Grierson Dickens Limited is an Employee-Owned, fee based Chartered Financial Planning firm with a refreshingly different approach. We advise many clients locally in Farnham, Surrey and across London and the South East. However, location is not a limitation for us, and our extensive experience in overseeing the financial management of clients on international assignments means we also have clients much further afield. Established in 1999 we work closely with a small number of clients for whom we perform two key roles:
1. We act as a ‘strategic partner’; developing a deep understanding of our clients’ current circumstances, helping them to identify their goals and objectives, and building a plan to get them from where they are now to where they want to be. We build long term relationships with clients, consistently helping them to understand the financial implications of decisions they have to make such as job and career changes or business sales and changes in family circumstances. We support them through their decision making process and use our extensive technical expertise to advise and make appropriate recommendations.
2. We get things done. Where we can, we will take action on behalf of clients ourselves in order to ensure that their intentions are put into practice and that plans are properly implemented. Where we need the input of others we will liaise with clients’ existing professional advisers or introduce clients to our own network of professional contacts. In this way we ensure that the right solutions are put in place in the most professional and effective way possible.
We have found that some potential clients struggle, initially, to understand our proposition, often because it is significantly differentiated from that which is offered by most IFAs and transactionally orientated financial advisers. So, we asked our clients to tell us what it is we do for them and why they pay our fees year after year. Here are some of their responses.
Incidentally, we take client confidentiality very seriously, which is why these testimonials are not personally identifiable. However as part of your and our process of deciding whether you should become a Grierson Dickens Client, we would offer you the option to speak to an existing client, which means that you will get a view on our service first hand.
Our objective is to build a long term business relationship with our clients. We believe we have a unique and refreshingly different proposition for the following reasons:
Director and Chartered and Certified Financial Planner
Ben has worked in financial services since graduating from the University of Surrey with a first class degree in Economics. Ben joined Grierson Dickens Ltd in 2014, became a Chartered and Certified Financial Planner in 2017 and currently oversees GDL's Client Proposition strategy.
Ben advises clients in a wide range of scenarios, but is especially familiar with the challenges faced by families with busy lives, demanding jobs and an ever more complex array of financial decisions to make and tax deadlines to manage. He also has significant experience dealing with clients in senior or executive level employment roles, helping people navigate complex benefits packages, high value long term incentive plans and more often than not these days, an 'overflowing' pension.
Ben helps the wider team deal with the challenging financial planning and taxation issues faced by families, trustees, executors and business owners. He has a deep understanding of the latest rules surrounding pensions, both when making contributions, taking benefits and he is an authorised pension transfer specialist. He has a particular interest in the UK state pension system.
Outside of work, Ben enjoys spending time with his young family and playing and watching football.
Investment Support and Paraplanner
After graduating from De Montfort University in Leicester, with a First Class Honours degree in Accounting and Finance, Bobby Gyawali has begun his career in financial services by joining Grierson Dickens Ltd in 2018. Bobby also gained an AAT Level 3 qualification in 2014, making him a part-qualified accountant.
Bobby’s role at Grierson Dickens is to help implement and manage clients’ investment portfolios and to support the Financial Planners taking care of tasks that allow them to fully focus on their responsibilities. Bobby’s duties include: creating annual investment review documents, conducting investment research, monitoring asset allocation models, helping advisors with meeting preparation, and liaising with clients to ensure the company delivers on our service commitments.
Outside of work, Bobby is big on sports and takes part in football, basketball, tennis and squash.
Financial Planning Support
Euan is GDL’s newest recruit, joining in October 2023 after graduating from the University of Portsmouth with a First-Class Honours in Economics, Finance & Banking.
Euan’s role in Financial Planning Support will help set the foundations for his long-term ambition to become a Chartered Financial Planner, fuelled by his motivation to help people achieve their long-term objectives.
Outside of work, Euan enjoys travelling and has visited 21 countries so far, his favourite being Montenegro. Euan also likes to play the piano, catch up with friends, go camping and participate in the occasional pub quiz (albeit not doing very well!).
Chartered Financial Planner and Investment Director
Greg Parker is a Chartered Financial Planner and part owner of Grierson Dickens. He graduated from Portsmouth University in 2004, beginning his career with IFG Group as an investment analyst and trainee adviser. It was in 2007, after a chance meeting with one of the owners, that Greg decided to move to Grierson Dickens in order to pursue a career offering holistic fee based financial planning. Greg has been responsible for building and managing the GDL investment proposition and currently chairs the company’s investment committee.
In addition, Greg has gained significant experience in advising a wide variety of financial planning clients, developing a particular specialism in advising the elderly, their attorneys and trustees. He has helped a number of our clients plan the succession of their often significant wealth, in challenging family circumstances, often dealing with the sensitive balancing act of sharing wealth with adult children whilst protecting them from the potentially difficult consequences of an inappropriate windfall.
Greg has also represented individuals in resolving complex high value settlements with the Financial Ombudsman Service in instances where clients have come to GDL having received inappropriate advice on products or investments, or where significant client assets have been misappropriated.
Outside work his passion is most definitely football.
Director and Chartered Financial Planner
James Dickens is the Principal at Grierson Dickens Ltd and has been advising clients on Financial Planning since graduating from Imperial College, London in 1989. He has developed a long standing client base, many of whom he has advised for over 20 years. He is a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society and one of the most highly qualified financial advisers in the UK holding both Certified and Chartered Financial Planner status.
James has worked closely with clients through a wide range of life experiences – business start up, growth and exit; bereavement, divorce, redundancy, employment and interfamily disputes; overseas assignment and repatriation, cashflow crises and more. It is the experience gained from this journey that James brings to the table when advising existing and new clients, all of whom are referred by other professional advisers or existing clients.
