Tim Lewis talks to Warren Munson of Evolve

 

Tim recently talked with Warren Munson founder of Evolve and author of ‘Evolve to Succeed – The Entrepreneur’s Journey’; their conversation was recorded as one of the Evolve weekly podcasts.

The description, “Decent, honourable and straight talking – words many use to describe Tim Lewis. On an entrepreneurial journey that began as a fisherman, Tim has been at the helm of Lewis Investment for 33 years and hopes to be there for a while longer still” leads onto a discussion allowing an insight into the very beginnings, the importance of family and the tenacious determination and commitment that Tim has to the business.

Listen on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and TuneIn or via the Evolve website.

Acquisition of Inspire Financial Services (now Ingenuity)

Ingenuity Financial Services Limited

The shareholders of Lewis & Co (Investments & Pensions) Ltd, trading as Lewis Investment, have announced their acquisition of Inspire Financial Services Limited (IFS); now renamed Ingenuity Financial Services Limited.

Having made the difficult decision to sell, the existing shareholders took into account a number of considerations including how best to provide improved services to their client base with ever-increasing regulatory costs.  By combining resources and infrastructure within a larger financial services company this could be achieved. 

The change in ownership - which has been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) - provides an additional benefit for the IFS team, of a home where there will be opportunities for professional growth and development, with a wealth of experience on hand. 

Having known Lewis Group Managing Director, Tim Lewis, for a number of years it was felt that Inspire and Lewis share a strong culture of looking after clients in a fair and proactive manner, providing the very best ongoing advice.

Although Ingenuity Financial Services will now be part of the Lewis Group of businesses, it will operate under its own brand.  The acquisition of IFS does not affect the business or clients of Inspire Professional Services which provides Business and Tax Advisory Services and whose ownership is unchanged.

Tim Lewis commented: “I am very proud to announce the acquisition of IFS which provides an opportunity to strengthen our existing group.  This acquisition fits perfectly with our strategy to build a group of high-quality professional advisers increasing our innovation capabilities.

“We are pleased to welcome Howard and the entire IFS team to the Lewis Group.” 

The acquisition of IFS brings the Lewis Group to a total staff of 43 and assets under management over £600 million. 

https://www.insidermedia.com

https://www.dorsetbiznews.co.uk

Introducing the new Lewis Investment Android app

Introducing the new Lewis Investment Android app

View your portfolio, or sign digital application forms wherever you are

If you are an Android user, Lewis’ are pleased to launch the brand-new Lewis Investment App on the Google Play app store
 
The Lewis iPhone/iPad App offers you the flexibility and convenience of accessing your investment portfolio directly from your mobile device, as well as being able to view your personalised recommendations, sign digital application forms on-the-go and allow you to communicate with us securely.
 
With the App you can:
  • Interactively access your Investment portfolio anytime, from anywhere
  • View your previous valuations and recommendation reports
  • Digitally sign application forms and documents
  • Secure message your adviser directly or receive information from us securely
  • Upload photos or documents to us securely from your phone or iPad.
  • View your recent transaction history
  • Log in to your account using fingerprint or Face ID biometrics  (if your device supports these)

You can download our App from the Google Play Store by clicking the button below on your Mobile

 

 

 

Alternatively, the App can be reached through the following link:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lewis.clientportalapp
Your existing client portal username and password will work for the new App, or should you require your
user details for the first time or if you need any further technical information please contact ITadmin@lewisinvestment.co.uk or call 01202 718400.

if you are an iOS user our Apple app is available via the Apple App Store, details can be located here

It’s business as usual for us & we look forward to hearing from you

It’s business as usual for us & we look forward to hearing from you

Following the Government’s decision to lockdown England for the second time we wanted to assure you that our office will remain open for business critical activities and to allow those staff who are unable to work from home to continue to work; we do not intend to furlough anyone.

Since the initial lockdown in March we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to analyse how core services work, increase efficiency and enable remote working.  We intend to continue to improve and grow despite this pandemic. Almost all the Lewis Team are now able to work remotely and our advisers continue to be available and ready to advise and support you whenever needed.

We have invested in our future so we can be here for yours.

Best wishes, Tim Lewis

We are pleased to advise that our office is re-opening

We are pleased to advise that our office is re-opening

We are delighted to confirm that our offices are now back open and we are looking forward to catching up with everyone, whether remotely or in the offices here.

We have not rushed to make this decision and have carried out a full risk assessment of our premises taking into account guidance from government and health officials.  We are committed to ensure that we have taken all reasonable measures to keep our staff safe and to ensure we can safely invite clients to visit us at the office.

While there is still uncertainty as to whether the virus can be controlled during the winter months we have focused on limiting face-to-face contact and making sure we can give all our employees and visitors lots of room.  We will still be providing a personalised service albeit where ever possible socially distanced or virtually.  However, should you wish to meet at our offices we will provide you with details of what to expect when you visit in advance of your meeting.

