Milestone Financial Southern

We have a team of four advisers and six support staff operating out of Christchurch and Queenstown offices.

Our motto is to put our clients and potential clients in control of their financial life, through an advice process that engages, educates, and empowers them.

Where we give advice on financial products it is the advice process that determines what is needed, when it is needed and the reasons for having them.

We have developed a software tool that allows clients to simulate financial possibilities and arrive at the option that is most likely to provide the best outcome.

While we may help clients implement solutions with financial products, we recognise that some clients will want to do this themselves. We act as your trusted guide on the journey of fulfilling your dreams.

Contact us


Office: Level 1, 322 Manchester Street
Christchurch 8013
Postal: PO Box 21-323
Christchurch 8143

Telephone: (03) 964 6082
Fax: (03) 962 2992

Email Christchurch


Office: Level 2, 13 Camp Street
Queenstown 9300
Postal: PO Box 1651
Queenstown 9348

Telephone: (03) 442 9276

Email Queenstown

Milestone Financial Services (Southern) Ltd FSP35702 is a licensed Financial Advice Provider issued by the Financial Markets Authority to provide financial advice. This includes:

Retirement planning, investment advice, DIMS, pension transfers, Australian Superannuation transfers, KiwiSaver, cash management, business insurance planning, personal risk and health insurance.

  • For investments and KiwiSaver we work with a broad range of providers offering different solutions to meet your needs
  • Discretionary Investment Management Service (DIMS) is a service where you decide on the overall investment strategy, we make the decisions as to the investment mix to meet this strategy
  • For pension transfers we use iSelect and Booster
  • For Australian Superannuation transfers we use KiwiSaver providers
  • For Business Insurance we work with AIA, Asteron, Chubb, Fidelity, Partners Life and Resolution Life
  • For personal risk Insurances we work with AIA, Asteron, Chubb, Fidelity, Partners Life and Resolution Life
  • For health insurance we work with AIA, NIB, Southern Cross

Melissa Allen

More about Melissa - Director / Financial Adviser

Based on a farm just out of Dannevirke, Melissa has called Canterbury home since coming here for university. Now, she helps improve the financial confidence of her clients, no matter their stage in life.

With a background in banking and investment, she's had roles in everything from customer service through sales and mortgage support, to portfolio management for private banking roles that have equipped her with the ability to deal with any kind of client and help them find a way to achieve their goals.

She joined the Milestone Southern team in September 2013, initially as a para-planner while continuing her studies in Finance. She is now a Financial Adviser, helping guide people along their financial journey and achieve financial confidence.

When not at Milestone, you'll find Melissa spending as much time as possible with husband Peter and their two daughters.

Richard Paynter

More about Richard - Director / Financial Adviser

His background in education, finance, and banking give a strong basis for the interactive style of financial planning Richard engages in with clients.

Richard views financial planning as a journey to be embarked on. The skills gained from his time as a classroom teacher and working in banking - both in New Zealand and the UK - he now applies in the advice process. Richard is passionate about engaging in financial education and literacy.

Outside of work, Richard's usually busy with wife Heather and their three children, or playing hockey, mountain biking, running, reading, or listening to music.

Gerard Grant

More about Gerard - Director / Financial Adviser

Coming from a wine industry background, this experience has ranged both internationally and here at home. After working in account management for a UK firm to Global Sales Manager for an Australian wine company, Gerard went on to develop his wine distribution business to a leading Australian supermarket group.

With years of first-hand knowledge and his industry training Gerard understands the priorities of both large corporates and SMEs. He can quickly cut to the chase and address any past, present and future issues facing the business owner.
Be it for these companies or personal clients Gerard's ethos is simple but effective, flexible but focused. He knows it's his job to facilitate a clear understanding of all pertinent issues facing the business owner and the household; ensuring clients are fully aware and empowered in their decision-making. Only then, working together, can he provide direction through the many steps it takes to achieve their financial goals.
It's about putting in the hard work before small problems become big challenges.
Away from the busy days, Gerard stays active with running and swimming and with a keen interest in sports administration, particularly rugby. Married to Michelle, and with four children, he is happily looking forward to their successful futures also.

