Richard Jacobs

Richard Jacobs

Director / Advisor

In 1992, Richard Jacobs decided to combine his financial service experience and his personal code of ethics – that good pension advice should be made available to everyone – and established Richard Jacobs Pension & Trustee Services Ltd.

The team at Richard Jacobs Pensions has been led by that guiding principle ever since. It’s one of the many reasons we have remained a trusted and recognisable name in financial services across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

Richard has supported thousands of clients over his 50+ years in financial services. The people he helped often retained his services for years, recommending him and the organisation to their family and friends.

Richard is still at the beating heart of what we do and why we do. In recent years, he has taken a step back from the business, handing over leadership to Kate and Emily. Of course, he is still always on hand to offer the invaluable knowledge to his many lifelong clients.

Sarah Gorton CII (FS)

Sarah Gorton CII (FS)

Corporate Schemes Coordinator

As a specialist in corporate financial support, Sarah uses her expertise and experience to offer our business clients exceptional advice; particularly in arranging pension schemes.
Sarah manages all aspects of Employers Group Pensions & Group Risk, including liaising with employers or any member of a group pension scheme, setting up new autoenrolment schemes, administering existing schemes, and insurance.
Alongside holding a qualification in Financial Services from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Sarah is also a qualified specialist in pension autoenrolment.
She is particularly proud of having supported many of her clients for nearly 30 years, the majority of whom retained her services and accompanied her when she joined Richard Jacobs Pensions in the summer of 2015.
When she’s not supporting business-owners and group pension scheme members, Sarah enjoys going for walks, gardening, and socialising with her friends.
Jessica Ashley-Smith

Jessica Ashley-Smith

Client Relationship Administrator

Jessica joined the team in June 2019 and has become one of the more recognisable faces for new and existing clients, as she’s often the first person to greet them when they step into our office.
In her day-to-day, Jessica helps keep the wheels of Richard Jacobs Pensions turning smoothly, from preparing meeting packs to arranging contributions or withdrawals. Jessica also supports Sean by gathering the data required to accurately review and prepare clients’ final reports.
When asked what she likes about her work, Jessica said, “I just generally enjoy coming to work and doing what I do. I love the work environment and working for such a lovely family-run business. Richard Jacobs Pensions really value their staff.”
Alongside supporting the RJP team, Jessica is studying to qualify as a paraplanner. Jessica is passionate about health and fitness, often taking advantage of her “morning person energy” to hit the gym at 6am. She loves spending time with her golden-doodle puppy, Simba and sometimes brings him to the office.
Kate Barnard Cert CII (FS)

Kate Barnard Cert CII (FS)

Director / Business Manager

Having been an integral part of the Richard Jacobs Pensions team since 2000, Kate has an unparalleled understanding and appreciation of what we do and how we help people.
As our Business Manager, Kate is responsible for keeping the business running smoothly, from the day-to-day running of the business to ensuring we meet all compliance measures. Using her business insight, Kate is often the person looking ahead to see how we can develop and improve our services.
When asked what Kate felt most proud of in her work, she said, “I’m very proud of our longevity as a company and the systems we have in place to ensure that our clients have a positive experience. The feedback we get from our clients and the recommendations we receive are definitely something to be proud of.”
As one of our directors, Kate represents Richard Jacobs Pensions across local and regional networking communities, including the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce.
When she is not managing the business, Kate enjoys going for walks, hitting the gym, and cooking delicious meals for her family. She has two cats at home but unlike our various office dogs, they prefer to stay at home!

Gemma Walton

Gemma Walton

Client Relationship Administrator

Since joining the Richard Jacobs Pensions team in 2014, Gemma has become an invaluable asset to the organisation.
With an NVQ in Business Administration and years of experience ensuring all the proverbial t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted, Gemma provides reliable and efficient support to Emily and the rest of the team.
Gemma’s day-to-day consists of greeting clients, answering calls, preparing meeting packs, maintaining the online documentation system, organising client reviews, and more. Gemma feels very proud to be part of the RJP team and of the level of service and support we offer our clients.
When she’s not working hard to keep everything at Richard Jacobs Pensions ticking over nicely, Gemma loves spending time with her husband, her young daughter, her parents, and her bestie, Jen. She and her family share their home with Tilly Lilly the cat.


Our Office Dog

Max is an easy-going and lovable 5-year-old Cockerpoo. He often accompanies his mum, Emily to the office to offer invaluable moral support, politely request head scratches, and demonstrate which sun beams are the best to curl up in.
While Max can, apparently, be a bit lazy and requires some cajoling to leave his comfy bed in the morning, he does love coming to the office. His favourite treat is doggie peanut butter on a lick mat and he loves nothing more than chasing balls (especially if this happens to be on a beach in Anglesey).
While Max likes to come and say hello to visitors, if we have someone in the office who’d prefer not to spend time with a dog, Max is just as happy to take himself away for a nap under Emily’s desk.
Emily Small Dip PFS

Emily Small Dip PFS

Chartered Financial Planner / EFA / Director

When Emily joined Richard Jacobs Pensions in 2007, we not only gained a new team member; we officially became a family business! Since joining, Emily has supported hundreds of clients, alongside completing a number of qualifications to become a Level 6 Chartered Financial Planner.
As a director and financial planner, Emily has become one the key faces of the business and spends much of her time building relationships with our clients. She helps clients identify new objectives, work out the most suitable solution for their unique needs, and reviews their financial progress.
For Emily, her work is all about the people she’s helping. In one particularly memorable instance, Emily and the team were able to help someone work out they could afford to retire from a job that was making them miserable. She was told by that client, “You have changed our lives.”
When asked about what she feels most proud of in her work, Emily said, “I’m proud of the client relationships we’ve built up and the feedback we get from people, thanking us for explaining things in a way they really understand. I’m proud that I’ve maintained my father’s ethics; that we’re still providing advice to everyone. Regardless of someone’s investment value, everyone is treated the same.”
Alongside being an experienced Chartered Financial Planner, Emily is an avid festival-goer. She also loves escaping to Anglesey for family holidays and playing computer games with her son; their latest obsession is Zelda.

Sean Hurst Dip PFS

Sean Hurst Dip PFS

Qualified Trainee Advisor / Paraplanner

Sean joined the Richard Jacobs Pensions team in May of 2018 as a paraplanner, supporting Emily.
After passing his exams in Financial Planning, Sean began to support our clients with bespoke financial advice that catered to their own unique circumstance. Sean regularly meets with clients, reviews their financial plans and makes recommendations designed to help them reach financial goals.
Sean feels very much at home at Richard Jacobs Pensions and enjoys how the business is locally-based and family-run. In Sean’s words, “I always like to hear advice in a Stoke accent!”.
When he’s not supporting clients at work, Sean spends the majority of his time running after his two children. The Hurst household is home to a number of pets; Sean and his wife have a Labrador, a three-legged cat, two rabbits, and nine chickens.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.