1 November 2021

Carbon wins Gold Standard Award for the 8th year in a row

Once again we are the proud holders of the Gold Standard Award for Independent Financial Advice – for the eighth year in a row. Who wouldn’t want this accolade? All awards are not equal, but the Gold Standard, now in its 19th year, is a benchmark (if not the benchmark) of excellence in our profession. Only a tiny fraction of UK firms receive the Award each year and we are honoured to be one of them.

The judges praised us for our Chartered status, good use of technology, client portals, sustainable portfolios, coaching and mental health support for staff, as well as for our commitment to charitable work.

It’s a terrific endorsement and deeply gratifying to know that we are one of only four firms in the UK to have achieved the Gold Standard this year in our category: Independent Financial Advice (medium to large).

“Achieving the Gold Standard means the recipient firm has all the characteristics of a successful, high quality, sustainable and responsible business in the 2020s.” (

If you’re thinking that our run of ‘wins’ – 2013 to 2021 (there was a break for 2020) – means that the Gold Standard is easy to attain, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s not! The application process is the most onerous we know. It’s not simply a case of hanging on to the Award each year. The Gold Standard Award team don’t want to know if you are as good as you were last year; they want to know that you are better.

The questions are searching, incisive, multi-faceted, and cover every aspect of the business – from company structure and data protection, to investment research and client care. There is nowhere to hide and no one is taking your word for it. You are asked to give practical examples, case studies, supplementary documentation, and evidence of outcomes. This year’s application had over 40 questions and our submission was 43 pages long. It was over 8,000 words and compiling it felt like writing a dissertation. It took hours to complete! We love it.

Managing Director Gordon Wilson explains:

“The brilliant thing about the Gold Standard Award, is that it challenges us in ways that no other award scheme does. It makes us look into every corner of the business, year on year, reviewing everything we do, how we do it, and whether we could do it better. It’s definitely a driver for our business improvement.

“I’m thrilled that we keep hitting this mark. It’s a tremendous credit to our team and great news for our clients too. They put enormous trust in us and it’s a pleasure to be able to pay that back a little with a glowing third party endorsement. The judges of this Award are among the best financial heads in our industry.”

This year’s judging was chaired by industry expert Rosy Anand, Head of Corporate Pensions Marketing, Aviva.

For more information on the Gold Standard Awards:

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