“I’ve always had a desire to ‘do things today that make you smile.’

Dave Lamb owns Gibson Lamb, a financial planning firm in North Kent, supported by “two wonderful staff and a host of equally wonderful outsourced resources such as Paraplanners.”

The firm were founding members of the IFW as they found that the concept fitted perfectly with how they had always approached planning, prior to realising the process had a name. Dave won the prestigious IFW Client Impact Champion award in 2022, and often shares inspiring stories of financial wellbeing outcomes in the IFW Community following conversations with clients.

How would you summarise your passions, both in and out of work?

Spending as much time as I can with our son makes me really happy. I also love my cars – in old parlance a petrolhead but that doesn’t really work when you drive an EV (electric vehicle) most of the time! My escape from the grind of life is to take my Lotus to a track somewhere and whizz around in circles for the day. I’ve also become a keen advocate of ‘green tech’ – in recent years we’ve changed our gas central heating to electric and swapped two ICE (internal combustion engine) cars to electric. Blending this into work, we’re very enthusiastic about investing responsibly and have been bowled over by the positive response from our clients about the concept too.

Several years ago I decided to make the business more environmentally friendly, offsetting estimated carbon emissions related to energy consumption and travel, using only recycled card and paper and other similar steps. The topic of conversation started to come up in client meetings and in 2019 it quickly became apparent that clients liked the idea of investing responsibly – doing less harm and doing more good. I’m enormously proud that nearly all Gibson Lamb clients invest at least partially responsibly.

What’s your happiest memory?

Only one? Being in the Ataturk stadium in May 2005 to witness first hand Liverpool come from a 3-0 half time deficit to win the European Cup for the fifth time. Or was it watching Nigel Mansell win several British Grand Prix back in his heyday? Getting engaged in New York was special. Climbing Kilimanjaro with my wife is up there too, along with dozens of moments of fun and joy with my son over the years. We had the most amazing holiday to Orlando, Florida, in 2023 too.

What  do you wish you’d been told about finance when you were 15?

As my dad was a financial adviser, I had a pretty solid upbringing when it comes to finance and money management. Some personal challenges when I was younger meant that I’ve always had a desire to ‘do things today that make you smile’ because who knows when the chance might come around again. I’m pretty sure I can trace the way I approach being a professional financial planner and financial wellbeing to those early life experiences.

What made you want to work in finance?

I didn’t want to. I wanted to design racing cars for Williams F1 (or even better, drive them!). I graduated in the early 90s and that summer it just so happened my dad’s firm (he co-founded the business in the 1970s and we’ve done a cheeky video about the journey here) had an upcoming PIA (a forerunner of the FCA) visit. He asked me to come in and help check a few things, and I never quite got around to leaving.

What impact do you think joining a firm run by your dad Barrie and Andrew Gibson had on this experience?

It was a privilege to work with them both. They taught me so much about looking after your clients, your staff and yourself. They had such strong moral compasses (not always a strong point of advisers from that era) and an uncanny knack of foreseeing changes to the industry and adopting them quickly and effectively.

I now realise that working with my dad was amazing and something few children get the opportunity to do. We shared a lot of laughs and he taught me a lot.

We celebrated our 50th birthday recently in a nice West End restaurant. Barrie (I often refer to my dad as Barrie in a work environment) and Andrew were there, along with the original secretary Annie, who I remember fondly from when I was a kid, plus my wife and the current team. Listening to Dad and Andrew yapping away about The Good Old Days was really wonderful.

How did things change for you and the company when you became the owner?

Apart from a massive pile of debt to repay, they didn’t. I had effectively been running the company for some time. It was the same team, doing the same job really.

What prompted you to join the Institute for Financial Wellbeing?

Gibson Lamb has always encouraged people to spend their money on stuff they find fun, and this predates my time as an adviser. I’m not entirely sure how our first contact with (IFW founder) Chris Budd came about, but I always liked the way Chris talked about approaching advice.

I realise now that a chat we had in Bristol many years ago involved him asking me some really good questions and then listening to me waffle on with the answers!

When it became clear that our ‘enjoy spending it’ approach had a name and there were likeminded people who could make us even better at “it”, we didn’t hesitate. That we are founding members makes me proud. I’m not one for awards or certificates, but I am very proud of winning an IFW award in 2022.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about financial wellbeing since joining?

That my own lack of confidence in my ability to do “it” well is somewhat misplaced. I’m told I’m better at it than I think I am, both via the annual certification but also via client feedback. Imposter syndrome….

What is your top tip for someone wanting to improve their financial wellbeing?

Don’t overthink it – start with some small wins and build from there.

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