Our team

Meet the team

The Board

  • Mark joined Neilson in 2020 having had an extensive and lengthy career across the financial sector. Initially working as an English Chartered Accountant he has acquired extensive experience in banking, asset management, asset based finance, credit risk and wider risk control. More recently his portfolio support assistance for the private equity sector has evolved into Non Executive roles where he uses his experience to interface between investor objectives and commercial reality.

  • Gavin has a history of entrepreneurship across many industry sectors and has a strong interest in leveraging both technology and analytical insights to build leading business solutions. He co-founded Greenstone in 2007, an Australian company specialising in the design, marketing, distribution, and administration of direct life insurance. Leveraging in-house technology solutions, combined with proprietary data analytical capabilities, he led Greenstone from start-up to become the country’s largest distributor of direct life insurance. In 2012 Gavin brought the same business model to the UK, founding Neilson Financial Services and he continues to lead the Neilson Group.

  • Rob joined Neilson in 2020 as a Non-Executive Director, having over 30 years’ experience in the financial services and insurance industry. Rob started his career at Barclays where he became Director of General Insurance and Protection. In 2011 Rob joined a joint venture between the Bank of Ireland and the Post Office as Managing Director of Insurance and in 2015 joined the Post Office to transform their insurance business. Rob was subsequently appointed Managing Director of Neilson’s UK business in June 2021.

  • Hylton joined Neilson in August 2014 having previously been Commercial Director at Old Mutual Wealth (now Quilter plc), responsible for marketing, product development and investment solutions. He previously held other executive leadership roles in the areas of strategy, business change and digital. Hylton founded Adthena in 2010 to provide competitive intelligence for search marketers, and prior to that developed technology platforms for several business start-ups. He was also a founder director of the UK investment platform Selestia in 2001. Hylton has an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town and qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1995.

  • With a strong background in project and strategic programme management, David worked with Gavin at Greenstone Financial Services and was appointed Managing Director of online aggregator Choosi in Australia in 2011, where he launched the life, health and pet insurance verticals. David then focussed on the launch of Neilson in 2012, eventually holding the role of COO until late 2014. David then moved to Ireland to pursue his interest in retail e-commerce with Ireland’s largest retailer, LifeStyle Sports. He returned to Neilson in early 2019, using what he’d learned to establish our e-commerce agency, ThinkBait.

  • Chris Dawson joined Neilson in 2012 and prior to that spent 4 years with Greenstone Financial Services. With over 20 years of sales and operations experience across industries including financial services and FMCG, Chris brings a wealth of leadership and insight to contact centre management and direct sales distribution. At Neilson, Chris has leveraged his specific life insurance expertise focused on building successful call centres delivering optimal conversion rates and customer outcomes.

    Before 2008, Chris worked in various executive roles within FMCG in the UK and South Africa. Chris holds a postgraduate diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is qualified in strategic management and leadership.

Neilson Executive team

  • A change and business transformation leader with almost 20 years’ experience, Anurag spent 10 years with Greenstone Australia, leading the change management function, delivering an organisation-wide project and change portfolio across growth and technology programmes. Anurag oversaw the end-to-end delivery of numerous programmes to grow Greenstone’s multi-brand portfolio of life, pet, car, home and travel insurance products and the life distribution expansion into the New Zealand market. In the UK, Anurag oversaw the launch of FRANKLi and Zesty Life Insurance as well as embedding the referral process for impaired customers to Neilson Place advisers.

  • Charles joined Neilson in 2022 and provides legal, risk management and compliance advice to Neilson group businesses on a broad range of corporate and commercial matters.

    Before joining Neilson, Charles spent five years in a senior legal role with a leading global professional services firm providing local and cross-border legal and strategic advice across the EMEA and North America regions. He has held similar senior legal roles with global technology services and consultancy firms.

    A member of the Law Society of England and Wales, Charles is admitted as a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales. He is also qualified in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

  • Claire joined Neilson in 2013 to establish and develop the HR function in the UK.
    She brought with her over 5 years experience in a stand-alone HR lead role within a Field Marketing company with over 500 staff.
    Prior to assuming a dedicated HR position in 2007 Claire worked for several years in various Operational Managerial and Sales Team manager positions.
    Claire completed her level 7 CIPD training in 2011 and then went on to achieve Chartered member status in 2012.
    Claire leads our HR and Recruitment function with a strong focus and commitment to Employee Engagement.

  • Elton joined Neilson in March 2020 following over 20 years Financial Services experience in Australia and the UK, across Intermediary, Underwriting and Product development roles for Car, Home, Landlord and Commercial Insurance products. Elton leads the Neilson Product function, overseeing the growing portfolio of existing Neilson brands and partnerships. Since joining, Elton has lead the product function through strategic delivery of new brands and products such as SMART, Cover Today, Post Office, British Seniors and Canadian brands Zesty and Cover Direct, as well as optimisation of the Neilson Underwriting capability alongside our insurer and reinsurer partners to drive improved value for Neilson customers.

  • Graeme joined Neilson in 2012, he has over 15 years’ experience working in financial services in a variety of operational lead roles.

    Graeme now leads the customer service strategy for Neilson, using his extensive knowledge of the industry, he is committed to providing high-quality service and developing our customer experience.

  • Luke joined Neilson at the start of 2021, bringing a breadth of experience in financial regulation, insurance, and data protection. Having worked for a regulator and within various compliance roles within the insurance sector, Luke brings a mix of specialist regulatory knowledge and practical experience designing and delivering systems and controls to ensure firms meet their obligations and deliver for their customers.

    Luke joined from CS Healthcare, a mutual private medical insurer, where he oversaw the Compliance, Risk and Data Protection functions and assisted in their transfer of business to Bupa.

  • Neil Skinner joined Neilson in 2022 bringing over 30 years of experience in the life insurance industry. Neil Specialises in building & leading contact centre and direct sales teams. Since arriving at Neilson, Neil has focused on launching the Post Office contact centre relationship & the latest Neilson contact centre location - Hull UK. In addition, Neil leads the Neilson Place advised protection business.
    Before joining Neilson in 2022, Neil held senior sales positions working for Aviva, Post Office and BGL (Beagle Street)

  • Tim joined Neilson in 2022, having worked in senior leadership positions with global financial and professional services firms for over 23 years. He has led change initiatives across all areas, from business changes to application development and infrastructure refresh programmes. Most recently, Tim was responsible for Zurich’s Protection Platform, overseeing their change portfolio for all direct and intermediated protection business, leading project teams located across the globe. Tim is passionate about high-quality outcomes, particularly for customers, and developing a strong team culture to achieve them.

  • Tony joined Neilson in 2021 with nearly 20 years’ experience in the financial services, real estate, construction and infrastructure sectors. He’s worked as Finance Director/CFO at various companies since 2013 and specialises in assisting entrepreneurial SME’s in growth phases. As a chartered accountant, Tony is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Accountants and has an MSc in Professional Accountancy from the University of London.