From technical researchers to paraplanners and amazing administrators, through our team you have access to a whole host of skills and qualifications. Consider them a bolt-on to your company, ready to support you and your clients.
Founder & Director
Cathi is the founder and owner of Para-Sols; she has been in financial services since leaving university and holds both the Chartered and Certified Financial Planner status as well as being a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society.
Cathi splits her time supporting her team and clients, managing the strategy for Para-Sols and working hard with our leadership team. Outside of work, she spends time cuddling her baby boy and travelling as much as possible.
Peter has over 8 years financial services experience and also holds his Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. His ambitious attitude and hard work, has ensured him a spot as one of our fantastic hub leaders. Along with the rest of the team, he spends most of his spare time on his studies! Although he also enjoys keeping fit and playing cricket for Hartlepool Cricket Club.
Following successful previous trials and internships, Para-Sols introduced and designed its own internal Graduate Scheme. Kate was one of the first successful graduates and along with her hard work and dedication, has now achieved her Diploma in Financial Planning! Kate’s degree was in Zoology and she still retains an interest in this on a recreational basis, but chose to pursue a career that reflects her other academic interest of Maths and it’s paying off!
Director of Operations & Quality
Jo has been with Para-Sols since 2010 being our first full time employee! As well as the day to day paraplanning, her role includes managing the team and being the main point of contact for clients. Outside of work, Jo’s time is taken up with her two boys, attending many music gigs, and continuing with her financial planning studies as she is currently working towards both Chartered and Certified status.
In 2016, Jo won the Money Marketing Best Paraplanner award.
Head of Paraplanning
Grant heads up one of our hubs and took part in one of our first graduate internships. He was subsequently made a full time, permanent part of the team and embarked on our trainee paraplanner programme, very quickly completing his Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning and has recently achieved his Chartered status. He is also an Associate of the Personal Finance Society. Outside work he enjoys following football (particularly Arsenal) as well as playing 11-aside and attempting to get better at golf!
Bernie (not Barney, or Birdie or any of the other names providers call her!) has been with us since 2012. With a background in IT, Bernie is our systems expert, navigating around the various back office systems we use and helping advisers to populate them and use them more fully. Outside of work, Bernie enjoys spending time with her many siblings, including her twin sister. She has completed her NVQ and is now studying for her financial administration qualifications.
Director of Client Relations
Kim is our Client Relationship Manager, who deals day to day with our existing and new clients to make sure everything is running smoothly and our advisers are getting the most out of Para-Sols. She went into a career in financial services after graduating with a degree in Accounts & Finance. Outside of work Kim loves to travel and enjoys getting out in the countryside with her dogs.
Having joined the team in May 2017 as part of our graduate training programme, The Grad Scheme, Holly has a real desire to learn the nitty gritty of paraplanning. With 2:1 degree in History from Newcastle University, she is no stranger to a research task and has superb report writing experience. Forever with a smile on her face, she loves all animals, even the creepy crawly kind (we know, weird huh?) and duvet days spent in her pjs! Holly holds her Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.
Rachael joined us in the Summer of 2016 after applying for our Graduate Scheme. She joined us fresh with the knowledge and enthusiasm university brings having just graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a degree in BA Accounting and Finance – and achieving a first class honours no less! Outside of work Rachael enjoys going to the gym (she’s a natural gym bunny!) and spending time with family and friends, especially when it involves food or something fun like theme parks or high ropes courses. Rachael’s hard work and dedication has paid off, as she has achieved her Diploma in Financial Planning.
Head of Technical Research
Cheryl joined Para-Sols in 2016 and heads up our technical research team. With a strong administravtive background, has control of the administration side of the business, managing the data gathering process and training entrants to our graduate scheme on policy intricacies, and insurance company frustrations! Outside of work, she enjoys euro pop music (we don’t get it either!) and spending time with her little dog, Bobo.
Lee joined the team via our graduate training programme, The Grad Scheme, in Summer 2017 having graduated from Northumbria Univeristy. With a 2:1 degree in History, he’s mastered the art of analytical thinking and carrying out focused research projects which is proving advantagous as his role develops. Financial planning runs in the family and his ambition and passion for paraplanning is clear to see – almost as much as his passion for all things football!
