Martin started Beacon after his 7 influential years as one of the founding members of Virgin Direct (now Virgin Money). Here he was product designer for the roll-out of PEPs, life insurance, personal pension and the One Account. During those ground-breaking years he became Director of Corporate Affairs, running the award-winning press office and successfully spearheaded Virgin’s lobbying for a “1% world” in pensions and investments.
When that business changed direction and name to Virgin Money in 2001, Martin wanted to carry on the good fight to bring about major improvement in the industry, so left and launched Beacon as his own consultancy to help other businesses pick up Virgin’s baton.
Since then, Beacon has helped a wide range of ‘the good guys’ of financial services including the Pensions Policy Institute, The Fairbanking Foundation and TPAS, through to alternative finance pioneers Zopa, Seedrs, SyndicateRoom, Abundance Generation and Landbay.
Working mainly as retained media adviser, Martin’s role in dealing directly and in depth with the UK’s most influential and important financial journalists has delivered game-changing results for his clients.
Daniella was first PA to Martin back at Virgin Direct when he was Director of Corporate Affairs. After further years at Virgin after Martin left, and then a break to have a family, Daniella has taken the plunge again and returned to Martin’s side, much to his relief!
Daniella is a supremely efficient, friendly and hardworking member of the Beacon team and helps to keep Martin and the Beacon office very well organised and responsive, even at its busiest times.
Helen worked for Norwich Union for more than 16 years before taking a break to have a family. Her roles at ``the business now known as Aviva`` included running the highly successful single premium bond product range through some of its golden years, and later on, various senior positions in market research for both the Life and Pensions business and latterly Norwich Union's general insurance business.
It is market research and analysis that remains Helen's key strength and indeed her major contribution to Beacon's delivery of insightful and well-informed advice and output for clients.
As a former managing editor of the Independent newspaper with many years’ experience of Fleet Street, a director of a regional media company and the editorial director of a media monitoring and events company, Charlie knows what makes a story. And what does not.
With his extensive contacts at a senior level throughout the media, Charlie is a crucial member of the Beacon team and ensures all its efforts have flair while being grounded in best media relations practice.
Richard is a digital and social marketing guru, with more experience and proven results under his belt than most, as he has been defining best practice since it all began.
Following a number of years working at Legal & General Investment Management, his career in ecommerce developed at Egg, where he spent several years leading their digital marketing efforts and breaking new ground in the evolving worlds of paid search and affiliate marketing. This was followed by two years at the highly innovative Zopa, as a head of acquisition, before leaving to help establish Techlightenment as one of the earliest exponents of advertising in social networks.
Richard has repeatedly pioneered new media channels as they have emerged and quickly honed the art to produce remarkable ROI. His unique perspective and skill-set provide a valuable resource for Beacon clients, enabling them to take advantage of social and digital channels in ways their competitors are often not.