Leadership Team

Financial Advisors

Compliance, Operations and Administration

Sean Patterson

CEO

Nicholas Matthews

CFO

James Easterbrook

MD: Stonewood Wealth Management

Sarah Lord, FPFS

MD: Stonewood Financial Planning

Peter Simms

CTO and MD: Birchwood Investments

James Twidale, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

Adam Katten

Managing Director NLPFM

Sean Bryan

Compliance and Regulatory Director

Rachel Lane

Financial Advisor

Ginny Gamble

Financial Adviser

Matthew Swinbank

Mortgage Advisor

Melanie Kinshott

Group Compliance Manager

Ema Lawrence

Group Administration Manager

Shainita Hamin

Head of Operations

Zofia Benfield

Human Resources Director

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Sean Patterson

CEO

Sean is the CEO of the Group, with 20 years of investment management, private equity and corporate finance experience. Prior to founding Stonewood, Sean was a founding partner of CapitalWorks Equity Partners, and a Divisional Director of Brait Private Equity. Sean is a qualified chartered accountant.

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Nicholas Matthews

CFO

Nick joined Stonewood in September 2020 as an executive director and Group CFO. Previously Nick was a partner at KPMG in South Africa where he as head of the firms Deal Advisory business unit. Nick is responsible for heading the Stonewood groups finance function which includes consolidation, planning and reporting for the group. Nick is also responsible for execution of acquisitions and post deal integration.

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James Easterbrook

MD: Stonewood Wealth Management

James joined Stonewood in 2020. He heads up the business development and distributions functions for the Group as well driving key strategic projects across the group and has over 20 years’ experience in business development and senior management roles. James was a financial analyst for RMB Morgan Stanley in South Africa, before heading up the equity sales desk. In addition, James was head of Business Development for Bateleur Capital in South Africa and took responsibility for growing funds under management across all investment strategies.

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Sarah Lord, FPFS

MD: Stonewood Financial Planning

Sarah is the Managing Director of Stonewood Financial Planning, having joined the group in mid 2023. She has over 20 years of financial planning industry experience to draw on, having fulfilled senior roles at respected institutions including Killick &Co and Mazars. Sarah has been a board member and past President of the Personal Finance Society since 2016. Sarah is a passionate advocate for the profession, focused on raising the profile of financial planning as a profession to the next generation of planners and clients.

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Peter Simms

CTO and MD: Birchwood Investments

Peter is the Group CTO as well as the MD for Birchwood Investment Management, one of the group subsidiaries.

In 2022, he assumed the role of Group CTO and will transition to this role full time. As CTO, he is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the company's technology strategy and ensuring that it aligns with the overall business goals.

Peter holds the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Certificate in Financial Planning at levels 1, 2 and 3. He has also completed the Institute of Financial Services’ (IFS) level 4 examinations to achieve the Diploma in Financial Advice as well as achieving the IFS Certificate in Long-Term Care in April 2014.

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James Twidale, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

James joined Stonewood in 2020 through the acquisition of his South African asset management business. James heads up the multi-asset portfolio management function and forms part of the Stonewood investment team. James also has client management and venture capital experience. James holds a Bachelor of Business Science (Honours in Finance) from the University of Cape Town and is a CFA Charterholder.

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Adam Katten

Managing Director NLPFM

Adam has been Managing Director of NLP Financial Management Limited since March 2005 and been instrumental in the growth of the company into one of the leading, award winning financial planning businesses in the UK.

He has advised clients for over 25 years and his thorough, highly responsive and caring approach, alongside his technical expertise, has enabled him to build a very loyal client following whilst developing many financial planners within the firm who follow Adam’s ethos.

Adam believes in the importance of financial planning and understanding every client’s unique circumstances so he can identify their requirements and work with them in ensuring that their life plans can be met through appropriate advice and guidance.

With a passion for client service he has ensured that his high standards are replicated by all staff as part of the culture of NLP Financial Management Limited.

Outside of work, Adam is a family man with 4 children and is Treasurer of a local charity focused on improving the lives of disadvantaged young people. He also enjoys the odd game of tennis and even cricket.

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Sean Bryan

Compliance and Regulatory Director

Sean is the Head of Compliance bringing over 12 years of experience to NLP Financial Management from various compliance support roles for financial advisory and discretionary fund management firms.

