IN THIS EDITION OF PRIDE PRESS, DONALD FRASER IS IN THE SPOTLIGHT. READ BELOW TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DONALD AND HIS ROLE WITHIN PRIMIS AND LINEAR.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO BECOMING AN RSD?
It felt like it was one of the few jobs I hadn’t done in the last 21 years, so it was a new challenge to take on! I enjoy helping people and businesses to develop and, if they want my help, I love being part of their journey. The variety within this role and the opportunity to work with a diverse range of teams of people and individuals within AR firms, in PRIMIS and in the broader provider community is something I’m very grateful for. I know I can genuinely say that my life is never boring!
WHICH FIRMS DO YOU LOOK AFTER?
I look after what is known within PRIMIS as the North East and Yorkshire region, however a large number of the broker firms and advisers I offer support to are based all across England and very much beyond any recognised regional geographical boundaries. There are 115 AR firms on my desk directory. There are too many to mention individually but they include many of the highest profile firms and individual advisers across the network. They are very prominent in PRIMIS league tables and represent many recognisable guests at national and oversees events.
I also retain operational oversight and support for Linear Mortgage Network, with Dave Woodbridge’s support, and I still maintain business support relationships with directors of other LSL Group AR firms: Mortgages First, RSC New Homes, First2Protect and Insurance First. I still take the occasional call from Embrace FS too, although not as much as they are firmly part of Financial Services Division under Paul Nurding’s leadership.
HOW CAN YOU HELP FIRM PRINCIPALS?
One of the ways I support principals is by liaising between them and departments, teams and individuals across PRIMIS. Principals will often speak to me first when something needs dealing with. I either sort things myself or point them in the right direction for support by introducing PRIMIS colleagues who are far better qualified than me at certain things.
Going forward I want to offer more business development support for individual firm principals of larger firms, as well as with collective groups of smaller firms directors. I want to promote the sharing of business best practices and successful strategies bringing in selected business partners when appropriate. It’s also an opportunity to draw on my own experiences of working across LSL and PRIMIS in various roles for many years, sharing what I have seen and been part of working well – and sometimes what needs to be reflected on and learned from (because not everything works out as planned)!
HOW DO YOU SUPPORT ADVISERS?
I hope that I support advisers by recognising and encouraging excellent performance, through commentary on individual league tables and by helping to ensure that strategies are in place at firm level to help advisers be as successful as they are capable of and want to be. I try to make sure advisers are aware of the various support and ongoing training that PRIMIS provides, whilst encouraging interaction with PRIMIS field and head office teams who are also there to help.
WHAT ARE YOU ENJOYING MOST ABOUT THIS NEW ROLE?
I enjoy the variety and the fast pace of being an RSD. I enjoy sharing and recognising the fantastic performances from brokers, and I can’t help but celebrate the rewards of their hard work for all the customers they help. The RSD team is also a great one to be part of – while we are all working at 100 mph+, and there are lots of different skills within the team group, everyone is generous with their time for each other. If anyone needs a bit of help or insight, someone will always pick up the phone when you call them, or call you back if they are not readily available.
I would also add that I feel that what PRIMIS provides should be seen as a wider team effort anyway – not individual. I regularly speak with members of the supervision team, as it helps me understand what is happening in places where I may not always be made instantly aware because of the wide range of businesses I’m involved with. In my experience, a collaborative, inclusive and supportive environment works far better than operating in silos!
HOW DO YOU RECRUIT NEW FIRMS/ADVISERS?
I’m really fortunate that I work with large firms who have active recruitment and growth programmes of their own. The help I offer to firms includes introductions to James McNee and Scott McAllister from Richard’s team, and Pinstripe, a recruitment firm that PRIMIS has worked with for many years. I also get occasional referrals from existing firms to talk with individuals they know who may be interested in joining PRIMIS as ARs. There are lots of different ways to help firms, the region and PRIMIS overall.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN RESTRICTIONS COMPLETELY LIFT?
I’m looking forward to the return of regular face-to-face meetings and events. It will be great to attend network events such as Kick-Off Meetings, but also for me to be able to host smaller regional events and meet up with firms.
We’ve done well on Zoom, and other video platforms, and I think these will be a feature of work life going forward that will enable us to continue to promote and deliver business efficiency. However, people really enjoy networking together in person, sharing ideas and meeting people who can help them develop their businesses and themselves as individuals, whether these be from their own peer groups, PRIMIS colleagues, providers or guest speakers. When it’s safe for such meetings to resume, I’m sure they’ll be welcomed by many.