About us

The SimplyBiz Group is a leading independent provider of essential support services, software and data to financial advisers, intermediaries and product providers in the UK, employing over 520 professionals across eight UK offices.












NPS SCORE (2019)

The SimplyBiz Group provides essential support services, software and data that enable professional financial advisers, financial intermediaries and product providers to deliver better outcomes for their customers.

We support 3,700 intermediary firms with regulatory and business support in addition to the 1,900 customer firms using our fintech platform whilst providing essential product distribution support to over 400 financial institutions.

Our in-depth understanding of the changing regulatory landscape, and deep insights into the needs of customers, advisers and product providers, enable us to add unique value to the retail financial services sector.

The Group was formed in 2002 and, through organic growth and acquisition, rapidly grew to become the UK's largest provider of outsourced regulatory and business support to financial advisers; a position we still hold today.

During that time, we created and launched innovative solutions for the lending and credit markets, launched our own asset management company and entered the legal and surveying markets and are prominent each of those markets today.

In 2019, we made our largest acquisition to date as we added Defaqto to our Group of companies. Defaqto has been a leading research and FinTech provider for over 20 years and its brand is well known and respected amongst advisers, providers and consumers alike.

Although our heritage can be traced back to Yorkshire, we now operate from eight locations across the UK, employing over 520 dedicated professionals, supporting over 10,000 financial professionals and working with over 250 leading providers of financial products.

*NPS score is based on survey of the membership at the end of 2019, reflecting on the service they received during that year.

Our leadership

Board of Directors

Neil Stevens

Neil Stevens


Neil joined SimplyBiz in 2003 as a consultant before being appointed Operations Director in 2004. From here, he led the acquisition of Compliance First, subsequently becoming the Managing Director of that business in 2007, a role he held until 2010 when he was appointed Joint Managing Director of the SimplyBiz Group.

Now Joint CEO of the Group, Neil has executive responsibility for compliance, operations and finance for The SimplyBiz Group.  He is also Chairman of Defaqto.  

Neil is passionate about bringing systems and technology to advisers, to enable them to deliver even more to clients, and is an advocate of advisers creating a 'supply chain' around their business and service.

Matt Timmins

Matt Timmins


Matt joined SimplyBiz at its inception in 2002 as Marketing Director and was appointed Joint Managing Director of the Group in May 2010.

He now serves as Joint CEO of The SimplyBiz Group, responsible for the sales and marketing activities of the Group as well as key strategic relationships with both insurance and investment companies.

Matt runs several of the key subsidiaries within the business including SimplyBiz Services, SimplyBiz Mortgages, Gateway Surveyors, NMBA and SimplyBiz Support. Matt is also Chairman of Zest, the Group’s provider of SAAS technology for the auto enrolment and flexible benefits market.

Previous employment includes GE Capital, Misys and DBS Financial Management.

Gareth Hague

Gareth Hague

Group Finance Director

Gareth joined SimplyBiz in 2016 as the Group Financial Controller, managing the finances of the Group, including key financial reporting, before becoming Group Finance Director in 2018. Prior to joining SimplyBiz, Gareth was Head of Financial Reporting at Pace plc, a FTSE 250 listed business, with annual turnover of $2.6bn. During his 5 years at Pace, Gareth built his experience of working in a listed environment, within a business that recovered from a difficult period, to its ultimate sale to a US Global Technology giant in January 2016.

Gareth spent 9 years at PwC, where he trained as a Chartered Accountant of the ICAEW. While at PwC, Gareth managed audit and transaction engagements for listed, private equity and private clients across a broad range of sizes and industries, giving him a breadth of knowledge and experience.

Tim Clarke

Tim Clarke

Independent Non-Executive Director

In his twenty-five year career, Tim has been a Partner at both KPMG and BDO. He played a leading role in establishing KPMG’s corporate finance team in the North in the early 1990s and spent two years working for the private equity unit in London. Tim established BDO Corporate Finance in Leeds in 2003 and has built the team that delivered a track record of notable transactions, involving private, public and private equity owned companies.

Tim has also managed a subsidiary of a regional bank and spent time as an independent member of the UMIST Ventures credit committee. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988 and has a degree in economics and accountancy from Lancaster University.

