A FAMILY-RUN retirement advice company which helps people to invest their wealth for maximum return has seen its portfolio rise to more than £115m, having started with just one person.

Wealth of Advice is led by entrepreneur Chris Breward, who launched the business in 2012, aged 33, after years of working for financial firms in the North-East and North-West.

Mr Breward wanted to change the image and reputation of financial and asset management firms and instil in his clients a trust that would help him grow through word of mouth and recommendations.

Wealth of Advice now employs 12 people from its Belmont Business Park offices in Durham, and manages a portfolio of more than £115m on behalf of clients.

“When I launched the business, I wanted to do things differently,” says Mr Breward, who is from Peterlee and lives in Trimdon with his wife Jodene, who also works for the company.

“As an industry the working demographic is at the older end of the scale and is perceived as quite stuffy and elitist. I wanted to change that.

“I also wanted my clients to trust me and to understand the advice I was giving them was based on their best interests, not mine.

“If I met with someone and it wasn’t right for them to transfer their financial management to Wealth of Advice, that’s what I would advise them, even if it meant we lost out on that business.

“That approach very quickly paid off and we gradually got more and more people coming to us.

“That increase in demand for our services led to us moving into our offices at Belmont Business Park and adding to the team with the right people who shared my vision.”

The Wealth of Advice team includes experienced financial advisors and training paraplanners, as well as administrative and management personnel.

Mr Breward also employs his sister and two nieces, both of whom graduated from Northumbria University and joined the firm to embark on training into their current roles.

“Our growth has been massive since we launched back in 2012 and my aim is for that growth to continue,” he said. “I’m very keen to add to the team, particularly with young talent which is keen to develop under our guidance and share our ambitions for the company.

“My ethos is that Wealth of Advice is the caring arm around our clients’ finances, providing them with the right advice to ensure they become better off as a result of trusting us to manage their money.

“Our next significant target is to grow the number of great clients we have as we grow the number of quality people in our team and then, hopefully, get the funds under our management to over a quarter of a billion.”