Favourite view - Looking down the Langdales from the top of Harrison Stickle.
In 1996, alongside Steve Rees, Mike formed an independent practice, Carpenter Rees Ltd, following 10 years at BDO Stoy Hayward, where he worked as Managing Director of Financial Services in the North West. At BDO, he built up extensive experience, specialising in pensions and employee benefits, working with the North West Corporate Finance team. He put that experience to excellent use in helping to build Carpenter Rees, where he continued to advise both private clients and businesses.
In 2015 Mike successfully completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business course at Manchester University. Mike continues to work closely with key businesses and private clients and is relishing the challenge of growing the business with Steve over the next few years.
Having cycled from Blackpool to Paris in 2004 (and again in 2014), his biggest claim to fame is repeating the exploit two years later, this time cycling across the Pyrenees, which included going up the Col de Tourmalet (an 18km of uphill climb) – one of the best bike rides in the world! A lover of the great outdoors, Mike has been instrumental in developing the Carpenter Rees brand and imagery.
Favourite view - Looking down the first fairway at Mere Golf Club; his least favourite view is often his score card when he walks off the 18th green!
Steve has worked as an independent financial adviser since before the profession was invented (over 30 years!). His extensive CV includes his first job with Self Administered Pensions innovators, Pointon York. He was convinced the firm was the place to be after bumping into one of his all-time sporting heroes in reception – David Gower – on his way to be interviewed.
In 1982, Steve left the company, together with Steve Hornbuckle and Steve Mitchell (yes – three Steves, which was slightly confusing!), to form Hornbuckle Mitchell, where he became a shareholding director at the tender age of 24.
He later met Mike Carpenter at King Street Financial Services and, in December 1996, the duo left the firm to establish Carpenter Rees. As well as working closely with private clients and businesses, Steve specialises in Self Administered Pensions – an area in which he has over 30 years' service, which provides him with invaluable experience when advising business owners.
Nicola has worked in the finance industry for more years than she'd care to admit to! After leaving school (yes, she can remember that far back), Nicola started her career in retail banking where she worked for Barclays Bank. In 2002, she was enticed away from her role as a small branch manager to join the world of financial services and compliance!
Nicola maintains to this day that she was 'mis-sold' the compliance role, but as any of her colleagues will tell you, much as she might complain; it’s a role which she thrives in!
Nicola joined Carpenter Rees as Compliance Manager back in 2006 after the firm she worked for was acquired by the CBG Group plc. Following the successful management buy-out of the Carpenter Rees business by Steve & Mike in early 2012, Nicola is now a fully ‘committed’ member of the management team.
Whilst she is kept busy in her role of Compliance & Operations (with a few other ‘specialisms’ thrown in for good measure), she has still managed to achieve two diplomas - the International Compliance Association’s Diploma in Compliance and the CII Diploma in Financial Planning. In 2015, Nicola became a Fellow and Certified Professional of the International Compliance Association.
Outside of the office, Nicola loves spending time with her family, although admits she enjoys her ‘time-out’ when she will often be found bending, twisting and maybe even standing on her head at yoga! She also loves her holidays; particularly if they involve sun, sand, good food and wine!
Carl has travelled much of the world and seen many amazing views but his favourite is The 100 mile view in Wilmington, Vermont during fall.
He's a mathematician by nature, Chartered Financial Planner by profession and joined Carpenter Rees in 2007. Carl has admitted that finally achieving the Chartered Financial Planner and the Certified Financial Planner titles definitely made the hours of studying worthwhile.
In his spare time, Carl is a keen gardener and is living the good life by reserving part of his garden for a vegetable patch to become the company’s very own Tom Good! Happily married he also enjoys reading Terry Pratchett, playing on the Wii and watching movies.
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Michelle's favourite thing is watching the world go by from a sun bed, anywhere hot, preferably with a glass of wine in hand.
Michelle has worked in Accounts all of her working life, which spans more than 30 years; dealing with everything from invoices and banking to the most important job of all….payroll!!
Michelle joined Carpenter Rees in 2012 and, amongst other things, has become the "go to" person when all is not well in the office... a role she thrives on!! To ensure her popularity with her colleagues, Michelle regularly gets her husband to bake a cake for the office (he is much better at this than her), carrot cake being the firm favourite.
When Michelle is not working she enjoys nothing more than spending time with her friends and family or catching up with her favourite soaps and TV programmes. Holidays are a favourite pastime even when she says "I'm not going on holiday this year"!!
John has worked in financial services for more than fourteen years in a variety of roles ranging from client facing advice to technical research.
John joined Carpenter Rees in 2012 and holds amongst other qualifications, the CII Diploma in Financial Planning. Not one to shy away from studying, he is currently working towards the CII Advanced Diploma.
