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Payday pandemonium: caps for consumersPublished 08-Jan-2015
New year, new powers: the FCA’s new competition functionsPublished 01-Jan-2015
A CEO’s Christmas crisisPublished 24-Dec-2014
The Advisory Services team specialises in retail conduct risk: how firms are structured, how they operate,
the products they develop and how they are sold. We help firms to be focussed on quality of customer
outcome as required by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our regulatory consultants work in tandem with our
learning and development experts to approach your conduct risk issues from regulatory, employee
training and customer insight perspectives.
Our consultants – regulatory and training experts – come together to form a powerful team of senior experts. When you meet our
experts to understand how we can help, rest assured that those same experts will be working with you when you engage us. We
take the time to understand your goals, get to know your people and provide a truly specific way of achieving those goals for
We have experienced supervisors from the regulator, senior managers from major regulated firms and training experts who have
supported everyone from graduates to leaders in firms across regulated industries. Our consultants do not simply tell you what
is wrong; we engage with your staff to build and implement our recommendations which results in real change.
Darren Fisher - Director of Advisory Services
Darren has over 21 years’ regulatory experience in retail financial services. His background combines ‘big 4’ consultancies with retail banking and insurance markets, with a specific focus on conduct risk issues, assurance and projects which include complaint handling governance, outcomes testing and compliance monitoring.
Darren joined Huntswood from Deloitte where he was a Senior Manager in their financial services advisory practice. During his time at Deloitte he project managed and conducted a variety of engagements including senior manager conduct risk assurance & oversight, suitability back book reviews & action planning, along with complaint handling governance & standards, including MI & root cause analysis development, implementation and compliance effectiveness reviews.
His background of successfully managing and implementing Group-wide regulatory projects reflect his key strengths of building and maintaining key relationships and delivering, in collaboration with his clients, solutions to complex regulatory challenges.
Prior to joining Deloitte, Darren was a Senior Compliance Manager for a major outsourcer, responsible for the provision of regulatory advice to senior executives. Darren was also responsible for the development of the firm’s compliance monitoring framework and production of the compliance annual plan. He also supported the development of the firm’s TCF program and implementation of TCF MI.
Darren’s other industry experience includes being a Compliance Manager for the world’s largest building society where he was responsible for identifying and reporting regulatory change arising from UK and European governing bodies thereby enabling the Group to prepare for forthcoming change. This was complimented by his previous role as Senior Compliance Consultant, responsible for compliance sign off of product development and marketing initiatives including financial promotions, sales processes and call scripts. Prior to this, he held the position of Operational Risk Manager responsible for the implementation and management of operational risk frameworks, construction and ongoing review of KPIs.
Darren is fully FPC, CeFA and CeMAP qualified.
Stuart has over 15 years' experience of leading and managing transformational change programmes across Fortune 500 companies both inside and outside financial services.
Stuart joined Huntswood from Deloitte where he was a senior manager in the Financial Services Programme Management practice; within this role he was responsible for managing large scale business transformation programmes for major financial services clients including Solvency II programmes, organisational acquisitions and cost reduction programmes. Prior to joining Deloitte Stuart spent six years working for Huntswood Consulting driving operational improvements from regulatory challenges for key financial services firms, including the management of complex TCF programmes and s166 PPI remediation project from inception to delivery, contacting over 200,000 end customers.
Stuart is focused on driving benefit from the challenges that organisations face, ensuring that services are delivered at a lower cost, whilst enhancing their customer relationships.
Clive is an experienced Management Consultant, with extensive regulatory knowledge (especially in training and competence), but also in people and performance improvement along with coaching. With 20 years’ financial services experience, Clive’s roles have included sales (as a consultant), sales management, training & competence management, compliance management and internal consultant. He also ran a region of over 300 financial consultants for four years with responsibility for sales delivery, compliance and development issues.
Stephen has four years’ professional services experience, predominantly in financial services. He joined Huntswood in 2010, and has played a critical role in projects across the group.
Stephen began his career in executive search where he held line management responsibilities. He was highly commended by the Institute of Recruitment Professionals for his approach to clients and, in 2012; Stephen was named Best Management Consultancy Recruiter in Top-Consultant.com's annual survey.
