Congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 Women in Finance Awards. The awards raked in 432 submissions across 15 categories. Through a rigorous vetting process, 119 nominees were shortlisted to compete for the title of industry leader of the year.

An independent panel of judges decided the winners two weeks before they were announced at the 2017 Women in Finance Awards on 29 June 2017. 

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Rising Star of the Year

Virgin money

Sponsored by Virgin Money

This award recognises the best and the brightest talent in the early phase of their career. Judges will be looking for nominees who have a unique and inspiring story to tell, demonstrating personal development and deeper contribution to their company and the industry.

Anoushka Babbar, Head of Regulatory Policy and Government Relations, London Stock Exchange

Lucy Emptage, eFX Trader, Natwest Markets

Srijana Gautam, Consolidation Accountant, M&G Investments

Rupal Kantaria, Social Impact Advisor, Oliver Wyman

Tori Knight, RSA

Gaia Mazzucchelli, ESG Analyst, MSCI

Androulla Soteri, Tax Development Manager, MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Joanne Vowles, Head of Communications, Charles Stanley & Co



Gaia Mazzucchelli, MSCI

Gaia Mazzucchelli stood out as the strongest candidate among an outstanding category, for her tenacious proactivity. The judges were very impressed with her groundbreaking global research, and the fact that she nominated herself.

Highly Commended:


Anoushka Babbar, London Stock Exchange Group

The judges also highly commend Anoushka Babbar from the London Stock Exchange Group for her strong track record of building networks and coaching her peers.

Advocate of the Year

Sponsored by Bloomberg

This award is open to a company or person that has gone out of its/her/his way to support the cause of getting more women promoted fairly in the last 18 months. Judges will assess the nominees’ role in establishing and developing initiatives and training schemes and its impact on, and integration with, the business.

Anthony Baldwin, AIG Europe

Andrew Bester, CEO – Commercial Banking, Lloyds Banking Group

Emma Flaherty, Founder, MoneyGirl

Carolin Gabor, Managing Director, FinLeap & Fintech Ladies Europe

Peter Harrison, Group CEO, Schroders

Alison Hepburn, Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Clare Jupp, People Development Director, Brightstar Financial

Barbara Pozdorovkina, Head of Corporate Development & Marketing, LMAX Exchange

Nikki Short, Associate Director, RBS

Rafael Campos Valdez, Manager – Diversity & Inclusion, TSB (at the time of nomination)



Andrew Bester, Lloyds Banking Group

The judges were impressed with Andrew Bester’s dedication towards diversity and inclusion at all levels of the bank. Under his leadership, Lloyds Bank is now on track to reach its 2020 commitment of 40 per cent of women in senior roles.

Highly Commended:


Alison Hepburn, Columbia Threadneedle

The judges also highly commend Alison Hepburn for her relentless work at Columbia Threadneedle, advocating for peer learning and mentoring, as well as flexible working across the company.

CFO of the Year

Growth Business

Presented by GrowthBusiness.co.uk

This award is open to chief financial officers who have proven to be strategic visionaries for the business. The winner of this category will have contributed to delivering financial growth during the past year, demonstrated success in overcoming significant business challenges or barriers, and shown examples of team leadership and superior management.

Alison Brownhill, Balderton

Maria Ferraro, Siemens UK

Lucy Greggains, Unruly

Penny Ladkin-Brand, Future Plc

Melba Mwanje, Luanda International School and Founder of SE1 United

Amelie Redon-Hoang, S4M

Carolyn Sims, Cazenove Capital Management

Fiona Tee, Currency Cloud



Carolyn Sims, Cazenove Capital Management

Carolyn Sims stood out in this category for her work as CFO in a male-dominated environment, and for actively advocating for diversity to her peers.

Specialist Investor of the Year

Sponsored by GP Bullhound

This category recognises an investor in a sector of the market other than bonds or equities, such as private equity, venture capital, business angel or investing institution, who is making stable long-term returns on their major capital investments over the past year. The winner of this award will be a role model for women in a wide range of disciplines.

Angelica Anton, SILK Ventures

Jeannie Boyle, Executive Director & Chartered Financial Planner, EQ Investors

Tracy Dorée, ‎Founding Partner, Kindred Capital

Priyanka Karunanithi, Investor, BGF Ventures

Seonaid Mackenzie, Sturgeon Ventures

Sonali de Rycker, Partner, Accel Partners



Priyanka Karunanithi, BGF Ventures

The judges unanimously found this to be one of the most exciting categories of the awards. Among a strong tranche of finalists, they were impressed with Priyanka Karunanithi’s depth of experience and her passion for paving the way for other women in venture capital.

Highly Commended:


Tracy Doree, Kindred Spirit

The judges highly commend Tracy Doree for a truly disruptive approach in challenging the heavily male VC ecosystem.

Fund Manager of the Year


 Sponsored by finnCap

Independent research reveals that only about 3 per cent of fund managers in the UK are female. This award recognises the manager who has blazed a trail for diversity in the profession. The judges are looking for a fund manager who has achieved genuine outperformance relative to peers and benchmarks over a prolonged period of time.

Claudia Calich, Fund Manager – Head of Emerging Markets Debt, M&G Investments

Johanna Kyrklund, Global Head of Multi-Asset Investment, Schroders

Lucy Macdonald, CIO Global Equities, Allianz Global Investors

Judith MacKenzie, Downing

Joanne Warner, Head of Global Resources, First State Investments

Sarah Whitley, Partner, Baillie Gifford



Claudia Calich, M&G Investments

Claudia Calich stood out in this category with strong numbers and credentials. The judges were impressed with her track record and her established name in the industry.

Wealth Management Professional of the Year

Sponsored by Schroders

This award recognises the person in the wealth management industry who has done the most, proactively, to promote diversity in the industry and to find tailored, inclusive solutions to both men and women looking for help with their personal finance.

Kirsten Boldarin, Partner – Investment Management, Stonehage Fleming

Mary-Anne Daly, Deputy CEO, Cazenove Capital Management

Stacey Parrinder-Johnson, Investec Wealth & Investment

Meena Lakshmanan, Partner and Head of Alternatives, LGT Vestra

Kitty McCormick‎, Director, Lending and Capital Management, Coutts

Sarah Soar, Head of Investment Management, JM Finn & Co.

Louise Stanway, Partner, Compliance Officer & MLRO, Ruffer

Helen Watson, CEO UK Wealth Management, Rothschild


Mary-Anne Daly, Cazenove Capital Management

The judges were impressed with Mary-Anne Daly’s commitment to hiring and mentoring talented women

Financial Adviser of the Year

Presented by What Investment

This award recognises excellence within the financial adviser community in the area of diversity, and in tailoring their solutions and products to the needs of female clients. The judges are looking for an Independent Financial Adviser who can demonstrate a track record of delivering for clients that truly add value, particularly in tough economic times.

Saika Arain, Boutique Finance

Kay Ingram, LEBC Group

Helen Jenkins, Inspiration Wealth Management

Louise Pepper, Bespoke Financial Planning

Ellen Roome, The Finance Roome

Madeleine Sunley, Blueberry Financial

Mary Waring, Wealth for Women

Mary Waring, Wealth for Women

Mary Waring was singled out for her specific understanding of not only the market but also her commitment to advising women going through a divorce. The judges were also impressed with her innovative business model that puts clients first.

Banker of the Year


Presented by The Personal Investment Management and Finacial Advice Association (PIMFA)

This award recognises influential and inspirational women in banking.  The winner will have overseen strong financial performance for her organisation over the past year and will have successfully guided the bank in the form of new best business practices, expansion into new markets, or innovation in terms of new products or services.

Julie Barnsley, Head of Private Banking, Metro Bank

Angela Chau, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial

Sophie Guibaud, VP, European Expansion, Fidor Bank

Maria Harris, Director of Retail Mortgages, Atom Bank

Sonya Iovieno, Head of Accelerator & Growth, Silicon Valley Bank

Clare Nicholls, Senior Partner, Invenio Corporate Finance

Tracie Pearce, Head of Mortgages, HSBC Bank

Rebecca Pritchard, Head of Business Banking, Triodos Bank

Maria Harris, Atom Bank

Maria Harris stood out in this highly competitive category for her genuinely disruptive approach to mortgage lending. Her work in mentoring team members and hiring for diversity singled her out for the Banker of the Year Award, as well as the scores of testimonials from clients and co-workers in praise of her hard work.

Accountancy Leader of the Year

Sponsored by Rolls-Royce

This award is open to accountants who have consistently met or exceeded challenging objectives to ensure the highest quality of provision of accountancy and related services. Judges will be looking for examples of how the nominee has contributed to delivering financial growth during the past year, and of team leadership and superior management.

Stella Amiss, International Tax Partner, PwC

Radhika Chadwick, Partner for Digital Government, EY

Faye Hall, Director, Forensic services, Smith & Williamson

Abigail Jones, Principal, HW Fisher

Heather Miller, Head of Private Client Tax, Price Bailey

Myfanwy Neville, Audit, Tax and Business Advisory Partner, BKL



Myfanwy Neville, BKL

Myfanwy Neville is a clear winner in this category. The judges were impressed by both her career success and her positive influence on the firm’s culture and values.

Insurance Leader of the Year

Voice at the Table

Supported by Voice At The Table

This award is open to the strongest senior-level contender in the insurance sector who has an outstanding track record in attracting and managing clients and bringing in successful deals. It is also open to women in senior diversity-specific roles. Judges will be looking for nominees who have demonstrated exceptional leadership.

Debbie Cannon, Personal Injury Claims Handler, LV= Insurance

Carol Geldard, Personal Lines Director, Covéa Insurance

Hayley Golden, ‎UK Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing Manager, ‎Zurich Insurance Company

Nicole Jones, Chief of Staff, Prudential UK & Europe

Mandy Martin, Head of Strategy & Business Development, Unum

Pauline Miller, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Lloyd’s of London

Julie Page, CEO, Aon Risk Solutions

Stephanie Smith, COO, Allianz

Debbie Cannon, LV=

Debbie Cannon takes the title of Insurance Leader of the Year for her truly inspiring journey, her compellingly honest story, and for standing up as a role model to other women in the sector.

