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HOME2020-11-28T11:27:45+00:00


It takes time, expertise and understanding to organise and preserve private or shared family wealth. Time, taken away from enjoying the rewards of your industry, embarking on new adventures, or simply experiencing a sense of wellbeing.


Beacon Gainer was founded on the idea of saving clients time and money by connecting them to a collective of professional advisors, selected for their understanding, their record for outstanding care, and ethics.

By simplifying the complexities of managing money and the life goals it enables, we make life more efficient, enjoyable and, yes, profitable. Our clients benefit from competitive rates and a seamlessly collaborative approach to expert advice and care.

How do we simplify this complex business of organising private wealth? By transforming the process of finding trusted private client advice. We facilitate active collaboration between a group of specialist experts to achieve your specific goals and overcome the most pressing issues affecting families. Our platform connects you to advisors, and manages your aims.

Beacon Gainer was founded in 2015 by Lara Leigh-Wood. With over a decade’s experience in private client advisory, Lara is a skilful, long-term relationship-builder. With personal experience of the delicacies involved in managing wealth and expectations across diverse family members, her discretion and understanding are finely tuned. Lara’s choice of advisors in professional services firms reflects this: we make connections based on personal trust and professional respect.

Together, our partners form a collective of award-winning, non-competing firms from a broad cross-section of sectors, including but not limited to law, banking, financial planning, security, insurance, investment and family governance. Each advisor is known by Lara and chosen for their ability to be not only highly professional but also deeply personable.

Beyond expertise and experience, we place great value on a partner firm’s values, as well as their track record in working with businesses that are mindful of social impact and good governance. Clients value this too.

Financial peace of mind is not only preserving private wealth. It is also identifying, focusing on and achieving clear life goals. It is investing resources with certainty and clear conscience, to make the world a little better for your part in it. It is having someone ‘in the trenches’ with you, matching your grit and optimism to tackle whatever comes up. It is the discretion and kindness of the people you deal with, who come to feel like extended family. By your side, on your side, at your side, whenever you need us.

LARA LEIGH-WOOD

Owner, Founder and Managing Director

Respected by clients for her strategic thinking, Lara uses her management, team building and relationship building skill to develop a broad range of successful commercial collaborations and to sustain a network of high-value opportunities.

As Managing Director, she is the first point of contact for clients, leading the development of services and tackling the day-to-day business challenges. Lara places huge value on results and depth of experience which shines through in the collective culture and approach of Beacon Gainer.

Over the past four years the reputation of Beacon Gainer has been built around a sophisticated and shared approach to service, and, importantly, understanding that the dynamics of a client, their family and business are unique to each.  We welcome all advisors and clients, whether needing one area of expertise within our services or several and hope you will enjoy being with us.”

She has worked in wealth management, financial services, social investment, non-profit fundraising, publishing and membership platforms which focused on private and high profile individuals.

Raised in London, attending the French Lycee then St.Mary’s Calne, Lara’s career has spanned London, Paris and Montreal where she attended McGill University and became a member of the prestigious Scarlet Key Society.

An award-winning social entrepreneur, she is a passionate skier and in winter, can often be found skiing in the Swiss and Italian Alps.

HEATHER DARNELL

Finance Director

Heather is responsible for rigorous financial control at Beacon Gainer. She also works closely with Lara planning the commercial future of the firm.

Heather’s career has taken her to Canada, the US and the UK in both Finance and IT for the world’s largest affinity marketing company. From Financial Analyst to IT Director to Chief Information Officer to Operations Director – her career has spanned all areas of the back office of an organisation.

‘When the right people work together, interesting things always happen.’

After moving between Washington DC, Connecticut and Boston, Heather moved to Montreal to go to university where she
graduated with a BA in Philosophy and became a member of the prestigious Scarlet Key Society. She moved to London in 1998 when she met her future husband on her first day of work.

Heather volunteers with the Octavia Foundation and she is a trustee of the Dalgarno Trust .She is an obsessive football supporter. She keeps as fit as her heroes by running around London with her laptop. Or with her Hungarian Vizsla. Or both.

ALISON LIDDELL

Client Relations and Executive Assistant

As an experienced Commercial Manager, Alison has previously worked for the Daily Telegraph, Virgin Net and Diageo. With strong skills in new business development, Alison honed her ability to work alongside her clients to support their existing business and develop new commercial opportunities. Nowadays, Alison has a flexible, dynamic and proactive role as an Executive assistant and also plays a key part in organising and running Beacon Gainer events. Alison is an active and valuable member of the team.