Despite her tiny 5ft 1″ (and a half!) frame, Sunaina has a bucket load of energy which is one of the reasons that secured her success when applying for our graduate training programme, The Grad Scheme. Sunaina graduated from Nottingham Trent Uni with a degree in English & Linguistics so it comes as no surprise that she has a natural talent for all styles of writing, from informal blog-like articles to the more traditional structured style reports. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about her cheerleading skills where she tried, and failed, to make her mark in the University squad!
Director of Culture & Engagement
Natalie joined the team at the beginning of 2017 with a creative background in marketing and communications, culture change and generally, all things engagement. She oversees the strategic-level marketing and client engagement but the core of her role lies in managing change as we grow and expand, ensuring we stay true to our vision. This includes coaching our staff to identify their learning and development needs, our internal leadership development programme and generally being our happiness guru!
As the team continues to grow, she puts her qualifications in Motivational Behaviour and NLP to good use by creating staff engagement initiatives, making sure that the Para-Sols culture continues to be one that we all love!
Psychology graduate, Alex, joined us in 2017 having successfully applied for our graduate training programme The Grad Scheme. She graduated from Durham University with a 2:1 and her forensic way of thinking and naturally analytical mind is proving to be a key skill as she develops her role in the world of paraplanning! She told us her friends and family are likely to describe her as friendly and hard-working and we have to say, we’d have to agree with them!
If there was an award for ‘Best Cover Letter in the History of Para-Sols’, Sophie would be the sure winner. Having applied for our graduate training programme, The Grad Scheme, in 2017, Sophie impressed us with her natural flair for written communication and evidencing the depths of her research on understanding us and the role before compiling a strong application. Now in post, she continues to prove she has what it takes and puts the research and analysis skills she acquired as a History graduate to good use.
Drama & Theatre graduate Hannah joined the team in 2017 and took no time in getting her feet under the Para-Sols table. With a background in debt collection and administrator based roles, organisation and data gathering comes naturally and proves advantageous when supporting a very busy team of paraplanners. Hannah focusses on the defined benefit pensions scheme cases and is an integral member of the growing technical research hub.
Another successful recruit from The Grad Scheme, Alex joined us in 2018’s intake with a 2:1 degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Imperial College, London. Despite the niche subject of his degree, he demonstrates every day the transferrable skills he gained – from forensic style research and analysis to his naturally innovative way of thinking. Couple these together with his friendly nature and keen eye for detail make him the perfect fit for both the role, and the company.
That, and he loves to drink wine and bake cakes – say no more…
Marketing & Communications Assistant
Jasmine (or Jas), is our Marketing & Communications Assistant. With a degree in Advertising in Social Media & Creative Enterprise, she uses her experience to strengthen our brand positioning across both Para-Sols and our graduate training programme – The Grad Scheme. She’s our go-to for all things digital (no surprise as a self-confessed ‘millennial’) and is the voice of our social media on a day-to-day basis.
A lover of the arts, she’s previously danced at the Royal Albert Hall and has ran three half marathons (including one in Spain) despite hating running. Creative and ambitious – that’s Jas!
A successful candidate of The Grad Scheme in 2018, Helen joined us from Northumbria University where she studied Business & Economics. No stranger to all things spreadsheets, numbers and research, she also has a whole host of skills including impeccable customer service. It’s no surprise she has a mathematical mind, which is the super power within her role.
Outside of work Helen is a social butterfly and loves nothing more than a beer garden with friends (weather permitting!).
Another keen Historian among us – Michael graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in, you guessed it, History! During his studies, he worked part time as a Reviewer for Northumbria Students’ Union and also volunteered in a research project which tracked the career trajectories of Northumbria grads. This experience provided the research and report writing skills that he holds today, which ultimately landed him a place on The Grad Scheme.
His can do attitude is a real encouragement within the office.
Andrew graduated with a 2:1 degree in History from Aberystwyth University. Although he is used to research and report writing, financial services marks quite a departure from early-20th century political history he was used to.
He remains a keen historian but if you’re ever to have a conversation with him regarding this, be sure to stay clear of Tudor times! There are two main loves in Andrew’s life – his guinea pigs, Clive and Wesley.
