‘How Brand Financial Training began’
Hear first hand how Brand Financial Training began and what we offer to financial professionals looking for CII exam learning resources.
Meet the Brand Financial Training team…
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Catriona founded Brand Financial Training in 2008 and has grown the business into one of the most highly regarded providers of learning resources for financial services CII exam candidates. With a BSc (Hons) Information Systems from the University of Leeds, Catriona started her working life with Price Waterhouse and then working as a freelance IT Consultant worldwide. She later looked for a new challenge and changed career, sitting a multitude of CII exams and re-training as a financial adviser working in wealth management and banking.
Seeing a dire need for help with financial services exams, she launched Brand Financial Training and has since become an expert in Learning & Development in Financial Services and continues to advance her business education through various qualifications including the University of Oxford Saïd Business School Cyber Security for Business Leaders.
Catriona also has Board level experience from startup through to established business dealing with a variety of areas including e-commerce; digital marketing; GDPR; systems analysis; documenting, streamlining and automating business processes; risk management; strategic planning; governance and coaching.
Technical Author Team
Our technical author team consists of six highly skilled and qualified financial services authors and trainers with backgrounds in training, compliance, financial advice and hold the titles of Chartered Financial Planner, Associates and Fellows of the PFS and CII. Our technical authoring team are highly qualified including the CII Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning and equivalents, and a number of them also work for the CII as technical authors and examiners. Previous roles include household names such as Aviva, L&G and Friends Provident.
Chief Operating Officer
Jennifer joined the team in 2021 and is responsible for the day-to-day running of Brand Financial Training as well as having management responsibility for projects and strategy. Her previous roles include Head of Training and Head of Academy roles at financial advice and training businesses, providing training for advisers and financial advice apprentices, as well as roles within business development and compliance & training. She holds an MBA from the University of Leeds.
Head of Digital
Michelle joined the Brand Financial Training team in 2012 and has been our Head of Digital since May 2021, developing and maintaining our various systems and websites. She gained her Bachelor of Technology from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2012 and ensures her skills are kept up-to-date through various online training courses.
Technical Support and Content Specialist
Ann has been part of the Brand Financial Training team since 2019, helping CII exam candidates to pass their exams. She is an essential part of our technical authoring team as well as working on the content and administrative side of the business. Ann has a strong numerical and financial services background with a BSc in Mathematics from Exeter University and working in financial services since 1995. During that time she has gained numerous CII qualifications including AF7 Pension Transfers, G10 Taxation and Trusts, G30 Business Financial Planning, G60 Pensions, R06 Financial Planning Practice, FP1, FP2, FP3, SV1 and CF9. Her roles have included IFA Consultant and Corporate Pensions Consultant for Friends Provident.
Why are we different?
Do you want immediate access to our resources? The majority of our written learning resources are available as electronic PDF files which allow you to quickly access, print and obtain a hard copy. Many of our customers prefer this to web-based systems simply because being able to scribble on an actual printout helps with learning and referring back.Other resources such as our e-mocks are available either as a download or can be listened to or viewed on any electronic device whether PC, tablet, iPad or mobile.
The importance of customer service
Providing excellent customer service is extremely important to us. As well as providing a money-back guarantee, we also do all we can to make your exam journey and your experience with us a happy one. If you have any queries or problems, do contact us and we will act as quickly as we can to resolve the situation.We have a fantastic enquiries team at and you can always leave us a message on 0345 680 1682 (Calls are charged at no more than 5p per minute from a BT line, charges from mobiles and other providers may vary and can be considerably more).
Find us on:
- The fact find analysis for AF5 was first class! Almost every question asked in the exam was covered off in the analysis. Thank you!Sian ThomasFinancial Adviser, Hargreaves Lansdown Advisory Services, Bristol
- Your AF7 resources really helped me prepare for the exam. This is the second time I have used your resources for an AF exam and have passed both, so I am really happy.NicolaPrincipal, Reynolds & Co, Peterborough
- "Brand's solution papers were massively helpful in my preparation for the R06 exam. The expected questions came up on the exam and I was well prepared to give answers that covered all the aspects that I needed to in order to get a good mark. Gained a very good pass so am very grateful to Brand for their support."Matt HignettIFA
- "Having been recommended to you guys via our link to Paradigm, I noticed that you did an analysis of the RO6 exam questions, which having done some reading prior to taking the exam, I thought I'd take the hit and check it out. Having worked my way through all of the RO's previously, I wanted to ensure that I had the best possible preparation to enable me to pass RO6 first time and get my Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. All in all, I was impressed with how close the predicted questions were to those in the actual exam and this, in turn, meant that I was well prepared to back up my own personal knowledge for the exam, and your customer service support has also been very helpful. The resources were cost effective as well - a small price to pay to achieve the first milestone in my career qualifications! I would happily recommend Brand to others who are looking for materials to help them with their ongoing qualifications and I will definitely continue to make use of your resources as I work towards achieving Chartered status."Jake ClarksonParaplanner, Clarkson Wayman Ball Ltd, Market Harborough, Leicestershire
- "Thanks for the great material, I used the MP4 AF4 and other R02, J10 material and found it very helpful in passing R02, J10 and AF4."Richard BaxterSenior Financial Adviser, Gower Financial Services, Guernsey
- "I have found the most important resource for any of the diploma papers have been mock questions. The more the merrier! The Brand mock papers I used ... are an excellent indication of the standard of questions from the actual exam and as such a valuable source of revision aid."Gavin DuffyFinancial Adviser, Weston-super-mare
- I must say the analysis and supporting documents were a great help in preparing me for the exam and to back up my knowledge with the sort of model answers they were looking for.TomBristol
- "I am pleased to say I passed AF5 using Brand's AF5 Fact-Find Analysis. I am now preparing my application for Chartered Status! I have used the Brand materials for a number of the exams along the way and have found them to be most useful and very reasonably priced and always recommend them to colleagues."Tammie SteadmanChartered Financial Planner, Footes Financial Planning UK, Birmingham
- “After a long lay off due to illness I decided to complete my Diploma. Brand Financial Training supported my studies. Their study material is excellent, so easy to read and presented in a logical format. The analysis for R06 was received promptly along with study tips and was invaluable. Test papers for R01 again were just the job. I really appreciated the personal attention received from Catriona, with suggestions for a variety of learning resources. All reasonably priced. Many thanks. I will be doing Level 6 with Brand Financial Training.”Philip DoddChester
- The Brand analysis prepared me perfectly for the R06 exam. Thank you for such a great resource.Damien GoodallLocal Mortgage and Protection Manager, Lloyds Banking Group, Plymouth, Devon