Meet The Team
John Eastwood, Chairman
I started work in 1965 for Commercial Union and began broking seven years later. In 1976, I set up my own insurance broking business which, at the time, offered both general insurance and financial service products.Over the years those two disciplines became separated and I stayed day to day with general insurance, although always retaining an interest in financial services. I have acted as chairman of a financial services company since 1977. Away from the office, my interests include skiing, sailing and all aspects of fine drinking, including cider-making.
Karen Wynard DipPFS, Managing Director
I joined the company in 2002. Three years later, I became an independent financial adviser and went on to lead to the corporate services team in 2010. I was delighted to be appointed to the board in June 2012 and enjoy playing my part in helping to develop a business I have grown up with. My day is spent looking after clients, mainly corporate these days, and I enjoy travelling around the country doing that. Work on pension reforms keeps me busy and when I'm not studying the legislation or delivering seminars, I am advising businesses and helping them with preparations. In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym, reading, travelling and food and wine.
John Smith DipPFS, Director
I trained as a chartered accountant before joining the financial services sector as an independent financial adviser in 1987. I became a director of Sutcliffe Mitchell (Insurances) in 1991 and fully qualified in 1995. Following the merger of a number of companies, I continued as a director with Trinity Financial Advisers before joining Eastwood Financial Services as a director in 2007. During my career I have provided corporate and personal advice but I now tend to concentrate on personal financial planning. Away from the office, my interests are golf, cricket, tennis, rugby, football and skiing.
Anthony Flowers LLB APFS, Director
Having joined the company in 2008, I am a Chartered Financial Planner and a member of the Society of Later Life Advisers.
My role in the company involves chairing the Investment Committee and heading up the Private Client team. I also look after a number of clients, many of whom have been with the company for many years.
In my spare time interests include keeping fit, spending time with family and friends and charity work.
Karen Spark ACIB, DipPFS, Operations Director
I began my career in 1978 working for a major bank and since then have worked within various sectors of the financial services industry covering general insurance and wealth management. Out of work, I enjoy keeping fit, cycling, skiing and entertaining for family and friends.
Tim Ball DipPFS, Independent Financial Adviser
I am an Independent Financial Adviser and have worked within Eastwood Financial Services since 1988. I specialise in the retirement market and my role is to offer whole-of-market financial advice to corporate and individual clients. I obtained the Certificate in Financial Planning in 1994 and the Diploma in Financial Planning in 2011. In July 2014 I obtained the Pensions Management Institutes Certificate in Pensions Automatic Enrolment. Outside of the office, I enjoy nature photography. I'm also an avid film fan, a keen supporter of Leeds United and I enjoy playing the odd game of pool.
Warwick Busfield DipPFS, Independent Financial Adviser
I have worked in the financial services industry in an advisory role since 1987 and during that time, I have provided advice to personal and corporate clients on retirement and investment solutions, allowing them to achieve their life goals and objectives.
Over the years, I have worked for a number of firms and latterly a FTSE 250 company before joining Eastwood Financial Services Ltd. I currently hold the Diploma in Financial Planning and I am a member of the Personal Finance Society and Chartered Insurance Institute.
Outside work, I have a keen interest in all sport, I enjoy keeping fit, good food and the great outdoors.
Ian Devlin BA(Hons) DipPFS, Employee Benefits Consultant
After graduating from the University of Leeds, I joined an independent financial services company where I gained more than six years of experience. During this time I developed into a group risk specialist, a role I have continued to fulfil since joining Eastwood Financial Services in November 2012 as an Employee Benefits Consultant. My home is in Leeds and I spend much of my time watching sport as a Leeds Rhinos season ticket holder and a supporter of Leeds United.
Paul Howell, Employee Benefits Consultant
My experience within the employee benefits area spans nearly three decades. My speciality is private healthcare and I have worked for some of the leading insurers in this field. I have a passion for account management and outstanding customer service and this is always at the forefront of my work for new and existing clients alike. I'm a devoted family man who loves spending time with family and friends, enjoys travel and is a keen follower of all sports.
Matthew Remmer DipPFA, Independent Financial Adviser
I joined Eastwood Financial Services in August 2015 after gaining 10 years’ experience in the industry. I started in Credit Collections for a Stockbroker and worked my way up through the Compliance department to Assistant Regulatory Manager.
