Who are WBR Group?

We are an established and thriving independent business 100% owned by the Directors. Our dedicated and expert team continues to grow, whilst our highly valued partners of financial advisers, accountants, lawyers and other professional intermediaries are integral in delivering value-added solutions to our clients.

WBR Group operates through 4 divisions and include a number of subsidiary companies through which our services are provided:

 

WBR SSAS | WBR Tax | WBR Actuarial |WBR Law

WBR Group – A Brief History

CEO, Tom Moore started his tax advisory business in 2016, joining forces with SSAS expert David Santaney a few years later. The step change came in 2021 when the James Hay SSAS portfolio was acquired, and in 2023, the larger SSAS business and related employees of Rowanmoor SSAS were brought into WBR Group followed shortly after by Bespoke Corporate Pensions. The tax advisory practice now boasts a team of leading experts including Tom’s original partner, Lucas Harding-Cox. In late 2023 WBR Group acquired ISC Lawyers to create WBR Law, offering commercial property law services. We continue to look for opportunities to grow our core divisions.

Our awards include being voted the UK's Best SSAS Provider 2023 by Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts

Moneyfacts 5 STAR SSAS 2024
Defaqto five star rating SSAS 2024

Our core values – PEER

The foundation of our business is built upon profound core values which permeate every aspect of our operations. These values are evident across our daily work, the management of our people, our interactions with clients, our professional affiliations and our engagements with government and professional organisations.

Professionalism

Professionalism

Excellence

Excellence

Empathy

Empathy

Respect

Respect

Meet Us

Our success lies in unrivalled technical and practical knowledge across the whole group. Many of the team have decades of relevant experience as well as being renowned experts in their particular field of operation.

The Board

Tom Moore

CEO

Tom Moore
CEO

Tom is a tax professional with over 35 years’ experience. His main strengths encompass technical skills as well as the ability to communicate well with people in all spheres of life. This means he likes to get to grips with the finer detail of more complex legislation. Tom enjoys meeting clients, presenting, training and coaching. Tom advises entrepreneurs and their businesses on all tax-related matters in the UK as well as further abroad.

Tom is Treasurer and Trustee of the Leicester YMCA (youth homelessness charity). He has the same roles with the charity community choir, Fosse Singers, for whom he is also a first tenor. He enjoys most sports with a keen interest in football, tennis and basketball. Tom also regularly runs for charity having completed a number of London marathons. He is also a scuba diver with over 200 logged dives.

Lucas Harding-Cox

Chief Technical Officer

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Lucas Harding-Cox
Chief Technical Officer

Lucas has spent his entire professional career advising high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs, and privately owned businesses, on how they can achieve the optimum structure for their business interests and investments, as well as how they plan for future succession.

Before joining WBR, Lucas spent 23 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, at offices in both the Midlands and London where he qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). He has worked with a broad range of clients ranging from some of the wealthiest families in the UK to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, helping them achieve their commercial goals in a tax efficient manner.

Lucas particularly enjoys solving complex problems for private clients and their businesses and is acutely aware of the importance of both advising on the interaction of corporate and personal taxes to ensure the wider implications are taken into account and on the need to be sensitive to the personal and family issues involved, in order to provide valuable advice for his clients.

Whether just starting out in business, changing how a business or investments are structured or owned, providing for employee incentives, considering acquisitions or disposals, or longer-term family succession issues, Lucas is able to design and implement business and investment structures for his clients which require a high degree of technical input and coordination by providing bespoke solutions to their commercial and tax issues across all areas.

Outside of work Lucas enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, rock climbing and is a Leicester City season ticket holder.

Rocky Leanders

Chief Financial Officer

Rocky Leanders, Chief Financial Officer

Rocky Leanders
Chief Financial Officer

Rocky is an experienced finance professional, having been admitted as a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 2011. He completed his training as an auditor with KPMG, gaining experience across a number of sectors, primarily within Financial Services (banking and Building Societies). As a result, he subsequently held senior positions at large organisations, including Next and Lands’ End.

Rocky has a keen eye for detail and is passionate about delivering efficiencies to better service clients’ needs. This includes incorporating IT and modern technology to enhance deliverables and product offerings to clients.

He is a Foundation Governor and Chair of the Finance Committee of Thrussington Church of England Primary School. Rocky is also a Trustee and Treasurer of the Hoby Recreation Trust, which is engaged in delivering support and enhancing the wellbeing of children and the elderly within the local community.

Outside of work commitments, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his three young sons, one of whom is an aspiring footballer. Rocky enjoyed reasonable success as a sportsman himself, having played field hockey at an international level for a number of years.

