Back in January, we set ourselves a series of goals for Berry & Oak that we wanted to achieve in 2018. We have taken the time to reflect on our progress, as it’s good to take time to celebrate your success, as its very easy to forget this in your quest to achieve the next goal. We have had a fantastic year, including getting to the finals of several national high-profile industry awards.

Here is an overview of what Berry & Oak have achieved in the last 12 months:



  • Lara passed her R08 pensions exam, which demonstrates her technical knowledge in this complex pension area. Well done Lara.


  • The new Berry & Oak website was launched. If you haven’t already checked it out, please look at


  • We recruited our first intern. Sebastian Pitt joined us in April for a work placement over the summer. Seb was a great addition to the team over the summer and he’s now back at University completing his degree.

  • Liam passed his FA2 pensions administration exam. Well done Liam.


  • Andrew presented to his peers at the Personal Financial Society regional conference on the benefits of doing cashflow planning.

  • Sarah Presented at the New Model Adviser Conference on how to run a successful financial planning business.

  • Berry & Oak was ready and GDPR compliant for the 25th May 2018.
  • Berry & Oak were top 5 Finalists for the Professional Adviser Retirement Planner of the Year in the North and Scotland Region.


  • Sarah achieves CFP qualification and is now a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. This is a degree level qualification and the only globally recognised mark of excellence in Financial Planning. Well done Sarah! The pass rate for this qualification is 8%.

  • Sarah nominated for Professional Adviser Woman in Finance Awards.


  • The Berry & Oak launch event was held at Hazelwood Castle. We were delighted to have Justin Urquhart Stewart able to join us for the event and give an great presentation on “how to live a thoroughly disgraceful retirement.

  • The Berry & Oak you tube channel was launched. This saw Andrew, Sarah, the Berry & Oak team along with some of our clients, take up being filmed. These testimonial videos cover topics such as “why be a client at Berry & Oak”, “Why be a Berry & Oak team member and “how to use our Data Portal” If you’ve not yet seen the Oscar worthy video’s look at them here and let us know what you think.


  • Liam completed his Level 3 Apprentice in Financial Services. A Fantastic achievement and testament to all of Liam’s hard work. Liam has now started work on his level 4 apprenticeship. Really well-done Liam.


  • Berry & Oak Investment Seminar featuring guest speaker Shane Balkham. Shane is the Head of Portfolio Construction at Beaufort Investment Management (BIM). Shane explained the Beaufort Investment Process, and their views on what the future might hold for your investments. For those of you that were there you will remember the power cut and the presentation by candlelight!

  • Sarah went along to Tadcaster Grammar School and presented to the sixth form students about how to prepare themselves for a job interview and to highlight the fantastic careers and opportunities available to young people in finance

  • Sarah presented to the Personal Finance Society paraplanner event in Birmingham on the benefits of working with cashflow planning

  • Berry & Oak were delighted to be “Highly Commended” in the 2018 “Moneyfacts Retirement Adviser of the year” Award. This award followed a rigorous selection process including a written submission form us and feedback from our clients.

  • Berry & Oak were also a finalist for the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI) – Accredited Financial Planning firm of the year. Accredited financial planning firms must demonstrate excellence in everything they do and are recognised as some of the most trusted Financial Planning firms in the UK. They deliver a comprehensive Financial Planning service, helping clients achieve their life goals. Along with some of the leading firms Berry & Oak was judged on its business performance, innovation and service excellence so we were delighted to have made the shortlisted 5 firms for the award.


  • Berry & Oak achieved the BS8577 certification, backed up with increased operational efficiencies, processes and standards. BS 8577 is a British Standard designed to assess and award financial planning firms who can demonstrate that they have the operational framework in place to deliver a first class service to their clients. Being awarded the BS8577 accreditation means we are now the ONLY firm in the North of England and Scotland to be accredited to BS8577 as well as holding the Chartered Financial Firm and Accredited Financial Planning Firm™ status.

  • Berry & Oak were very proud to have been selected by New Model Adviser as one of the Top 100 financial planning firms in the UK for 2018. It’s an honour to be on this list with the best firms in the financial planning profession.


  • Berry & Oak are Shortlisted for 3 awards at the inaugural Yorkshire Financial Awards 2019. We are shortlisted for Best Employer, Customer Service and the Financial Adviser of the Year Award. The whole team are going to the award ceremony in February 2019.

  • Team trip to Vienna. The Berry & Oak team had a few days away in Vienna in celebration of their hard work. Its wasn’t all play as we had a good business planning session on how to further improve our service to our clients.

  • Berry & Oak are proud to be able support the “HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter” which is helping to achieve gender diversity in financial services.


  • Finalist in 2 categories in the Professional Adviser awards for the categories of “Adviser of the Year” and “Client Engagement” The awards are held in London next February

  • Sarah and Lara both passed the AF7, advanced Pensions transfers exam. which demonstrates their technical knowledge in this complex pension area, especially with all the recent changes to pensions legislation.
  • Sponsorship of the Towton Christmas Lights. It’s great to be able to help Towton continue to have its amazing Christmas lights every year. If you’ve not seen them, take a drive through when you are next in the area.

Thank you to all the team, your hard work and dedication are inspiring. We have further great plans for 2019 – so watch this space!

Finally, the whole team would like to wish you all a happy Christmas and a healthy and successful 2019!

This article does not constitute advice. Anyone considering any form of financial planning should seek independent financial advice. You should note that the FCA does not regulate tax advice.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. The value of your investment may go down as well as up.

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If you’ve been wondering what you need to do next with your financial planning, or want to know more about getting the most out of your finances for retirement planning, investing or estate planning, please talk to us.

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