My career has shown no signs of slowing down after working at a regulated network, other IFA firms as a paraplanner and now at Eastwood Financial Services as an Independent Financial Adviser. I’m also part of the Investment Committee after gaining my investment management exams.
Outside of work I’m usually chasing around after my young daughter, relaxing with a good film or on the Golf course.
Theresa Hood, Corporate Services Manager
I started in financial services in 1993 working for a network before joining a pan-european IFA and obtaining my financial planning certificate. I also hold the ICM Preliminary Certificate in credit management, the Accounts and Finance Certificate and in October 2013, I passed the PMI Certificate in Pensions Automatic Enrolment.
I joined the company in 2011 with over 11 years' experience as a corporate administrator. I am now responsible for remuneration, business reporting and I am the Corporate Services Manager. Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter, we love to travel and visit National Trust properties. However, my main indulgence is immersing myself in a good book.
Liz Allerton, Corporate Services Senior Administrator
I joined the company in 1999 as an administrator and went on to obtain the Certificate in Financial Administration from the Chartered Insurance Institute. I also qualified in group risk. The next qualification I hope to achieve is the Certificate in Pensions Automatic Enrolment. I'm the senior administrator within the corporate services team and provide administration support and assistance on company pensions and group risk products to our corporate clients.
Lee Crossley, Corporate Services Administrator
I joined Eastwood Financial Services in July 2013 only four days after completing my A-levels. I have started my journey to becoming a financial adviser by passing my FA1 exam and I am currently studying for CF1, this will give me a certificate in financial administration. Out of work I enjoy playing occasional golf and am a huge NFL fan, supporting the Green Bay Packers and attending the International games in London.
Emma Lee, Corporate Services Administrator
I joined Eastwood Financial Services in January 2016 as a Corporate Services Administrator after spending my previous 10 years working for a Financial Services Network. I have briefly worked in recruitment but have spent the majority of my working life providing support services to Independent Financial Adviser firms in different capacities. I hope to grow my knowledge and complete exams with a view to becoming a paraplanner.
In my spare time I spend this with my daughter, partner, family and friends. We enjoy day trips, cinema outings and outdoor activities. I am also a volunteer Beaver Scout Leader and devote a couple of hours a week to running and taking part in Beaver sessions. This involves planning activities with around 25 children between the ages of 6 and 8. I am also a keen baker and cook and love creating magical children’s birthday cakes.
Vakas Mirza, Corporate Services Administrator
I joined Eastwood Financial Services in May 2016 as a Corporate Services Administrator after working in pensions for over 2 years. I graduated in 2013 from The University of Bradford with an Accounting & Finance degree, subsequently working at Capita and then Willis Towers Watson. I hope to gain more knowledge in my current role and work towards completing exams to become a paraplanner and ultimately a Financial Adviser.
Out of work I play and watch a lot of sports, mainly football and cricket and am a passionate supporter of Manchester United FC. I also spend a lot of time with family and friends and enjoy a regular trip to the cinema.
Dominic Cooney APFS, Chartered Financial Planner
I came to Eastwood Financial Services in 2011 with 22 years' experience as an independent financial adviser, having worked for a number of regional and national firms where I dealt with all aspects of corporate and personal financial planning. Among my responsibilities were complex pension issues such as self-invested pensions, pension transfers and retirement options. Outside work, I like all sports and music. I play the guitar and enjoy golf, cycling and motorbikes.
Andy McCracken BA(Hons) FCII APMI DipPFS, Consultant
I started my career in 1980 at Eagle Star in Leeds, moving to Guardian Royal Exchange in 1985 and to Bush Hodgson Financial Services in Halifax in 1987. I became an independent financial adviser and director shortly afterwards. Bush merged with another firm in 1999 to become Trinity Financial Advisers. That firm was bought by Eastwood Financial Services in 2007 and I became MD the following year until 2015, when I stepped down from the Board to spend more time on client work. I became a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute in 1986, an Associate of the Pensions Management Institute in 1991 and achieved the Diploma in Financial Planning in 2010.
I have been married since 1982 and have two children who have now both graduated and are in full-time work, so I don't need to support them financially any more (I hope!). My interests outside work include fell walking, classical music and literature.
Hazel Manley DipPFS, Independent Financial Adviser
I have worked within the financial services industry since 2001 and I began my career working for a life assurance company in Cheshire before a brief spell in general insurance. I then relocated to West Yorkshire and have been working for Eastwood Financial Services Ltd since 2009.
