Meet the dream team
Click any of the links below to learn more about the people who make NOW tick.
Director and Financial Planner
Director and Financial Planner
Mortgage and Protection Planner
Practice Support Manager
Practice Support Team
Practice Support Team
Practice Support Team
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Before founding NOW I had decades of experience in the financial sector, having worked in both banking and insurance, and managing a team of financial advisers for a major national organisation. It was there that I met Carl, and together we realised there is a better way of helping people plan their financial futures – focusing on the life they want, and seeing the money as the tool to achieve it. That’s why we started NOW.
I try and apply that philosophy my own life as well. I’m married to Ruth and have 19-year-old twins, Holly and Harry, who are both now planning their own futures. I’m a Leeds United season ticket holder and, when I can’t get to the game I enjoy it from the sofa alongside Skye, our Golden Retriever – a fellow fan.
I’m also keen to support and mentor young businesses. I’m currently involved with Ben Wild Animation Studios, who are heading for big things in their industry.
I have worked in financial services as an adviser since the early 90s. When I was working alongside Andrew, we both realised we could do a better job than the people we were working for.
Back then financial advice was all about selling policies rather than offering good service. We wanted to correct this and we shaped NOW around relationships, hands-on expertise and regularly touching-base with clients.
I have a son who has recently graduated with a physics degree. I’m proud to say he is now working in the renewable energy sector. That’s something I’m also keen to support through NOW as well, via St. James’s Place’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) agenda.
In my spare time I like to travel. I’m a qualified skipper and you’ll often find me relaxing on a boat or my motorbike.
Phil OatsDirector and Financial Planner
In my 8 years with NOW I have spent most of my time working with business owners and their families helping them to achieve their business goals. I love the client-facing, relationship-building we do at NOW and the way we help business owners look beyond their immediate options to things that are relevant to their futures and their wider lives.
I also devote time to supporting financial education in the workplace – going out to clients and presenting to their staff on pension planning and other financial topics.
I’m married with two daughters, and with what little time this leaves me I like to keep fit and active. Running and cycling, and hopefully more travelling when the world re-opens.
Adam StottDirector and Financial Planner
I have been a financial planner at NOW for five years, having previously run my own Practice in Bolton.
Old-school financial advice isn’t life-focused enough but I like the challenge of teasing out a client’s true dreams and ambitions. I have found that a lot of business owners never set out to be an owner; they followed their passion and the rest happened by accident. I enjoy giving them a different perspective on how they can run their business and their finances.
I’ve been married to my childhood sweetheart since school. We bought a house at 18 and we’ve raised five kids, now aged 7 to 16. It leaves me too busy for many hobbies, but I still find the time to hit a few golf balls. Recently I’ve got very into slow barbecuing – I even have a recipe for slow-cooked pork shoulder in the new St. James’s Place charity cookbook.
Ceri EdwardsFinancial Planner
I have worked at NOW since 2019 as a Financial Planner with specialisms in supporting women going through a divorce and later life planning. As an associate of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) I often work with families who have a care need.
This focus is based on both my previous professional life, as well as personal experience of my grandparent’s later-life care. I started my career as a CIMA qualified accountant, working in the corporate world but took voluntary redundancy to work in the voluntary sector for nearly 20 years.
I’m married to Tim, with two adult sons, Richard and Daniel, and three grandsons. Church is important to me and I am a member of Audacious, a vibrant city congregation in Chester. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, growing my own fruit and veg, and keeping hens.
Bernard O’BrienFinancial Planner
I have been in financial services since 1979 and was one of the founding members of St. James’s Place Wealth Management.
I joined NOW in 2019 to ensure that my clients would be looked after when I start to reduce my working hours.
I’m a father to two children and a big rugby fan (and ex-player). Now, I’ve swapped the scrum for the ski-slopes and I also enjoy a round of golf.
Chris RichardsonFinancial Planner
I have been a financial planner for six years, and at NOW since 2018. Before that I was a PE teacher in a number of inner-city schools, working with kids from challenging backgrounds. Believe it or not, there is overlap between the two jobs – both involve helping people gain the knowledge and confidence to make the best decisions for their own future.
I met my wife, Leanne, on a blind date over 10 years ago. Two years after being together, we went backpacking through Southeast Asia & Australasia. Three years after that, we got married and now have two children, Henry and Phoebe.
My life outside of work has always involved sport. When I was younger I played for Bolton Wanderers FC, but injuries got the better of me and I had to stop playing. However, I am fortunate that both Henry and Phoebe enjoy playing sport which brings me great delight and a real sense of pride.
Karen CoelloMortgage and Protection Planner
I have been a Mortgage and Protection Planner for NOW for 10 years and in the industry since 1995. Before that I completed a degree and began a career in hotel management. I moved into mortgages in 1995, mostly because I fancied a change, but it stuck and I gained an Advanced Mortgage qualification (certSMP)
I love the job as it gives me the chance to help improve both the financial and emotional lives of our clients, which I find very rewarding.
