West Park Investment Partnership Ltd. is an independently owned financial planning and wealth management practice, providing independent financial advice for individuals, trusts and companies in the United Kingdom.
From asset management to tax planning, retirement arrangements to protection of capital, WPIP focuses on building and maintaining long-term relationships with its clients, and prides itself on the personal, professional service its staff provide for individuals, trustees and business owners. With more than 80 years’ combined experience in financial planning and asset management, WPIP’s directors established the firm in 2014 having worked together closely for many years.
For the newly-launched business, establishing an effective administrative precedent right from the start was vital to maximise the firm’s efficiency and ensure the utmost security for clients’ sensitive data: “As a new business, we needed support and advice in setting up the most suitable systems for our firm,” explains Shelley Hemsworth, one of WPIP’s directors. A fellow wealth management business recommended Hicel’s services to WPIP in October 2014, and Rudi and the team were instrumental in the early stages of setting up the firm.
WPIP’s initial brief for Hicel chiefly involved identifying and addressing the business’s specific IT needs: with ten brand-new employees based in a recently refurbished office in north Leeds, the firm needed to start its administrative and IT systems from scratch while still maintaining a high level of service for the directors’ existing clients.
The solution was a comprehensive IT system fully managed by Hicel: in addition to providing all the hardware for WPIP’s new office system, Hicel set up and continues to maintain the firm’s software requirements, completing regular updates to ensure the security of its systems.
Another fundamental part of WPIP’s support package from Hicel is a comprehensive offsite data backup service. As well as allowing staff to recover lost files or restore corrupted data with ease, the service gives WPIP full confidence that their sensitive client information is stored securely in line with EU data protection standards.
With support from Rudi and the team, the WPIP team was able to continue servicing its existing clients throughout its move to independence. Shelley speaks very highly of Hicel’s role in this: “With advice from the Hicel team, our business was able to continue advising our clients at our newly established firm with minimum disruption to the service we provide. No job was too small, and Barbara in particular was invaluable in the initial stages of our firm trading before our offices were ready.”
To complete the package, Rudi and the team provide ongoing, on-call IT support for WPIP, dealing with the firm’s tech issues, system and software updates, migrations and housekeeping tasks, as well as providing ad-hoc consultancy for its bigger projects. This is a particularly valuable service for a small business with an unpredictable need for technological support: the Hicel team is essentially able to fulfil the role of an in-house IT technician, reducing WPIP’s need to make staffing commitments while the firm is still in its early stages of growth.
Shelley is keen to point out how important this is to the business: “Although they are an external support firm,” she says, “we would class Hicel as part of our team, and we have a friendly relationship with all the staff.
“We have outsourced all our IT decisions to Hicel so that we can concentrate on our own business. With the support and advice from Rudi and the team our business has been a success: we have a secure, reliable system and, whilst we have very few problems, any support queries are dealt with quickly and efficiently. I would happily recommend Rudi and the team to anyone looking for IT support.”