This has given him a vast array of experience of how to deal with the impact of regulation in a practical and client centric way.

Sean is diploma qualified and is also Chartered.

Outside of work Sean regularly swims, cycles and runs and has completed more than 10 triathlons.

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Rachel Lane

Financial Advisor

Rachel qualified in 2008 having graduated from Sheffield University and joined Group Rapport in 2014.

Treating each client as an individual and taking time to understand a client’s goals is her main strength, perfectly matching the Group Rapport philosophy. Rachel swiftly made a great impression and was recognised by the Guildford chapter of the Chartered Institute of Insurance being awarded their Young Achiever of the Year for 2015.

She was also awarded the PFS Mortgage Adviser of the year Runner up in 2016 and Winner 2017. Since then she has been busy building her client base and spending time with her two dogs (including our retired office dog Quinn).

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Ginny Gamble

Financial Adviser

Ginny joined Bromwich Financial Planning in 2021, having worked in the financial services industry for over 16 years, 10 years of this spent gaining knowledge and experience at an Investment Bank.

As an adviser Ginny strives to work closely with clients to create a bespoke financial planning and investment strategy. Providing them with investment retirement options tailored to suit their individual needs and solutions that can be adapted to changing circumstances throughout their lifetime.

Ginny’s interests outside of work include her passion for fitness, spending time with her two daughters and socialising.

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Matthew Swinbank

Mortgage Advisor

Matthew started working in Financial Services in 2019 alongside university; and was quick to realise his passion for with the industry. After graduating from The Open University in 2020 with a BA in Business Management, he decided to pursue his interest, by specialising in the part he enjoyed the most.

He joined Group Rapport and quickly qualified as a Mortgage Advisor in 2021 where he has enjoyed working with our new and existing clients ever since.

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Melanie Kinshott

Group Compliance Manager

Melanie joined the Stonewood Group in 2020 as group compliance manager, heading up the compliance function for Stonewood Financial Planning and working closely with our Compliance & Regulatory Director in managing the compliance requirements of the group as a whole.

Melanie has over 20 years’ experience in working in financial services. After completing a BSc (Hons) in Psychology at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, she began her career in the Savings and Lending Departments at Northern Rock HQ in 2001. Melanie relocated to Worcestershire in 2003, where she became a member of the mortgage processing team at Woolwich and in 2006 moved to work for an employee benefits consultancy taking on the role of team leader in Group Pensions. Relocating again to Surrey in 2009, she began working for a small IFA in Guildford where she further expanded her experience and knowledge as Head of Corporate and Compliance Manager for the firm.

Melanie holds the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, Certificate in Advanced Mortgage Advice, Certificate in Equity Release and Award in Long Term Care Insurance.

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Ema Lawrence

Group Administration Manager

Ema has 30 years experience in the Financial Services Industry, the majority of which has been in a management role. Ema has worked for several of the major providers in the industry including Aviva and Canada Life, Ema moved into the IFA world in 2008, joining the Stonewood Group in 2012. Ema has a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding financial services and the systems we use to provide the best experience for our clients.

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Shainita Hamin

Head of Operations

Shainita’s is highly experienced and key member of the team, with a career that has spanned more than 25 yearscareer has spanned 25 years and included household names such as Friends Life and AVIVA before meeting Jeremy and Matthew at Elliott Bayley. Shainita is an experienced and highly valued member of the team with a superb depth of technical knowledge and administrative knowledge. Managing 3 administrators Shainita helps ensure that all our schemes receive the highest level of service and support. A keen traveller Shainita has mastered the art of balancing work and her love of seeing the world with her family.

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Zofia Benfield

Human Resources Director

Zofia joined Stonewood in 2023. She heads up the Human Resources function for the Group and believes in establishing a well-respected culture that encourages clear thinking, imagination, communication, and maturity while actively discouraging office politics and bureaucracy. She has over 20 years’ experience in Human Resources, Talent Management and Resourcing and Learning and Development in the financial services industry. Zofia was previously the Head of Human Resources at Transact / IntegraFin where she built an operational and strategic human resources division, established the full employee life cycle, developed and implemented robust recruitment plans for talent acquisition and established a learning and development division, growing the company to over 400 staff.

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