Meet the team

Our team has a broad and complementary set of skills and specialisms which allows us to take a collegiate and collaborative approach to working with clients to help them get the results they are looking for.

Steve Billingham

_MG_8742

Steve has worked in the financial services sector since 1984. Throughout that time he has worked alongside financial advisers and planners, accountants and solicitors in sales, senior management and consultancy positions.

He was a member of the senior management team of one of the UK’s leading life assurance, investment and pension providers for over 20 years, leading key strategic and operational change programmes and spearheading adviser engagement and education activity in respect of the impact of regulatory change on client relationships.

Since 2008, Steve has worked with financial planning and advisory businesses of all shapes and sizes, providing strategic, operational and marketing consultancy and implementation support, to help them grow their business, increase revenues and improve profitability. He established Steve Billingham Consulting Ltd in April 2010.

Steve is known for his practical, action-orientated approach and his ability to help advisers rediscover their passion and enthusiasm for what they do. Clients value his straight talking (a throwback to his Yorkshire roots) and his reliable, passionate and responsive attitude towards their business. They also appreciate the “external accountability” that he brings, which helps them to make real tangible progress on their key actions and priorities.

Steve writes regularly in the media and is a frequent and sought after speaker at industry events. He provides practical practice management insights through his blog at www.stevebillingham.com/blog and his monthly “Business Insights” newsletter. Steve lives in Sussex as an “adopted southerner”, but still hasn’t lost his “northern grit” or the Yorkshire accent!

Brian Foster

brian2-257x300

Brian joined Steve Billingham Consulting in March 2015 to head up our operations in South Africa. He has worked in the financial services sector for over 30 years and as well as delivering regulated advice to clients, he has been involved in the creation and management of three UK financial planning businesses all of which operated highly successfully in the same regulatory environment being introduced in South Africa.

Brian sold the last of these three companies in 2012, to emigrate to South Africa, since when he has been working as a coach and consultant to advisers, planners, investment groups and product manufacturers.

He has been charging fees for 17 years, so knows what it takes to create and deliver a service that clients are happy to pay for. His passion is helping advisers and planners to deliver a financial planning experience that knocks their clients socks off.

He has also written an ebook called “Keep Calm And Survive RDR” which is a guide specifically for South African advisers worried about regulatory change. The book explains how to survive and thrive through the forthcoming regulatory changes and is available for download via our website.

Outside work Brian is an accomplished golfer (having spent a short time playing on the sunshine tour) and loves to spend time with his two sons, Luca and Milo.

Stewart Hutcheson

20120601_241

Stewart has spent his whole working lifetime in the financial services industry in Scotland, working most closely with financial advisers. His extensive IFA facing experience in both the product provider and asset management sectors has equipped him with deep insights into the challenges and issues faced by advisers in today’s rapidly changing and increasingly challenging environment.

Stewart has always tried to get a closer understanding of what made the business he was working alongside tick: i.e. “what do you really want for yourselves and your clients?” This approach has earned Stewart an enviable reputation with the IFAs he’s worked with, as a great sounding board, mentor and source of support and information. Now in his role as an Associate Consultant with Steve Billingham Consulting Ltd, he continues to do so, but now with no “sales” agenda, other than helping your business get to where you want it to be.

Stewart still retains a real passion about the need for quality financial advice and delivers with, according to those he’s worked alongside, naturally “infectious enthusiasm” to others who are prepared to listen. He is also always happy to play “devil’s advocate” too. Away from work as a proud husband, father and grandfather he is kept well grounded by them all.

Stewart harbours an avid and life-long interest in all forms of motorsport, which continues to this day. His short-term goal outside of work is to get back to his cycling exercise regime sometime soon. As he himself acknowledges, “I know it’s not always easy to do the things we should, even though we know we should be doing them!”

Mark Ferris

photo

Mark is a Chartered Financial Planner and an Associate member of the Personal Finance Society and the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Faculty of Life and Pensions. He is still a practicing Financial Planner having established his own company as a very successful and highly regarded firm.

Mark began his career in the retail sector and after performing several different management roles throughout the Midlands and North West during his 12 years there, he became an Executive Financial Consultant at Friends Provident. In this role Mark delivered comprehensive financial planning to individuals and company directors.  He also worked closely with F&C Fund Management on formulating new investment offerings for retail clients and regularly presented Estate Planning and Investment Seminars to diverse audiences all across the North West and the Wirral.

In 2007, he attained Chartered Financial Planner status. His vision was for his company to become the first Chartered Financial Planning firm in the Northwich area, an objective which was realised in January 2008. The company has provided lifetime cash flow planning since 2009 and continues to be at the forefront of innovation in financial planning.

Mark has featured in New Model Adviser, the financial planning sector’s flagship publication and is a regular contributor to industry press. He has also successfully completed the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Certificate in Financial Services and established an associated company offering estate planning, will writing and property protection services.

Having built a successful business of his own which allows him to spend 3 months abroad each year, he is keen to help other practice owners to realise their own ideal lifestyles by sharing his knowledge and experience. Mark lives in Holmes Chapel and has two adult sons. In his spare time Mark enjoys tennis, running, music and is a keen guitarist. He is also a dedicated Crewe Alexandra fan.

Jane Cuthbertson

DSC_0105HRBW

Jane is a Chartered Marketer with 14 years’ experience delivering results driven marketing and business development solutions for both large  businesses and a number of SMEs and Not for Profit organisations.

She is dynamic and adaptable and has a wealth of experience across the financial services sector. Jane is a strategic thinker and can implement effective strategies. Above all, she is passionate about developing successful businesses.

Away from work, Jane has an award winning kennel of gun dogs. She spends much of her spare time travelling the length and breadth of the UK, from her home in Scotland’s “central belt”, showing and working her Gordon Setters, usually picking up a rosette or two in the process. She also enjoys music, going to the theatre and is a bit of a foodie.

Sue Billingham

Sue, (Steve’s wife and the real boss), is also a Director of the business and is responsible for all the day to day administrative and financial functions.

Having been married to Steve for over 31 years, she probably qualifies for some sort of “outstanding achievement” award or at least a mention in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Sue’s career includes time spent in the civil service, retail sector, banking and working alongside advisers in the IFA sector, before Steve finally persuaded her to “give up work” (fat chance) and join him to help him run the business.

Sue’s passion outside of work are their two daughters (and now granddaughter) who are based in Wiltshire and Aberdeenshire and she enjoys nothing more than spending time with each of them on a regular basis.