Since joining Advisory Services, Stephen has gained experience across a number of engagements including; a past business review relating to investment advice for a building society, supporting a skilled persons engagement for a retail intermediary, delivering diagnostic study and training needs analysis for a high street consumer credit firm, creation of the best advice guidelines and a tailored replacement business framework for a large investments and life insurance provider, the design and implementation of an outcomes testing methodology for a large mutual and providing regulatory insight on Training & Competence and incentives for a retail bank.
Stephen has also been key in developing Huntswood’s consumer credit proposition, defining how to best support firms on the journey they are making from OFT regulation to the FCA.
Stephen has a degree in geography from the University of Southampton, and is currently studying for the CII diploma in regulated financial planning.
Stuart has over 14 years of experience in the financial services sector. After studying Mathematics at Hull University Stuart spent nine years working at regulatory bodies, firstly with the Building Societies Commission and then with the Financial Services Authority. During this time Stuart undertook a variety of roles including relationship managing the portfolios of retail firms, conducting ARROW risk assessments, implementing risk mitigation programmes, developing MCOB/ICOB policy and rules, project managing the authorisation work for mortgage lenders who applied to the FSA at NM, and devising and implementing the supervision strategy for mortgage lenders.
Stuart has run and been part of a number of engagements since joining Huntswood. These have included: being responsible for the governance and decision making on an FSA enforcement case relating to mortgage arrears handling, developing a vision and strategy for a top 4 retail bank to implement and embed treating customers fairly throughout the organisation, assisting a top 4 retail bank and a leading life and pensions provider in driving forward their implementation programmes in respect of product development and after sales care processes, developing and implementing a risk based approach to compliance monitoring within a leading life, pensions, and investment management group, and, providing on-going regulatory advice and compliance support for retail firms, particularly in relation to conduct of business regulation.
Stuart has expert knowledge of FSA Rules and their application, is able to apply this knowledge to develop practical operational approaches within organisations and has a demonstrative track record of pragmatic delivery.
Andrew has over 20 years' experience working within financial services. This includes working both as a tied and Independent Financial Adviser before moving into compliance and risk. For the last fifteen years, Andrew has specialised in regulatory advice and conduct risk advisory services.
Working in particular with major banking groups and wealth management firms, his expertise spans from product design to distribution. His particular expertise is in remediation of historic and current risks (often involving crystallised instances of consumer detriment) and the mitigation of potential, future risks. Andrew has also significant expertise in performing regulatory health checks, product governance, review of provider / distributors' advice models and risk profiling.
Joining Huntswood from Ernst & Young, his previous role included a number of high profile engagements, where he led remediation and regulatory programmes at major retail firms. He has supported firms in their dialogue with the regulator which included attendance at the Regulatory Decisions Committee and Financial Services & Markets Tribunal as part of a supporting role for a firm subject to enforcementaction.
Andrew holds the CII Financial Planning Certificate and CISI Diploma in Investment Compliance.
Clare has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector and has held positions at the FSA, as a lead firm supervisor for Aviva (GI and Group), and as a technical specialist managing business model analysis under the core prudential programme for insurers.
Clare joined Huntswood from Aviva where she was Group Head of Regulatory Risk. This role included responsibility for regulatory relationships with the FCA, the PRA and the College of European Supervisors with regular firm / regulatory interactions across a broad range of prudential and conduct risk areas.
She has held several senior roles in the insurance industry spanning retail underwriting, product development, financial promotions, pricing strategies and training & competence regimes. Her complaints expertise covers complaints management and root cause analysis, and her quality assurance expertise incorporates customer contact centre monitoring and second line oversight of an Authorised Representative network. Clare’s expertise also extends to a strong understanding of firms’ operational risk and operational loss strategies and approaches to customer feedback analysis. This includes the continuous improvement feedback loop into business processes such as product design, customer contact centre operating models and business continuity / disaster recovery planning.
Clare has five years’ experience leading IT departments including the roll out of project management methodologies and time management systems, management of IT business analysis, development and infrastructure teams, as well as running change projects both in the UK and internationally, incorporating offshore implementation programmes.
Clare’s qualifications include FCII, MBA, FPC, CeMAP, Prince 2 and Six Sigma (black belt).
Fiona is an inspiring leader who is able to motivate and get the best out of people through major change programmes. She works as a Leadership Development Trainer, Executive Coach and Business Change Consultant and has held senior management posts in the not for profit and private sectors. Fiona is passionate about empowering the people she works with to help them, and ultimately their organisations, fulfil their potential.
