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Another new chapter for Gibson Lamb: our first blog post (and a little bit of a history lesson)

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Welcome to our blog

We are delighted that we have launched our new look website which we hope you like and find both interesting and informative. Naturally we couldn’t have done it without the help of the wonderful design team at Top Left Design and I’m hoping I can negotiate a discount with that blatant plug.

Childhood memories

I have, of course, known the business which was set up by my dad and Andrew Gibson all my life. I remember my mum bringing me up on the train when smoking was allowed and being astonished to see commuters opening the ‘slam doors’ as we arrived in Charing Cross and jumping off whilst the train was still moving! As a kid I remember being so proud of my Dad and the team he had working with him. Some of the client names I became familiar all those years ago are still clients now and if you are one of those, thank you for your support over the years.

Thanks to all the people who have worked for Gibson Lamb

We’ve had some great people and some real characters working with us over the years and it would take too long to name everyone but thank you all for everything you have done for us to make this business the success it is today.

Was it a dream to work for the family business?

I had no particular ambition to work for Gibson Lamb as a youngster because I wanted to design racing cars or even better drive them. When I arrived at Bristol University to read Mechanical Engineering I quickly found out I wasn’t talented enough to design the next Williams or McLaren Formula 1 car.

Dad said he could do with an extra pair of hands one summer in the early 1990s as I was part way through my degree and who would have known that I was to eventually join full time after graduation? I worked my way through pretty much every role in the office which was a brilliant introduction to the business, our clients, working in London and dealing with the little problems life throws at you.

It was nearly Gibson junior and Lamb Junior

By the early 2000s Andrew’s eldest son Dominic had shown an interest in the family business too but after a spell with Standard Life he decided that pension planning was not a suitable career path. This left the business with a problem because the natural succession of the Gibson & Lamb Juniors to pick up the reins from our fathers was no longer possible.

Where did Clive come from?

By happy coincidence around that time I had lunch with an old ‘insurance company rep’ that I had got to know as I worked at Gibson Lamb during those summers at university. Clive Lynch joined us shortly afterwards to help replace the experience and knowledge lost when my Dad retired.

Buying the business and the banking crisis

Clive’s decision to join us provided an obvious solution to the succession challenge and Clive & I completed our ‘management buy-out’ in 2006. The banking crisis hit less than 2 years later just after we had moved office from our iconic Whitehall address (which was actually a fairly awful office now we look back). We did question our sanity a few times as keeping up the relentless repayment schedule to the Bank of Scotland was a genuine challenge.

Andrew’s incredible enthusiasm at that time was crucial and the whole team worked tirelessly to build our Private Client Service which was launched just before the crisis started; talk about timing!

Goodbye Andrew

We agreed with Andrew in 2013 that it was time for him to be playing golf and walking his dog and his retirement closed another chapter in the long history of our business. As an honorary Uncle when I was a kid, something I found hard not to call him when he employed me, and my mentor for twenty odd years as we worked together I can never thank Andrew enough for instilling in me the key reason why our business has thrived for over 40 years. Customer service. Never accept anything other than the best customer service and everything else will fall into place. On that point, as usual, Andrew was absolutely right.

The last few years

We have focused on maintaining the momentum we had built up with the Private Client Service, revising our internal processes and procedures to cope with the ever changing demands of a small business in the modern world. We have embraced outsourcing and in particular the decision to use a professional paraplanning firm to help us was, with hindsight, an absolutely brilliant decision.

Our goal for the next few years remains very simple; look after our clients and their money as well as to continue to enjoy working together as a team.

Thanks for reading.