MEET THE TEAM
Matt is the founder and Managing Director of Haven Financial Solutions.
His passion leads the protection side of the business and he shares his time between seeing clients and developing the business.
Having lost his father to an aggressive brain-tumour, Matt sees clearly the huge protection gap in the UK. He believes that all families and business owners who are reliant upon their own ability to work, to generate the income needed by them and their families, should ensure they have the protection in place to ensure that should something happen they will have the financial support to carry them through difficult times.
Matt lives in Poole with his wife Gemma, their four-year-old daughter and a cat called Rambo. In his spare time (the little he can get with a four-year-old), Matt is often messing around with his cars or, busy getting in trouble with Gemma for returning to the office in the evening.
Matt is well known in the office for his unique singing voice. It’s akin to a cat in pain and it prompted the immediate purchase of a surround-sound stereo to compete with his erm…. talent.
He is also an active Ambassador for the Dorset Cancer Foundation which is a small Dorset-based charity that provides financial support to anyone suffering with cancer. The charity fills a void that is not covered by local or national government by providing help to cover costs such as rent or mortgage arrears, food, clothing, and travel costs to cancer treatments. You can find out more at about this charity here.
THE REAL BOSS
Harriet joined the business 4yrs ago (when she was born) and has been involved ever since.
Some say that Harriet is the real boss, and when she isn’t chairing board meetings, she is using her
creativity to improve the office environment…others say she just twirls on the spinny chairs and draws on the walls!
Like most big-shot CEO’s when she isn’t in the office, she is pursuing her dreams. Like Richard Branson, she shares a love of space travel and among her most ambitious projects has been to take “Rambo” the family cat, and her dolly to space (on a rocket made of pillows…obviously!)
As you may expect with so much to do, Harriet is not often in the office. When she does grace us
with her presence, she tends to head straight to the water cooler and works her way through that. Swiftly followed by trying to make paper aeroplanes out of the shredding pile.
After such a hard day it’s usually straight home (chauffeured of course), to de-stress with a Shaun
the Sheep or Fireman Sam story!
Richard heads up Haven Mortgage Specialists and is responsible for looking after mortgage clients and developing the mortgage side of the business.
Having initially set out on a career in the City where Richard was a stockbroker and in investment banking, he decided to change paths after speaking to his own mortgage adviser. Richard realised that helping people achieve their dreams of property ownership and dealing in a tangible commodity could be more fulfilling.
After a number of years working as a Mortgage & Protection adviser for other firms, Richard met Matt at a mutual friends’ daughters second birthday party(!) Although many advisers do both mortgages and protection, Richard and Matt shared the view that it was very difficult to truly specialise in both, and that each area deserved to be the sole focus of an advisor. Several months later, Haven Financial Solutions was born, and the two departments set up: Haven Mortgage Specialists & Haven Life Insurance Specialists.
Richard likes the fact that no two mortgage cases are the same and enjoys building long-term relationships with his clients that has now seen some of his clients move from being single First Time Buyers to Home Movers with families moving into their forever homes. He still gets a thrill from helping people that previously felt a move was out of their reach and also helping others realise their goals as a property investor or landlord.
Richard originally grew up in Bromley but, having moved to Dorset in 2016, he now splits his time between the Beckenham and the Poole offices.
Away from work, Richard likes spending time with his wife Toni, and their young sons James and Harry. He does his best to keep in some sort of shape (that’s not round) by visiting the gym, although that often ends up being a visit to the sauna instead. Richard likes to make regular trips to the local beaches and also frequents the second largest natural harbour in the world in Poole, where he enjoys boating and water sports.
Mike comes from an investment banking background where he spent 22 years working for various banks in the City, the last being Bank of America Merrill Lynch. It was in the City where he and Richard originally met and became friends. They remained in touch after Richard left to become part of Haven and, when Mike sought a new challenge along with an improved work-life balance, Richard’s enthusiasm for the job and for Haven inspired Mike to accept the offer of joining the team.
