IFA Magazine team mourns the death of Paul Etheridge, the “godfather of financial planning’  

by | Jan 9, 2023

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It is with tremendous sadness and heartache that we have learned this morning, from the team at Truth Software, of the death on Friday, 6th January 2023, of the ‘Godfather of Financial Planning’, Paul Etheridge(pictured), founder of Prestwood Software Ltd. 

On such a sad day, the IFA Magazine team wish to offer our sincere condolences to Judy, Paul’s widow, his family, including his son Richard and all his friends and colleagues right across the global financial planning profession. Like us, there will be many, many people mourning his loss today.

As a poignant reminder of Paul’s life and the huge contribution he has made throughout his lifetime, his colleagues have issued a statement this morning, which we are proud to share with our readership. It reminds us all of the incredible impact he has made to the development of financial planning (done right!) here in the UK. His passion, drive and enthusiasm to change people’s lives through powerful financial planning processes will not be forgotten.


The statement we have received reads as follows:

Paul Etheridge, MBE, TD, JP, MBA, FIFP, CFP, FCII, ACIArb, was the recipient of 5 Lifetime Achievement Awards, was probably the most experienced and knowledgeable financial planner in the UK. He helped many financial planners switch on their ‘light bulb’ to discover the difference between selling products and providing financial planning.  His contribution to the professionalism and status of financial planning in the UK today cannot be underestimated. 

“Paul founded Prestwood Software almost 40 years ago. Prestwood pioneered lifelong cash flow modelling in the UK. Before this, planners were simply guessing when forecasting a consumer’s future financial outlook.   


“Paul also founded the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP), now part of the CISI.  He was famously ‘member Number 1’ of the IFP, first body in the UK to focus solely on financial planning.  He was the IFP President for the first 10 years. 

“Paul ran the Advanced Planners Group (APG) for many years. Customers of Truth® were treated to a monthly masterclass looking at everything from how to charge fees to implementing a client-centric process. He insisted that everything should be about the client at a time when the emphasis elsewhere in Financial Services was very much on creating profit from products.  The APG produced many financial planning stars who have gone on to replicate Paul’s process for a winning strategy and become Presidents or Chairs themselves of the IFP, and now CISI, and the PFS.

“Paul was a mentor to many, and his reach went beyond financial planning.  He was very much a believer in contributing to his community.  In addition to being a JP, he was Chair of Governors at Wycliffe School; a member of the Territorial Army since 1960; and regularly gave his time to help support charities and bodies who might benefit from his expertise.


Ritchie Walton, Managing Director for Prestwood Software Ltd, said:  

‘To have worked alongside Paul for nearly three decades has been a privilege.  His passion to share his knowledge with all who wanted to improve themselves and the financial planning profession was relentless.  His presence will be sorely missed by many.  We are thinking of his close family and friends at this sad time.’ 

In Memory: Stewart Paul Etheridge (17th August 1939 – 6th January 2023). May you rest in peace Paul.


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