George Hill

More about George - Financial Adviser

A focus on assisting people in building their long-term wealth introduced George to the financial services industry in 1988, as a superannuation consultant for the MFL Mutual Fund.

Born and bred in Canterbury, George has spent all but five years of his life supporting Canterbury locals and businesses. He became part of the Milestone Group in 2012, specialising in consulting on all aspects of KiwiSaver.

Committed to building long-term relationships with his clients, George guides people through all areas of their financial needs and, most importantly, helps them achieve their goals. He is a firm believer in the building of a client's wealth and future security, thus encouraging and ensuring a fruitful retirement.
When not at the office, you'll likely find George out running - he's even achieved three Canterbury titles as a senior. The rest of the time, he's usually enjoying the company of his partner Jill, and stepchildren Steph and Jamie.

Richard Habergham

More about Richard - Adviser Associate

Richard recently emigrated to NZ from the UK.  After working for a large global bank for 8 years he moved into a boutique independent financial advice and planning company, becoming qualified to provide advice in the UK and taking an interest in life centred financial planning, combining a Life Coach, Financial Planner and Financial Adviser.

To be closer to family in North Canterbury he moved to New Zealand with his Kiwi wife and young daughter in 2023, joining Milestone whilst qualifying as an adviser in New Zealand.  Richard is passionate about changing lives through the successful delivery of proper Financial Planning.  When not working he can be found enjoying life with his wife and young family whilst squeezing in some DIY and gardening (and if he is very lucky), some time in his garage gym.

Anthony Berry

More about Anthony - Practice Manager

Anthony has been with Milestone Southern since 2022, coming from a banking and regulatory background.  Anthony manages the day-to-day operations of the Milestone office, along with HR and finance responsibilities.  Outside work Anthony is part of a 90-member choir - The Vocal Collective and enjoys rehearsing and performing in Christchurch and around New Zealand on a regular basis.  A highlight was a 2019 tour of Washington DC and New York, where he performed at Carnegie Hall.


Sonya Sommerfeld

More about Sonya - Administration / Adviser Support

Sonya has been a part of the Milestone team since 2020 and provides advisor support to Richard Paynter and Gerard Grant.  She has many years of experience in working in administration and customer service.

On a personal level, Sonya enjoys a variety of music genres and loves going to live gigs. She also has a love of sport which includes watching it, managing sports teams, and playing.

To relax, Sonya loves immersing herself in a good book and spending time with her friends and family, but her biggest passion is being a mum to her two beautiful children which keeps her very busy.

Lyn Kleiven

More about Lyn - Adviser Support

Lyn has been with Milestone Southern since 2018, from a background in banking and insurance.  She provides Insurance support to Gerard Grant and helps to liaise between him, insurance providers, and our clients to make sure processes are as timely and stress-free as possible. 

Lyn’s passions in life are spending time with family especially grandchildren, reading books, gardening, and quilting/handcrafts.

Carla Fisher

More about Carla - Compliance Officer / Adviser Support

Carla is originally from Invercargill and began working in the finance industry in 2000 with Bennett & Associates Limited before moving to work in the Queenstown office in 2007. Carla has been a part of the Milestone team since 2020 and provides advisor support to Richard Paynter and Melissa Allen.

Outside of work Carla is a Station Officer and Training Co-ordinator for the Queenstown Volunteer Fire Brigade and has been an active member since 2010.

Carla enjoys the many walks around the Queenstown basin, water sports, biking, boxing, travelling, and spending quality time with friends and family.


Joy le Roux

More about Joy - Administration / Adviser Support

Joy is the friendly face you see at reception as you enter the Milestone Christchurch office. She also provides advisor support to Melissa Allen. Joy has a background in data analysis and loves a good spreadsheet!  

She volunteers her time at a variety of organisations throughout Christchurch and is a keen Bridge player. Joy is an aviation enthusiast and enjoys travelling throughout the country to watch airshows and visit museums.

