Darren Cooke – outstanding contribution

For those not at the Money Market Awards, here is the speech I gave in praise of Darren Cooke who rightly won recognition for his work and his spirit. Thanks Darren


Outstanding contribution to the profession

This year’s award will not be controversial. Nobody would deny our winner this accolade – he is universally regarded with respect and affection by his peers and his clients

Our winner worked at HSBC for 18 years – leaving when his division announced a plan to go restricted. He started with network Positive Solutions but went directly authorised in 2016.

He says the suggestion by networks, that small firms cannot afford to remain independent amounts to scaremongering.

With typical directness he has been on the record saying

‘Most networks are run by life insurance businesses that are trying to create a route to market for their products. It is cheaper to remain independent”

He calls his firm Red Circle  ‘His  idea’s “your finances are important, so red circle them”… the circle also represents the concept of holistic planning and provides a memorable image for the branding

Our winner uses the Institute of Financial Planning’s six-step process as the framework for his advice.

his  chartered financial planning qualification proves his technical ability , but for him being  certified is about applying that ability with soft skills and the ability to understand the client.

Today he is most famous as the architect of the cold-calling ban which finally came into force on January 9th .

It means that for all but FCA regulated advisers, no one can cold-call on pensions in this country without risking a fine of up to £500,000.

The ban has been implemented on all live, unsolicited direct marketing calls relating to pensions.

The ban is already protecting those vulnerable people whose pensions are at risk from fraud.

It will protect many more whose savings are growing under auto-enrolment.

Our winner is making a material difference in the battle to restore confidence in pensions.

Britain owes our winner a debt of thanks.

But it’s also his personal qualities and business skills for which we acknowledge him tonight

Here’s Victor Sacks

He is a wonderful guy. An attentive listener who has all the qualifications, but ensures his clients are not blinded by them. A straight talking no nonsense man, I’m delighted to call a friend.

And here’s his client Angela Richardson

he made the whole exercise understandable, financially advantageous and organised.all I had to do was sign on the dotted line. I would highly recommend him to anyone seeking financial advice.

I am sure that there is no-one in this room who does not know who I am talking about.

Ladies and Gentleman, the winner of this year’s award for outstanding contribution to the profession is Darren Cooke.


And thanks to the Editor and Compere!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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