Grierson Dickens Limited is a 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.

What clients say

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 Standards

  • We are open and honest.
  • We reply to communications from our clients and their professional advisers if received by 4pm, on the same day.
  • We are punctual.
  • We treat others (clients and colleagues) how we would want someone to treat us.
  • We put our clients at the centre of our work and act with integrity.
  • We always try our best.
  • Whatever we put our name to, we accept as our responsibility and we will do our utmost to make sure it is accurate and appropriate and right first time.
  • We give unambiguous deadlines, and meet them, unless there is a very good reason not to, which we communicate before the promised deadline.
  • We do what we say we will do.
  • We take personal responsibility when things don’t go smoothly, and we look for the positive and learn.
  • We lead, follow, or get out of the way.
  • We seek feedback, embrace it, and learn from it.

Our role

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:

  • We help clients to articulate their goals and aspirations (often for the first time).
  • We ensure that our financial advice is always given in the context of those goals and aspirations.
  • We are fee based (and have been since 2001) and therefore focus on real client needs and priorities with no pressure to sell financial products.
  • We have a high degree of technical expertise and experience which means that clients get the right advice.
  • We ensure that our advice is integrated with any legal and tax advice offered by other professional advisers and we work with clients’ other advisers to ensure plans are properly implemented.
  • We get things done and do what we say we will do.

Our people

James Dickens

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


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. Outside of work Jo enjoys walking and is a keen skier.

Greg Parker

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.

Ben Kemmish

Chartered & Certified Financial Planner

Ben Kemmish has worked in financial services since graduating from the University of Surrey with a First Class Honours degree in Economics. Ben joined Grierson Dickens Ltd in 2014 and has since become both a Chartered and Certified Financial Planner.

Ben works with many different client 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 deadlines to manage. He also has experience helping clients organise themselves in the run up to retirement and with clients in the later stages of life structuring their assets for the next generation whilst navigating the myriad of inheritance tax rules.

Ben also works alongside James Dickens dealing with the complex taxation and financial planning issues presented to those in senior employment roles. He has a deep understanding of the latest rules surrounding tax and pensions and has used his expert knowledge in advising clients on the implementation of pension arrangements, taking benefits and avoiding the pitfalls of the various tax penalties awaiting the unwary pension funder.

When not advising, Ben enjoys his 5 a-side football, walking and cycling.

Charlie Knight

Financial Planner

Charlie Knight studied Spanish at Royal Holloway, University of London and has worked in financial services for the past 12 years, spending this time at a leading employee benefits and Group Risk Insurance provider. He joined Grierson Dickens Ltd early in 2020 after completing the CISI Investment Advice Diploma. Charlie has since qualified as a Financial Planner and is working toward Chartered status.

As a Financial Planner, Charlie works in an advisory capacity to support clients in achieving their objectives. His work includes, among other things, building client relationships, creating financial plans, preparing reports, calculating tax liabilities, completing tax returns, and researching potential solutions.

Away from work, Charlie enjoys spending time with his wife & two young children and walking his Labradors, Bailey and Murphy. He also enjoys reading about political and twentieth century history, everything rugby & cricket, and cooking Central American & Asian food.

Bobby Gyawali

Investment Support & 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.

Josh Vincent

Financial Planning Assistant

Josh Vincent is Grierson Dickens Limited’s newest team member, joining in late 2021 as a Financial Planning Assistant.

Josh graduated from the University of Southampton in 2019 with a First-Class Honours degree in History. Prior to joining Grierson Dickens Ltd, Josh accumulated six years’ experience within customer services, working with clients from a variety of backgrounds. Throughout his previous roles, Josh enhanced his relationship management and interpersonal skills whilst proving his adaptability, working in multiple, emotionally charged and time-pressured scenarios.

The principal focus of Josh’s work is to provide support to the Financial Planners, including meeting preparatory work, new business administration and liaising with clients and product providers. Josh’s long-term goal is to achieve Chartered Financial Planner status himself.

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.

Tim Hudson

Operations Manager

Tim Hudson has worked in the Financial Services industry since 2001 and joined Grierson Dickens Ltd in 2012 after wanting to work in a fee-based firm with a non-transactional approach.

Tim’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 Tim’s remit and include accounts, premises, IT systems & telephony, client invoicing, project management, regulation & reporting and the content and maintenance of the company’s website.

This broad role gives Tim a unique and vital perspective on the company and he thoroughly enjoys managing the diverse variety of tasks that come his way.

Away from work, Tim enjoys spending time with his family, running and mountain biking.

Imogen Turner

Office Support

Immy Turner joined Grierson Dickens Ltd in 2018. With 9 years of customer service experience under her belt, she saw the move to her role as an opportunity to cement her career with a very client focused company.

Immy’s role is to support the team and manage day to day tasks required to keep the office running smoothly, so the financial planners can focus solely on the clients. She finds it interesting, varied and feels it offers her huge opportunities to learn and grow within the organisation.

Her time away from work is spent with friends and family (and cat), practising yoga and perfecting her vegetarian cookery skills.

Olivia Jennings

Business Manager

Olivia Jennings joined Grierson Dickens Ltd in late 2020. Olivia is new to Financial Services but has 10 years of customer service experience, and prior to joining Grierson Dickens Ltd she was a recruitment consultant, 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 look for innovative ways to push the business forward and help to facilitate people development. Olivia is involved with specific project work, as well as having a more holistic overview of the business, which in future will enable her to support strategy, processes and client proposition.

Outside of work, Olivia enjoys playing tennis, spending time with her family and dog Brinkley, and getting involved in her local community events.

Our fees

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 £180 per hour to £260 per hour for a Financial Planner depending on their level of experience to match your requirements.
£130 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:

  • Administration involved in moving existing investments into the agreed areas and, if relevant, onto a consolidation platform.
  • Production of a client specific annual investment performance report and asset allocation summary.
  • Rebalancing the ‘asset allocation’ of a client’s existing portfolios on an annual basis.
  • Discussing the above with clients on an annual basis and the implementation of any agreed changes.
  • Ongoing market awareness and reaction.
  • Development of Grierson Dickens Ltd investment philosophy.
  • Monitoring and updating Grierson Dickens Asset Allocation models.
  • Monitoring and review of the selected underlying investment funds.
  • Identification and assessment of new Exchange Traded Funds and new investment vehicles.
  • Researching Tax Strategies and maintaining up to date knowledge.
  • Agreeing terms with providers and checking that those terms are adhered to.

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.

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