Meet the Canterbury Team

Richard HoldenRichard Holden

GradDipBusStudies(Personal Financial Planning), ,  Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Fellow of IFA, AFA

Richard Holden was educated at St. Bede’s College in Christchurch. After trying his hand at various occupations from truck driving in Western Australia to owning a painting and decorating business, Richard started with National Mutual (NML) at age 22. He spent 14 years with NML being part of the early development of the financial planning profession in New Zealand.

Richard has over 30 years experience in financial services, ranging from front line sales, sales management, regional management and company directorships. He has mentored many successful advisers and anagers and continues to do so as part of his commitment to the financial planning and advisory industry. Outside of work Richard has been involved in rugby administration as past president of the Marist Rugby Football Club in Christchurch and a past member of the general committee of the Canterbury Rugby Union.

Richard is married to Eileen, with three adult children, Rebecca, Daniel and Andrew. He is a keen golfer, reluctant gym attendee, rambler and not too adventurous mountain biker. He likes to get about in the wonderful New Zealand outdoors. He also likes recreational reading, harness racing, music and singing. Politically he rates himself right of centre, having served as Gerry Brownlee’s election campaign chairman. Richard founded the forerunner of Milestone Financial Services (Canterbury) Ltd in May 1996.

Richard has numerous industry and tertiary qualifications, the main ones being the Graduate Diploma in Business Studies endorsed in Personal Financial Planning and the New Zealand Diploma in Life Insurance. Richard holds the highest designation in the financial planning and insurance advisory colleges of the Institute of Financial Advisers. These designations being Certified Financial Planner (CFPCM) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) which are internationally recognised “best practice” certifications. These qualifications are much higher than the minimum qualification standards required to be an authorized financial adviser (AFA).

Richard Paynter

Richard PaynterGradDipBusStudies(Personal Financial Planning), , AFA, , , B.Com (Economics), BA (Classical Studies),  Dip Teach (Secondary)

Richard was educated at Christchurch Boys High School before attending Canterbury University. He joined the Milestone team in September 2006, initially as a para-planner then as a financial planner.

Richard has worked in a variety of industries both here and overseas. In the UK he worked in the hospitality industry for four years before returning to New Zealand where he completed his Diploma of Teaching in 1998. This followed by one year post teaching Economics and Social Studies at New Plymouth Girls’ High School. He realised during this time that although passionate about financial education, classroom teaching was not to be his ideal career path. The teaching experience helped him develop organisation, presentation, and relationship skills. The most important lessons to be gained from the teaching experience were the realisation that to provide effective education you must take a bottom-up approach rather than assuming a level of pre-existing knowledge, and that any student has as much to teach you as you have to teach them.

After marrying Heather, Richard moved to Wellington where he took a role in international banking with the ANZ. This involved the liaison between personal and corporate clients, foreign exchange traders and other international banks to coordinate the transfer of currency into New Zealand. In May 2001, Richard moved back to London where he held positions with both Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston. These roles were involved in investigations, client liaison, reconciliations and the settlement of OTC derivatives transactions.

Richard returned to New Zealand in 2004 where he was fortunate enough to spend two years as a Home-Dad to his twin children Ruby & James. He used this time to study toward a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Studies (endorsed in Personal Financial Planning) from Massey University which was completed in 2008. He also did volunteer work as a budget adviser with the Christchurch Budget Service. Richard’s education and his diversified career path, working in several industries and different countries, have provided him with a broad and deep financial knowledge base.

His teaching experience has strengthened his relationship and education skills. Richard is passionate about financial education and assisting people to realise their financial goals. Richard is also a trainer and assessor for the NZQA National Certificate in Financial Services through the Strategi Institute, which is a delegated assessment organisation (DAO). Richard is registered and is an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA). Outside of work he likes to spend as much time with Heather and their three children. When time is available he also plays hockey, mountain bikes, runs long-distance, reads, listens to music and catches up with friends. Richard is an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA).


Paul RobertsonPaul Robertson

B.Arts (Economics and Sociology)

Paul or “Robbie” as he is affectionately known attended Xavier College before completing his degree at Canterbury University. He has over 30 years experience in financial services.

He started work as a civil servant with the Forest Service and then with the Department of Education in accounting roles and latterly doing feasibility studies for building and development projects for growing school rolls. After three years working holiday, mainly in London, Paul returned to Canterbury and took up credit and accounting management roles with AGC Finance for 20 years. He joined Richard Holden at Caledonian Financial Services in 1993 as a financial adviser continuing on with him into Milestone. With his background experience he focuses on diversified fixed interest portfolios as well as property investments. This makes his off balance sheet insights very useful.

Paul is married to Alison and they have three sons, Iain, Ben and Cameron. While Iain has been a member of the Canterbury Cricket squad Paul has represented Canterbury rugby at colts level and was part of a South Island Marist squad. A Marist stalwart “Robbie” played club rugby beyond the age limits of most and took up coaching in his late thirties. He loves all sport and is an avid rugby and cricket supporter.

“Robbie” builds strong relationships with his clients taking the time to get to know their situation and being meticulous on the detail. Paul is a Registered Financial Adviser (RFA).

Melissa Allen

AFA, GradDipBusStudies (Finance), BA (German, History)
20161115 Melissa-540Melissa was raised on a farm just out of Dannevirke, and came to Christchurch to attend Canterbury University.  Melissa worked for ANZ National Bank for 6 years before starting her family with husband Peter.  She joined the Milestone team in September 2013, initially as a para-planner while continuing her study.  She is now an Authorised Financial Adviser.

Between various bank roles and working for Milestone, Melissa has over 9 years experience in the financial services industry.  Her work experience with the Bank ranged from face to face customer service through sales and mortgage support, to portfolio management for Private Banking.  This placed her in the ideal position to transition to an Authorised Financial Adviser role.

During maternity leave Melissa continued working towards her Graduate Diploma in Business Studies through Massey University.  This was completed in 2014.  Before returning to a financial services role Melissa taught Ballet part time to young aspiring ballerinas and continues to enjoy dance in her spare time.   
Other hobbies include knitting, yoga, reading and spending as much time as possible with her husband and two daughters.
Melissa is an Authorised Financial Adviser.
Email Melissa Allen