We’ve also taken this time to consider how we can serve our clients more effectively, whether online or at the office. I would like to thank those of you who provided feedback following our “Getting Future Ready” video” sent on 28th May.  We have taken on board your comments and will be working towards incorporating them in our plans.  It may take some time to achieve but rest assured we did listen and will endeavour to deliver.

We are still delighted to receive referrals from our clients so if you have friends or colleagues in need of financial advice as a result of changing circumstances we will be happy to help.

We look forward to welcoming you back to 41 Commercial Road in the near future.

If you would like to book a review, or have any queries then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

With very best wishes

Tim Lewis

Update: July 2020 Keeping you in the loop

We are now through the first 4 months of the COVID-19 Pandemic and life is very strange indeed.

Although the number of infections are down in the UK significantly, there are still pockets of infections and life is still far from normal. In my 32 years of advising clients, family and friends, I have never seen something of this proportion that affects so many people and businesses from all walks of life.

Although this uncertainty has affected us all in so many ways, we feel that it is important at times such as these that we continue to keep you updated.

The Stock Markets

The second quarter to 30th June 2020 has witnessed strong equity returns, bouncing back, as expected, from the initial panic and mass market sell-offs in quarter one.  Although markets have performed strongly over the last 3 months, whilst the COVID-19 pandemic continues, caution still prevails particularly if further spikes in the virus occur.

In the UK, the FTSE100 Index rose by 11.3% during the past 3 months to 30th June 2020. This was in fact one of the poorer performing major indices as the UK has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, with high infection and death rates, which are slowing the easing of lockdowns.

The economic uncertainty in the UK has been compounded by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ('OECD') forecasting an 11.5% decline in GDP in 2020, followed by a 9% rebound in 2021, but also despite not hitting the daily headlines, the Brexit negotiations are still to be concluded! We expect a deal to be reached but the potential for a no-deal exit still exists and therefore volatility is expected to continue.

Negative yields now cover all UK Gilts (loans to the government) with maturities up to 7 years. This is incredible and means that investors are willing to pay the government to take their money!  This is largely due to gilts being a ‘safe haven’, however, it does point to how difficult it will be to achieve income in the future.

This is why we still believe that our proposition is strong for the long term.

As previously reported, the US fiscal and monetary response to the crisis has been extraordinary, with the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates to zero, announcing unlimited quantitative easing and being committed to buying investment grade and high yield corporate bonds.

With these unprecedented stimulus measures and expectant low inflation levels, equity returns are predicted to be positive, having already posted returns in the US of 21.8% over the last 3 months. However, the main concern is the relatively high COVID-19 infection rate with the number of new cases seeming to continue to rise.

The US have the Presidential election in November, with the race between Trump and Biden expected to be close.  A sustained recovery in the US stock market will be Trump’s best aid in re-election to the White House.

Concerning our funds we were delighted to learn that Adrian Frost, lead manager of Artemis Income Fund has just been awarded Investment Week award for outstanding investment manager over 25 years. This fund is one of our core holdings and is still performing very well, despite the volatility.

Commercial Property

We have experienced a great deal of difficulty following the March and June quarter rent dates, with a multitude of tenants across all sectors failing to pay their rent due. In most instances the issues faced by tenants that have not paid are genuine and it remains our firm belief that where possible we are far better working with an existing tenant to help them through these extreme times than creating a vacant unit, with all the associated costs this produces.

As a consequence of COVID-19 and the impact this has had upon businesses, a number of property fund managers are reporting less than 20% of rents due have been received for this period, which is unprecedented.  Although in comparison, we have achieved a very strong 68% of rents for March & June across all our syndicates, we are by no means complacent and continue to work with tenants to improve this number.  Where appropriate, we are also negotiating concession packages on our members’ behalf that we feel are equitable for both parties and once these have been negotiated to a level we feel to be fair, we are approaching the syndicates on a case by case basis to put such proposals to a vote.

Moving forwards, we may see some tenants continue to struggle with their short-term obligations, so as the economic situation unfolds working together for the longer term and therefore working with tenants to achieve good outcomes for both parties will probably be the best way forward.

It is also possible that some tenants will need to have permanent holidays for the payments that they have missed, just to allow them to get back on their feet.  This won’t be dissimilar to stock market based funds, where over the same period investors are expecting to receive about 60% of their normal dividends from the shares that they hold, because of the effect COVID-19 has had on their profits.

Whatever decisions have to be made, some will be easy and some not so easy, but we will want to ensure that your investments not only stay strong in the short to medium term, but also that you benefit in the longer term by the decisions that are made today.

We also strongly believe that a spread across our syndicates is a great way to hold good assets in strong locations, as they will continue to provide a good spread of investments and a good spread of income for many years to come and we are still actively looking for new opportunities should they arise at the right price.

You may know that in the past, every 6 months we have independently valued our commercial properties, so that you will always have an up to date figure for your assets. As a result of the pandemic, this is virtually impossible, however, the board feel that we need to reflect the position in values and the most straightforward way to apply this principle was to use a property index figure across all commercial properties and all sectors in the country. The index used is the CBRE commercial property index which since the crisis started is showing a 6.3% reduction in values.