Megan joined us with a degree in English from the University of Teesside. This could explain her Grammar Pedantry Syndrome, (yes, that’s a real thing), meaning you’d better make sure that your grammar is spot on when communicating with her! As a previous estate agent, she brings with her plenty of customer service and administrative skills and is certainly no stranger to client research and an excel spreadsheet.
Outside of work Megan enjoys binge watching TV series’ and going out for a cheeky daiquiri (or 5).
Fran was recruited through our graduate training programme, The Grad Scheme, having graduated from the University of Teesside. She joined us with a 2:1 degree in Business Management and a tenacious attitude towards learning. Despite previous management skills in retail, she was ready for a change in career and is now immersed in the world of financial services.
When asked about her dislikes, she was rather passionate about her dislike of Minions, so we’re assuming that so long as none turn up here at Para-Sols, Fran will always enjoy working here!
Marketing & Events Manager
Naomi (aka Nome) is our Marketing and Events Manager. She has a broad range of experience in managing strategic marketing and communications, driving cultural change and developing large scale live event solutions for a wide variety of sectors.
She is a qualified NLP Practitioner and an expert in inter-generational theory which she uses to develop creative communications to engage a wide range of audiences, especially those considered hard to reach.
Nome is a born crafter and enjoys all things artistic.
Alasdair (or more warmly known as Ali) graduated from the University of St Andrews with a degree in Geology. Originally choosing to explore a career in teaching, he taught A-level Geology and Geography for 5 years (even teaching his younger sister) across Teesside and Durham. Although he enjoyed his time as a teacher, the career progression proved to be questionable and so he focussed on developing a career in another profession that excited him – financial services! His academic background has proved instrumental as he settled into our graduate programme – The Grad Scheme – learning a new world has proved natural to him.
Now that it’s not considered ‘work’, his love and interest for all things Geology has been encouraged!
Zoe has worked in financial services since she was the tender age of 16 – first starting out as a Financial Administrator and then quickly progressing to undertake her Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. Having previously worked client-side for a successful advising firm, she has first-hand experience of the challenges that many firms face, giving her a greater understanding of our clients needs.
Yorkshire-born Zoe moved to the North East to join the team and is relishing in her new chapter. She’s still even finding time for her most favourite hobby – going on holiday and enjoying time in the sun!
Fiona works as a freelance book keeper and has done this for 12 years, joining Para-Sols in 2013. She began her working life in sales, moving through all departments of an engineering company – she had no intentions of working in finance but once she did, she didn’t look back. The rest is history as they say.
Outside of work, it’s the simple things that make Fiona the happiest and that’s being with those that know her best, walking her crazy, yet totally adorable, cocker spaniel, Dexter. On the rare occasions she sees her teenage son (when she can prise him out of the house), they like a good Marvel or fictional movie and a quality restaurant.
Senior Technical Researcher
Laura has worked in financial services since 2007, sticking with the same company throughout the years, before leaving to join Para-Sols. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the team and is experienced in multiple areas of the industry.
Outside of work, Laura is a keen runner and so far, has 3 Great North Runs under her belt! When she’s not running marathons she’s running after her 2 children – who keep her very busy.
Francis has worked in financial services since 2017, after graduating from Northumbria University with a degree in Computer Science. He has experience working within financial advisory firms, meaning that he is skilled in many areas.
His computer skills are a major benefit to him within the industry and his analytic mind solves problems quickly. He is currently studying towards his Diploma in Financial Planning. Outside of work, you’ll likely find him in a pub drinking Craft Ale, listening to live music.
Tiffany joined us with a degree in Primary Education and was the perfect candidate for our Office Manager role. Her organisation skills are top notch and she keeps every single one of us in order. She’s the voice that you’ll often hear at the end of the phone when calling the office and she’s your go to for any general queries.
When Tiff isn’t in the office, you’ll find her with her much loved rescue dog, Pie!
Ellen has a multitude of different skills that she brings to the team and has experience in a number of different areas, including an AAT Level 2 in Bookkeeping. She has a high knowledge of all things admin and enjoys being super organised, as well as this, she’s an Excel whizz and a bright cheery voice at the end of the phone!
When she’s not working you’ll probably find her with a Bubblegum Daiquiri in hand.