MEET THE TEAM

Matthew Thomas
MANAGING DIRECTOR

Matt is the founder and Managing Director of Haven Financial Solutions.

His passion leads the protection side of the business and he shares his time between seeing clients and developing the business.

Having lost his father to an aggressive brain-tumour, Matt sees clearly the huge protection gap in the
UK. He believes that all families and business owners who are reliant upon their own ability to work, to generate the income needed by them and their families, should ensure they have the protection in place to ensure that should something happen they will have the financial support to carry them through difficult times.

Matt lives in Poole with his wife Gemma, their two-year-old daughter and a cat called Rambo. In his spare time (the little he can get with a two-year-old), Matt is often messing around with his cars or, busy getting in trouble with Gemma for returning to the office in the evening.

Matt is well known in the office for his unique singing voice. It’s akin to a cat in pain and it prompted
the immediate purchase of a surround-sound stereo to compete with his erm…. talent.

He is also an active Ambassador for the Dorset Cancer Foundation which is a small Dorset-based
charity that provides financial support to anyone suffering with cancer. The charity fills a void that is not covered by local or national government by providing help to cover costs such as rent or mortgage arrears, food, clothing, and travel costs to cancer treatments. You can find out more at about this charity here.


Richard Bragg
MORTGAGE SPECIALIST

Richard heads up Haven Mortgage Specialists and is responsible for looking after mortgage clients and developing the mortgage side of the business.

Having initially set out on a career in the City where Richard was a stockbroker and in investment banking, he decided to change paths after speaking to his own mortgage adviser. Richard realised that helping people achieve their dreams of property ownership and dealing in a tangible commodity could be more fulfilling.

After a number of years working as a Mortgage & Protection adviser for other firms, Richard met Matt at a mutual friends’ daughters second birthday party(!) Although many advisers do both mortgages and protection, Richard and Matt shared the view that it was very difficult to truly specialise in both, and that each area deserved to be the sole focus of an advisor. Several months later, Haven Financial Solutions was born, and the two departments set up: Haven Mortgage Specialists & Haven Life Insurance Specialists.

Richard likes the fact that no two mortgage cases are the same and enjoys building long-term relationships with his clients that has now seen some of his clients move from being single First Time Buyers to Home Movers with families moving into their forever homes. He still gets a thrill from helping people that previously felt a move was out of their reach and also helping others realise their goals as a property investor or landlord.

Richard originally grew up in Bromley but, having moved to Dorset in 2016, he now splits his time between the Beckenham and the Poole offices.

Away from work, Richard likes spending time with his wife Toni, and their young sons James and Harry. He does his best to keep in some sort of shape (that’s not round) by visiting the gym, although that often ends up being a visit to the sauna instead. Richard likes to make regular trips to the local beaches and also frequents the second largest natural harbour in the world in Poole, where he enjoys boating and water sports.


Michael Greenaway
MORTGAGE SPECIALIST

Mike comes from an investment banking background where he spent 22 years working for various banks in the City, the last being Bank of America Merrill Lynch. It was in the City where he and Richard originally met and became friends. They remained in touch after Richard left to become part of Haven and, when Mike sought a new challenge along with an improved work-life balance, Richard’s enthusiasm for the job and for Haven inspired Mike to accept the offer of joining the team.

Despite it being a bold decision to leave investment banking and pursue a new career in mortgage advice, Mike has never regretted it because the new role provides all the fulfilment and variation that he has craved. Working closely alongside Richard has enabled Mike to tap into Richard’s vast wealth of experience, knowledge, and expertise. No mortgage case is the same, as everyone’s circumstances are individual, and each requires tailored solutions to fit the increasingly complex criteria demanded by lenders. Mike loves the variety this brings and gets immense satisfaction from helping clients achieve their ultimate goal.

Mike lives in Surrey with his fiancé Samantha and their two rescue dogs Buddy and Betty. They can often all be found exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside and pubs. Occasionally, Mike can be seen on his road bike, wearing unflattering Lycra, and out of breath while tackling the infamous Box Hill. Mike also likes to try his hand at DIY and can spend hours locked away in the garage ‘tinkering’ on the latest project. One day there will be enough room amongst all the tools for a project car. Well, that’s the dream anyway…


Alan Saunders
PROTECTION SPECIALIST

Alan joined Haven in 2019 to support the growth of the protection department. Alan has over 20 years of experience in life cover and protection. Having previously been a consistently top performing protection consultant at one of the major UK life insurance brokers, Alan turned to Haven for a new challenge in a smaller firm where there are plenty more opportunities to grow and develop.