My family is my husband, Sean, and our gorgeous cat, Lillaboo. In my spare time I enjoy yoga and pilates. But if that all sounds too relaxing, I like to shake it up with a heady combination of action films and target shooting with my dad.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Kath BroughHead Paraplanner
I have worked in finance since 2000, having started in sales at Friends Provident Life Company. Over the years I’ve realised that I thrive in the detail and technical side of things, so – after taking a year out – I decided to retrain as a Paraplanner in 2016.
I have been at NOW in the role since August 2020, supporting the planners, and I’m loving it here. Having worked on such a wide variety of financial products throughout my career, from pensions to protection and investment planning, it’s great to be able to use that to experience to help people without focusing on sales targets.
Outside of my job I enjoy all the usual stuff: dining, going out, socialising with friends, but I have to find the time around caring for my three rescue huskies, Minnie, Poppie and Fynn. When they were younger I would run them, strapping them to a 3 wheel trike and away we go! Those days are behind them, but they take a lot of care, being expert escape artists.
Sarah BoltonPractice Support Manager
Since I started at NOW in 2020, I have been a member of the Practice Support Team, then Team Leader and now, very recently, I’m managing the team. It’s been quite the whirlwind but I’m delighted with the opportunity and try to bring as much positivity to the office as I can.
I’m responsible for supporting the team in admin and data-submission, upskilling and coaching and any ongoing project to increase client service standards. After 20 years working for a pension provider, I’m thrilled to have a more hands-on role in a client-focused, streamlined organisation.
I have been married to Anthony for the best five years of his life, and we have two cats named Teddy and Chew Chew (formally Chewbacca). We’re keen gym goers and Manchester City fans and I also volunteer at the Sue Ryder shop in Wythenshawe.
I have joined NOW very recently, in August 2021 – as a Paraplanner.
I left university with a degree in Marketing and International Business, and an MSc in International Business and Management. Since leaving university I have worked with several large organisations within the financial services sector before pursuing a career in Wealth Management with St. James’s Place. During my time with St. James’s Place, I have worked in various supporting roles, and I hope to realise my goal of become a Financial Planner in the near future.
I live with my partner and our pet cat, Freddie. In my spare time I play a lot of golf and keep myself fit, as well as being a member of the National Trust.
I am brand-new to NOW, having joined in Summer 2021. Before my time here as a Paraplanner I spent two years as a trainee Financial Adviser and before that I worked in protection advice.
I have wanted to be in financial role since I was seventeen. Something about the structure and the problem-solving and the challenge of making the most effective decision really appeals to me. I’m a geek for detail. The nitty-gritty and the meticulous approach is where I find my joy.
Beyond work I spend a lot of time on self-development. Essentially, I’m a bit of a hippie, I meditate daily and I love reading, music, and nature – spirituality is very important to me.
I started with NOW back in 2014, starting as an administrator working my way up to paraplanning assistant and my current role is a paraplanner – mainly providing support to Karen Coello and Phil Oats.
I am continuing to work through my R0 exams and become a fully qualified paraplanner. I did try my hand at a career in fruit picking whilst travelling around Australia but decided it wasn’t for me!
A couple of my passions include football and running; I completed the Manchester marathon in 2014 and the Amsterdam one in 2015, I now prefer half marathons and completed the Manchester half in September last year. My dream dinner guest would be Billy Connolly.
Shaheen JalalPractice Support Team
I graduated in June 2021 from Manchester Met with a degree in Business Management and Economics, and then went straight into my role with NOW. I’m part of the Practice Support Team but I have goals of becoming a Financial Planner.
I’m a big fan of online gaming and streaming – generally sports games – and I also play in real life for Village Club, an all-inclusive football team in Manchester.
Ashley EvansPractice Support Team
I work as part of the Practice Support Team.
I grew up in Llandudno where I worked for a Financial Planner, but I have very recently chased the city lights to Manchester, and joined NOW in September 2021.
My game plan is to become a Financial Planner. I have already completed one of the exams for the diploma and I’m studying towards the next – focusing on pensions and retirement planning.
I am an obsessive football fan, whether playing or watching. Being an Arsenal fan up north isn’t always easy. I played for an amateur team back in Wales and I’m on the look-out for a team in Manchester.
I started at NOW four years ago. Before then I worked at Halifax PLC for over 40 years, so it took something special to prompt a move.
I have two adult children and grandson, as well as two adorable Shi Tzu’s, Ernie and Teddy. I swam often before the pandemic got in the way, but hope to get back to that soon, and I also volunteer weekly at St Rocco’s Hospice in Warrington.
Christine MartinsPractice Support Team
I work on the Practice Support Team – providing administrative support to the Planners. I have been in the role for three years, following a long career in the financial sector.
I have a very large, close family who take up a lot of my time. But outside of work my interests centre on music and dancing, mostly country and western – which may be to do with the seventeen years I spent living in Texas!
Joshua WickensMortgage Assistant
I have been at NOW since 2019 providing admin support to Karen Coello, our mortgage adviser. Before that, I had a pretty different life moving from Wales to Manchester to become a casino dealer and then touring the Caribbean as a casino dealer for a year.
I live with my partner and we enjoy watching football together and going to our local pub quiz.