Despite it being a bold decision to leave investment banking and pursue a new career in mortgage advice, Mike has never regretted it because the new role provides all the fulfilment and variation that he has craved. Working closely alongside Richard has enabled Mike to tap into Richard’s vast wealth of experience, knowledge, and expertise. No mortgage case is the same, as everyone’s circumstances are individual, and each requires tailored solutions to fit the increasingly complex criteria demanded by lenders. Mike loves the variety this brings and gets immense satisfaction from helping clients achieve their ultimate goal.
Mike lives in Surrey with his fiancé Samantha and their two rescue dogs Buddy and Betty. They can often all be found exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside and pubs. Occasionally, Mike can be seen on his road bike, wearing unflattering Lycra, and out of breath while tackling the infamous Box Hill. Mike also likes to try his hand at DIY and can spend hours locked away in the garage ‘tinkering’ on the latest project. One day there will be enough room amongst all the tools for a project car. Well, that’s the dream anyway…
With over 20 years’ experience in financial services, Rachel joined Haven as a personal and business protection specialist.
Rachel worked as a protection specialist for a mortgage firm before joining us. Prior to this she spent many years in the corporate world at Barclays bank.
Having gained a Diploma in Financial Planning, with an impeccable financial services record to match, Rachel’s ethics align perfectly with the team at Haven. She is driven and committed to providing the best advice to her clients. Over the years Rachel has covered all aspects of financial planning and has realised that her passion lies within the protection role
Originally from Yorkshire, Rachel moved with her two boys, now aged 15 & 18, to the South over 20yrs ago (with no regrets!). She still makes regular trips back to visit family and watch football.
When Rachel isn’t working or a football match with her boys, she is usually on the move somewhere… either running, cycling or booking her next holiday.
As Rachel joined us just as Covid-19 joined the world…we unfortunately (or fortunately) have yet to find out what she is like to live with in the office…watch this space…
Cheri joined Haven as a Protection Specialist. With many years’ experience in both customer and business facing roles, covering the mortgage, protection and property industry. With a comprehensive understanding of the products and she is passionate about matching people with the best solution.
Cheri lives in Corfe Mullen with her husband Chris and 4yr old son Shaun. They have two beautiful kittens called Cookie and Mocha.
Sadly, Cheri has had both first-hand experience with protection, having had to claim on her own income protection policy following crippling morning sickness, and having witnessed friends pass away from cancer with no life cover in place to look after their families. She has also seen a close family member diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully they had a critical illness policy in place and so received a lump sum payment which then helped them purchase a family house and secure their future.
Cheri loves to be creative and if she’s not spending time with her family, she can be found painting or making a keepsake present for a loved one’s new baby arrivals or children’s birthdays.
At work, we certainly know when Cheri is in the office. We have at times wondered whether Cheri even needs a phone for her clients to hear her.
With an evident passion for what she does, anyone who meets Cheri can tell she has their best interests at heart and will go above and beyond to ensure their loved ones are taken care of.
HEALTH INSURANCE SPECIALIST
Kris is our dedicated health insurance specialist and comes with 15 years experience in the industry having worked for one of the UK’s leading health insurance providers.
During this 15 year period, Kris worked across many areas of the business including customer care, sales and sales compliance and so has an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of a health insurer.
Kris lives in Burley in New Forest where he has also worked for the last 15 years as a retained firefighter. Providing emergency cover during the nights and weekends to a whole host of incidents and helping to protect the community. He also arranges charity events for the fire station including car washes and collections at village events.
Outside of work, Kris can usually be found in the gym as he has a passion for CrossFit and all things “health & fitness”. Something that he hopes to share with all of us in the office…whether we want to or not…
Rob joined Haven Financial Solutions as a Protection Specialist. He has spent the last 5 years working within the protection industry covering many different types of protection. He specialises in Life Insurance, Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection for both personal and business clients
Rob was drawn to the world of protection after witnessing first-hand how protection can help families. Having lost his mother at the age of 32 to cancer, he has seen how having protection can support your family in the worst of times. Rob’s passion to help families protect themselves and their loved ones correctly is clear to everyone who works with him. He is proud that every protection package he puts together is different, as every client is different.