Alison grew up in Oxfordshire and now lives in West Berkshire. She has three boys and works part-time. Her recent clients have included a Bespoke Travel company organising high-end holidays, setting up and running an online sales platform for a start-up Food Co-operative, marketing and managing the bookings for a boutique B&B and assisting a senior business leader with an on-line Members Club.

Alison prides herself on her extra-ordinary level of attention to detail, passion and commitment to her clients’ projects, her availability and flexibility to work to tight time deadlines and objectives, and her friendly, helpful and can-do attitude.

When not working (and running around after her boys), Alison enjoys sociable games of tennis and cooking for friends.

Lucy Greenwood

Partner at International Family Law Group

‘Lucy is a stellar lawyer who is smart and compassionate’.
Legal 500 UK 2020

Having specialised exclusively in the field of family law for the last 20 years, Lucy always ensures her clients are protected as much as possible from the rigours of litigation. Where a conciliatory approach is possible, Lucy will find it.

She deals regularly with complicated financial cases, many with an international element, where action sometimes has to be taken very quickly to secure her client’s position. Lucy’s cases frequently involve complicated legal issues and tracing assets. Much of her work involves high net worth financial scenarios with assets including off-shore trusts, corporate bodies and pensions. Lucy has a particular specialism in the drafting of relationship agreements, including pre-nuptial and post–nuptial agreements, having done a large number of such agreements, often involving couples residing or planning to reside in other parts of the world.

Many of the international cases Lucy handles require urgent advice from lawyers in other jurisdictions. iFLG has a broad and carefully selected network of specialist family lawyers and professionals worldwide who can provide advice quickly. Lucy is also hugely experienced in jurisdiction disputes.

Nancy Bikson

Managing Director of Chapel & York

With a lawyer’s incisive mind and a philanthropist’s drive and optimism, Nancy has dedicated the last 30 years advising to clients and charities worldwide. She co-founded Chapel & York to support international charitable operations, her specialism being cross-border philanthropy and fundraising.

An American Anglophile, based in the UK and fluent in French, she has lived in France and Australia, working for and with international organisations, in both legal and fundraising capacities. Nancy has a BA in Medieval English History, a Juris Doctor degree and a LLM (Master of Laws Degree, Tax).

She speaks regularly at International conferences, and has a particular interest in inspiring and enabling women as well as men, to join in the process of improving the world.

Wes McCranor

Co-Founder & Director of Cipher Risk

“Having worked in life assurance in both the US and the UK, I’ve been able to build a 360 degree perspective on the industry and it’s products. I’ve seen how it’s sold, how it’s administered, and, most importantly, how it’s perceived. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. With Cipher, my desire is to not simply focus on “ the good” but rather on the delivery of better.”

Wes’ single-minded focus is on delivering obvious and tangible value to his clients. He is as ambitious as any entrepreneur, wanting Cipher to become not only a household name, but the authority on high-value underwriting globally. He is leading the change in the way the life assurance business is delivered in the 21st century. His energy and warmth make him an asset to all his clients and his infectious enthusiasm makes him an enjoyable person with whom to do business.

Also like many entrepreneurs, Wes’ success has humble roots,. His began amongst the cornfields of his Indiana hometown, knocking on doors to sell life insurance. After moving to the UK, he worked as an Independent Financial Advisor before moving into business protection, with the aim of helping clients understand the fundamental necessity of what must be put in place. Wes made it his mission to change the ‘is it cancelable?’ mindset people have around insurance, to focus on seeing the opportunities of today in relation to the specifics of a person’s lifestyle.

Dominic Guise

Co-Founder & Director of Cipher Risk

“I fundamentally believe that life assurance, critical illness cover and income protection, all without doubt the most essential elements of good financial planning, are the most unfair of all financial products. Why? Because insurance companies have historically held complete control over the underwriting process and, as a result, clients have always been at their mercy. For me, for reasons personal and professional, this is unacceptable.”

Dominic set out to change the status quo with Cipher. It is his ambition to redefine the industry with its unique underwriting service. By providing complete and accurate medical data, he is able to ensure underwriters can make fair assessments based on their respective philosophies.

His natural sense of discretion helps clients face and answer difficult questions, to avoid ending up with a problem of non-disclosure, and insurers refusing to pay out. Dedicated to helping people access fair terms, his specialism is in interpreting medical data to protect the individual fairly, and accurately.

