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Tel: 01323 441788



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Our People

Our people are very important to us, as is making certain we provide you with the best possible professional financial advice. Below is a short biography for each of our colleagues together with their contact telephone number. For further contact details please see our "Contact Us" page.

Tel. 01323 441788
Karl is a Chartered Wealth Manager, Chartered FCSI, Chartered Marketer, Certified Financial Planner and a Chartered Manager.

Karl Hopper-Young has 36 years experience within financial services, prior to which he served just over 6 years in the British Army.

He has an impressive amount of knowledge and experience within the financial services profession.

Initially as an adviser, having spent time in training, product development, marketing and ultimately as a senior manager responsible for a large region from Devon to East Anglia of financial advisers based in the South East of England for a large well known life office.

Karl was a fellow of the Life Insurance Association by diploma and has held various positions, including Chairman of the Management Development Association for Sussex and Surrey.
He was a founder member of the Society of Financial Advisers, for which he was an Associate and was Regional Coordinator for the South of England for several years. The Society of Financial Advisers was the financial services arm of the Chartered Insurance Institute, now the Personal Finance Society of which he is a fellow (FPFS) and in December 2005 he became a Chartered Financial Planner. He has also chaired the Institute of Financial Planning's Kent and Sussex region and is a qualified member holding the Certified Financial Planner qualification, which is an internationally recognised qualification and acknowledged as the pinnacle of financial planning and advice within the profession. Karl has spent, over the years, a considerable amount of time training within the profession and was involved in the Chartered Insurance Institute putting together the questions for the industry benchmark examination (The Financial Planning Certificate) and was heavily involved in the syllabus of H15 (Supervision and Sales Management) advanced module.

Karl is a holder of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Advanced Certificate in Mortgage advice and Practice and as such is a Certified Mortgage Specialist. In addition, he holds the Certificate in Regulated Equity Release and is actively involved in Long Term Care planning. He is also a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and holds Chartered Marketer status. In January 2011 he was awarded Chartered Manager status. Karl has considerable experience in external assessment and verifier work and has worked with a considerable number of public and private sector organisations where he has developed wide and varied management experience. He holds an MSc Marketing Degree course at Leicester University (2003) and an MSc in Financial Planning from Manchester Metropolitan University (2019). He was instrumental in obtaining Chartered Status for the Firm (June 2007).
In September 2008 Standards International certified Karl to the ISO 22222 Personal Financial Planning standard. Standards International is accredited by UKAS. The ISO 22222 standard provides an internationally agreed benchmark for personal financial services. Achieving the standard demonstrates a recognised level of competence and ethical behaviour, giving consumers confidence in the service they provide. He has also completed the Chartered Insurance Institute ISO 22222 assessors’ course.

In addition, he was Chair of The National Skills Academy – Financial Services South East Employer Board and Karl was a Director and Trustee on the National Main Board for the National Skills Academy - Financial Services where he served nine and a half years. He left as Chair of Risk Audit and Finance where he also had the privilege of working with Anthony Thomson - Founder of Metro Bank, Omar Ali - Managing Partner EY, Jane Masen – Former Director State Street, Dorian Drew – Partner Clifford Chance, Jacquline Davis - Former Director of the FCA and Craig Errington – Chief Executive Wesleyan, Andrew Fisher – Former Chair Towry among others. The National Skills Academy was established by the Financial Services Skills Council in late 2006. The Financial Services Skills Council is an independent, employer-led organisation, established in 2004 to provide strategic leadership for education, training and skills development for financial services, and more recently accountancy and finance across the UK. Karl was involved in the working group for the Financial Services Skills Council to review National Occupational Standards (NOS) for providing Financial Advice. Karl is also a member of Resolution.
Mark Thomas BA (Econ) ACA CertPFS CeRCC
Mark Thomas BA (Econ) ACA CertPFS CeRCC, Taxation Consultant
Tel. 01323 441788
Mark has 34 years experience in the accountancy and financial management field. He is an Economics Graduate of Leeds University. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1990 and after 9 years of auditing in a London practice took up senior financial management roles in the commercial sector before joining Sussex Independent.

Mark deals with a number of the compliance issues within the firm as well as the financial management and risk controls within the firm and provides clients with advice in relation to self assessment and small business accounts.

Mark was appointed a Director of the company at the beginning of 2008. Now semi-retired Mark acts as a consultant when needed.

As a younger man Mark was a keen sportsman, his sporting career peaked early when he won the Mid-Warwickshire Schools under sevens sixty yard dash. Mark is still a keen follower of sport, mainly cricket and rugby.
Robert Slaughter APFS
Robert Slaughter APFS, Director and Chartered Financial Planner
Tel. 01323 441788
Robert has over 25 years experience in the financial services industry, previously in the Wealth Management division of one of the UK’s best Private Banks and over the last 10 years as an Independent Financial Adviser for Sussex IFA Ltd.

Throughout his career Robert has gained a vast knowledge across many differing industries where he has tailored financial planning solutions for each of his clients to meet their individual needs.

Robert believes that the most important aspect of assisting his clients is the ability to listen to and understand their requirements to help them build on these aspirations, through cultivating long standing working relationships to advise them of the options available to achieve their objectives.

In an ever evolving world of financial planning keeping up to date with changes is paramount in assisting clients in managing their corporate and personal wealth to meet their goals, whatever they may be.

