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JKFS was established in February 1992 by John Kerr and subsequently incorporated in 2014, becoming JKFS Independent. The firm adheres to the highest standards in providing sound, independent, expert advice for both individual and corporate clients. We work with our clients to ascertain their individual needs and requirements and offer solutions from the whole of the marketplace. Our team of specialist consultants are qualified to the regulator standard and beyond – continuous professionalism is at the heart of our culture.
Based in the prominent West End of Edinburgh, the bulk of our clientele is based in or around Edinburgh and the Lothians, however we also have a number of clients across Scotland and the UK generally. Due to the various restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, we have digitalised many of our processes, utilising digital signature technology and video conferencing software to continue to offer our full service. Whilst we prefer in-person meetings we can offer an end-to-end advice process through a combination of video conference, telephone and email/postal correspondence.
At JKFS, we feel it is important to build up a close relationship with our clients and work with them throughout their lives to ensure they achieve their goals and aspirations at every stage. At the initial meeting, this starts with a full and thorough fact find to understand your individual needs, culminating in a presentation meeting where we provide a tailored financial plan that we will continue to manage with you throughout your life. We specialise in wealth management and corporate solutions which includes advice on investments, pensions, inheritance tax and trust planning combined with all our clients’ protection and borrowing requirements. Wealth management also incorporates our mortgage solutions division which provides advice on new house purchases, re-mortgages, buy to lets and holiday homes.
Ensuring clients have suitable protection in place is a key to our advice process at JKFS Independent. Protection is the umbrella that protects the plans you have made for the future by ensuring that you will be able to continue to provide for you and your family and/or continue saving towards your future goals in the event of death or serious illness. By having the right protection in place, you can make long-term plans with confidence that you and/or your family will not have to compromise these should the worst happen. More detail on the common types of protection most clients require is listed below:
Life Insurance will pay out a lump sum in the event of death and is often associated with covering mortgage debt. However, life insurance can also provide a vital source of replacement income for your surviving spouse/children as a way mitigate the financial impact of losing a portion of the household income. In a 2018 study by Drewberry, respondents overestimated the cost of life insurance by 200% and were wrong about the chances of passing away before retirement by a factor of 6. In the same study, a higher % of respondents had breakdown cover compared to life insurance, even though the financial consequences of the latter are far more significant.
A 2019 report by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) showed that 97.4% of new Term Life Insurance claims were paid out in 2018. 
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical Illness Insurance will pay out a lump sum in the event of diagnosis of a listed critical illness. Critical Illness Insurance does not pay out on sudden death however, so in practice this is usually attached to Life Insurance cover on an accelerated basis, meaning that the policy pays out of first claim only. By combining these insurances this prevents double cover and reduces overall premiums.
The most common claims for Critical Illness Insurance are diagnosis of a heart attack, stroke or cancer. All insurances will cover these definitions and the typical number of conditions covered is around 40, which includes other high prevalence conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Blindness/Deafness and Traumatic Brain Injury. Cover in this market can vary from as low as 10 conditions covered up to 182 conditions. These more comprehensive policies have a number of partial payments conditions that will pay out less severe diagnoses such less advanced cancers/strokes, third degree burns, lung lobe removal, blindness in one eye and loss of a single limb or hand/foot. Where partial payments are made the total cover will usually be reduced by the amount paid out, meaning there is still continuing cover and there is no need to re-apply for cover.
Critical lllness Insurance fills in the gaps between Life insurance and Income Protection cover where the severity of the illness requires more that just a replacement income such as; extensive property changes; moving home to more suitable property to accommodate the limitations of a condition; a source of income where a spouse/partner has to reduce/give-up employment to care for you; or to cover the costs of ongoing care/private medical treatment where not covered by the NHS.
A 2019 report by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) showed that 91.6% of new Critical Illness claims were paid in 2018.
Income Protection Insurance
Income Protection is almost certainly the most undervalued insurance product on the market, with 1 in 4 brits saying that they would face financial ruin if out of work for only four weeks and that they would have to turn to credit cards if they were without an income for 6-months. Consider this with the fact that more than 2 in 5 people get no more than a month of paid sick leave from their employer and 16.1% get none at all. Yet, more people have mobile phone insurance (19.1%) than have Income Protection Insurance (10.1%).
Income Protection Insurance will pay out a tax-free monthly benefit where you are absent from work due to illness for an extended period of time. Cover can commence immediately or can be deferred for up to 12-months to align with any sick pay offering from your employer. Cover is usually set at a maximum of 60% of your gross salary to account for tax and benefits that are typically deducted from basic pay. Policies will typically be aligned with your retirement age and can pay out on an inflation linked basis until this age or can be set to pay out for a specific term (e.g., two years) per claim to reduce costs. However, short-term policies are unlikely to provide adequate cover as, according to a leading insurer, the average length of and Income Protection claim was 7 years and 7 months.
A 2019 report by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) showed that 88.10% of new Income Protection claims were paid out in 2018.
Level of Service/Charges
JKFS offer two levels of service, the Transaction Only Service and Full Private Client Service. You will be provided with a Terms of Business document at first point of contact and we will discuss the two services in detail before you decide which you would like to proceed with.
- The Transaction Only Service is provided for a one-off initial fee paid by the either the client, the provider, or a combination of both; and covers the initial meeting to presentation of advice. This typically applies to advice on mortgages and protection where ongoing management is not required. However, where the solution advised has a renewal date, we will also follow up with you to ensure the solutions is still relevant for you and can provide further advice at that stage if required.
- The Private Client Service covers the same as the Transaction Only Service with the addition of an annual review report and offer of a review meeting; ongoing administration and document storage; ongoing investment communication and phone/email support; Inheritance Tax review and portfolio rebalancing offered among other ongoing support. There is an ongoing advice fee for the Private Client Service in addition to a reduced initial charged at outset. This fee is typically taken as a percentage of the assets under management; therefore, the Private Client Service is most suited to Investment, Pension and Estate Planning advice.
At JKFS, we have differing charges depending on the solution advised, as shown below:
Insurance/Protection advice – JKFS will receive commission from the provider that will cover the cost of advice.
Investment/Pension advice – JKFS will charge a % fee based on the size of the investment ranging from 4.5% to 2.5%.
Safeguarded Pension Transfer advice – JKFS offer an abridged advice service for a one-off fee of £1,000 that determines whether the pension is suitable based on your current circumstances, or whether further analysis is required. Where further analysis is required a % fee based on the transfer value offered will be payable less the abridged advice fee if this service has been used.
Mortgage advice – JKFS will charge a fee per application between £350 and £750 depending on the size and complexity of the mortgage. In addition to this JKFS will receive a procuration fee from the lender on completion of the mortgage
If you feel that JKFS would be the right fit for your financial advice needs, or you have any further questions about our offering, please contact us via the details on this listing.
Thank you for your time,
The JKFS team.
The article is for information only and must not be considered as financial advice. We always recommend that you seek independent financial advice before making any financial decisions.
- Insurance & protection
- Pensions & retirement
- Financial planning
- Tax & trust planning
- Expatriate finances
- Long Term Care
Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning (DipPFS)
Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice (CertPT)
Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP)