Charity move in father's memory

A FINANCIAL adviser whose father died of lung cancer three years ago says he will be donating a fifth of his turnover to charity as he tries to combat the perception that those working in finance are greedy and unethical.

A FINANCIAL adviser whose father died of lung cancer three years ago says he will be donating a fifth of his turnover to charity as he tries to combat the perception that those working in finance are greedy and unethical.

Peter Herd, of Essential IFA Ltd, Ipswich, worked in banking as a senior business financial planning manager in London before his father Fred Herd's death prompted him to reassess his life.

He set up his own business in Ipswich in 2007, and this year decided to donate 20% of his turnover either to his chosen charity, Cancer Campaign in Suffolk, or another charity of the client's choice.

“I was a very successful consultant and have seen the excesses within banks first hand and this was the reason for coming up with this idea, together with the fact I had lost my father to lung cancer in 2006 and felt that financial services needed a different approach,” said Mr Herd, aged 40, who is supported in the business by his wife, Sheila.


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Even in these times of recession, there are banks and building societies making vast profits, he said, but questioned what benefit this had for the local community.

“Many people have the perception that people working in finance are greedy and not ethical individuals and I wish to challenge this perception so I have decided to set up my own company on the basis that we will donate 20% of my company's turnover - not profit - to charity.”

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Mr Herd said he hoped to raise at least �40,000 for charity in the first year, pointing out that a �100,000 insurance policy with critical illness cover generates a commission of �2,450, which would mean �490 to charity. He would need to attract 80 of this type of policy to hit his target. His longer term target is to raise �1million for charity.

“One of the things that people always mentions to me over the last year is how can we change institutions to be fairer? Well I hope that this idea could be part of that change and raise lots of money for charity.”

Mr Herd, who hopes to work in partnership with solicitors and accountants in Ipswich, said the reaction to the charitable giving had been “great”.

When his father, who was known to many of his friends as “Ginger” and worked as an engineer in Ipswich, became ill and died aged 76, Mr Herd said he became aware of how much cancer services rely on charitable support.

“I was very close to my dad and so is my sister. I was fairly shocked at the way a lot of care for cancer patients is quite reliant on charity,” he said.

“I hope he would feel immensely proud. My father was very proud of me, of what I have achieved so far due to the fact I suffer from severe dyslexia.”

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