David Santaney

Chief Commercial Officer

David Santaney, Chief Commercial Officer

David Santaney
Chief Commercial Officer

David has been involved with Small Self-Administered Pension Schemes (‘SSASs’) for over 30 years. He has a detailed knowledge of the operation, regulation and legislation surrounding all types of Pension Schemes, but in particular SSASs.

David’s main strengths are the ability to work closely with clients and their professional advisers at all levels and to ensure matters are completed on time within HMRC regulations. He particularly enjoys meeting with entrepreneurs, scheme members and their advisers to support them in maximising the benefits of SSASs for themselves, their businesses and families.

David is passionate about SSASs and the benefits they bring to business owners. He believes it is imperative to work closely with clients and their professional advisers to maximise those benefits.

David enjoys spending time with his family, travel (when allowed) visiting historical buildings, supporting Leicester City, and occasionally getting out on the Golf course.

Martin Tilley

Chief Operating Officer

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Martin Tilley
Chief Operating Officer

Martin rose to be a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute and has spent nearly all of his 39-year career advising on self-invested pensions.

He has held senior roles at specialist Self-Invested Personal Pension (‘SIPP’) and Small Self-Administered Pension Scheme (‘SSAS’) providers as well as at a wealth manager, fulfilling technical, compliance, and advisory functions.
He is a well-known industry spokesperson, writing and presenting education pieces and a former Chairman of the SSAS industry body: Association of Member Directed Pension Schemes (AMPS).

He particularly enjoys the forensic examination of complex SSAS cases and has a pragmatic approach to problem solving with a keen eye for detail. He believes that understanding the client’s needs are key to providing a bespoke service and that SSASs are “not a product.”

Martin is one of WBR’s trustee consultants and will often attend trustee meetings.

Outside of work, Martin enjoys his holidays near and far as well most sports, now mainly as a spectator.

Chris Darlington

Non-Executive Director

Chris Darlington, Director

Chris Darlington
Non-Executive Director

Chris is a practical and commercially focused Chartered Accountant with 20 years’ experience as a client service partner within top 10 accountancy and professional advisory firms. During his time in practice, he specialised in dealing predominantly with entrepreneurial private companies and their owners, with many of his clients being long established family-owned businesses.

He has a particular interest and skill in helping drive business growth and in being a catalyst for change and forward thinking, which includes creating tailored solutions for succession planning, business structures and supporting owners in achieving their longer term strategic objectives, both business and personal.

Chris provides advice to the Board and contributes to the management and delivery of client projects and market facing initiatives and activities.

Jonathan Gain

Non-Executive Director

Jonathan Gain, Director

Jonathan Gain
Non-Executive Director

Jonathan has been involved in financial services since 1993 when he graduated from Bournemouth University with a BA (Hons) in Accountancy. He joined the then newly formed Close Brothers Investment Limited in 1993 and was appointed Finance Director just five years later in 1998. In his role he was responsible for overseeing its property investment funds and numerous tax planning products, before becoming Managing Director in 2005.

When he left to set up Stellar, it had approximately £1 billion of funds under management. Drawing on his wide-ranging experience, Jonathan established Stellar Asset Management in 2007 along with the former founder of Close Brothers Investment Limited and two other colleagues. Jonathan remains the majority shareholder.

Outside of work he enjoys organising and participating in charity events, particularly sponsored cycle rides. He is a keen Manchester United supporter, as you would expect from someone who lives in the south! He also treats himself to a few days off work during the year to watch live cricket matches so he can follow the ups and downs of England’s test cricket team.

The Executive Team

Peter Collier

Director of Marketing and Distribution

Peter Collier

Peter Collier
Director of Marketing and Distribution

Peter is Director of Marketing and Distribution for WBR Group. He fell into pensions in 1997, after being invited to join the board of the company that looked after his SSAS, at the time he exited that business.

Since then, Peter has held senior roles in marketing, business development and strategy within wealth management. He was head of Marketing Strategy at the private bank, Brown Shipley from 2002 to 2012. As Business Development Director at Hurley Partners (latterly Mattioli Woods), Peter was responsible for intermediary and direct sales as well as working on significant corporate projects.

Being a SSAS client for over 30 years, Peter is fully conversant with the product’s benefits and operation. In his time in wealth management he was a regulated adviser and a member of the Securities Institute. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant ‘a long while ago’ and is therefore an FCA.

In his spare time Peter and his wife Melanie look after their small-holding, various animals and orchards, as well as acting as a chauffeur to his daughter! He is a lifelong Spurs supporter and also an avid golf & cricket watcher, and sometimes player.