James has always believed that financial advice can only ever be effective on a genuine fee basis which was introduced to Grierson Dickens in 2001. This led to a pioneering approach to advising, encompassing a holistic blend of taxation and financial planning, avoiding the product selling focus which blights so many advisers, and embracing low cost index tracking investments first used by Grierson Dickens almost twenty years ago.
James has a special interest in social impact investing and is a keen runner and loves cooking (and eating) Asian food.
Jo Ranger joined the company in 2002 with specific responsibility for business management, compliance and the development and ongoing improvement of the company’s client proposition. Jo has worked in the Financial Services industry since 1985, the majority of her career being spent with what is now the Zurich Group, latterly as Sales Development Director. Jo has also completed lengthy consultancy contracts over the last few years with a large US wealth management company developing their US proposition for the UK market, a major high street bank working on their customer proposition and an international private bank developing their relationship management approach. Jo’s key areas of interest in business are strategic planning and developing people. Jo also acts as our Founder Trustee Director. Outside of work Jo enjoys walking and is a keen skier.
Josh Vincent joined Grierson Dickens in 2021 and became an authorised Financial Planner in 2023.
Josh graduated from the University of Southampton in 2019 with a First-Class Honours degree in History. Prior to joining Grierson Dickens Ltd, Josh gained multiple years’ experience within customer services, working with clients from a variety of backgrounds. Throughout his previous roles, Josh developed his relationship management and interpersonal skills whilst proving his adaptability, working in emotionally charged and time-pressured scenarios.
Josh joined Grierson Dickens in a Financial Planning Support role, where he closely assisted the adviser team and their clients. Now, as a qualified adviser, he is able to lead client relationships and advise on a wide variety of scenarios. Josh is also working towards Chartered Financial Planner status.
Away from work, Josh’s passions lie in sport; football and golf being his two greatest loves. He is a season ticket holder at AFC Bournemouth and runs his own Sunday league football team.
Financial Planning Support
Mark joined Grierson Dickens Ltd in March 2023.
Mark studied Financial Management in South Africa and graduated from Varsity College in 2017, before beginning his career at an investment advisory firm. Mark and his wife decided to make the move over to the UK and Mark has since joined Grierson Dickens as a Financial Planning Assistant.
Mark has over 5 years’ experience in helping clients through complex administrative processes and investigating any queries they may encounter. Mark will continue to build on this experience at Grierson Dickens, through supporting the advisers with their client work, whilst progressing towards his long-term ambition to become a Chartered Financial Planner.
Outside of work, Mark enjoys watching and playing many different sports such as ultimate frisbee and golf as well as reading and hiking. He also has a love for music and plays different instruments such as guitar and drums in the church band.
Olivia Jennings joined Grierson Dickens Ltd in late 2020. Olivia's background, prior to joining Grierson Dickens Ltd, was in customer service and recruitment, working directly with clients and candidates on a daily basis.
In 2018, Olivia graduated from The University of York with a 2.1 in Philosophy/Linguistics. During her time at university, Olivia focused on developing her mentoring and leadership skills, by piloting a university mentoring scheme. Olivia also volunteered for York Nightline, owing to her passion for supporting positive mental health and wellbeing.
At Grierson Dickens Ltd, Olivia’s role is to facilitate and manage the smooth operation of the company’s business, enabling the Financial Planning team to focus fully on their clients. A wide range of responsibilities fall under Olivia's remit and include accounts, premises, HR, IT systems & telephony, client invoicing, project management and the content and maintenance of the company’s website.
Olivia also looks for innovative ways to push the business forward and help to facilitate people development. This holistic overview of the business, enables her to support strategy, processes and client proposition. Olivia also acts as our Employee Trustee Director.
Outside of work, Olivia enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and dog Brinkley, and getting involved in her local community events.
Sophie joined the Grierson Dickens team in June 2023 after working in a range of customer service roles over the last 8 years. This has taught her much about predicting clients’ needs and given her the ability to form relationships with clients quickly.
After studying Film and TV Production for two years at Royal Holloway University of London, she realised her full potential lied in working as a part of a cohesive team, supporting those around her to achieve a common goal. She has a penchant for keeping things organised so staying on top of the necessary office tasks while helping the other team members is a welcomed challenge. Her role is to support her colleagues from behind the scenes, so they can focus on providing the best support for our clients.
Outside of the office she enjoys creative hobbies, tending to her vast array of houseplants and exploring the great outdoors.
Clients remunerate us through fees rather than commissions (and have done so since 2001). These fees are charged in two ways:
Hourly fees: Our financial planning and advice fees are charged for on an hourly basis by agreement with you and are based upon your circumstances and the work you have asked us to do on your behalf.
We chose to introduce this transparent hourly charge fee structure, so that we could offer genuinely impartial advice without the need for clients to invest their money through us. Our hourly fees are as follows:
From £200 per hour to £260 per hour for a Financial Planner depending on their level of experience to match your requirements.
From £130 per hour to £180 per hour for Financial Planning Support.
£80 per hour for administration.
Ongoing Annual Investment fee: If you invest money through us we will begin charging an ongoing annual investment fee of up to 0.5% of the investment amount. The charge for this service will be in addition to our hourly advice charges for an investment proposal and financial planning services.
This ongoing annual investment fee covers:
The process of selecting the right asset classes, continually monitoring performance and identifying new alternatives, involves significant and ongoing work, much of which is generic to all clients. It is therefore not possible to charge clients at an individual level for this work.
These fees normally attract VAT.