You might want to know a bit more about Ian (me) and what I have done with my life to date before deciding to trust me to represent you. In addition to this background you can check out my blog to see what I have been up to recently, and you may also glean some information about me from Family Politics, my show about how politics affects the everyday lives of my family.
Ian at Ruislip Lido
In my day-to-day job, I am a Chartered Financial Planner with the Chartered Insurance Institute. I have spent years advising people on how to manage their finances legally and ethically, and as a result I am intimately familiar with the personal tax regime of England and Wales, or at least familiar enough to know how the system can be abused by those who wish to be more questionably moral.
I have been working in personal finance since 2008 in a variety of capacities, achieving Competent Adviser Status (or CF30 as it then was) in 2010. Since then I have progressed to the Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning from the Personal Finance Society. I am a current member of the Expert Witness Institute and have presented on a number of occasions to audiences ranging from interested private individuals through to private client solicitors wanting a more technical briefing.
Prior to my work in finance, I underwent a graduate management training scheme with the British Standards Institution.
Ian in his Martial Arts Days
Before that, I was a student. I completed a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. During this time I also took an extension module in Japanese, though I have since forgotten most of this through lack of practice.
Fun fact: I have lost a job because I refused to compromise my ethical position on the treatment of clients. Without question this set me back in my career, but I am pleased to say that it is something I would repeat even knowing the eventual outcome.
Hobbies and Interests
“What are you like outside of work?”, I hear you ask. Great question!
Until fairly recently – and I will explain why – I was an avid martial arts instructor, reaching the level of second degree black belt in jū jūtsu with the Aiuchi Jiu Jitsu Association. This art is a form of self defence with origins hundreds of years ago but modernised to take account of current acts of violence. During this time I taught hundreds of students at Imperial College London the basics of self defence and the law, but more importantly I established a community of people around me that I could trust implicitly and who could in turn trust me back. As part of this development, I even had attendees from the club at my wedding, and I have been to several weddings for fellow instructors and students. I was even asked to be the official photographer at one such wedding, which was immensely touching.
In addition to the martial arts, I also very much enjoyed snowboarding and wakeboarding, and I was a fairly recent convert to weightlifting. I had also been known to practice fencing, but traditional fencing involving longswords rather than modern Olympic fencing.
Unfortunately everything changed when in 2019 I broke my back and in 2020 I developed a permanent brain infection as a consequence. Now I am partially disabled, in that my balance and co-ordination is poor, and I tend to fall over a lot if I don’t use one or more sticks to balance. Needless to say, that brought an abrupt end to my time as a jū jūtsu instructor as well as to my other physical hobbies.
Now you will find me enjoying photography and trying to learn t’ai chi. I also return to the gym begrudgingly, but this is now more of a physiotherapy than for enjoyment. I am also the president of the Trojan Speakers club in Ealing, and would be happy welcoming anyone who wants to come along to practice their public speaking skills – though we have a “no politics” rule during normal meetings.
I am also a big reader, a huge fan of superhero films, and something of a geek when it comes to hanging out online with friends.
I have made a few media appearances so far, and I have tried to keep track of them here:
Family Politics is my show where I talk to people – usually those close enough to be considered family – about issues of politics that are important to them.
I have appeared as a guest on the Global Atheists show several times. I have tried to include a list below: