Our Story



How Simonne Gnessen has changed the financial services landscape


You could be forgiven for not realising just how rare the concept of financial coaching was twenty one years ago.

That was when Wise Monkey founder Simonne Gnessen first identified the need for a much more person-centred approach to financial guidance. Indeed, her pioneering work has undoubtedly played a huge part in shaping that landscape.


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Simonne passionately believes you can help people improve their lives by improving their
relationship with money; and that these changes can have far reaching effects going beyond the parameters of the financial.


She always has done.



Something was missing


Starting her career working as a financial adviser, to begin with, Simonne thought she'd found her ideal job.

But quickly she noticed she was working differently from her colleagues. Clients valued the¬†way she took time to¬†deeply listen and understand what was profoundly important to them; often with a box of tissues to hand ‚Äď as out poured people‚Äôs intense emotions around money.

She became increasingly frustrated that the industry focussed primarily on clients who had already accumulated wealth.  And that clients' emotional relationship with money was mostly ignored.

Simonne realised there was a huge void where help for ordinary people should be.

She could see how often people felt confused and isolated around money issues. Many needed guidance and support, but were not necessarily in need of any financial product. And so Simonne decided she needed to move away completely from product recommendations and the narrow focus of the then-traditional financial services industry.


‚ÄúI went in search of a company that matched my ethos and ideals; it didn‚Äôt exist. So I had to create it.‚ÄĚ

Simonne Gnessen - Founder, Coach, Trainer


Wise Monkey Financial Coaching is born


Simonne combined her two passions ‚Äď personal finance and personal development ‚Äď in a new and powerful way.

By following her own course and intuition, she had, almost unwittingly, started a financial services offering that was the first of its kind: Wise Monkey Financial Coaching.

It began with a mission, which still drives her forward to this day, to:

  • Demystify the world of finance.
  • Relieve stress relating to financial worries.
  • Help¬†clients use their resources effectively so that they can reach their highest aspirations in life.


Client enquiries seemed to flow easily and effortlessly, aided by increasing interest and coverage in the media.

And Simonne loved her work.


Check out Simonne's website

Breaking new territory


Her processes deepened. She quickly learnt that simple, practical solutions were rarely what was needed to change a client’s course. She trained and mastered skills and techniques to help her clients' work through their emotional relationship with money.

Deeper work was needed to deal with her clients' concerns. 

Questions like, how can I stop feeling anxious or stressed whenever I think or talk about money? How can I stop sabotaging myself, and feel more ‚Äėgrown-up‚Äô around my finances?

Alongside her client work, Simonne co authored the book Sheconomics with Professor of Psychology, Karen Pine. This book, aimed specifically at women, also widened Wise Monkey’s reach.

Simonne is continually learning, and training herself. Tools and techniques are constantly being updated, introduced into her work and shared with her community. 

Time and again, she discovers how financial issues can be a lens through which to address deeper concerns.


‚ÄúSimonne is a rare find - a holistic financial coach, who can crunch numbers with you, while also getting under the hood and doing deep work.¬†She's helping me change my relationship with money, and in effect, my relationship with my ability to build my own life.‚ÄĚ



Wise Monkey's Financial Coach Practitioner Certificate Training is launched


To date, Simonne has spent many years working with individuals and couples to transform how they think and feel about money, and so transform their lives.

But she gradually realised she couldn’t do all the work that came her way.

And so, Wise Monkey's Financial Coach Practitioner Training was born: a training programme which Simonne still runs, alongside her growing training team.

Over the years the training has developed into a 10-week programme; with 54 hours of live online training sessions, plus a blended learning experience involving at least 14 hours of self study and practise coaching sessions. Participants also have access to an online training platform to run alongside the live training sessions, with a huge range of content, videos and downloadable resources.


“Through our training courses, I am passing on my inspiration, skills and tried and tested methodologies, so this work can potentially reach so many more people", says Simonne.


“Simonne has a quiet warmth and authority and ran our training with such skill and attention to detail that I quickly felt inspired and safe to do much more challenging work than I imagined myself capable of. She is a truly gifted teacher and her passion for her work is infectious."



"If this approach can be integrated into financial advising, it could bring about a paradigm shift in the way we think and work with finances, helping to change the face of financial services for the future.‚ÄĚ


A thriving, professional community


And there’s more.

After completing the Wise Monkey training programme, alumni carry their work out into the world through their own practices.

But Simonne, and her team, also now offer membership in an ongoing Wise Monkey community ‚Äď a thriving hub, where the ethos is to offer a welcoming and supportive, peer-led environment where all members can continually develop their skills together and on an on-going basis.

All alumni are free to display a badge, showing their alignment with the Wise Monkey Code of Ethics.


"I still run my own full practice as a financial coach, as well as constantly evolving our training," says Simonne.


She remains as passionate to this day about the pioneering practice of financial coaching that she herself, arguably, first created.




Become a Financial Coach

Our live online Financial Coach Practitioner Certificate Training is the leading financial coach training in the UK.


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Our Code of Ethics

The Wise Monkey Community consists of a group of independent coaches trained through Wise Monkey's Financial Coach Practitioner Certificate programme. Our Code of Ethics guide our standards of behaviour, and inform our decision-making.


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Our Training Team

Learn more about each of the members of the growing Wise Monkey Training Team.


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Questions about becoming a financial coach?

Once you register your interest in our trainings (obligation free), we can schedule a free consultation call with Wise Monkey Financial Coaching founder, Simonne Gnessen. She'll talk you through everything you need to know about our training programmes and answer all your questions.


Register for a call

Wise Monkey Financial Coaching Ltd is registered as a company in England and Wales.
Registration number: 06943759. Registered office: Preston Park House, South Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 6SB.
VAT Number: 340 5483 16