Tel: 01308 425962

Financial Planning Advice

Gillinghams Independent Financial Advisers Limited

At Gillinghams Independent Financial Advisers, we believe that great financial advice begins with an understanding of our clients’ lives and what is important to them.

We are a well-established firm with many years’ experience in Financial Planning. We work with clients who require financial solutions for their investments and retirement plans and are committed to delivering exceptional results for our clients.

As a company, Gillinghams places great importance in developing our team members and giving them the opportunity to be the best that they can so our personal service is something that is at the heart of all our staff.

James Hewitt
Director and Chartered Financial Planner

Originally I trained and worked as an Accountant. I started to work for myself in 2001, managing the financial affairs and preparation of accounts for several firms in Somerset and Dorset. This provided me with valuable experience and an insight into the day-to-day running of many different businesses. One of my clients was a local Financial Advisers firm, and over time I became more and more interested in the work the advisers were doing and could see a synergy between my work and theirs. I decided to train as an adviser and achieved my qualification by the beginning of 2008. I then worked on a full-time basis as a Financial Adviser whilst still providing support for some of the local businesses I worked for.

In 2011 Jon and I formed Gillinghams Independent Financial Advisers as a result of taking over the financial advising arm of RM Gillingham & Son.


Chartered Financial Planner (APFS)
Diploma in Financial Planning (DipPFS)
Certificate in Financial Planning (CertPFS)
Mortgages (CF6)
Long Term Care (CF8)
Personal Tax (J01)
Trusts (J02)
Pension Income Options (J05)
Investment Principles & Risk (R02)
Personal Tax and Trust Planning (AF1)
Business Financial Planning (AF2)
Pension Planning (AF3)
Financial Planning Process (AF5)
Fellow Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (FMAAT)

Jonathon Sear
Director and Financial Adviser

I have accumulated over 25 years experience in Financial Services. Much of this was within the banking and mortgage Industry with companies such as Nat West, Royal Bank of Scotland and ING Direct where I was involved in a number of different management roles.

Having decided that Banking was no longer the fulfilling career I had chosen, I joined a local Financial Adviser in November 2006 following a family move to the 'sunny' South West. In 2011 James and I took over the client management and financial advice for RM Gillingham & Son. I am qualified to advise in most areas of financial planning and always aim to combine both technical and life experience skills to find the right solutions for my clients.


Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFA)
Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA)
Mortgage Advice and Practice (CEMAP)
Lifetime Mortgages (CF7)
Home Reversion (HR1)
Long Term Care (CF8)
BSc(Econ) Economics
DipDM Marketing Diploma

Claire Keepax

Claire Keepax
Financial Planner

I graduated from Cardiff University in 2010 with a degree in Law and have been working in the Financial Services industry for over 10 years. I joined Gillinghams Independent Financial Advisers as an Administrator in November 2015 with my role quickly evolving into that of a Paraplanner.

With the support of Gillinghams I gained my Diploma in Financial Planning in March 2021, and started to provide financial advice to clients as a Financial Planner in June 2023. I am also a qualified Equity Release adviser.


Diploma in Financial Planning (DipPFS)
Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Equity Release (Certs CII MP & ER)
Certificate in Financial Services (CertCII FS)
Cardiff University Law Degree (LLB)
AAT Accountancy Level 2

Claire Keepax

Courtney Tuck

I graduated from Cardiff University in 2018 with a degree om Politics and International Relations. After university, I worked within various departments within law firms, both in Cardiff and Dorset. My interests took me in a different direction, and I joined Gillinghams in 2021 as an Administrator. My role here allows me to gain in-depth knowledge about the Financial Services Industry and develop my administrative skills whilst providing support to all my colleagues. I am currently studying for a Diploma in Regulated Financial Services.


Undergraduate Degree - BSc Politics and International Relations (L290)
Certificate in Financial Services (CertCII FS)

Sharon Donovan
Office Manager

Originally, I worked as a Client Services Manager for an International Mail Company in Bristol. I moved to Dorset in 2016 and joined Gillinghams in 2022 finally giving up commuting to Bristol in exchange for a new challenge and new industry to work in where I can fully utilise my management, organisational and administrative skills to the full.


DipDM Marketing Diploma
BTEC Diploma in Business Studies
Mental Health First Aider

Jackie Glynn
Accounts Manager

Jackie is responsible for all things Accounts within the office.