Meet the client – Martin Dempsey
In 2005, aged 26, Martin was involved in a road traffic accident. As a passenger in a friend’s car, he sustained horrific head and internal injuries, breaking nearly every bone on the left side of his body. This was as a result of the car veering off the road, demolishing two lampposts, a series of bollards, a bus shelter, and eventually landing on metal railings.
It was only the quick thinking of a doctor at the scene cutting through his ribcage to relieve the pressure on Martin’s lungs that kept him alive. After many months of acute care and rehabilitation he was able to leave hospital and begin his new life.
That was eleven years ago and today Martin faces his challenges with a positive outlook and a wicked sense of humour. Throughout the conversation he regularly makes light of his legacy injuries and how they have shaped his future.
“Since the accident I have no shame” he says with a smile, “so many people saw me naked during my recovery period that this has left me with little to hide. You kind of get used to people seeing you this way and soon learn not to care or react. This means I don’t embarrass easily and am much more relaxed about my appearance.
I was introduced to my financial consultant, Helen Williamson, six years ago at the point of settlement of my claim. She has been a great help managing my portfolio and instils confidence that it will give me a reasonable return which is sustainable for the long term. It’s reassuring to know that at least I don’t have any financial worries and have what I need to support my new life.
Helen and the Greystone team are pretty hands on and always do what they say they are going to do. I email whenever I have a question over the piles of paper they are obliged to send me. Even when I get in touch at 10 o’clock not expecting a reply until the next day, Helen usually gets straight back. I really appreciate the fact that she is so flexible; it makes me feel very special as a client.”
“It’s not the sort of job you can do 9-5”, explains Helen. “You never completely switch off and if one of my clients has a problem then I never think twice about responding.
I also look after Martin’s parents Jack and Janet’s financial planning and so we’ve built up a good relationship together over the years.”
“It’s the volume of accompanying paperwork that is necessary today in the financial services industry that can faze you,” says Janet, agreeing with Martin’s earlier comment. “Although I appreciate it is for our own protection, it’s such a relief to have Helen at hand to explain things in layman’s terms.”
“We have come to rely on Helen for financial advice and enjoy her visits,” adds Jack. “Nothing is too much trouble and she genuinely cares about us as clients.”
“As a result of the accident I am unable to work”, continues Martin, “and so one positive thing to come from this is that it has given me the freedom to pursue my interests and the time to travel the world. So far I’ve visited China, the US and Australia and more recently Finland where, during a dog sled excursion, I was asked if I’d like to drive the sled myself – how I’d have loved to, but sadly I had to decline as I just don’t have the strength on my left side; it’s also pretty tough going and incredibly exhausting as they reach speeds of 30 miles per hour.
I enjoy taking photographs on my trips and use a clockwork camera which enables me to take panoramic images of the places I’ve visited and these hang on my walls as reminders of my adventures.
However, I’m not able to travel entirely alone as I have physical weakness on my left side, my balance has been affected and I also have a loss of peripheral vision on the left side. I do value my independence though and so travel ‘alone’ but with a group which gives my parents less to worry about; this also avoids the dreaded single supplement. It’s a good job I did as well on my trip to Australia. I inadvertently left my medication in London enroute and luckily I realized this in Singapore; a very kind taxi driver took me to hospital and then on to four or five chemists to retrieve what I needed.
I’m also a massive fan of Steampunk, Star Wars, Iron Man and Galaxy Quest to name but a few. I enjoy dressing up for the conventions and meeting people from all over the world. I recently attended a four-day Steampunk Comi Con event at the London Expo dressed in Victorian costume – it was a great experience; I even came away with a 3D model of myself!
My ability to concentrate and read a book has diminished to practically zero and so I entertain myself with graphic novels – the images really help.
And my next adventure? I enjoy seeing animals in their natural habitats and there are a couple more continents to explore and more conventions to share – so plenty to look forward to.”
You can read more about Martin’s story after the accident on his blog site
Jack and Janet Dempsey
Jack and Janet have been Greystone clients for over six years now and Jack explains how they were first introduced to Helen.
“As Martin came close to settling his claim, Janet and I started to worry a little about how best he would manage the forthcoming funds. Our legal team introduced us to Greystone and we had a meeting to discuss our aspirations for Martin and how they could help him/us. That meeting was the start of the relationship with Helen that continues to this day. Together with Martin we mapped out how best to invest, to ensure a reasonable return to support him for the rest of his life. Helen and her team have been invaluable, and have frequently carried out ‘risk assessments’ to ensure the funds are invested wisely.
Having recently retired, Helen offered Greystone’s help with investments for our future, and we jumped at this based on the performance demonstrated by them with Martin’s fund. So we are all ‘one big happy family’ and have regular meetings, either at Greystone’s offices or Martin’s house, where Helen makes sure that we are all meeting our financial aspirations and where necessary transferring money here and there so that we continue to do so.”