Fiona has three years’ experience as a successful, independent consultant working in PCT, hospital and shared services environments. She has worked as a Senior Leader of support services teams for eight years, including business planning, business improvement, technical teams, systems teams, policy & corporate affairs, quality, training, data integrity and risk management. Fiona also has experience leading and programme managing several major organisational design pieces of work in the Law Society and the Prudential.
Nick has over 23 years’ experience within the financial services sector having worked as a regulator and at senior levels within regulated firms and management consultancies.
Nick joined Huntswood from the FSA where he was a senior associate and supervisor in retail conduct of business covering a broad range of retail financial services firms including IFAs, wealth managers, SIPP operators, mortgage advisers and general insurance brokers. During his time at the regulator he was a key member of the treating customers fairly (TCF) assessment program, the retail distribution review (RDR) implementation team and the business risk awareness workshops. Nick has extensive experience in all aspects and sectors of regulatory supervision, including individual case work, thematic projects, supervisory visits, conducting face to face and telephone firm assessments and regulatory change management. At the FSA, Nick was also responsible for delivering RDR roadshows and business risk awareness workshops to firms and compliance consultancies and led the regulator’s relationship with the Association of Professional Compliance Consultancies (APCC).
Before Nick joined the regulator he was head of quality and risk at a major outsourcer, responsible for the strategy and delivery of all aspects of quality assurance and operational risk management. Nick was also the client relationship lead on all projects, ensuring the smooth implementation of procedural change and regulatory change control. He was responsible for the strategic development of the TCF program, including implementation and monitoring of TCF tools and culture.
During Nick’s career he has held various senior positions dealing in all aspect of quality assurance and has extensive working experience of ‘quality models’ and a proven track record in successful accreditation of staff and consistently over achieving set quality targets. He also retains detailed knowledge of BSI audit accreditation standards and processes.
Nick has a simple ambition… "to assist firms in improving each and every customer's experience through simplicity, understanding & skilled interaction".
Neville has over 13 years’ regulatory experience in financial services combining roles within big 4 consultancy, specialist outsourcers and industry. Neville has worked across the banking, life & pensions and asset management sectors, specialising in conduct risk, risk management, governance and regulatory change.
After graduating from Christ Church College Canterbury, Neville joined a major UK life and pensions provider, holding key roles in compliance and complaints management. He then joined the management team of a specialist outsourcer where he was responsible for establishing and overseeing a number of major customer remediation projects. Moving into a consultancy role, Neville supported a number of firms develop their complaints handling capability, specialising in complaints governance, redress and root cause analysis. He also led the development and delivery of a TCF program within a major retail group firm, supported FSA attestations and guided firms through ARROW reviews and subsequent RMP activity. Other experience includes a lead role in the Solvency II program for a global wealth management firm.
Most recently, as a Senior Manager at Deloitte, Neville has managed a variety of engagements including risk framework design and implementation across a number of sectors, RDR implementation and risk and compliance effectiveness reviews. He assisted firms to understand the new regulatory regime and develop their approach to conduct risk. Neville also served as an interim Head of Risk for a mutual society.
Caroline has over 25 years experience in the Financial Services sector and has held senior positions at Nationwide Building Society, Portman Building Society and Zurich Financial Services. Her expertise is in Conduct risk, Sales processes, Customer Excellence and Leadership and Culture in Banking, Savings, Mortgages, Insurance and Investment products.
Caroline joined Huntswood in June 2014 from Nationwide Building Society where she was Head of Service and Performance with responsibilities for all of their distribution channels, covering service, business conduct, risk and business quality assurance. She has held several senior roles in the financial services industry including, operational risk, complaints management, training and competence, sales operations, business assurance and rewards/incentives. Latterly she has developed programmes to achieve fair customer outcomes across the full spectrum of products. She is passionate about providing focused operational solutions that enhance the customer experience, whilst bringing simplicity to sales processes in order to reduce costs and reduce exposure to conduct risks.
Caroline has experience of designing and leading large scale transformation programmes – particularly in light of changing regulation and the fast paced development of digital solutions. She is focused on delivering real bottom line results for firms whilst maintaining excellent customer service and minimising operational and conduct risks.
Geoff has over 30 years’ experience in financial services. He has worked at the FSA/FCA in addition to a major life insurer and various IFAs.
