On Thursday 22 October 2020, professionals from across the wills and probate sector came together to celebrate the successes and achievements of the industry is what has been a challenging year, at the British Wills and Probate Awards 2020.
The awards, which was back for it’s third year, took to the virtual stage and was hosted by ex-Royal correspondent, Jennie Bond, alongside headline sponsor Arken.legal (UK), and champagne sponsor Executor Solutions.
Let’s hear from Innovation of the Year Award winner, Tower Street Finance
About the Innovation of the Year Award
This award represents an innovative project or product that has greatly improved the customer journey and taken the area of Wills and Probate forward.
The winner of this award must have:
- Transformed a key element of a department’s culture or performance
- Broken new ground in the deliver of services to clients
- Taken a unique approach that goes beyond a single product or service success within the industry
Tower Street Finance were shortlisted alongside:
- Foot Anstey (Highly Commended)
During the judging process, the judges decided that Tower Street Finance were the worthy winners saying:
“A beneficial product defining its own space in the market.”
How did you feel winning the Innovation of the Year Award this year?
We spent the best part of 2 years creating a new product which we believed was unlike anything else available in the market and was available to all customers, regardless of their financial circumstances. Since launch in June, both customer and probate professional feedback has been fantastic – professionals in the sector are now able to offer a more complete service to their customers, which in turns creates a better customer experience. Being awarded this accolade so early on in our tenure makes us all very proud, shows the hard work was worth it and it’s great to think our industry also believes in the product!
So, who are Tower Street Finance? What do you do?
We are (currently) a small team, but the majority of us have worked together before, and we are a very passionate bunch that’s innovative, dynamic, focussed and has a strong desire to succeed. We aim to deliver innovative financial products and first class customer service to consumers and probate professionals alike. We launched the business with our “Inheritance Advance” product – the product allows beneficiaries to access their inheritance straight away rather than having to wait for the estate to be resolved. The Advance is available to all beneficiaries, we don’t take into account their financial circumstances, there’s no credit checks, no repayments, no charge over any property and no liability to them – if there’s a shortfall, the risk is all ours. We know how difficult and stressful it can be for beneficiaries, especially after the passing of a loved one, and we believe our new product will help eradicate the stress and financial burden. We are always looking for ways to help people and Inheritance Advance will be the first of many products.
How has your firm developed in the last 12 months and navigated the added complexity of the coronavirus pandemic?
Luckily for us we are a new business and therefore don’t have legacy systems and processes which are cumbersome and time consuming to change, so adapting to different ways of working due to the pandemic has being fairy easy for us. Our team are based nationwide so working remotely is the norm with Zoom, Teams, etc. If you can take a positive from the pandemic it shows that there are other ways of working, rather than just being in the office, and it’s great to see that our industry is able to adapt and be innovative.
What’s next on the cards for you?
Through our discussions with probate professionals we know that there is a demand for a product to alleviate the IHT conundrum – where there is an IHT liability that has to be paid in order to get the Grant of Probate, but the Grant is required to sell the estate assets to pay the IHT. As mentioned above, we have an innovative team, so we have come up with a solution, along similar lines to the Inheritance Advance product, and we’ve just launched the IHT Loan which is already proving popular. Also, we do have other ideas we are discussing, so watch this space…!
What advice would you give someone thinking of joining the Wills and Probate sector?
If you take a look at not just the winners but all companies who entered the British Wills & Probate Awards, it clearly demonstrates the industry is full of innovative, exciting and energetic businesses. In addition to the companies who entered there are a number of new data and technology businesses entering the sector which is exciting and will benefit all participants in the sector. So we think entering the Wills and Probate sector now could be very rewarding: embrace the change and enjoy the ride!
Why is the British Wills and Probate Awards event, which recognises excellence and highlights achievements in the industry, so important to the industry, especially this year?
Regardless of what industry you are in, recognising someone’s achievements is so important – it is always nice to see someone being rewarded for what was undoubtedly a lot of dedication and hard work. It also shows the industry isn’t scared to adapt and change and move forward. It helps demonstrate there are new and better ways of doing things, as change is so important. This year has clearly been a difficult year for most industries, so it’s fantastic to see our industry adapt and excel, and then recognise those who have gone the extra mile. Tower Street Finance would like to thank British Wills & Probate Awards for adapting themselves by delivering the virtual awards and recognising the hard work of others.
Everyone at Today’s Wills and Probate congratulates all those who were shortlisted in this year’s awards.