David Downie

Managing Director – SSAS & Actuarial

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David Downie
Managing Director – SSAS & Actuarial

David left the sunny shores of Trinidad on a scholarship to pursue his education in the UK. He qualified as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and has accrued over 30 years of experience in Pensions & Actuarial Consultancy and holds the Scheme Actuary certificate.

A pioneer, he developed the defined benefit small self-administered scheme and designed and created WBR’s DB SSAS which has proved a very successful alternative to a traditional SSAS given the right circumstances. David also gives time to many pension and actuarial industry committees and working parties. He advises Trustee Boards of larger corporate pension schemes and funeral plan trusts and assists solicitors when pension splitting on divorce is required, including providing independent expert reports for the courts.

David continues to support the Soca-Warriors the T&T national football team and with his wife has set up a small Christian charity – Advent Worldwide – to provide financial help with gifts of love and compassion to individuals and for ministry training.

Matthew Evans

Executive Director

Matthew Evans, Executive Director

Matthew Evans
Executive Director

Matthew is the Executive Director responsible for growing the tax business, linked strategic relationships and our “Blue Room” creative thinking.

Matthew’s career, started with a Big 4 accountancy firm eventually ran the Tax Consulting team at EY before moving to a leading tax boutique, working with successful entrepreneurs and family businesses.

After EY, his own tax business grew into a wider remit with a Wealth management division, and after exiting Matthew eventually returned to tax permanently, becoming a Partner at RSM where he led the East Midlands Private Client Services practice.

Away from WBR, Matthew likes to keep active.  An ex-Rugby player who also swam the English Channel as part of a relay team, he now prefers swinging a golf club.

Alan Finch

Senior Actuary

Alan Finch
Senior Actuary

Alan is Senior Actuary at WBR Group, and has over 20 years Financial Services experience, including 8 years in the Wealth Management Division of Barclays.

He is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, holds a Scheme Actuary practising certificate and is Scheme Actuary to a number of Final Salary schemes.

In addition to this, Alan is a member of IFOA’s Pensions Consultations subcommittee, the ACA’s Consultation Subcommittee and the ACA’s Tax Subcommittee.

Alan has also served as honorary Secretary of the Association of Member-Directed Pension Schemes (AMPS).

Cheryl Ford

Director of SSAS Operations

Cheryl Ford, Director of SSAS Operations

Cheryl Ford
Director of SSAS Operations

Cheryl has worked in Financial Services for over 25 years working as an operations manager, leading large operational units within a FTSE 100 company for the majority of that time. She has extensive knowledge and experience having serviced a broad range of investment and financial products including the specialist fields of SIPP and SSAS for large corporates, financial advisers as well as directly to the clients.

Cheryl is FPC, Mortgage and Prince (Project Management) qualified as well as having a degree in Economics and Management.

She is proud to be Welsh, and is a confident linguist, speaking her native tongue as well as conversational German, French, some Spanish and Italian. Outside of work, Cheryl also enjoys being a Mum to her 2 children and can be seen enthusiastically climbing her beloved Welsh Mountains and cycling with the family (on the flat).

Jennifer Harding

HR Manager

female silhouette

Jennifer Harding
HR Manager

Jen is HR Manager at WBR Group, working across the whole business.

A passionate and experienced HR professional who joined WBR after a successful career at HMRC, Jen has a wealth of knowledge and skills in various areas of taxation, risk management, and employee engagement. She was instrumental in leading a social mobility work experience pilot that supported young people from Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) and won a UK Social Mobility Award in 2021. Jen also holds a CIPD qualification and is committed to continuous learning and development.

At WBR, Jen is part of a dynamic and collaborative team that strives to deliver excellent service to the business and candidates. Jen enjoys building relationships and helping people achieve their potential.

In her spare time, Jen likes to explore new places, go for long walks in the countryside, and watch theatre shows. She is always up for a chat and a laugh.

 

Tom Lodge

Tax Director

Tom Lodge, Tax Director

Tom Lodge
Tax Director

Tom started his career within Grant Thornton’s tax compliance unit where he qualified as a Tax Technician (ATT) before transferring to their Private Client & Entrepreneur advisory team in Birmingham where he qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA).

Tom has extensive experience advising entrepreneurs and privately owned businesses on employment related securities and share incentives. He also has extensive knowledge of the residence and domicile rules with a specialism in the analysis and taxation of offshore mixed funds.

