60 seconds with…..Julian Wells

What are you doing at the moment?

I’m involved with two companies - the Marketing Innovation Forum and Adviser Matrix.

We launched the latter in September last year. It’s a free research service for financial advisers and intermediaries considering joining networks. It provides a valuable tool for networks too – we have 20 on our panel – as it brings advisers directly to them.

We launched the marketing forum in February after noticing the way the market for financial advisers is rapidly changing.

What’s the Marketing Innovation Forum about?

The website is about excellence in marketing and ensuring advisers and brokers have the tools at their disposal to get the right message across.

It’s a community of financial intermediaries, marketing specialists and service providers, all ready to advise on ways to help brokers improve their businesses and make more money.

How do you manage your time between the ventures?

These aren’t one-man operations. Both businesses involve a lot of other professionals and it’s very much a team effort. We use some 17 gurus on the forum and there are three founding directors, including myself. Meanwhile, there are five of us on the board of Adviser Matrix.

What has the market response been?

Anything that’s free and supports brokers is always welcome and traffic across both websites is growing daily. Choosing the right network isn’t easy and we take a lot of pain out of the process.

We’d like to expand the forum by adding more gurus, especially those with an IFA background. We’ve also

recently joined the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries and are about to embark on a series of roadshows with Sesame.

How are financial advisers coping in the downturn?

There’s a mixture of attitudes. Advisers are using our forum to swap ideas and help each other. One thing the forum has highlighted is a widespread desire to communicate.

is the UK economy close to a turning point?

There are some positive signs but what is more evident is that a new type of financial landscape is starting to emerge.