Geoff joined Huntswood after 14 years with the regulator, during which time he fulfilled a variety of roles. He was a member of the RDR implementation team, assessing and reporting on how prepared a variety of C1 and C2 firms were. Geoff’s assessment of the governance and controls were key elements to the success of the project. He also led thematic work on RDR, pension fund withdrawal and Treating Customers Fairly (TCF). He has scoped and overseen s.166 past business reviews, in addition to carrying out internal reviews for an assortment of firms, including higher risk areas such as pension switching and Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS). Geoff also prided himself on being a member of the quality assurance team within the FCA Supervision team, thus facilitating testing and reviewing of other members of staff.
Prior to the regulator, Geoff worked with a large life insurer, where he specialised in group pensions, SIPP and SSAS. He has also worked within the IFA sector as an advisor.
Since joining Huntswood Geoff has advised a C2 firm on its application for FCA authorisation. He has also advised another C2 firm on both the quality of advice and the quality of existing systems and controls. In addition to this he provided advice on RDR compliance, in particular on meeting the requirements of independence, and on cultural indicators which the FCA incorporates.
Geoff is a subject matter expert on Training & Competence (T&C) and systems and controls. He also has direct experience of how the FCA is delivering its Firm Systematic Framework. Immediately prior to joining Huntswood he supervised C2, C3 and C4 firms. This involved assessing their risk identification and mitigation, as well as management, controls and business models.
Geoff is an experienced and engaging presenter, having delivered and facilitated internal and external training on subjects as diverse as pension switching, TCF and equity release.
Geoff’s qualifications include ACII and APFS, including G60.
Darren has an extensive background in financial services; specifically focused on learning and development within the retail and business banking sectors, including a talent programme aimed at developing future leaders, 1-1 coaching with high performing managers, negotiation workshops focused on communicating with senior stakeholders, compliant sales training and fraud awareness workshops.
Most recently Darren lead the first cross cluster learning and development team at a main high street bank, responsible for the training and development of over 4,000 employees focusing on handling customer complaints. His remit included completing TNA’s and the design, delivery and evaluation of training interventions in a heavily project based environment. During this time he also launched a T&C scheme for first-line supervisors, developed and accredited an offshore training team and oversaw the roll out of remediation training derived from a S166 review.
Darren has been involved in a variety of learning and development programmes, including Payment Protection Insurance within a retail bank, front-line sales training, telephony skills, launching an interactive development database to the leadership team of a retail bank and has introduced interactive e-learning to support colleagues.
Darren is CIPD Level 3 qualified and has also achieved qualifications in Fast Facilitation from the training foundation and is a qualified Business NLP practitioner. A strong advocate of accelerated learning principles he is constantly looking for ways to leverage this to increase knowledge retention within the learning environment. Darren has spent time studying the principles of Guerrilla Coaching and how you can maximise your time when coaching. His is a mentor to junior managers within the financial services arena who are looking at progressing to senior management roles.
Tracy has 18 years' experience in retail financial services specialising in regulatory risk, compliance assurance and regulated sales. Tracy has recently led complaint handling assurance reviews as well as current business reviews to assess appropriateness and suitability for mortgage, protection, insurance and investment sales.
Prior to joining Huntswood, Tracy led and managed one of the compliance monitoring teams for the world's largest building society where she was responsible for the design and implementation of the annual compliance plan for retail sales. She managed the delivery of thematic and 'deep-dive' reviews, taking specific accountability for the delivery of high quality compliance reports to senior business executives. Tracy also led the firm's 'mystery shopping' programme across the full product range for a regulated sales force of circa 3500 FTE.
Tracy's other experience includes the role of senior compliance consultant providing advice and guidance on compliance policy with a focus on the on-going support and development for sales and marketing of mortgage, general insurance, protection and investment products. Prior to this, Tracy was responsible for the firm's training & competence arrangements, including construction and on-going review of regulated sales quality KPIs.
Tracy has a firm understanding of FSA rules and their application, is able to apply this knowledge to develop practical operational solutions with a proven track record of delivery. Tracy is fully FPC and CeMAP qualified.
Gillian has over 18 years’ financial services experience that combine consultancy and regulatory experience, both with the FSA and the FOS. At Huntswood, Gillian has designed and implemented an investment back book review resulting from a section 166 review. She has also been responsible for the design and delivery of regulatory training for in-house file review and compliance staff and has been the technical lead on a number of skilled persons reviews. Gillian is experienced in the use of six sigma and lean methodologies, as well as in training design and delivery.
