I am the lucky owner of a Defined Benefit Scheme with British Steel and whilst following the recent events closely over the last year, decided firmly that I wanted to transfer out into my current employers DC pension scheme. I work for a global investment manager and consider myself experienced enough to weigh up the risks and benefits of a DB transfer, and of course I was aware of the requirement to seek independent financial advice.
In late January 2018, my plans were thrown into some disarray when my existing IFA decided to pull out of DB transfers in light of the bad press surrounding British Steel transfers and I was faced with finding another IFA to advise me. To be perfectly honest, I googled specialist DB transfer IFA’s and among the top names appearing was Blackstone Moregate. I had nothing to lose and so I called their offices.
I was put through to Richard Hopkins and we commenced with a high level discussion of my situation, a consideration of the factors we would need to work through and he made clear that this was by no means an easy piece of work for either Blackstone Moregate or indeed myself to work through.
Over the next week, I spoke at length (both telephone and email) with both Richard and also Jane Black, who handled my case with huge amounts of professionalism and diligence, the upshot being that I was able to proceed with my DB transfer request. Apart from meticulous attention to detail and an excellent rapport with me as a client, I was particularly pleased with the way in which there was a robust challenge of my desire to transfer out, in depth consideration of my reasoning and also a full review of the pertinent factors. I was aware of the rogue practices of some IFA’s in South Wales and I must say my experience with Blackstone Moregate could not have been more different. Whilst ultimately it was clear that the transfer was in my interests, I was really grateful for the way in which Richard and Jane acted in an independent and professional manner.
I believe that finding an IFA you can trust is something not so easy to do and I plan to use Blackstone Moregate services for my ongoing pensions advice and very much hope that I have the pleasure of Richard and Jane’s expertise in future. I very rarely write such reviews and as such, I hope this testimonial might inspire others to seek out the services and guidance of real professionals in their field!

Danny Jones

I was in a Company Defined Benefit Pension scheme, but wanted to consider options available to me under the new pension freedoms, so I contacted Blackstone Moregate.  I found them very thorough and professional in their approach. After a detailed analysis and face to face discussion, they crafted a solution for me that I felt reflected my personal circumstances and preferences.

Client in Brighton

We chose the name of 3 companies/individuals from the ‘unbiased’ website and decided that Blackstone Moregate (David Bright) were best placed both technically and location wise to provide us the financial consultations we required. Their response to our initial request was both timely and informative. The advice provided was always very clearly explained in terms that we could understand and also what options were available with my pension pot. Our plans with regard to what we wanted to do with the pension were discussed with David Bright at length over several meetings and the final proposed option exceeded our expectations with what the pension pot could give us as opposed to leaving the funds in my company pension scheme.  Finally, David Bright continues to provide excellent post transition support to us and we hope to continue to enjoy and maintain this relationship going forward.

David Perry

Vijay Thakkar and Blackstone have helped us with financial planning for 17 years. Over that time he has helped us think about what we are trying to achieve and how we might put that into practice. What we also value is the ‘no pressure’ approach that comes with the good advice we value. We are reasonably financially aware and had noted the high transfer values available on final salary schemes. We were also aware of the utility of DC schemes to shelter IHT. The report from Blackstone confirmed our thoughts and we decided to transfer the pension after discussing the pros and cons with Blackstone. Vijay’s team did a great job of getting the transaction done in short order to make up for our slowness! Excellent attention to detail and personal service as ever.

Ian Scott

Apart from the courtesy and warm greeting I experience each time I speak or meet you or any of your team, I am always impressed by the level of knowledge, the clear explanations and high level of professionalism I receive in my dealings with you all. A previous IFA I approached were less competitive and could not achieve what I needed in the time frame. I came to you with even less time and after your assessment and advice, which I took, you achieved exactly what you said you could and in the right time frame.  It would be negligent of me not to recommend you and your team!

Christian Stanley

We had a complex SIPP requirement involving multiple pension schemes and a joint property purchase. Our previous advisor had informed us that the chances of getting approved were slim at best and that we should be prepared to wait up to a year for the transfer to complete.  We were fortunate enough to be recommended to Blackstone Moregate through a friend. From the outset Richard and colleagues from Blackstone Moregate assured us that the transfer wouldn’t be a problem and that even given the complex nature, they would be able to turn this around for us very quickly. I wouldn’t usually make a recommendation, but I can honestly say the service we received was “first class”. The team were always very responsive to emails and phones calls and guided us through every step of the process. In my opinion they went out of their way to explain things in precise detail, provided much needed reassurance and met some difficult deadlines imposed upon us. My thanks once again to Richard and the team

Adrian Cowley

I have been a client of Vijay Thakkar and Blackstone Moregate for over twenty years. Throughout this time they have carefully and sympathetically managed my small, but very important investments. They have displayed excellent customer service being always available to discuss my account and concerns in a friendly professional manner. I am extremely satisfied with their work and guidance and would 100% recommend them.

John Branscombe

Very thorough analysis and very patient with my disorganised choas approach! Thanks for explaining everything so clearly


It is truism that those who manage others money are the worst at looking after  their own. Blackstone Moregate has rescued me and helped me think through a life plan

Paul Mc

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