Meet the Team

Chris MacKay – BCA, CLU, CFPCM, Fellow Financial Advice NZ.

Managing Director
Financial Adviser – FSP No. 26122

Chris MacKay is the Managing Director of Chris MacKay Financial Planning Ltd (CMFP) trading as MacKay Financial Advice and Solutions (MFAS) and is well qualified in all areas of providing financial advice. He graduated with a BCA in 1976 with a major in Tax, Trusts and Estate Planning at Victoria University, Wellington. He has been an insurance and investment adviser since 1976 and has had over 40 years’ experience in financial planning and advice. Chris completed the certificate in Life Assurance in 1979 and the NZ Diploma in Life Assurance in 1980. Subsequently, he qualified by examination to be a Member of the NZ Institute of Chartered Insurance and Investment Advisers and is entitled to use the distinctive title and designation CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), the pinnacle of professional attainment for insurance advisers around the world.

In 1992 he was admitted as a Member of the Register of Investment Advisers and Financial Planners. In 1997 Chris became an inaugural CFP (Certified Financial Planner) practitioner, the leading designation for an investment adviser.

He was the first New Zealander to hold both the CFP and CLU designations. Under the old regulatory regime, he had qualified in 2011 as an Authorised Financial Adviser.

He is a Fellow of Financial Advice New Zealand and has been a member of this new organisation or its predecessors since 1977.

He is a Qualifying and Life Member of the international Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) since 1980, and an MDRT Top of the Table and Court of the Table member on a number of occasions. The MDRT, the Premier Association of Financial Professionals, is a global independent association of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals. Chris is also a current member and past president of the TripleA Advisors Association.

Chris also holds the National Certificate in Financial Services – endorsed in Investment advice, Insurance advice and Residential Mortgage Lending advice.

As one of the country’s leading Financial Advisers, Chris has spoken to and debated for industry groups, seminars, service clubs and the media in N.Z., Australia, U.K, Canada, Europe and the USA.

He is a former Hutt City Councillor, served 10 years as a Trustee for the Te Omanga Hospice Foundation and was a Rotarian for over 20 years. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand in 1992. He is married to Kathryn, has three adult children and has lived in Woburn, Lower Hutt all his life.

Blair Bennett – MBS, Dip. Bus & Admin, F Fin, Dip. Banking

Financial Adviser – FSP No. 28641
Contractor to CMFP

Blair joined MFAS as a Financial Adviser in 2010. He has over 30 years experience in the financial services’ industry and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. He is also a member of Financial Advice New Zealand and the TripleA Advisors Association.

Blair holds a Masters Degree in Business Studies and under the old regulatory regime, in 2011 he had qualified to be an Authorised Financial Adviser. He holds the National Certificate in Financial Services endorsed in Investment advice, Insurance advice and Residential Mortgage Lending advice.

Chris Cornford

Financial Adviser – FSP No. 49821
Contractor to CMFP

Chris joined MFAS as a Financial Adviser in 2011. He previously worked for a financial advisory company for almost 4 years, and 18 months before that, as a risk management consultant for an insurance brokerage firm. Prior to joining the financial services’ industry Chris enjoyed over 30 years in sales and customer service roles in a variety of market sectors, including running his own business.

Under the old regulatory regime, in 2011 he had qualified to be an Authorised Financial Adviser.

A member of Financial Advice New Zealand & TripleA Advisers’ Association, Chris also holds the National Certificate in Financial Services endorsed in Investment advice & Insurance advice.

George MacKay

Financial Adviser – FSP No. 538967

George joined MFAS early in 2016. He previously had an eight-year career in the plumbing industry, latterly as a key account manager.

Under the old regulatory regime, in 2019 he had qualified to be an Authorised Financial Adviser.

George has completed a National Certificate in Financial Services (level 5) endorsed in Investment advice and Insurance advice. He is a member of the Triple A Advisers’ Association, and also is an Associate Member of Financial Advice New Zealand.

George provides insurance advice and “class advice” on KiwiSaver plans.

George has lived in the Hutt Valley all his life and he and his partner Hayley have a young family. When he has time, he is also interested in local body politics.

Bridget Hawkins – Manager, Insurance Services

Bridget worked for the company from 1990 to 2004. After spending time at home with her children, she returned in 2009. Bridget has vast experience in all aspects of the industry.

In her spare time Bridget and her family have discovered a passion for squash, both competitive and recreational.

Maria Biedermann – Administration Assistant

Maria joined the team at MFAS in August 2013. Prior to joining the team, Maria lived in Australia working in the health care industry as a carer assisting the elderly. After returning to New Zealand in 2011, she studied Business Administration at Weltec.

In her role as Administration Assistant, Maria is primarily responsible for the day-to-day office administration, as well as providing secretarial assistance to Chris MacKay. Additionally, Maria is responsible for the KiwiSaver administration process, maintaining regular contact between the Advisers and our clients; and managing all client databases ensuring they’re up to date and accurate.

Maria is reacquainting herself with her passion for painting, and loves spending time with her three children, extended family and good friends.

Kathryn MacKay – BA, Dip Tchg

Chief Advisory Officer

Kathryn is our longest serving employee apart from Chris. She is CAO and assists with public relations, special projects and some research initiatives for the Company. She is on the Advisory Board and coordinates future strategic direction for the company.

Dawn Becker – ACA, BCA, Grad Dip Sci (Psy), Dip H Psy

Dawn is one of the new kids on the block having been with MFAS since October 2015. Dawn has a strong financial accounting background, and brings a wealth of experience having worked in the Health and Human Resources Industries. She gained her accounting degree at Victoria University, and has most recently worked for a Chartered Accountancy practice.

To satisfy her desire for learning, Dawn also recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Science majoring in Psychology.

Dawn is the go-to person for any Financial and Office Management queries.

Dawn always brings a warm sense of humour and a smile to the office. Her favourite past times include being active and spending time with friends and family.

Tania Meehan – Client Relationship Manager

Tania was born and raised in the ‘South Island’, she retains close links to her place of origin. She joined MFAS in the later part of 2018 and is our resident Client Relationship Manager, Investments and Compliance.

Tania brings a breadth of knowledge to MacKays and her sunny disposition greets you from the get-go. She is extremely adept and has always enjoyed building and nurturing long term relationships. Whether a client or colleague, she maintains her ‘can-do’ attitude.

She has considerable experience in the financial planning industry, investments, insurance and mortgage sectors. Tania enjoys being part of a team that delivers a personal and holistic approach to every individual and seeing the benefits of this.

She is however, a little outnumbered in her household with her three boys, her husband and a male tabby cat. Conversations can be, a little ‘one sided’ but this keeps her on ‘her toes’.

Hayley Bird – Administration Assistant

Hayley joined us in 2018. Prior to that, she had worked in retail for over 10 years.

Hayley assists all the team with various administration tasks. She and her partner George have three young daughters which keep them both very busy while not at work.