Rob is a very creative, outgoing person and previously graduated from Southampton University in contemporary theatre and performance. It was here that he met his long-time partner Beverley.
Outside of work, sport is a big part of Rob’s life. He plays football 3 times a week and is also the captain of his Saturday League football team. Often playing in goal, Rob is considered a safe pair of hands, whether it’s on the pitch or at his desk!
In the office, Rob is king of the water cooler…getting through more in a day than the rest of us put together!
Vicky is our client co-ordinator which means her role is to handle our enquiries and distribute them to the most appropriate member of the team. This role is vital in ensuring that our clients receive a prompt response from the specialist best suited to their requirements.
In a short space of time she has already whipped our database into shape and found more efficient ways to help clients who prefer to do their business online.
Vicky has always lived in Poole and, funnily enough we found out that she grew up in the same road as Matt.
When she isn’t at work, Vicky loves to spend time with her family, and this summer tried kayaking for the first time – it was a hit and she will be back out on the water again next year!
Vicky’s other passion is to travel, and she has a great eye for a bargain holiday. We also hear mention of Karaoke so we can’t wait for the Christmas party (lockdown permitting!)
Prior to joining Haven, Vicky has been working with international students to ensure that they have the best stay during their time in Bournemouth. This involved liaising with host families and ensuring compliance with all the policies required by a worldwide school in Bournemouth.
Vicky’s employment prior to this was at the RNLI and she continues to support many charities.
WILLS AND ESTATE PLANNING SPECIALIST
Pete is a professional Will writer and estate planning consultant, specialising in Wills, Trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney. He is a member of the Society of Will Writers and is studying for the STEP Certificate in Trusts and Estates. Pete is excited to join the Haven team and add to the outstanding level of care and professionalism that Haven offers its clients.
Pete is originally from Suffolk and now lives in Wimborne with his wife and twin daughters, Grace and Lucy. It’s fair to say that having twins was a bit of a shock and Pete may well be much younger than he looks! Following his move to Dorset, Pete trained as a teacher and taught in local secondary and special schools, mostly in pastoral roles.
After 10 years working with some of the most vulnerable and challenging young people in the County, Pete embarked upon a change of career, which saw him move into the family Will Writing business. Talking about what will happen if we loose mental capacity or pass away can be difficult, but we are all aware of how important it is to have the correct advice and plans in place. Pete’s clients have commented that his compassion, sense of humour and supportive approach puts them at ease, making the process of getting their affairs in order as straightforward and stress-free as possible.
Outside of work, Pete is Secretary and 2nd Team Captain of Broadstone Cricket Club. Pete lists his cricketing achievements as only falling over on his own stumps once and narrowly avoiding his bowling being smashed for 100 runs in one match! He also plays squash, golf and loves to take his children camping in the wonderful Dorset countryside.
FINANCE & OPERATIONS CO-ORDINATOR
As the business has grown Gemma has joined the firm alongside her husband (Matt) on a part-time basis, to support with some of the finance and operational demands that come with running a growing firm.
Originally from Southampton, Gemma moved to Poole with her family during childhood and has primarily worked in the local travel and leisure industry. Recently attaining level 5 in her HR CIPD (Chartered Institute of Professional Development).
At Haven, Gemma is primarily responsible for managing client fees including invoicing, credit control and commission management. As the business has grown and we are tasked with more client fees to issue and larger commission runs for our introducers, this has become an integral part of keeping the wheels turning and maintaining the fantastic relationships we have all worked so hard to build.
When Gemma isn’t running around after her family, she is usually on the hunt for some shoes or at the hairdressers!
In the office, Gemma is well known for her passion to keep her environment tidy…sometimes a little too enthusiastically…it’s common to lose your drink or stationary half-way through whatever you are doing…only to find it has been tidied away!
