About Us

Our Story

Established in 2003, Beacon IFA has grown steadily to become a leading independent financial services provider with offices across South and Mid Wales and in Central London. Our success has been a result of tailoring our services to the unique needs of our clients; we help them to meet their financial objectives through honest professional advice, explained in plain English.

Our team includes diploma qualified Independent Financial Advisers that are able to offer a comprehensive financial planning service for private and corporate clients. We also have experienced mortgage specialists who can advise on all aspects of home and corporate finance. In addition to the client facing staff Beacon has an equal number of qualified support staff to ensure that we provide a quality service to meet your needs.

How we are paid

We always offer a free initial meeting with no obligation on either side to continue.

After this preliminary discussion, we will talk you through the four alternative methods by which you can pay for our continued services. They are:

  • Flat fee
  • Hourly rate, of which we will provide an estimate of the cost before we start work
  • A combination of flat fee and hourly rate
  • Commission from the product provider, when available. If you prefer to pay by commission, we will always tell you the amount of any commission we earn.

Our Process

The first step is for us to discuss with you your personal circumstances, your current financial situation, and your financial goals and aspirations.

If you are looking for investment planning, we will also discuss with you your attitude towards investment risk and provide an analysis of your current portfolio.

We will then present our recommendations and actions required for you to achieve your objectives, and ask your approval for the plan.

If approved, our advisers will begin to put the plan in motion, letting you know of the progress along the way

If required, review dates will be agreed to enable you to see the progress towards your financial goals and for us to make any adjustments

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Our Team

Tom Russell

Director

With over 20 years’ experience in financial services industry, Tom combines the day-to-day running of the firm with providing financial advice to clients across Wales and the South-East.

Team Member - Financial Advisor, IFA, Financial Advice

Charlotte Russell

Director

After leaving the banking sector, Charlotte now manages Beacon’s Monmouthshire Building Society agency in Brecon, as well as fulfilling her role as the second partner of the firm.

Julie Zeraschi

Operations Manager

Julie has been at Beacon from its humble beginnings in 2003 and is responsible for ensuring that the business runs smoothly.

Gemma Edwards

Senior Paraplanner to Tom Russell

Gemma joined Beacon in 2006 after working as an assistant manager at Alliance and Leicester. She is a paraplanner to Tom Russell and oversees the client portfolio review function.

Team Member - Financial Advisor, IFA, Financial Advice

Ben Russell

Chartered Financial Planner (APFS)

Ben worked in Central London for two years before returning to Wales to practice as an Independent Financial Adviser with Beacon. He has since obtained Chartered Financial Planner status and now predominantly advises clients with complex financial planning needs, as a certified Pension Transfer Specialist this is often in the area of Occupational Pension Transfers.

Chris Ulyatt

IFA (DipPFS)

With over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Chris now specialises in Retirement Options, Occupational Pension Transfers, Equity Release and Investments.

Chris Whitehouse

IFA (DipPFS)

Chris has more than 27 years’ experience in the Financial Services Industry. He operates from his own office in Whitchurch, Cardiff which is also a Monmouthshire Building Society Agency.

David Coldrick

IFA (DipPFS)

As a qualified Independent Financial Adviser with over 20 years’ experience, David now provides expert advice in all financial areas but focuses towards investment and retirement planning.

Julian Caple

IFA (DipPFS)

Julian has over 30 years experience in the Banking and Financial Services Industry and has been a qualified Financial Adviser since 1998.
He deals with a wide range of clients and their needs but concentrates more on Investment and Pension clients.
He likes to build long lasting business relationships with his client with regular client reviews.

Paul Bird

IFA (DipPFS)

Paul has worked in the financial services sector since 1990. He enjoys building long and lasting business relationships with clients and emphasises the benefit of regular client reviews.

David Gay

IFA (DipPFS. CeMap. CertER.)

With 28 years experience, David provides expert advice in all financial areas but focuses towards investment and retirement planning together with mortgage and equity release advice.

Team Member - Financial Advisor, IFA, Financial Advice

Colleen Gayley

IFA (DipPFS)

Colleen has over 14 years experience advising in the Financial Services sector – both in the UK and abroad. She began the early years of her career working for some of the largest banking establishments in the UK and then moved to providing Independent Financial Advice back in 2011.
Colleen has built a loyal client base during her time with Beacon and gratefully receives regular referrals from her existing client base – a true testament to the excellent levels of service she provides to them.

Richard Seward

IFA (DipFA. CeMAP. CeRER)

Richard is one of the newest members of the adviser team. He has over 15 years of experience in the banking and finance services industry.

Alistair Cummings

IFA (DipPFS Certs CII (MP & ER))

Alistair brings over 15 years’ experience in the private sector. He understands the importance of communication and building trust when developing relationships with clients. He loves the challenge of distance running and spending time with his young family. Alistair advises on pensions, investments, equity release, mortgages and protection.

Suzanne Bowen

Mortgage and Protection Adviser

Suzanne has been at Beacon from the start. She now services her own clients as an independent mortgage and protection adviser and also offers an administrative probate service.

Team Member - Financial Advisor, IFA, Financial Advice

Julia Palfrey

Mortgage and Protection Adviser

After working for Barclays for 28 years, Julia joined Beacon in 2003. She specialises in mortgages and protection and commits her time to looking after her existing and new clients.

Team Member - Financial Advisor, IFA, Financial Advice

Josie Herdman

Mortgage and Protection Adviser

Josie joined Beacon in July 2015 after working for the local MP and prior to that in the finance section of Powys County Council. Based in our Brecon office Josie advises clients on all their Mortgage and Protection needs. Josie is also qualified in Equity Release and is working towards obtaining her DipFA.

Jessica Kennelly

Mortgage and Protection Adviser

Jessica joined Beacon in 2017 from Barclays Bank and advises clients on their mortgage and protection needs.

Luc Jones

Administrator / Trainee Paraplanner

Luc has worked in the finance industry since 2010, starting off with Barclays Bank. He is Beacon’s administrator and is currently training as a Paraplanner for Tom.

Lauren Thould

Paraplanner to Tom Russell

Lauren has been working in the finance industry since 2001. Having spent 9 years working for Barclays Bank she is now training as a Paraplanner for Tom.

Team Member - Financial Advisor, IFA, Financial Advice

Deborah Westwood

PA

Before joining Beacon in 2007, Deb worked in the finance department of the Environment Agency for 9 years. She now works as a PA for Suzanne Bowen and Tom Russell.

Kerry Price

Paraplanner

Kerry graduated from Aberystwyth University in 2012 with a degree in Accounting and Finance. She joined Beacon in November 2014 after working in finance for two years. Kerry is based in our Brecon office and acts as a paraplanner to Ben Russell.