Tom has a strong appreciation for technical detail and takes a keen interest in case law and future developments of tax policy. His understanding of the legislation, and wider concepts, enables him to approach complex situations methodically and with a calm manner. Tom is responsible for the Tax Team’s continued learning and development.

Since joining WBR Tax, Tom has advised on a wide variety of tax planning opportunities. However, Tom’s main focus is corporate reconstructions and sales where he applies his technical understanding, and research skills, to identify creative solutions and tackle any tax risks.

Outside of work you can regularly find Tom in the gym. Tom is also a passionate rugby fan, cheering on Leicester Tigers. Tom is also a keen cook with a specific interest in cooking meat ‘low and slow’ on his backyard smoker and regularly making homemade curries and sauces.

Alan Simpson

Director of WBR Law

Alan Simpson

Alan Simpson
Director of WBR Law

Alan qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and has spent his entire professional career specialising in non-contentious commercial property matters, including often complex investment and management work, acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant matters and secured lending as well as high-value residential transactions. For many years, Alan worked in the North West before re-locating to the East Midlands in 2019. Before joining WBR Law, Alan was a Director at another highly successful law firm in the East Midlands.

Alan’s clients have included national retailers, national and local developers, national and local investors and top-level sportspeople, including Premier League footballers and test cricketers. He particularly enjoys complex and multi-layered transactions and projects, but also acting for new entrepreneurs as they take their first steps into the commercial property world.

Outside of work, and despite re-locating to the East Midlands, Alan is a season ticket holder at Anfield and also enjoys most sports, travelling, spending time with his family and friends, good food and craft beer and has even been known to tolerate the odd Evertonian or two.

 

Tim Smith

Head of SSAS Proposition

Tim Smith
Head of SSAS Proposition

Tim is Head of SSAS proposition at WBR SSAS. He has been involved with small self-administered schemes for 30 years having worked as a manager with various administration teams and as a consultant dealing with advisers around the country.

Working with advisers and clients on more complex cases as well as day to day issues that arise, Tim regularly attends trustee meetings with clients and advisers where his experience and knowledge make him stand out.

Away from work, Tim enjoys mostly watching sports these days although, he still tries to keep running albeit at a much slower pace than before.  As a keen astronomer and stargazer, Tim most definitely enjoys long-distance hobbies.

Kevin Whitmore

Head of Risk & Compliance

Kevin Whitmore

Kevin Whitmore
Head of Risk & Compliance

When Kevin left school to start work in pensions industry with Prudential he never imagined he would still be involved 36 years later. Twenty five of those years have been in the SSAS and SIPP arena working in various technical, project and compliance roles, first with James Hay, then Rowanmoor and more recently Embark Group. Prior to joining WBR Group he held the FCA regulated MLRO role for six years at Embark and Rowanmoor.

Kevin is also a board member of PSIG, the Pension Scams Industry Group, is on the AMPS committee, and is a member of the Group’s Technical Committee. He is part of the team who produce the Combatting Pension Scams Code of Good Practice which aims to prevent harm coming to transferring pension scheme members.

In the summer Kevin is rarely far from a cricket pitch and is a level 2 qualified coach including as a lead coach in the Dorset County Cricket pathway for the county under 13 girls team.  Now that his children are (slightly) less financially demanding, Kevin and his wife enjoy  taking mini breaks to European cities.

CSR Initiatives

We like to think of CSR as our 5th core value and as such try to give back to our local communities in as many ways as we can, whether by supporting local charities and associations or sponsoring local sports teams.

Trust and Service

We strive to cultivate trust by delivering excellent client service and fostering enduring relationships. We take great pride in the feedback received from our clients, a selection of which is shared below.

testimonials

WBR have been a breath of fresh air. They are completely different from other firms I have dealt with. They are completely open and explain things clearly and honestly. It gives you great confidence that you are in good hands.

Elia Di Lorenzo, Haines Watts Bedford

You have been so professional, helpful and patient and easy to talk to, thank you. I would not like to embarrass you but I would be glad if you could share this, people are often quick to complain but don't always think to praise good service and I can say no more than I don't know how we would have managed without you, what an asset you are to your company.

Pauline Kirk

Thank you. It’s been quite a while since we witnessed such good and competent service; a thoroughly professional act, and we look forward to future projects.

Gary Stidolph

As always, thank you so much for passing on the query and for adding further detail. Would that we could get similar good service and professionalism elsewhere.

Financial Adviser, South Wales

Are you interested in joining us?

With a keen focus on diversity and inclusion, we like to think WBR Group is a great place to work. If you’d like to learn more, please take a look at our Careers page.

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