Our team

Meet the team

The UK Board

  • Mark joined Neilson in 2020 having had an extensive and lengthy career across the financial sector. Initially working as an English Chartered Accountant he has acquired extensive experience in banking, asset management, asset based finance, credit risk and wider risk control. More recently his portfolio support assistance for the private equity sector has evolved into Non Executive roles where he uses his experience to interface between investor objectives and commercial reality.

  • Gavin has a history of entrepreneurship across many industry sectors and has a strong interest in leveraging both technology and analytical insights to build leading business solutions. He co-founded Greenstone in 2007, an Australian company specialising in the design, marketing, distribution, and administration of direct life insurance. Leveraging in-house technology solutions, combined with proprietary data analytical capabilities, he led Greenstone from start-up to become the country’s largest distributor of direct life insurance. In 2012 Gavin brought the same business model to the UK, founding Neilson Financial Services and he continues to lead the Neilson Group.

  • Rob joined Neilson in 2020 as a Non-Executive Director, having over 30 years’ experience in the financial services and insurance industry. Rob started his career at Barclays where he became Director of General Insurance and Protection. In 2011 Rob joined a joint venture between the Bank of Ireland and the Post Office as Managing Director of Insurance and in 2015 joined the Post Office to transform their insurance business. Rob was subsequently appointed Managing Director of Neilson’s UK business in June 2021.

  • Hylton joined Neilson in August 2014 having previously been Commercial Director at Old Mutual Wealth (now Quilter plc), responsible for marketing, product development and investment solutions. He previously held other executive leadership roles in the areas of strategy, business change and digital. Hylton founded Adthena in 2010 to provide competitive intelligence for search marketers, and prior to that developed technology platforms for several business start-ups. He was also a founder director of the UK investment platform Selestia in 2001. Hylton has an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town and qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1995.

  • With a strong background in project and strategic programme management, David worked with Gavin at Greenstone Financial Services and was appointed Managing Director of online aggregator Choosi in Australia in 2011, where he launched the life, health and pet insurance verticals. David then focussed on the launch of Neilson in 2012, eventually holding the role of COO until late 2014. David then moved to Ireland to pursue his interest in retail e-commerce with Ireland’s largest retailer, LifeStyle Sports. He returned to Neilson in early 2019, using what he’d learned to establish our e-commerce agency, ThinkBait.

  • Chris Dawson joined Neilson in 2012 and prior to that spent 4 years with Greenstone Financial Services. With over 20 years of sales and operations experience across industries including financial services and FMCG, Chris brings a wealth of leadership and insight to contact centre management and direct sales distribution. At Neilson, Chris has leveraged his specific life insurance expertise focused on building successful call centres delivering optimal conversion rates and customer outcomes.

    Before 2008, Chris worked in various executive roles within FMCG in the UK and South Africa. Chris holds a postgraduate diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is qualified in strategic management and leadership.