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The story so far

John Baxter founded Unividual in 2000. The business concept was realised after John experienced a “one-size fits all” financial advice service for years. As a business owner John couldn’t find an adviser that could plan across all areas of his personal and business finances. Advice was generic and not tailored to his situation.

Where it all began

John Baxter grew up in an entrepreneurial environment as the third generation in his father and grandfather’s fresh produce business, CH Baxter’s & Son. After selling the company, John joined Allied Dunbar in 1998 and became an award-winning financial adviser. He designed a financial advice model capable of being tailored to each client that stitches together every area of someone’s finances. In 2000 John launched Unividual, with a name designed to reflect our core belief that each of us is unique and individual. The business grew from strength to strength with the support of John’s wife Angela and other valued members of staff who have shared in our journey along the way.

Our pioneering financial planning model shaped Unividual’s reputation for delivering intelligent advice. However, at the time, Unividual faced a similar problem to other firms: John was the only financial planner, so the business could not offer clients lifetime advice. John’s son, Lewis Baxter, changed this. After graduating with a law degree, Lewis joined the business to start Unividual’s next generation of financial planners. In 2011, he became one of the youngest Chartered financial planners in the country and that year was the youngest Fellow of the Personal Finance Society. Scott Gurd then followed in Lewis’s footsteps in 2013 to become Unividual’s second Chartered financial planner.

Financial Advice fit for the future

As the business evolved, Lewis and John needed a specialist to design and implement Unividual’s next phase of growth. In 2014 John’s daughter, Cherie-Anne, was hired to implement a legacy plan that both clients and staff can benefit from. As an experienced recruiter, Chartered Marketer and proven strategist, she joined Lewis as a director-shareholder. Together they have managed the next phase of Unividual’s growth. Their combined expertise sparked the creation of Unicademy, our very own in-house academy that nurtures the next generation of Chartered financial planners. Ruth Stainer, Greg Harris and Simon Hicks were the first graduates of the academy. Greg and Simon now serve the business as Chartered financial planners and Ruth is a Team Leader.


Where are we now?

Unividual is now in a position where clients can rely on our financial planning services, delivered in ‘The Unividual Way‘, for the rest of their lives. We are now a team of around 30 members of staff, with seven Chartered financial planners, a large office in the centre of Bath and, since November 2018, an office in London. Located on Platform One of Paddington train station, the London office houses a team of paraplanners and financial advisers. It is not Unividual’s plan to be a “big” business, instead we want to continue to strive to be the best. What is important to us is each financial planner will be of the highest of quality and require teams of support around them to deliver on Unividual’s levels of service. We will prioritise maintaining high standards as we grow, so our clients can continue to depend on our intelligent levels of advice for generations to come. To find out a bit more about those high standards and the morale codes of conduct we follow head over to our Mission and Values page.

Our culture & unique code

Building a diverse business

Financial services is predominantly ran and organised by white men and this is certainly not representative of the UK as a whole. Not only has this created the financial advice gap but a complete lack of diversity is one of the reasons why only 8% of the UK population used a financial adviser in 2019, reportedly dropping to 5.7% in 2020. Unividual’s in-house financial services training program, Unicademy, focuses on recruiting people for their attitude and the values they live by. Inclusive recruitment strategies have encouraged applicants from all walks to join our business. A personable application process has helped candidates lacking confidence to shine. A culture of embracing the things that make us unique in life has meant employees have somewhere they can grow and develop. Unividual is proud to be LGBTQIA ran, have women within the leadership team and trainee financial advisers who are soon to qualify and come from different ethnic minority groups.

Giving young people opportunities in finance

“As part of my business and economics degree, I chose to complete a yearlong placement at a business of my choice. Having not initially considered a role in finance, Unividual stood out to me for their unique business ethos and encouraging working environment. Entering an industry that was new to me initially felt daunting however, from the beginning, I have been supported by the people around me to get the most out of my time here. Already, I have been able to learn a huge amount of technical knowledge by working so closely with the advisers and our clients. I have been exposed to the research and analysis which allows us to inform and give advice to our clients on all aspects of their finances. The responsibilities given to us as placement students from the first day makes it a hugely rewarding and enjoyable place to work. The support that Unividual provides to me as a young professional gives me the confidence that I will have the right knowledge and organisational awareness to be successful in my final year of university and my future career.”

Livvey Wadsworth, Bath Spa University

9th February 2023

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