Gary Hughes

Gary Hughes

Deputy Chairman

Gary Hughes qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Ernst and Whinney, before moving to take up industry roles which included finance director at Forte Plc, Emap Plc and Gala Coral Group. Whilst holding these executive positions, Gary was also a Non-Executive Director and chaired the audit committee for of J Sainsbury Plc, for ten years, and Booker Group Plc, for two years. Gary also held a senior position at Apax Partners and advised at board level for a number of their investments. Since leaving Apax in 2018, Gary has taken up a number of non-executive director appointments.

Non-Executive Chairman

Ken Davy

Ken Davy

Ken is the Non-Executive Chairman and founder of The SimplyBiz Group. In 2012, Ken celebrated four decades as an eminent and respected figure in the financial services profession. In addition to the many awards The SimplyBiz Group has received under Ken's guidance, he has personally been awarded several outstanding contribution to financial services and lifetime achievement awards as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from The University of Huddersfield and an Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute. In May 2016, Ken was awarded The Huddersfield Examiner Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to sport and charity over the years.

Our leadership team

Richard Ardron

Richard Ardron

Group Marketing Director

Richard has responsibility for the Group's brand, marketing communications and event strategy covering both retention and growth. He oversees all communication channels, the Group’s events and learning programme, proposition marketing and corporate messaging, including press, and ensures our delivery is relevant and market-leading.

Richard is also Managing Director of the Groups not-for-profit training division, NMBA, where he leads a programme to improve the quality of, and access to, advice.

Richard has a wealth of experience in the financial services industry, with over 20 years in the support service arena, and is always at the forefront of new and innovative strategies. This is backed up with an equally impressive marketing academic record, with a degree and two post graduate diplomas in marketing, and over 10 years as a Chartered Marketer.

David Golder

David Golder

Managing Director of Member & Client Services

David Golder, Managing Director of Member & Client Services, has over 30 years' experience of working in the financial services sector, mainly in senior management and board positions. His career has spanned the dawn of regulation introduced by the Financial Services Act up to, and including, the current FCA regime.

Following a number of successful sales and management appointments with major UK product providers, David joined Bankhall Investment Associates, a UK-wide provider of regulatory compliance services, in 1999 and was appointed Managing Director in 2009.

Gary Kershaw

Gary Kershaw


Gary came from a compliance consultancy background to join SimplyBiz at launch in 2002. He has responsibility for all compliance policy and implementations through the Group.

Gary has over 20 years experience in financial services including running his own successful IFA firm for the past 15 years.

Janice Laing

Janice Laing

Managing Director of Compliance First

As Managing Director of Compliance First, Janice has responsibility for the overall strategy, management and delivery of services for the business. She joined Compliance First in 2004 and her career in financial services spans over 30 years, having previously worked with Scottish Amicable, Eagle Star and National Australia Group

Janice’s breadth and depth of knowledge has been gained from her previous roles, which include broker and adviser sales, training and competence supervision and compliance consultancy and implementation. Janice is Level 4 qualified and also holds mortgage, equity release and long term care qualifications.

Martin Reynolds

Martin Reynolds

CEO of SimplyBiz Mortgages

Martin has responsibility for both the day-to-day running of SimplyBiz Mortgages and its future strategic direction.

He has been part of a number of successful ventures in the financial services industry for over 25 years, including new start-ups, rebranding and repositioning businesses within both manufacturing and distribution. Since joining The SimplyBiz Group in 2011, Martin has developed the business to its current position as one of the top three mortgage clubs in the UK market.

In February 2018, Martin was selected as Chair of the industry-wide trade body Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI).

Dan Russell

Dan Russell

Managing Director, SimplyBiz Investment Services

Dan has responsibility for the delivery of the market leading investment services we make available to financial advisers and wealth managers, and all associated distribution services for asset managers, platforms and investment technology suppliers.

Dan is also Managing Director of Strategic Distribution, working with our partners to ensure we can create and deliver a sustainable partnership for all.

Aside from financial services qualifications, Dan holds an MBA from Warwick Business School and is a graduate of Durham University. He began his career at IBM before taking up senior distribution roles with The Hartford in the UK and Germany and has worked as a strategy consultant and interim director for leading advisory businesses, asset managers and life companies.

Since joining The SimplyBiz Group in 2013 he has held the position of MD of Verbatim Asset Management and overseen the formation of SimplyBiz Investment Services.


The SimplyBiz Group is proud to have won an array of awards over the years. Here are some of the most recent: