Our Team

Run by partners with many years combined experience in financial planning and wealth management.

Highwood team members share the same ethos of trust, honesty and transparency and bring solid market experience with unparalleled service skills.

The Partners and Advisers of the firm enjoy the support of a long-standing, loyal and knowledgeable Admin team, totally dedicated to providing the best possible service to clients and creating a positive customer experience.

Michael Gould

Michael Gould

Michael joined the Financial Services industry in February 1988. He started with a major Insurance company before moving to Guardian Royal Exchange in October 1991 to develop their adviser office in North West London. Michael was a founding Partner of Highwood in December 1992.

Michael has been advising clients on all aspects of wealth management and has over three decades of experience. He specialises in working with high net worth clients and helping them to manage their investments. Much of Michael’s time is spent with our professional Partners with whom we work closely to provide financial services to their clients, assisting many firms of accountants and solicitors in complex areas of tax and investment planning.

Michael is often invited to give lectures to Directors at companies on financial planning and was instrumental in creating a series of seminars providing financial education to employees.


Dawn Herriott

Dawn Herriott

Dawn joined the Financial Services industry in 1989, working as an adviser with an Insurance Company. She then spent some time training other advisers before undertaking various roles within the Financial Services industry.

In 1999, Dawn joined Highwood to set up their mortgage desk, although she was also heavily involved in Compliance and back office administration. She became a Partner in 2002.

Dawn spends much of her time overseeing the day-to-day running of the firm and is the Compliance Officer.


John Helfgott

John Helfgott

John joined the Financial services industry in February 1989. He worked with a major insurance company for five years before joining a local IFA practice. He was headhunted to join Highwood in 1999 where he became an equity partner in early 2000.

Previous to joining the financial services industry John achieved a Honours degree in Business Management before working in the fashion industry as marketing and sales director for a wholesale retail operation.

Prior to work in mainstream industry John was employed in the ski industry and is a qualified Ski Instructor.

Within the financial services sector John is a general practitioner dealing with most aspects of Financial Planning. He believes in taking a holistic approach to client service, looking at the whole client and not concentrating on one small area of planning but the overall picture, thus working in harmony with clients and their advisers so that everyone sings off the same hymn sheet. John’s business experience enables him to have an understanding of the needs of the modern entrepreneur and their family.


Natalie Cain

Natalie Cain

Natalie has been part of the Highwood team since 2005. Having begun her financial services career in 1995 working for HSBC, Natalie brings with her a vast level of expertise. Having previously worked for the large provider Standard Life and a small discretionary investment manager Natalie has gained a broad knowledge of both the pension and investment arena.

Natalie has achieved the pinnacle of financial services qualifications as a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society. In addition Natalie is amongst a very small number of advisers who have also achieved the Chartered Financial Planner and Certified Financial Planner status.

Natalie works closely with Michael Gould as the Partner responsible for Client Services. She helps clients make important informed financial decisions with the help of long term cashflow forecasting.


Matthew Harfitt

Matthew Harfitt

Matt joined Highwood as Investment Manager in February 2010. He holds a degree in Economics and has worked in Investments since 1996. In this time he has worked as a Portfolio Manager for high net worth clients at some of the largest names in the industry, including Gartmore and Coutts & Co.

Matt is a Chartered Wealth Manager and Chartered Fellow of the CISI, the largest professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry in the UK.

At Highwood Matt is the Partner responsible for the Investment Team, overseeing asset allocation, research, fund selection, portfolio management and performance analysis.


Caroline Ashton

Caroline Ashton

Caroline started work in financial services in 1998, spending 3 years as a finance broker before joining Friends Provident to provide support services to Financial Advisers and to broaden her knowledge and experience. During this time Caroline successfully completed her initial financial planning exams and left Friends Provident when a Trainee Financial Adviser and Research analyst opportunity arose.

After working for a couple of practices and obtaining senior financial planner status, Caroline joined Highwood. She now has advanced qualifications in Tax, Trusts, Pensions and Investments and has achieved Chartered Financial Planner status, one of the highest qualifications in the financial sector. An in depth technological knowledge has enabled Caroline to work closely with clients to offer solutions carefully tailored to their requirements.


Paul Racibowski

Paul Racibowski

Paul joined the banking industry in September 1969, working for 10 years with Lloyds Bank. He then joined what was then Hambro Life Assurance. After a year he was asked to front a new insurance brokerage in Swindon and became a sales consultant for Sun Life Assurance. He became one of the first consultants to introduce Small Self-administered Pension Schemes to Financial Advisers and won a Consultant of the Year accolade.

Paul joined Highwood late in 1997 as a sales associate, already having qualified as a Financial Adviser, and became further qualified with the Advanced Financial Planning Certificate pensions module.

He develops his own client base within Highwood and also assists the Partners with their clients.



My accountant recommended that I should take advice from a different independent financial advisor four years ago, as my investments were scattered and not especially tax efficient.  They recommended I meet Highwood.

I met Michael Gould of Highwood at my accountants office in 2013 and quickly realised that I should appoint them.  I gave them details of all my assets and they took approximately a month to prepare a thorough written investment report which we followed up with a further meeting. On their advice I gradually changed various holdings including organising my SIPP and setting up Educational trusts for my grandchildren etc.

I have been very impressed after three years with the performance of my portfolio and especially the efficient quiet way that they have responded to my requests. I now have an annual meeting with Highwood to receive a written report and in the Interim they deal with my requests quickly and efficiently in correspondence and by phone. All the team at Highwood appear to be very professional and I have no hesitation in recommending them

David Cons FRICS

Michael’s presentation at the Moor Park Business Club was top class. Apart from my own views, I sat next to an IFA who was nodding all the way through your talk and commented on the excellent manner it was given. He said that he witnesses many similar presentations on similar topics but this had been the best ever witnessed.

As well as coaching individuals in Public Speaking, with an emphasis on Wedding Speeches, I work as an examiner/assessor for a Qualifications Awarding Organisation – English Speaking Board (ESB). As such I travel around the country assessing people giving presentations with view to them acquiring a professional qualification in Communication Skills. Had I been assessing you today there is no doubt you would have achieved a ‘Distinction’ in the ESB Award in Professional Presentation Skills which is at Degree level. Everything about it was excellent. I wish more people could communicate in such a professional manner as you did earlier today.

Graham Le-Gall
Specialist Wedding Speech Coach