Richard Turner DipPFS, Independent Financial Adviser
I joined Eastwood Financial Services in 2001, having run my own business. Concentrating mainly on personal financial planning, I have enjoyed maintaining relationships with clients who have become good friends over the years. Away from the office, three children keep me out of trouble - and on the touchline watching junior football and cricket most weeks in all weather!
Michelle Dutton, Client Services Manager
I have worked for the company since 2008 and my role encompasses working with the personal admin team. I began my career as a medical secretary at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds and went on to hold positions as a financial administrator and PA to the Managing Director of a large manufacturing firm. I obtained a diploma in massage, reflexology, anatomy and physiology and ran a therapies business before coming to Elland. My out-of-office escapes after steering two teenage daughters are playing tennis, live music, sampling wine and reading.
Kayleigh Senior, Private Client Team Leader
I have been with the company since September 2009 and work in the personal admin team focusing on various different jobs including producing valuations, processing new business applications and processing fund switches. I hold an NVQ Level 2 in retail financial services and an NVQ Level 2 certificate in customer services. I also have a number of other qualifications outside of the financial services industry.
Richard Parkin, Private Client Senior Administrator
I have spent over 40 years in the industry, having started my career with a major insurance company where I held a variety of administrative and sales roles. In 1985 I joined the financial services company of a national firm of accountants based in Bradford where I held a managerial role as well as being a registered financial adviser until being made redundant in 2003. I spent a short time as group pensions administrator before joining Eastwood Financial Services in 2008.
Tracey Kaye, Private Client Administrator
I recently joined the company as a member of the Private Client Administration team. I worked in Financial services 10 years ago, took a break and then returned to the industry 3 and a half years ago, working for a small independent adviser company. I will be working towards my industry qualifications imminently.
In my spare time I love spending time with my family, walking my dog and I take a lead role in an annual pantomime.
Diane Sutcliffe, Private Client Administrator
I joined the company in 2011 as a part-time administrator and love the flexibility that reduced hours gives me. I have held various secretarial roles in the past and out of work, I have a passion for travel and eating out.
Julie Beaumont, Receptionist
After leaving school in 1977, I started working for the Halifax Building Society and held various secretarial roles before being promoted as a typing Supervisor in the Legal Department. I later joined a cleaning company as an Office Manager and subsequently joined Eastwood Financial Services as a part-time receptionist in September 2016.
In my spare time, I enjoy attending regular aerobic and spinning classes. I also make time for a gentle jog around Rastrick and recently, I commenced volunteer work in the community on behalf of Marie Curie.
Lesley Wall, Receptionist
I started working at the Halifax Building Society in 1985 in various administrative and PA roles and saw many changes before leaving Lloyds Banking Group, as it had then become, in 2013. Prior to joining Eastwood Financial Services as a part-time receptionist, I worked at Overgate Hospice as a fundraising administrator. I am loving the reduced hours – as are the family who now enjoy home cooked meals each evening together with my dog who is benefiting from much longer walks!
Allison Rushton ACII APMI, Head of Paraplanning
I have worked in the financial services industry since the late 1980s. Most of this time has been spent working with independent financial advisers, initially as an administrator and more recently in paraplanning roles. I have also worked for national legal and accountancy practices and specialised in pensions law for a number of years. Among my professional qualifications, I am an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Pensions Management Institute.
Rachael Craven, Paraplanner
I commenced my career in Financial Services in 1994 and initially worked as a Pensions Administrator in Leeds. Following a career move to a local business, I moved to the Wirral to work for Swiss Life in Liverpool and subsequently, commenced work as a Paraplanner in 2006.
I joined Eastwood Financial Services Ltd on 27th September 2016 and hold the Diploma in Financial Planning. Currently, I am studying for Chartered Financial Planner status.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending quality time with my Daughter and our dog and 2 cats.
Stephen Gandy, Paraplanner
I joined Eastwood Financial Services in 2011 as a Corporate Services Administrator, after completing my A-Levels at Huddersfield New College. During 2014 I began working with the Paraplanning team and in January 2015, I moved into the Paraplanning team on a full time basis.
I am currently studying towards my Diploma in Financial Planning and hope to one day become a Financial Adviser. Away from work I am a gym addict and enjoy playing football on Saturday afternoons. I am also a long term suffering supporter of Sheffield United.