I started dealing with Mark at Riverstone about five years ago.

My bank was handling my investments at the time as well as my standard banking requirements but my accountant told me there were better ways of doing things and that I really needed some financial advice. It was at this point that he recommended Mark.

The bank were tying up my capital in lots of separate five year bonds rather than treating it as one single pot which felt rather fragmented. All the flexibility had gone and it didn’t make it easy to plan my life.

By contrast, with Mark there was a coherent, long term plan. I could see how one thing related to another. Mark also showed he was thinking about how my life works and as a result his recommendations were much more focused around my needs.

I retired three years ago so now my priorities centre around how to draw an income from it over the long term and fund particular projects like a house move. When I was wondering whether I could afford to retire or not I felt the bank was always telling me I couldn’t, but Mark gave me a proper assessment of what was possible. His style of financial planning has given me the confidence to put my plans into action.

He is also very responsive. I know that whenever I ring with a query, he’ll always find the answer and ring me back. It’s all just sorted!

As someone who is prone to worry, this is particularly reassuring. After all, financial matters are a big thing, second only to health, in my view. However, thanks to Mark, I’ve become more relaxed about my financial future. He’s helped me with my employment pension and I also like the fact that he can recommend other professionals, regarding legal matters such as making a Will or nominating a power of attorney.

My current focus is on ensuring my long-term security and protecting the value of my investments so that I don’t run out of money in retirement. I feel pretty sure that by the time I’m in the eighties there won’t be a Welfare State so it will be up to individuals to fund their own care.

Above all, I’m really pleased with the way Mark’s financial recommendations have enabled me to live the lifestyle I want in retirement, dividing my time between the North East and a house I have in the Scottish Borders. I know exactly where I stand and I have the freedom to choose what I do.

Dr GC, Durham