Small but highly accredited
Berry & Oak was founded by husband and wife team, Andrew and Sarah Elson. As Chartered and Certified Financial Planners, we both bring more than 20 years’ financial planning experience which we use to enable our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes from their money and their life.
We are a small but highly accredited, highly qualified and dedicated team with a clear focus on doing the right thing for our clients. You can read more about our team on our Meet the team page.
We’re also very proud to have been the recipients of many prestigious national awards in recognition of that work, which you can read more about on our Awards page.”
Where did the Berry & Oak name come from?
The berry and oak reflect Sarah and Andrew’s close partnership but also represents the balance between dreams and potential, wisdom and stability.
The word ‘berry’ conjures up images of potential, pleasure and an abundant yield. It’s the rewards of a good harvest – you’ve done all the hard work and now it should be time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labours.
The word ‘oak’ conjures up images of something that’s noble, wise and enduring. It’s the knowledge and advice you can trust. It’s solid, dependable and will be around for years to come.
But it’s the partnership between the berry and the oak that really struck a chord. It’s about balance – the legacy and the reward, the wisdom and the enjoyment. And this natural partnership perfectly sums up the marriage and business relationship between Sarah & Andrew. It’s all about putting in the work, over many years, but then being able to sit back and make the most of the rewards that come your way.
If it’s your family, it’s our family
We talk a lot about family at Berry & Oak. We welcome new clients with the aim of making you feel like part of the family. And, as a team, we all work together to achieve your goals.
We do that because we understand the importance of the work we do on our clients’ ability to live enjoyable and rewarding lives. You’ll find that, as a company, we’re not interested in ‘quick fixes’, but in building long-lasting, close relationships with our clients.
As a husband and wife founding partnership, we share lots of things in our life together, including a determination and dedication to doing things a bit differently. The seeds of Berry & Oak were sown because we wanted to give our clients an exceptional and independent service, where we really had the time to get to know those we worked with. We knew there was a better way.
Berry & Oak was established and we haven’t looked back since.
Seven principles we live by as financial planners
Life's not a rehearsal!
We all know this, but we often get busy and forget. We will remind you of this often, and inspire you to DO STUFF NOW while you still can. You can thank us later!
Our purpose is to help you get a better return on life, not just a better return on your various investments. Your money and your investments must serve your life, not the other way around.
Life at the centre
We will keep your LIFE at the very centre of our conversations, not your money. After all, until we know about you, how can we possibly advise you on your money?
We think differently
We aim to do the complete opposite to most financial advisers. Our aim is to help you understand what we call The Truth About Money.
PROPER financial planning has nothing to do with financial products. These are things we use – if necessary – AFTER we have done financial planning.
Financial products are important, but they are not THAT important. They are simply tools in the bag to help get the job done.
The latest new fund or “best” financial product will never change your life, but proper LIFE-centred financial planning, delivered year after year, most defintiely will.
We’re an Accredited Financial Planning Firm™
The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI) sets standards of professional excellence and integrity for the Securities, Investment and Financial Planning industry. As one of just 65 Accredited Firms in the UK, we are recognised as leaders in our profession, demonstrating the ultimate in professionalism through the calibre of the service we provide.
We are a Chartered firm
We are one of only 900 firms in the country to be awarded the prestigious title of Chartered Financial Planners by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Being a Chartered firm means that we’re committed to continuing professional development and must follow a demanding Code of Ethics set by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
SOLLA accredited membership
Andrew is an accredited member of the SOLLA Retirement Advice Standard. That means he is fully qualified in delivering specialised advice on complex decisions surrounding investment, annuities, using property to supplement income, later life care and most importantly, looking after you and your family throughout retirement.
Berry & Oak are an accredited member firm listed on the SIFA Professional Directory of Financial Advisers. SIFA Professional are an Affiliate Partner working closely with the Law Society. The SIFA Directory only lists firms which are trusted, free from the influence of third parties and who specialise in working with professional partners.
We committed to the Women in Finance Charter
Berry & Oak is committed to supporting a fair and ethical workplace for all of our colleagues. We will always employ the most suitable person for each job role, irrespective of gender and monitor diversity on applications, however, we are passionate about encouraging more women into our profession, which is generally still predominately male.
PFS Financial Vulnerability Charter
We are signatories of the PFS Financial Vulnerability Charter. You can read the nine statements contained in the Charter which we’re signed to and which underpin our commitment to ensuring all clients in vulnerable circumstances are dealt with ethically, compassionately, empathetically and effectively.
Andrew is featured on VouchedFor, the UK’s leading customer review site for financial advisers, mortgage advisers, solicitors and accountants. You can read reviews Andrew's clients have written about him by clicking on the VouchedFor widget on Andrew's team member page.
Cyber Essentials Certified
Cyber Essentials is an independently verified accreditation, demonstrating and reassuring our clients that we take their cyber security seriously. The process follows a self assessment against five basic security controls, and a qualified assessor verified the information provided.
CISI Accredited Financial Planning Firm™ of the Year Award 2022
New Model Adviser Top 100 - 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018
Women in Finance Awards – Financial Adviser of the Year - North East (Sarah Elson). Winner 2022
New Model Adviser Firm of the North Award. Winner 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, Finalists 2018, 2017
Yorkshire Financial Awards – Financial Adviser Team of the Year. Winner 2022
Yorkshire Financial Awards – Financial Adviser of the Year (Andrew Elson). Winner 2022
Yorkshire Financial Awards – Director of the Year (Sarah Elson). Winner 2022
Professional Adviser Awards – Tax-Efficient Adviser of the Year. Winner 2021
Professional Adviser Awards – Adviser Firm of the Year – UK. Winner 2020
Professional Adviser Awards – Best Client Engagement (Advisers). Winner 2020, Highly Commended 2022, 2019
Professional Adviser Awards – Professional Adviser Firm of the Year – North East. Winner 2020, 2019, Finalists 2022, 2021
CISI Accredited Financial Planning Firm™ of the Year Award 2019
Yorkshire Financial Awards – Best Employer. Winner 2019
Retirement Planner Awards – Best Individual Pensions Advice Firm of the Year – The North and Scotland. Winner 2019, Finalist 2018
Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts Awards – Retirement Adviser of the Year. Highly Commended 2018
Ready to talk?
If you want to know more about getting the most out of your finances for your retirement, investing or estate planning, please get in touch. You can send us an email or use the direct message box at the bottom of this page. Or call us and we can chat through your needs and, if you are ready, make an appointment to better understand how we can help.