My Week: Adam Price of VouchedFor

After some years as a wage slave, Adam Price decided to launch his own business, VouchedFor, a comparison site for independent financial advisers.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

I used to work at Barclays Wealth, running one of its financial advice businesses. Friends and family would ask me for advice about where they should be putting their money, and I struggled to give them an impartial view because banks only advise you on investments and pensions covering their own products.

There are lots of good independent financial advisers (IFAs), which work by charging a fee and not taking commission, but I realised there was no easy way of searching for them. I quit Barclays at the end of 2010 and shortly after started Vouched For, a website where people can search for IFAs in their area, and rate and review them. In the past six months we’ve gone from having 100 advisers on the site to around 700.

I wasn’t happy working for a corporation so I was ready to start my own thing. It was a bit of a risk and had I known then what I know now, I may have been too scared to do it. I didn’t realise how long it takes to get something going – but I don’t regret it.

I initially funded the business myself, but we raised our first round of investment last year, worth £150,000. We’ve also just completed another funding round, which means we can add three more people to our team of five staff. The website is free for people to use, and we make money by charging a fee to IFAs who get business through our website.

No week’s the same. In the last few days I’ve spoken to some VCs about our next investment round and I’ve had meetings with some potential partners. I’ve also been threatened with legal action from a large financial services firm, which wants its advisers taken off our website. Sometimes people don’t want to be included, because the website is based on reviews and they’re worried about what people will write.

I drop my two boys – who are three and one – at nursery at 7.30am, which means I’m in the office by 8. I don’t work really long hours (I like to be home by 6pm) although it can be hard to switch off even when I’m away from the office.

The hardest thing about running a start-up is not having the resources you’re used to when working for a large company. There’s also the risk element – I have a young family, so I’m not sure most sensible people would have done it. But there are lots of advantages to being your own boss and I’d encourage people to do it. I’m now thinking about expanding the site to compare other professional services. That’s why I chose the name VouchedFor, because one day we’d like to broaden out from just focusing on financial advisers.

Someone once said to me: ‘It’s better to regret what you did do than what you didn’t do.’ That’s the best piece of advice I ever got. Whatever ends up happening, I’m pleased I’ve done it.

- Find out more about VouchedFor.

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