From helicopter technician in the Royal Navy, to advising from a MOD base, Glyn Snelgrove is always ready to serve.
Glyn Snelgrove, MD of Lexion Financial Services Ltd holds the armed forces dear. From his time in the Royal Navy, to providing those serving with advice today, he remembers how it all started...
‘I started in financial services on the 12 June 1980, the date I left the Royal Navy, as a helicopter technician, with the Refuge Assurance in South Wales.
23 years and several acquisitions later, ending with Royal London closing the retail arm, I started Lexion Financial Services Ltd on 2nd November 2002.
I deliberately pitched the company to be mortgage and protection only, recruited a handful of advisers I have had the pleasure of managing over the years, and set about learning the ropes of how to run a company compliantly and successfully, garnering all the attributes from my previous employed positions to mould this embryonic entity with the help of colleagues into what it is today.
After a few years with L&G, and another network, we decided to become DA, we then set about looking at opportunities that could potentially help members of the armed forces, (as it was clearly dear to my humble beginnings), the nearest MOD base is at MOD St Athan, near Cardiff.
Through contacts on the base we quickly realised that we needed to be members of the Services Insurance and Investment Advisory Panel, SIIAP. This meant being interviewed in London by the board members of SIIAP and tested on the knowledge required in order to issue appropriate recommendations. This was completed and we were accredited with the necessary authorisation.
We have a permanent office at this base and travel to make presentations at other bases in South Wales and a few in England, mainly for resettlement purposes, but can be for new recruits, but specially personnel who find them selves leaving the armed forces and need current information on housing options available to them including accessing the Armed Forces Help to Buy scheme.
We then set about acquiring premises from the Welsh Assembly Government who own the site at St Athan, this took a painstaking 2 years, (their solicitor only worked on Friday’s!!), but eventually paid dividends and we leased the building we are in today.
We have continually occupied the building for the last 8 years and it has proved a success with the civilian and armed forces population who have sought advice from us, some by email direct from referrals via para’s and other soldiers from Camp Bastion in Afghanistan!
Latterly we have been privileged to see the addition to the site of lots of growth industry firms, the likes of Cardiff Aviation with Bruce Dickenson, lead singer of Iron Maiden at the helm, and of course the iconic Aston Martin Lagonda, attracting nearly a thousand jobs.
As members of the Aerospace business park we made contact with the management of Aston Martin and through negotiation and after some due diligence by them, (where do I start with due diligence on such a company, maybe by accessing James Bond movies!) we have been accepted as Mortgage and Protection advisers to the staff, where we set up each week a bespoke surgery within their incredible building helping new and existing staff with their mortgage and protection requirements.
Lexion today is made up of Glyn, Mike, Simon, Carl, and Paul..(a total of 167 years between us in financial services) with Carol and Jo who administrate the entire office procedures, and importantly pay everyone on time each week!
Oh by the way my selfie has HMS Hermes aircraft carrier, in the background as I served on board her from 1972-75, and permanently stays with me as a reminder of the incredible role everyone in the armed forces plays in the protection of our shores.’
MD Lexion Financial Services Ltd