Ricky Bennett

More about Ricky - Director

Having worked in the financial advisory sector for over three decades, Ricky is one of the industry's most recognisable figures.

Ricky was a founding member of Bennetts Financial Services Ltd, where he was awarded NZ Financial Planner of the year in 2003. His contribution to the industry is far reaching, having served on many financial services committees.

Ricky retired from giving financial advice in 2022 and continues to serve Milestone as a Director on the Milestone Southern Board.

Ricky places importance on family and community and enjoys many outdoor leisure pursuits in his spare time.

Richard Holden

More about Richard - Financial Adviser

Back in 1997, Richard started a financial planning business which ultimately evolved into Milestone Financial Services (Southern) Limited.

After over 40 years in the industry, Richard retired from giving financial advice in 2023. Richard keeps up to date with the industry and so can step in as a locum when needed. Richard's many years of experience make him an excellent resource and mentor for the Southern team to consult with.


Duties and Standards

Milestone Financial, and anyone who gives financial advice on our behalf, have duties under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 relating to the way that we give advice. We are required to:

  • meet the standards of competence, knowledge, and skill set out in the Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services (Code of Conduct), which form part of the wider regulatory regime for financial advice and ensure we have the expertise necessary to provide you with advice; and
  • give priority to your interests by taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the advice given to you is not materially influenced by our own interests or the interests of any other person connected with the giving of advice; and
  • exercise care, diligence, and skill that a prudent person engaged in the occupation of giving related financial advice would in the same circumstances; and
  • meet the standards of ethical behaviour, conduct, and client care set out in the Code of Conduct, to treat you as we should and to provide you with suitable advice.

This is only a summary of the duties that we have. More information is available by contacting us, or by visiting

Fees or Expenses

Your initial consultation is always free of charge.

Once we have an understanding of your situation and agree on the nature and scope of the relationship, there may be a fee for advice, this is situational dependant and will be disclosed prior to work being carried out. This may be set at a pre agreed fixed price or charged at an hourly rate as agreed by both parties, payable on receipt of invoice.

Depending on what you choose to implement there will be other on going fees or costs these will be disclosed at the time.

Material Conflicts of Interest

Milestone Financial Services (Southern) Limited may receive commissions from the providers on whose products we give financial advice. This can impact insurance and certain investment products including KiwiSaver. The amount of commission is based on the insurance premium or investment balance. Commission amounts will be disclosed prior to any business being placed.

To ensure that our financial advisers prioritise client's interests above their own, we follow an advice process that ensures our recommendations are made based on client's goals and circumstances. All our financial advisers undergo training around managing conflicts of interest. We undertake a compliance audit, and a review of our compliance programme biennially by a reputable independent compliance consultant.

We maintain registers of conflicts of interests and the gifts and incentives we receive. These registers are monitored regularly, and additional training is provided as required.

Complaints Handling and Disputes Resolution

If you are not satisfied with our financial advice service, you can make a complaint by emailing calling 03 964 6082 or our free phone number 0508 964 608 or you can write to us at PO Box 21 323, Christchurch, 8143.

When we receive a complaint, we will follow our internal complaints process:

  • We will consider your complaint and let you know how we intend to resolve it within two working days. Your adviser may be in contact with you to gather more information on the situation.
  • We aim to come to a resolution within 10 working days of receiving a complaint. If this is not possible, we will contact you within the time to advise of the new time frame.
  • Contact will be made via phone or email to let you know whether we can resolve and what we propose as the resolution.

If your adviser cannot resolve the complaint, we have an internal complaints team. You can contact them by post to Milestone Complaints Committee, PO Box 21-323, Christchurch 8143 or email Their process is similar to the above.

If a resolution cannot be reached or you are not satisfied with the way we propose to do so, you can contact our Disputes Resolution Scheme, The Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO).

The IFSO provide a free, independent dispute resolution service that may help investigate or resolve your complaint if we haven't been able to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. You can contact them here PO Box 10-845 Wellington 6143, on 0800 888 202, email or their website