Nick Sellick

CEO of Estate Insurance Group

Nick founded Estate Insurance Group in September 1998 with the idea of delivering a prompt, reliable and knowledgeable service to the Property Owners’ Market. Over the years, the company has grown but the fundamental values on which it was based remain.

With an unshakable belief that the customer always comes first, Nick continuously educates his team to have a comprehensive understanding of client needs and concerns. If he cannot be found at the office opposite Borough Market he will be in the countryside breaking clay, but is always ready to talk on his mobile.

Sophie Kingwell-Meader

Account Executive at Estate Insurance Group

Sophie is a specialist broker specialising in Real Estate Insurance. She is responsible for driving new business and nurturing excellent relationships with property owners and vendors. Her primary focus is delivering solutions that are optimal for – and efficiently communicated to – each client.

Sophie joined the insurance industry after completing her BA in History and Politics, during which she undertook a political research project for Cornwall County Council on the perceptions of social care. Growing up in Guernsey, she represented the Channel Islands and the UK in U16 Fencing, a sport that honed her discipline, quick thinking and ability to tackle life with grace, all invaluable skills. Naturally organised, her attention to detail makes her a thorough and reliable expert.

Lynne Rowland

Tax Partner at Moore Kingston Smith

“Every client is an individual in their own right, with priorities and concerns that it is vital to understand. I much prefer face-to-face contact to email and formal written communication. My commitment to do the best for my clients never wavers.”

Lynne’s 25 years of experience as a tax practitioner means that she is able to integrate tax, legal and financial planning support into fully-rounded advice in a cost-effective manner. She is involved in all areas of private client tax work, and also advises those leaving or entering the UK on domicile issues, tax disputes and disclosures.

She has lectured on a variety of subjects to fellow professionals and to clients, and has written many opinion pieces that have been published in non-technical forums and established professional publications. Outside of work, Lynne likes to spend as much time with her family and friends as possible. She supports her two daughters in their passion for horse-riding, as unpaid groom and chauffeur to horses Zorro and Eddie. When time permits she enjoys travelling, and watching her son play rugby.

Yvette Jacobs-Lee

Specialist Tax Partner at Moore Kingston Smith

Advising entrepreneurial clients on personal and business tax matters is Yvette’s passion and her specialism. With 15 years experience as a chartered tax adviser and trust and estate practitioner, she is well-accustomed to dealing with a wide variety of tax issues and both onshore and offshore planning strategies.

Yvette is known for her supportive and practical approach, as she helps her clients find tax-efficient solutions at all stages of their business and wealth journey. Particular areas of interest include succession planning and asset structuring to protect wealth for future generations, asset holding structures and related transactions, and advising on tax residence and domicile issues.

Personable and engaging to work with, Yvette is nevertheless driven to achieve the best results for her clients. She is regularly requested to speak on a variety of topics, representing the firm at conferences and events. Away from the office, Yvette spends her time enjoying the fresh air outdoors with her young family.

Alexandra Buchan

Associate Director, Private Clients at Waverton Investment Management

Alexandra joined Waverton in 2013 as a UK equity specialist. She manages portfolios for a wide range of clients with a particular emphasis on offshore assets. She is the co-manager of the Waverton Portfolio Fund and is a member of the International Client Committee.

Alexandra came to Waverton after completing a graduate training scheme at Smith & Williamson. Since graduating from the University of Durham with a degree in History, she has passed the Investment Management Certificate and the CISI Masters in Wealth Management.  In 2018 Alexandra was selected as one of PAM’s Top 40 under 40 which recognises, introduces and promotes rising stars of the private client wealth management world.

Stephen Browne

Director, Head of Marketing at Waverton Investment Management

Stephen joined the company in 2007 as a director and head of marketing. He is responsible for developing new business opportunities with private clients, charities and professional intermediaries. Responsible and sustainable investing matters deeply, only working in ways and with businesses that adhere to high and/or improving Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards.

Stephen held a similar position at Merrill Lynch and also at the law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer where he was head of business development for the Financial Institutions Group. But his working life began in education, teaching Classics at Charterhouse and Repton School. He graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1992, has an MBA in Finance from Strathclyde Business School and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).

There has been room for a long time for a full private wealth advisory service which covers all the touch points for a client needing advisors to manage wealth and protect assets. It’s great to see that Beacon Gainer are plugging the need.”

If you would like to discuss your goals
please get in touch by telephone +44 (0)20 3355 5397 or e-mail

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