With his continued dedication for learning Robert has successfully achieved his Advanced Diploma in Financial Services, elevating him to become a Chartered Financial Planner.
Steve Gann Cert PFS Certs CII (MP & ER) Adv CeMAP CeRER CeRCC
Steve Gann Cert PFS Certs CII (MP & ER) Adv CeMAP CeRER CeRCC, Mortgage Adviser
Tel. 01424 442443
Steve has been in the financial services industry for over 35 years and started life at Andrews Financial Services in July 1989. He also worked for General Accident Property Services and Hambro Countrywide until the early 1990s when he joined Commercial Union Home Link trading as Agency Financial Services where he worked until 1998 and then decided the time was right to become an Independent Financial Adviser and has been with Sussex Independent ever since.
Steve has arranged a considerable number of mortgages over the years and related insurances and has a very detailed knowledge of the mortgage market. Steve is based in Hastings and looks after offices in Battle and Rye, working alongside a leading independently owned Estate Agent, Rush Witt & Wilson.

Steve holds the Financial Planning Certificate, the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice, the Certificate in Regulated Equity Release, and the Certificate in Regulated Customer Care.
Jo Johnson CeMAP CeRGI
Jo Johnson CeMAP CeRGI, Administrator
Tel. 01323 441788
Jo has worked within the financial service industry for just over 30 years. A large part of this was at Refuge Assurance dealing with administration, accounts, policy servicing and new business, as well as supporting the District Manager at the Eastbourne branch.

Thereafter Jo moved to the Co-operative Insurance Society carrying out similar work. Jo is involved in dealing with the client database, dealing with day to day administration as well as providing Illustrations for General Insurance and supporting the Admin Function in the progression of client cases.

Jo completed her Certificate In Regulated Insurance in December 2008,her Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice in July 2009 her level 3 qualification Introduction to Securities and Investments in February 2013,FA2 Pension Administration in 2014 and CF8 Long Term in 2015. Jo is an Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments.
Henry Watson DipFA CeMAP CeRER CertLTCP
Henry Watson DipFA CeMAP CeRER CertLTCP, Research & Administration Manager
Tel. 01323 441788
Henry has two years experience in the financial services industry and joined Sussex Independent after completing his Level 4 Diploma in Financial Advice with the London Institute of Banking and Finance during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously he operated as a VAT registered contractor in the construction industry for 12 years.

Currently he is studying for his level 6 Diploma in Financial Advice.

Outside of work Henry enjoys spending time with his children and is an avid cycling fan, he likes to keep up to date with regulatory developments, geopolitics and global economic activity.

Sammy Amini-Asl BA (Hons)
Sammy Amini-Asl BA (Hons), Assistant Accountant
Tel. 01323 441788
Sammy has 5 years experience in financial services and is keen to expand his experience within the sector. After previously working within accounts in the healthcare sector, Sammy is interested in gaining real world understanding of the financial sector from both the accounting perspective and financial advice.

As a graduate with a financial services degree, Sammy understands the function of money which enables him to assist clients with tax enquiries and provide a high level of support to the firm and our clients.

Sammy is currently undertaking his professional accountancy qualifications with the goal of becoming a chartered tax adviser and further strengthening his knowledge to ensure clients needs are met to the highest possible standard.

Sammy enjoys studying about the financial markets in his spare time and likes to keep up to date with financial changes and how they can affect the valuation of the market assets over time.
Thomas Fok BBA (Hons) MCSI CFP™
Thomas Fok BBA (Hons) MCSI CFP™, Paraplanner
Tel. 01323 441788
Thomas brings over 20 years’ experience within the financial services and retail banking industry, having previously worked as a financial planning manager and customer experience adviser.

Thomas is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and holds this status through the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI), a globally recognised certification in the financial planning industry. Having moved from Hong Kong two years ago, Thomas has been working in a retail bank and is keen to continue his career in the financial planning industry with a Chartered firm.

In his spare time, he enjoys watching football games and spending time with his family.
Kyle Parker CeMAP
Kyle Parker CeMAP, Mortgage Placement & Administration
Tel. 01323 441788
Kyle has 13 years experience in financial services sector. He previously worked as an adviser for 3 years, he achieved his CeMap level 3 Certificate in 2021 and is currently studying towards his level 3 Certificate in regulated equity release.

Kyle loves the great outdoors regularly camping and often found teaching Axe throwing and Archery in various forests throughout the UK, Most of his free time is spent making memories with his wife and 4-year-old son
Maria Skipper FCCA
Maria Skipper FCCA, Lead Accountant
Tel. 01323 441788
Maria attained a Diploma in accountancy studies at Brighton university and then continued to qualify as a chartered certified accountant in 2010. She became a Fellow of the ACCA in 2015.

During her career she has gained a wealth of experience by working in Accountancy Practice and Finance Management positions in industry before joining Sussex Independent in March 2024.

Prior to being an accountant Maria has also held various roles in banking, building societies and as an
Army Cadet instructor.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with friends and family.
Mike Ng BA(Hons) MSc AFP®
Mike Ng BA(Hons) MSc AFP®, Financial Planning Administrator
Tel. 01323 441788
Having relocated to the UK from Hong Kong in 2023, Mike previously spent 16½ years working in retail banking and securities & derivatives dealing in Hong Kong and some years with his family garment business across Hong Kong, Mainland China and the Middle East.

Mike previously lived and studied in the UK for 7½ years and obtained an MSc in Business Economics and a BA (Honours) in Economics. He also holds an Associate Financial Planner® status in Hong Kong and is now studying towards the Level 4 Diploma here in the UK.

Mike is a Coaching Assistant in Fitness. He loves athletics, Ving Tsun, hiking, cycling and travelling. He also enjoys studying the global economy and the stock market in his spare time.
Value Move   %     
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FTSE All Share
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United States Dollar
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Data is compiled by Adviser Portals Ltd every 60 minutes. Information is not realtime. Last updated: 21/06/2024 at 07:00 AM

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