Highly Commended:
Stephanie Smith, Allianz

The judges highly commend Stephanie Smith from Allianz for her commitments to wider diversity and using her senior role to inspire and push other women forward.

Legal Adviser of the Year

Presented by Elaine Aarons, Withers, One Loud Voice for Women

This category celebrates the corporate lawyers that have broken barriers to advancement and carved out a niche for themselves in finance, as well as paving the way for diversity within their firms. Judges will be looking for those who have demonstrated a significant positive contribution to the development, enhancement or success of their employer through innovative practice measures or pro bono work.

Rebecca Dury, Partner, Corporate, Ashfords

Lesley Gregory, Chair, Memery Crystal

Karen Holden, Director, A City Law Firm

Leigh Kirkpatrick, Legal Counsel, RBS

Andrea McIlroy-Rose, Partner – Head of Retail Property and Chair of Female Futures, Pinsent Masons

Nell Scott, Partner, London office Diversity & Inclusion Chair, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Caroline Sherrington, Senior Counsel, Ignition Law

Leigh Kirkpatrick, RBS

Leigh Kirkpatrick stood out for her work on the First Steps programme and Lawyers in Schools programme with secondary school students. As a true mentor, she impressed the judges with her work beyond office hours.

Highly Commended:
Karen Holden, A City Law Firm

The judges also highly commend Karen Holden, founder of A City Law Firm, who was a strong contender for this award. They were impressed with her passion as an entrepreneur, and her commitment to diversity.

Employer of the Year

HM Treasury Logo

Presented by HM Treasury

This award recognises those companies that have proactively cultivated a diverse workforce, aiming to achieve equal gender representation at all levels. The judges will be looking for companies with the most diversity amongst senior employees, the best maternity/paternity benefits, a proven track record in promoting diversity, and the most extensive diversity-supportive policies in recruitment and operations.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch


Columbia Threadneedle


Legal & General


Lloyds Banking Group


Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe


Opportunity Network




Virgin Money

Columbia Threadneedle

Columbia Threadneedle won this award because of its introduction of specific measures promoting diversity, which is backed up by a easurable impact.

Highly Commended:
 Lloyds Banking Group

The judges highly commend Lloyds Banking Group in this category for being well-recognised for being gender diverse, and for having made a measurable impact on the banking industry.

Disruptor of the Year

Supported by London Stock Exchange Group

This category celebrates the companies that have reinvigorated gender diversity in the financial services industry by breaking barriers, exploring new markets, creating innovative new products or services, or have established a new effective way of working.





Essentia Analytics




Scalable Capital


Starling Bank


The Clear Company


Tribe Impact Capital




Nottx stood out in this highly competitive category for its truly disruptive and impactful model. The judges appreciate the clear need for blind hiring in financial services, which Nottx tackles head on.

Highly Commended:

The judges highly commend AllBright for taking on the issue of the funding gap for female entrepreneurs through its equity crowdfunding platform.

Recruiter of the Year

Sponsored by Prudential and M&G Investments

This category recognises the recruitment firm that has championed equal pay and diversity in financial recruitment. Judges will look for the firm that has added outstanding value to their business partnerships and relationships. They will also be looking for innovation, market insight and profitability.



Equal Approach


Hays Recruitment


Juggle Jobs


Rare Recruitment


Robert Half


Sapphire Partners

Sapphire Partners

The judges were impressed with Sapphire Partners’ consistent, market-leading approach to helping the sector hiring diversely.

Woman of the Year

Sponsored by LV=

As the headline award for the evening, this category recognises an inspiring leader who has challenged, influenced or revolutionised the culture of the business and financial services sector. Judges will be looking for nominees who have demonstrated a positive impact in bridging the gender gap in the sector through mentoring, training and other initiatives.

Emily Cox, Director of Public Affairs, Virgin Money

Marieke Flament, Managing Director – Europe, Circle

Liz Hughes, Founder & MD, ionStar

Marta Krupinska, Co-Founder & General Manager, Azimo

Mali Marafini, Advisor, Novus Ordo Capital

Karen McCormick, Chief Investment Officer, Beringea

Helen Rose, Chief Operating Officer, TSB

Romi Savova, Chief Executive Officer, PensionBee

Sam Smith, Chief Executive Officer, finnCap

Louise Wilson, Co-founder & Director, Abundance Investment

Emily Cox, Virgin Money

For the flagship awards category of the night, the judges chose Emily Cox after a spirited debate. Emily stood out as a game changer for all of her work on the Gadhia Report, and furthering the momentum of the Women in Finance Charter. Emily received multiple nominations from her colleagues at Virgin Money and committee member from Founders4Schools, a non-profit organisation that connects school students with inspiring entrepreneurs, placing diversity first.