Steve's story


Steve Conley, known as Steve the Life Planner, joined the community management team in October 2017. 

Steve was born in 1961 in Bishops Stortford, and studied mathematics at The University of Manchester from 1979 to 1983. He then started his career in financial services with a Manchester life insurance company. He qualified as a chartered insurer in 1989 and went on to head pensions for the life office, that later became Royal London. He then headed up pensions for a bank that became Santander. He headed up investments for RBS group and eventually also HSBC.  By the age of 50 Steve had become the most senior financial services professional in retail banking for a decade, he chaired the British Bankers’ Institute’s steering committee, had launched half-a-dozen market firsts, half-a-dozen market leaders, and helped save the lives of five million children with an impact investment.  Eight out of ten investors in the UK now use his multi-award-winning products. But then again, in 2011 Steve, in his own words, had climbed the corporate ladder of success to the very top … only to find it leaning on the wrong wall! Steve had discovered that money was a means to an end and not an end in itself. The financial industry had a purpose that had long been forgotten, and that was to deliver well-being.

Steve gave up being a city banker and trained as a master life planner with the Kinder Institute. He set up the Academy of Life Planning in 2012. He learned to treat the client as the customer, and not the money. He found that by delivering clients to their own purpose, and putting in place the right financial architecture to support it, he could create a trusted relationship.

Steve recognized that this was a potential model that could restore trust and confidence to the least trusted industry globally. Trust mattered. He has been campaigning globally for financial people to model integrity and deliver freedom ever since.

Today, Steve the Life Planner walks the walk, as well as talks the talk. He helps many people to identify their purpose and values. He says: “If you want to love the life you live, you have to first live the life you love.” He runs a portfolio of values-based businesses; in some he is the planner, or the adviser: in others he is a spokesperson, leader or campaigner. Steve’s life purpose is to use his expertise and skills to make the financial world a better place. Steve says: “At first I wanted to get as far away from the banks as possible, but then I realised, if not me then who, and if not now, then when? So, with compassion for those I sought to influence, I immersed myself 100% in my purpose, and when you do that it seems that the divine will of the universe conspires to help you succeed.”

Steve is an award-winning Ambassador for the international Transparency Taskforce.