Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

No mat­ter what you may be­lieve, no one can ever build a business on their own. We all need good peo­ple around us who we trust and who trust us. That’s the num­ber one im­por­tant fac­tor for me. With­out my team the com­pany wouldn’t be here to­day. It’s also more en­joy­able and more fun to share the jour­ney and the suc­cess with oth­ers. While we are nearly all in a hurry to achieve suc­cess, ex­pe­ri­ence teaches us the need to be pa­tient. If you keep your head-down, work hard and make the cor­rect choices it will hap­pen. But be pre­pared to play the pa­tience game. Some­times we can let oth­ers in­flu­ence us. If it feels cor­rect to you, then go with it. Be care­ful who you seek guid­ance from. Not ev­ery­one will know or un­der­stand your business, your pas­sion or your dreams. Trust your­self and fol­low your own gut. It tends to be our best in­ter­nal guid­ance sys­tem. cer­ti­fied fi­nan­cial plan­ner. With a fur­ther seven years un­der his belt, he de­cided it was time to gain ex­pe­ri­ence in the bro­ker­age area and joined a bro­ker­ing com­pany as a di­rec­tor for a year be­fore leav­ing in 2011 to set up Pax Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning.

“Ev­ery­one told me I was mad at the time. We were in the throes of the worst re­ces­sion. Funds were on their knees. Mar­kets had crashed and un­em­ploy­ment had sky-rock­eted,” says Paul.

“How­ever, I was con­fi­dent that if I could pro­vide a ser­vice that was sim­ple, that peo­ple could un­der­stand, pre­sented in plain English and with no BS or con­fus­ing jar­gon and where we put clients’ in­ter­ests first, then we could re­ally be suc­cess­ful. Thank­fully that’s what we’ve done.”

The fol­low­ing year, he bought a bro­ker­age in Co Lim­er­ick with five staff which helped in­crease his turnover and give him a pres­ence out­side of Dublin.

Set­ting up an in­ter­nal soft­ware sys­tem for his own staff around life as­sur­ance con­tracts, to help them com­pare and con­trast dif­fer­ent fi­nan­cial prod­ucts, proved so suc­cess­ful that other bro­kers be­gan to ask if they too could buy it. Paul then de­vel­oped a li­censed soft­ware prod­uct with the sup­port of the coun­try’s six life as­sur­ance com­pa­nies. To­day that soft­ware sys­tem, Clearchoice, is used by more than 450 fi­nance bro­kers around the coun­try.

In 2016, Paul opened his third of­fice in Cork and ear­lier this year, he set up Askpaul, a free so­cial me­dia-based fi­nan­cial com­men­tary plat­form where con­sumers can send queries di­rectly to him on any as­pect of their fi­nances.

“My aim was to de­mys­tify fi­nances for the masses and to give peo­ple a plat­form to con­tact a fi­nan­cial ex­pert di­rectly with­out hav­ing to go through an in­ter­me­di­ary, bank or a prod­uct provider,” he says. “This is prov­ing a great suc­cess. We now have 6,500 fol­low­ers and our videos are reg­u­larly watched by over 100,000 view­ers.”

Paul has also built up a strong me­dia pro­file with reg­u­lar slots on TV3 and Q102 where he an­swers ques­tion from the pub­lic on all as­pects of fi­nan­cial plan­ning. What’s his long-term plan? “I’d love to see the day when Pax Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning is in ev­ery county; ev­ery fi­nan­cial bro­ker in the coun­try is us­ing our com­par­i­son soft­ware, Clearchoice; Askpaul is con­tin­u­ing to ed­u­cate con­sumers about their fi­nance; and that we would be em­ploy­ing lots more peo­ple. That would be my wish.”;;

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