PROTECTION CASE MANAGER
Alanna has lived in Bournemouth for most of her life and has a BA Hons in Hospitality Management. Having spent 10 years as a wedding co-ordinator she has the perfect experience in co-ordinating multiple services.
Albeit a very different industry, Alanna has taken to the role like a duck to water and has quickly become indispensable. Multi-benefit policies and complex underwriting requirements are no problem for her, having spent years juggling all the elements that come together to make a wedding!/span>
Alanna lives with her husband and two young children in Southbourne, right by the sea! Whether a welly walk or a day on the beach, she certainly makes the most of where she lives.
On a day to day basis, Alanna supports the team by co-ordinating applications and documents with clients, as well as juggling the underwriting requirements from insurers. Her role is to ensure each case progresses as quickly and seamlessly as possible to avoid any delays along the way. Alanna will also deal with the administration of existing business, often sitting on hold and chasing answers so our clients don’t have to!
In the office, Alanna was recently feeling mischevious and hid in a furniture delivery box, waiting for our MD to open it…to her disappointment he didn’t pay the delivery any attention and she was sellotaped in there until someone came to her rescue!
When she isn’t at work, Alanna is either playing netball, or writing one of her many children’s books. Her current books are even available from Waterstones!
MORTGAGE CASE MANAGER
Carly joins Haven as a Mortgage Case Manager, working alongside Richard to support and coordinate the mortgage applications process to ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish. With a background in Project Management and a First Class Honours in Business Management & Marketing, Carly is well-versed in multi-tasking with a high attention to detail.
Originally from Bournemouth, Carly also spent four years living in none other than New York City! Working at the Big Apple’s official Tourism and Destination marketing agency, she is no stranger to working under pressure and deadlines, with experience coordinating some large international marketing campaigns. Carly loved the buzz of New York, and how two days were never the same!
After moving back to Bournemouth to start a family, Carly now has the beach on her doorstep, living in Alum Chine with her husband and their three year old son. When she’s not at work, Carly enjoys spending family days at the beach and eating her body weight in chocolate!
POST SALES CO-ORDINATOR
Laura is our post sales co-ordinator whose main responsibility is to ensure each, and every client receives their documents promptly and accurately. Laura creates the packs that our clients receive containing their documents and cover summaries, as well as ensuring that all the advice they receive from our specialist team meets with the strict requirements of our compliance / case checkers.
Laura finished her Higher Education at Bournemouth & Poole College earning her achievements in Business and Technology studies, which gave her the intuition that she wanted to pursue her career in Administration.
Laura started her first role as a Secretary within Property Management for 9 years working for one of Dorset’s largest estate agents. She then decided she would like to try a different industry and landed a role for 6 years within Engineering as a Documentation Administrator for the Energy & Defence sector.
Having built 15 years’ worth experience within the profession of Administration in polar opposite industries. Laura’s drive is her passion for organisation, and compiling / maintaining complex and sensitive documentation. Ensuring accurately kept databases are in fine tune.
Laura lives just outside of Poole with her immediate family, along with her lovable springer spaniel, Archie and her sassy Burmese cat, Kiara. Laura moved to Dorset nearly 20 years ago and originally grew up in Surrey. In her spare time Laura enjoys the simple pleasures of long cycle rides, dog walking with friends, watching films and is an avid reader of fantasy novels.
Paul is part our Private Health Cover team and is our Client Co-ordinator which means he is responsible for arranging client appointments and managing new business enquiries.
Having spent the early years of his career in retail management with a number of high street nationals, he brings a range of transferable skills that then enabled him to move into the secured loan market.
For the last 14 years Paul has concentrated on telemarketing, an industry where he has an extensive knowledge of areas such private medical insurance and the wider employee benefit environment.
Paul is highly motivated and is already instrumental in our company’s growth.
Outside of work Paul can either been found working on his garden / eyeing up the next DIY project. Or off on a walk.
He has been married to his wife Liz for 30 years and they have two children, now in their 20’s.