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Ruth Sturkey

Chairperson, Paradigm Norton

Ruth co-founded and led The Red House, a boutique financial planning firm, which she merged into Paradigm Norton in December 2017. She continues to help build the merged business whilst growing a team of talented individuals where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A well-known and influential member of the financial planning profession, Ruth is regularly asked to comment and speak at industry and women’s events. Ruth shares her life lessons and thoughts on planning for the future in regular blogs with clients. These inspirational stories are taken from life events and unite Ruth’s views of life with her expertise in financial planning, showcasing how the two are so heavily interwoven.

Robert Craven


Robert Craven is author of ‘Grow Your Service Firm’ – a manifesto for professional service firms, large and small – to look at how they can seriously add value to their client relationships. For 20 years he has been preoccupied with what makes the high-performing advisers different from the rest and has worked with the likes of Barclays, Fortis, Virgin and Google to explore better and more effective ways to engage clients. Starting his first business aged 21 and going on to become Director of Consulting at Warwick Business School’s SME Centre, Robert combines academic and business credentials with great communication skills. Robert is Managing Director of The Directors’ Centre, a consultancy that specialises in helping the founders and directors of professional service firms to run the practice they really want to run so they can live the lives they really want to lead. “Robert Craven says that ‘your whole business hinges on what your customer gets from you’. I wholeheartedly agree.” Sir Richard Branson

Natalie Wright

Chartered Financial Planner

Natalie is a Chartered Financial Planner and a Director within the Independent Financial Planning team at Mazars. Having worked in financial services for over 18 years, Natalie has a wealth of experience helping individuals, families and business owners with all aspects of their financial planning, both UK based and Internationally.


Natalie is responsible for leading the financial planning with our Entrepreneurial Business clients, which involves working closely with our audit, accounting and tax teams in order to provide a fully joined up approach to ensure that individuals can align their personal financial planning with their business planning. In 2018 Natalie was awarded the prestigious ‘Chartered Financial Planner of the Year’ title by the Personal Finance Society, having been a finalist in the prior 2 years.

Gemma Siddle

Chartered Financial Planner

Gemma Siddle is Director of Client Services at Eldon Financial Planning Ltd. A Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society; she has worked in various paraplanning, advising and management roles over her 15 year career to date.


Gemma has seen first-hand how wider financial planning can add value to a firm; in terms of capital value, security of income and client loyalty. She has worked as an adviser for over a decade and has never had a client choose to leave her service.

Stuart Finnerty

Senior Lecturer in Finance

Stuart is a Senior Lecturer in Finance at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School.Stuart recently joined academia after spending 20 years working in the financial sector. Much of this time was spent leading teams and directly delivering for both SME and personal customers. Stuart started his career as a Financial Advisor for Abbey National and most recently, he was the Director for SME Banking for NatWest in Cheshire.


While not at MMU he runs a consulting firm, FinAbilityLtd, that helps SME businesses to succeed.Stuart is a Chartered Banker (MCIBS), a Chartered Fellow of the London Institute of Banking & Finance (CFLIBF) and a Chartered Manager as a Member of the Chartered Management Institute (CMgrCMI).

Niels Pedersen

Programme Leader

Niels Pedersen is the Programme Leader of the MSC Financial Technology programme at Manchester Metropolitan University. As a Chartered Accountant, Niels has a background in financial services regulation in London where he worked at PwC and the Bank of England. In his teaching, Niels aims for content clarity and practical relevance.


He aims to equip his students with the professional skills and knowledge required to succeed as entrepreneurs, advisors, or financiers in a changing world.

Bobby Crutchley

Sports Coach

As a hockey player Bobby gained 80 caps for Great Britain and England between 1993 and 1999. As well as many International Honours and National titles he holds the unique record of having been the top goal scorer in the Australian, English and Italian National Premier leagues. Since retiring from playing Bobby coached at Olympic and World level for almost 20 years and between 2005 and 2012 he worked as an Assistant Coach for the England and Great Britain men’s hockey team, helping them progress from 11th to 4th in the World Rankings.


During this time England won its first major title since 1908 (2009 European Championships). In 2012 he took over as Head Coach and had to oversee a significant transformation in both the playing squad and support staff. During this time the programme continued to progress making the 2014 World Cup semi-finals and winning medals at the 2014 & 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 European Championships. In August 2018 Bobby was appointed by British Gymnastics to lead the development of High-Performance Coaches preparing athletes for the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games.


As well as his work with British Gymnastics Bobby also works as a Coaching mentor for organisations including UK Sport and the Premier League. Bobby has an MA in Coaching and has completed both the UK Sport Elite Coach and Mentor Development programmes.

Christine Fisher

Senior Executive Coach

Christine is an executive coaching and mentoring expert who is very proud of her track record helping individuals, teams and organisations think better, feel great and deliver brilliant results.

Christine has a background in successfully managing business performance and financial planning. Her wide-ranging clients include private sector, national agencies, local government, sports and health, and universities. She was a high performing Chief Executive of a medium sized local authority for 13 years.

Christine has been a mentor on three national programmes: District Council Network, Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and the National Cultural Forum. She qualified in Neuro Linquistic Programming in 2002 and achieved a mastery coaching qualification in 2012 from the Association for Coaching. She is a visiting Fellow at Nottingham Trent University Business School and a contributor to their MBA programme.

Simone Gnessen

Financial Coach

Simonne Gnessen has pioneered financial coaching in the UK for the past 17 years. Building on her 10 years experience as an independent financial adviser, she designed a unique money-guidance service in 2002, Wise Monkey Financial Coaching, to help clients on a practical level, whilst also navigating and transforming their emotional relationship with money.


Simonne’s money coaching service uses a unique blend of skills, knowledge and experience gained from working as an adviser, combined with life coaching training. She’s also a Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a Registered Life Planner® and trains others to develop their own financial coaching practice. Simonne is co-author of Sheconomics - a finance book for women which helps women master their money and understand the complex feelings that can stand in their way. Her work has been featured on BBC radio and TV and a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines.

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