Therefore, your property values whether in LLP holdings or in your Options UK (Carey) SIPP will reflect this reduction moving forwards on your portal or your portfolio valuations from Lewis’.

Lewis Investment

Concerning our staff, we are now working towards a plan that will not only ensure good service for you, but strong continuity for the company and all our stakeholders for the long term.  If you need any help or advice in the meantime we are available and open for business, so please don't hesitate to get in touch.

We have had a tremendous response to our new Apple iOS App, with the servers just about taking the strain of launch day and now many clients are benefiting from its technology. If you have not yet downloaded this, you can read our instructions  on how to download it HERE.  We’re still working on an android version, but for non-apple users the new portal can still be accessed from your preferred internet browser. Just let us know if you need access details to be provided or have any problems with it.

It just leaves me to wish you the best of health and rest assured we are here to help wherever we can.

Tim Lewis

Introducing the new Lewis Investment iOS App

If you are an iOS user, Lewis’ are pleased to launch the brand-new Lewis Investment App on the itunes app store.

The Lewis iPhone/iPad App offers you the flexibility and convenience of accessing your investment portfolio directly from your mobile device, as well as being able to view your personalised recommendations, sign digital application forms on-the-go and allow you to communicate with us securely.

With the App you can:

  • Interactively access your Investment portfolio anytime, from anywhere
  • View your previous valuations and recommendation reports
  • Digitally sign application forms and documents
  • Secure message your adviser directly or receive information from us
  • Upload photos or documents to us securely from your phone or iPad.
  • View your recent transaction history
  • Log in to your account using fingerprint or Face ID biometrics  (if your device supports these)
 
You can download our App from the Apple App Store by clicking the button below on your iPhone or iPad

Alternatively, the App can be reached through the following link:
https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/lewis-investment-client-portal/id1512724995
Your existing client portal username and password will work for the new App, or should you require your user details for the first time or if you need any further technical information please contact ITadmin@lewisinvestment.co.uk or call 01202 718400.
Note: Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

How we will work with you in the future

We have been thinking about how we will work with you in the future

We realise that it will take considerable time before we can all be confident that the virus has been contained and we appreciate that some of us may not be comfortable with face-to-face contact.
 
Thinking proactively for the future, we have been looking at how we can adjust the way we work to suit your preferences and have prepared a short video which can be viewed by following this LINK.
 
If the video is too fast you can pause it using the control button in the left hand corner.
 
We will be in contact with you again very soon as our new facial recognition client app comes on line.
 
In the meantime stay safe.
 
Very best wishes.

Tim Lewis 

Update – May 2020 Keeping you in the loop

It seems hard to believe that we are now almost six weeks on from our last email in early April.  As you will appreciate time has flown for us as we have been forced to work remotely with a reduced team while trying to ensure continuity of services for our clients.

I am sure that this has not been the case for everyone, many will have found time to pick up hobbies or try something new but for others, this time has been overwhelming causing much anxiety and stress.  Like the virus, this situation affects everyone differently and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected around the globe.

We have deliberately kept our communications to a minimum in consideration of the fact that everyone is being flooded with information about COVID-19 from every side.  We made the decision to only email with helpful or critical information in relation to our services and not repeat  Government advice. However, we do not want to give the impression we are no longer open for business  - we just want to help you “see the wood for the trees” in your inbox.  Rest assured we will continue to observe the guidelines and preserve the safety of both our clients and staff.

We will continue to tailor our approach throughout the coming weeks and will communicate with you regarding any important updates or should anything change.   We will be issuing a short report early next week explaining how we are looking to adapt our business and work with our clients moving forwards.

We previously told you that many of our advisers are on furlough.  In the meantime our Directors, Lee, Simon and Tim are available should you need any advice or have any concerns. Our administration teams continue to work from home and are on hand to answer your queries; it is important to us that you can still talk to a member of our valued team.

You can access your investment portfolio via our client portal where you can obtain valuations, we would ask you to read the notes on the portal in respect of pricing.  If you do not already have access to the portal or need to re-set your password please contact Adam Gardiner who will be happy to assist you.

We would like to thank our clients for being patient with us and appreciating that currently returning calls can take us a little longer than usual.

In relation to the property syndicates, we have been in communication with members to keep them informed of the latest positions.  A number of tenants are able to pay their rent.  However, a fair number, mainly in the retail and leisure sectors, have been unable to fulfil their rent commitments and have either requested a rental holiday or a deferment due to the crisis.  It is currently still too early to enter into agreements with the tenants, who in many instances are experiencing genuine difficulties with zero income due to the Government lockdown.  A collaborative approach that helps to keep a business on its feet during these unprecedented times will, in our view, be the best way forward.

We will continue to talk with the tenants and keep members appraised of the situation and as always members will be asked to vote on their agreement to any proposals.

As we navigate through these challenging times, we are reminded of how fortunate we are to be part of a community prepared to come together to support the greater good.  Let’s hope we remember the lessons learned and use this experience to strengthen our country in the coming years.

We wish you, your teams and your loved ones health and safety.

Very best wishes

Tim Lewis

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