A NORTH-EAST financial planner has won a national award for his work – despite nearly missing the deadline because he was on his honeymoon.

Robert Little is celebrating an unforgettable 12 months that saw him get married and celebrate his twin boys’ first birthday and ended with being crowned the UK’s Investment Advice Specialist of the Year.

It was third time lucky when Mr Little, director of Redcar firm Bob Little & Co, won the honour at the Personal Finance Society’s annual awards ceremony in London, having been shortlisted for the previous two years.

But he almost didn’t get his application in at all, as the closing date came while he was on honeymoon in Italy with his wife and their babies, who were 18 months old over Christmas.

“When I was shortlisted, I looked at the diary and realised I’d have to do it all in the two days before we went, so it was pretty intensive,” said Mr Little, who took over running the business when he was just 23 after his dad, founder Bob Little, died from cancer.

The couple tied the knot in August and then enjoyed a family holiday that included visits to Pisa, Siena, Florence and Chianti.

“We’ve carried on growing this year with an increase in turnover and enquiries and have dealt with the increased workload by better use of technology and better processes," he said.

“The UK is relatively small in terms of the value of shares and bonds compared to the rest of the world, so anyone who invests in a diversified portfolio should be well protected from any negative effects of Brexit,” he added.