Prior to joining Huntswood, Gillian worked at Deloitte where she was engaged on a mortgage advice skilled person investigation and a major review of complaints for a large retail bank, specifically focussed on complaints identification and reporting. She was also the technical lead for PPI complaints referred to the FOS for a large UK bank and provided technical oversight during a remediation exercise of specialist investments sold for IHT planning.
Working at the FSA in the Major Retail Groups Division, she supervised conduct of business for one of the UK’s largest banking groups. Prior to this, she set policy for FOS, FSCS and provided technical guidance on FSCS coverage. She was also consulted on pension switching, prudential requirements for personal investment firms and structured products work resulting from the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Prior to joining the FSA, Gillian spent six years at the FOS as an Assistant Service Review Manager dealing with technical jurisdictional queries and FOS’s handling of complaints. She came to this with experience from various roles within the financial services industry covering life and pensions, mortgages and general insurance.
Mark has over 30 years' experience within the financial services industry, having worked in both industry and consulting.
Prior to joining Huntswood in January 2014, Mark was a Senior Manager in the Regulatory Advisory team at Ernst & Young. During his time there, he led a s166 compliance effectiveness review at a global bank, was seconded to a high street bank to assist them in improving their record management capabilities and had extensive involvement in a s166 interest rate hedging products review, where he led a team of independent reviewers. Mark’s previous consulting experience covers a variety of engagements, including suitability past business reviews and complaint handling governance.
Mark’s extensive industry experience spans 28 years with large life and pensions providers. In his last role he formed and managed the compliance function and played a key role in the many regulatory projects undertaken. He had close interaction with the regulator throughout and also undertook the role of Money Laundering Reporting Officer (CF11). Previously, Mark’s achievements included the introduction and management of the fact find validation unit, forming a team of c.50 staff to assess the quality of business written by a large sales force, and regulatory oversight of the design and introduction of a training and competence scheme.
With this knowledge and experience Mark has gained a reputation for developing practical solutions for regulatory issues.
Mark holds the CISI Diploma in Investment Compliance and is FPC and CeMAP qualified.
Chris graduated with a degree in Business Economics from Surrey University in 2008, joining Huntswood as Executive Assistant to the CEO. His areas of research expertise were merger and acquisitions opportunities and expansion into new markets, geographic and propositional. He reported and presented annual business plans and budgets to the board and delivered implementation projects across the business on strategic and operational levels.
After a secondment with Huntswood’s commercial management department, Chris developed his particular interest in regulatory consulting joining the advisory services team in 2011. To date, Chris has delivered consulting support on a mortgage remediation and arrears handling project whilst studying for the CII certificate in financial planning.
Jess graduated in 2010 from the University of Reading with a degree in English Literature. In the same year Jess was elected as President of Reading University Students' Union, a full time post for one year, in which she provided strategic leadership, managing the charity of 18,000 members and over 70 full time staff. During this year Jess developed her facilitation and diplomacy skills acting as Chair of the Union’s Trustee Board, Governor of the University of Reading, and line manager the Union’s Chief Executive.
In 2011 Jess joined Huntswood’s Bid Management Unit and became responsible for overseeing the creation of compelling, aesthetically effective proposal documents. In 2013, Jess joined Huntswood’s Advisory Services practice as a Consultant of Learning and Development. Since joining Advisory Services, Jess has provided oversight on a number of client projects with responsibility for day-to-day contact and quality assurance and is in the process of completing a coaching qualification.
Simon joined Huntswood in 2012 after graduating from the University of Brighton with a first class honours degree in finance and investment where he specialised in complex investment analysis, investment strategy and the behaviour of financial markets. Prior to this, Simon gained experience working in the financial services industry as a mortgage and insurance consultant.
Since joining Huntswood, Simon has been part of a large project where he has operated as an MI analyst responsible for insight reports, trend analysis and progress reporting to the firm’s senior management. He has also developed tailored calculators for remediation and investment portfolio comparison purposes.
Simon has played a key role in the development of Huntswood’s propositions and is currently studying for the CII diploma in regulated financial planning.
How we work
Corporate social resposibility
Governance, culture and controls
Investments and pensions
Managed client services
Permanent and interim