Kennedy Black founder Ben Smaje is a former investment banker. He established Kennedy Black as he wanted to build a business that provides proper, unbiased, regulated advice in an industry tainted with conflicts of interest and murky practices.
Before setting up Kennedy Black, Ben worked in Société Générale's Investment Banking division, advising financial institutions across Europe on their funding and capital requirements. Prior to that, he worked in J.P. Morgan's investment bank, advising Emerging Market clients on raising money in the bond market.
Ben is one of the most highly qualified advisers in the UK, being one of only a handful qualified to QCF level 7 (with Distinction), equivalent to Postgraduate/Masters degree level. He is also a Chartered Financial Planner, the blue riband qualification for financial advisers in the UK. Plus he has a law degree (2:1) from the University of Birmingham, a founding member of the Russell Group of leading universities in the UK.
Ben contributes regularly to the financial press and has had articles published in the Financial Times and City A.M. among others. He has featured in The Independent, The Times, The Mail on Sunday, Money Observer and numerous industry publications, and been interviewed by Citywire, Morningstar and BBC Radio 5Live.
Ben lives in Beaconsfield with his wife and two young sons. In what little spare time he does get, he enjoys squash, photography and snowboarding. Sadly, his rugby-playing days are firmly behind him.
Ben's qualifications include:
- Law degree, University of Birmingham (2:1)
- Postgraduate Certificate in Finance with Mathematical Finance, Birkbeck College, University of London (Distinction)
- Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, Chartered Insurance Institute ('CII')
- Chartered Financial Planner, CII
- Certificate in Mortgage Advice, CII
- Certificate in Investments (Securities and Financial Derivatives), Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments ('CISI')