Back in 2018 we worked closely with a local marketing agency to evolve our brand and culture, creating the ‘Active Spirit’ which helps to underpin the firm we are; transparent with crystal clear advice for all clients.

Our flexible approach to work is built on trust and our team are rewarded largely on their behaviours and commitment to delivering excellence for clients.  We believe that a clear culture drives the right behaviours, which then leads to the fair treatment of our clients.  Active has for a long time been praised for our open culture by Investors in People (IIP) when they awarded us with the prestigious Gold standard in 2013 and then again in 2017.  IIP said that Active “has a strong focus on building employees’ skills and capabilities” and that “the firm’s investment in people development directly correlated with the firm’s credibility in the industry and in turn enhanced client confidence”.

This was further recognised in 2018 when Active won ‘North East Employer of the Year’ at the Federation of Small Businesses Awards (FSB), and when we were named as one of the ‘Best Financial Advisers to Work For’ at the national Professional Adviser Awards, in 2019 and then in 2023.

In 2023 we were also named as Best Independent Chartered Financial Planners (Northern England) and given the Excellence Award in Retirement Planning (Northern England) by the UK Enterprise Awards.

We are also committed to supporting wider initiatives that benefit our local communities as well as develop our own profession.  As a firm, we work alongside The Teesside Charity as proud Patrons, with our MD, Karl Pemberton as Trustee. We also support a number of other local charities, including the The High Tide Foundation who we supported as corporate partner for a number of years.

Elsewhere in the firm, Liza Pontone (Chartered Financial Planner) is Ambassador for the CII’s Insuring Women’s Futures programme.  The national programme was established for professionals in the sector to raise awareness on the important subject of financial security for all women and to help close the pensions gender gap. Andrew Gilmore (Chartered Financial Planners) volunteers his time as an Education Officer with the Personal Finance Society (PFS) working with students to help them understand the importance of financial planning. Director Paul Gibson is governor at a local school and also sits on the Thornaby Town Deal Board, bringing his experience as a company director and financial planner to both voluntary roles.

So, in an extremely densely populated industry, where on paper we can all technically do the same job, would you want to deal with someone who ‘just meets the desired standards’, or would you prefer to deal with a firm that goes above and beyond to exceed them?

#TheClearAdvantage

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Active Spirit

“Having been a client of Active for many many years and have always been given great advice and direction. I am now looked after by Andrew. He has given excellent advice and service, continuing on the great work this company has always offered me. Always cheerful and helpful; a great asset to Active. I have no problem recommending him to other people.

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