Alan has quickly become an integral part of the team and balances face-to-face protection reviews with telephone-based advice. His calm and measured approach means he takes the time to fully understand his clients to achieve an outcome that matches their requirements and budget perfectly.

Under the guidance of Matt, Alan is rapidly developing his knowledge and experience of business protection to offer products such as Key Person insurance, Relevant Life cover, and Shareholders protection.

Alan lives in Bournemouth with his partner Lyndsay and their two daughters.

In the office, Alan’s ability to forget to close the front door is unrivalled.

In his spare time, and when his knees will allow, he is a keen marathon runner and completed the Edinburgh marathon in 2013.


Cheri-Lin Johnson
PROTECTION SPECIALIST

Cheri joined Haven as a Protection Specialist. With many years’ experience in both customer and business facing roles, covering the mortgage, protection and property industry. With a comprehensive understanding of the products and she is passionate about matching people with the best solution.

Cheri lives in Corfe Mullen with her husband Chris and 4yr old son Shaun. They have two beautiful kittens called Cookie and Mocha.

Sadly, Cheri has had both first-hand experience with protection, having had to claim on her own income protection policy following crippling morning sickness, and having witnessed friends pass away from cancer with no life cover in place to look after their families. She has also seen a close family member diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully they had a critical illness policy in place and so received a lump sum payment which then helped them purchase a family house and secure their future.

Cheri loves to be creative and if she’s not spending time with her family, she can be found painting or making a keepsake present for a loved one’s new baby arrivals or children’s birthdays.

At work, we certainly know when Cheri is in the office. We have at times wondered whether Cheri even needs a phone for her clients to hear her.

With an evident passion for what she does, anyone who meets Cheri can tell she has their best interests at heart and will go above and beyond to ensure their loved ones are taken care of.


Edwina Bawa
CASE MANAGER

Originally from London where she began working life as a Protection advisor, Eddi veered off into the leisure and hospitality industry for a few years before returning to financial services where she assessed mortgage applications with a major high street lender.

Having seen both the lender and advisor side of finance, Eddi now works closely with both at Haven to ensure that client applications are processed efficiently to achieve offers as quickly as possible.

She also works with the compliance department to ensure both our sales and advice processes are consistent and compliant with the financial regulator. Her role ensures that each specialist advisor is able to focus on their area of advice and expertise, minimising time lost on administration and maximising efficiency.

In the office, Eddi keeps the wheels of Haven turning powered by the strongest coffee we have ever tasted. It would sometimes be easier to fill the coffee jar with a spoonful of water than the other way around!

Eddi has been involved in various charity work since she was 14 years old. This has ranged from organising sports tournaments and celebrity events, to offering her complementary therapy services. The charities she gives most of her support to are Julia’s House, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, and Macmillan.

In her spare time Eddi is an avid follower of American Football, supporting the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos. She also keenly watches Formula One, following Lewis Hamilton and formerly Michael Schumacher and Mario Andretti.


Brady Stead
DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER

Brady joined Haven from a background of marketing for a variety of local companies, covering industries from sport to construction. With a solid understanding of social media and other marketing tools, Brady uses his skills to help those businesses and individuals who need a hand with their financial requirements.

Brady completed his Business Degree in Marketing Communications Management in British Columbia, Canada. He holds a dual Canadian-British Citizenship, but after ten seconds of hearing him speak, you will know exactly where he grew up.

Aside from his marketing background, Brady is also a Professional Golfer. He has competed on the PGA Europro Tour, the European Challenge Tour, and recently competed in Final Qualifying for the Open Championship.

Part of what drew Brady to Haven was its charity work in the community. Working for a company who helps those in need is very important to Brady. He has started the #GreenForEveryoneBlue campaign, wearing a Green Ribbon on his hat during golf tournaments to show support for those who suffer from mental illnesses. Brady has also participated in Movember, raising funds for men’s heath, worked in a team as the venue project manager to raise funds for VIDEA, and has volunteered multiple times for charity golf tournaments raising money for cancer research.

To discuss your circumstances / requirements, call +44 (0)1202 082 380
or e-mail info@havenfs.co.uk for a no obligation conversation.
CONTACT US