John has a wife and two children that take up most of his time, but when he does manage to free himself, his time is filled with Manchester United, books and films.
Whilst Maureen joined Carpenter Rees in 2006, her actual career in financial services dates back more than 40 years, when she first started work as a part-time temporary home service insurance agent! Her motivation for joining the industry .. the flexible hours fitted in with having a small child!
Despite not initially requiring any qualifications, Maureen now holds the CII Diploma in Financial Planning. Whilst Maureen claims that the industry has changed significantly, she clearly enjoys it as despite her age, she remains in the industry and tells anybody that dares to ask that she has no immediate plans to retire.
In her spare time, Maureen can often be found holidaying with her family and twin grandchildren in her static caravan in the beautiful Lleyn pensinsula. Her hobbies include, cooking (her home made cheese and onion pie is her famed signature dish and always goes down well in the office), shopping and her so far unsuccessful pursuit of a ‘body beautiful’ through yoga, pilates and exercise classes... although her first hobby might have something to do with that!
Maureen’s favourite view is looking out to sea from the top of the headland at Llanbedrog.
Favourite View: A toss-up between Kyrenia Harbour (N. Cyprus) at dusk or the view across Kalamar Bay from a sun lounger at the Happy Hotel in Kalkan (Turkey).
Alison started out in Pensions more than 30 years ago after opting out of a Bi-lingual course at Preston Polytechnic (and now sometimes rues the fact that she could be working in the South of France rather than South of Manchester). She worked for Norwich Union and Prudential before joining the Carpenter Rees team in 1997.
Not long after joining, Alison claims that she went away on holiday and came back to find that her career had taken the Small Self-Administered Pension Scheme path in her absence but she now enjoys looking after the 50+ schemes we have in our portfolio.
You’ll often find Alison singing at her desk (and her colleagues groaning) – give Alison an obscure word and there’ll always be a song she knows incorporating that word! Away from the office Alison goes to exercise classes (Body Combat, Piloxing, Zumba) and enjoys walking, reading, cryptic crosswords, Sudoku, watching football (she’s of the red persuasion), dining out, holidays and, oh yes, more holidays.
Favourite View – Sergio Aguero swinging his shirt around his head after scoring in the 93rd minute against QPR!
Since leaving school, Joanne has worked as an Administrator for Scottish Widows, IFA Network and Carpenter Rees. Joanne originally joined Carpenter Rees in 2003 on a temporary basis, covering for a colleague’s Maternity Leave. She liked it so much she decided to stay...
Joanne is known as the ‘Tidy & Organised’ person in the office - woe betide anybody that dares to touch anything on her desk or leave out their dirty pots!
In her spare time Joanne enjoys watching sport…especially Football and American Football, travelling and spending time with her family.
Alison hasn’t travelled very far (due to living local to the office) but when she does travel it’s mainly visiting Europe due to a fear of flying; one of her favourite views is from the top of the TV tower at Alexanderplatz, Berlin.
She stumbled into financial services in 1994 when offered a position with G F Baskeyfield & Company, who later sold their business in 2007 and subsequently, Alison became part of the Carpenter Rees team. Alison provides administration support to clients with SIPP, SSAS and other financial products.
Known as Foxy to her work chums, Alison enjoys the weekly Financial Adviser cryptic crossword (not to mention providing one of her colleagues with several answers)!
In her spare time, Alison enjoys walking, pub quizzes, cooking and is partial to the ‘odd’ glass of red wine.
The newest member of Carpenter Rees and a recent arrival from Melbourne (Australia), Joel has slotted seamlessly into the Manchester way of life.
A staunch City supporter, and Northern Quarter aficionado, you’ll often find him down at the Nelson in Didsbury regaling the locals with tales of sun & surf.
Joel has been working in the financial planning industry since 2002 and brings a different outlook to the team at Carpenter Rees. He holds the Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning (Australia) and is currently working towards the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
When not at the Nelson, he enjoys cycling, running, spending time with the family, and chasing the illusive flat white.
Favourite views: Above the clouds on Point Lenana (Mount Kenya) at sunrise in silent, perfect air. A week later: Kilimanjaro at sunset, from Amboseli, surrounded by elephant.
Karl is a resident audiophile - so engage him in conversation about vinyl and speaker cables at your peril! Karl tells us that he loves paraplanning, which is a refreshing change after a lifetime in life offices. He enjoys meeting clients and knowing his work has a positive impact on their lives. He is currently working towards the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.
In his spare time he can be found in the swimming pool, at HOME cinema and post-viewing socials or at a wonderful variety of gigs. He is also learning (slowly) how to play the guitar.