JUDGES

Julie Adams – Senior Partner – Menzies LLP

Julie Adams is Senior Partner at accountancy firm, Menzies LLP, and chairs the firm’s Management Committee. Her role includes shaping the firm’s strategy to meet the ever-changing needs of its clients and its people. She also has an ambassadorial role, being involved internally in Partner and team development and, externally, in establishing relationships with key clients, prospects and intermediaries. Julie also sits on the Executive Committee of HLB International, the worldwide international network that Menzies participates in. With over 40 years’ experience she has acted for large corporate, SMEs and entrepreneurial start-ups, providing consultancy services and strategic advice to assist in their development. Julie qualified in 1984, became a partner in 1988 and was appointed as Senior Partner in 2012. She started on her second term in the role in 2015.

Lynne Cadenhead - Chair Women’s Enterprise Scotland

A serial entrepreneur, Lynne has over 20 years’ investment experience, investing in, mentoring and nurturing a range of early stage technology and retail companies throughout the UK. She has worked with a wide portfolio of technology companies – from pharmaceuticals and polymers, to prosthetics and optics – and has also managed two early stage technology venture capital funds, served on over 30 boards and started up a number of her own companies.

Currently Lynne is involved with several early stage technology companies as director and investor, mainly in the fields of cyber security, artificial intelligence and emotional management.

She is a key influencer on the Leadership in Board Governance Programme at Edinburgh Napier University and in 2017 the University awarded her the prestigious title of Visiting Professor in Governance and Enterprise.

Lynne is a long-standing member of two Edinburgh Napier University Boards, a member of Technology Scotland Advisory Board, Chairman of UNICEF Scotland Advisory Board and Chairman of Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

Carolyn Currie – COO, Women's Enterprise Scotland

Carolyn CurrieCarolyn has enjoyed an extensive career at a senior level in financial services working with a variety of clients from large corporates to the SME and not for profit sector. Roles undertaken include Head of Business Lending at RBS. An advocate of continuous improvement, she achieved industry recognition and awards for the Commercial Mortgage product. In 2007, Carolyn co-founded the Women in Business (WiB) programme in NatWest and RBS. A global leading programme which developed staff talent, in addition to better meeting the needs of the growing women’s sector of the SME community. In 2011, she received the Corporate Banking Divisional Award for Outstanding Excellence in SME delivery. Carolyn has addressed the Global Banking Alliance conference in Sydney, Australia and contributed policy papers to the World Economic Forum in Davos in addition to delivering keynote speeches at a variety of conferences and awards. A keen supporter of Microfinance and Women’s Enterprise, Carolyn is a founding member of the UK Women’s Enterprise Policy Group and the Cross-Party Group on Women’s Enterprise in the Scottish Parliament. Now the Chief Operating Officer at Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES), Carolyn manages the day-to-day operation of the research-led not-for-profit body and sets the strategic direction. She has guided the development of several global-leading standards for gender-equality in business advisor training and digital platform content. In addition to researching and reporting on the business support landscape for women and working with European partners to improve access to finance and business angel investment. She has given evidence to the Economy Committee in Parliament and works to engage more women in the parliamentary process.

Helen Dean – CEO, Nest

Helen DeanHelen has been a leading player in delivering UK pension reform. She was appointed as chief executive officer of NEST in September 2015, having previously held the roles of executive director of product and marketing and managing director of scheme development at NEST. Helen was also a board director of NEST’s predecessor body, the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PADA). Prior to this, Helen was a senior civil servant at the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), where among other roles she was responsible for the Informed Choice initiative, which contributed to the UK government’s decision to implement auto enrolment, and then on the policy development and legislation that established the current UK pension reform agenda.

Liz Field – CEO, PIMFA

Liz joined PIMFA, formerly the Wealth Management Association (WMA), as Chief Executive in 2014. She has 27 years financial services experience, 17 of which as a successful Chief Executive. She successfully transformed and advised several businesses through redefining strategy, rebranding, change management and inspirational leadership, creating profitable businesses. She has substantive experience of people and cultural risk, regulatory knowhow across the industry – banking, insurance and wealth management and providing the best practice guidelines for the industry to adopt to manage risk. She is an accredited coach and industry leader encouraging collaborative participation of diverse groups of industry experts to address sector challenges and to leverage industry resources. Liz holds a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Occupational Psychology from Birkbeck.

Sue Fox – CEO, M&S Bank

Sue FoxSue Fox joined M&S Bank as Chief Executive Officer in 2014, becoming one of the UK’s only female CEOs in the banking industry. Sue started her career in her local bank branch, straight from school, doing every job along the way and has worked across the UK and in the US. Sue is originally from Liverpool and moved back to the North West in 2014 with her young son Sam and partner Paul to take up the position of CEO of Chester-based M&S Bank. Sue is a role model as a senior female figure in the financial services sector and is one of the world’s leading LGBT Exec allies, having been ranked in the top 10 of OUTstanding’s annual list in 2017 – as published by the FT – alongside the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

Kirstin Furber – Chief People Officer at Clearscore

Kirstin FurberKirstin Furber recently joined Clearscore, one of the leading FinTech businesses based in the UK, as Chief People Officer. Partnering with the CEO, Kirstin’s main responsibility is to create an inspiring environment where everyone can do their best work to build a culture of growth. Prior to Clearscore, Kirstin was the People Director at BBC Worldwide the commercial arm, and a wholly-owned subsidiary, of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) employing approximately 1800 employees, across 14 countries and a member of the Worldwide Executive Committee. Previously Kirstin has held Executive HR Director at Twentieth Century Fox, VP of HR International at Discovery Channel and positions at Ziff Davis, Warner Bros and the Granada Media Group. Kirstin is an accredited coach, has CIPD Fellowship status and a keen travel photographer.

Rina Goldenberg Lynch – CEO, Voice At The Table

Rina Goldenberg LynchRina Goldenberg Lynch has worked as a City lawyer and executive for 20 years. As an accredited Associate Executive Coach and a qualified ILM Level 5 trainer, she has experience coaching and mentoring women across the board in corporate, not-for-profit and entrepreneurial sectors. In recent years, Rina has been working on diversity and inclusion matters, including strategy development and initiatives.

Clare Filby – Partner, Elixirr

Claire FilbyClare has over 20 years’ experience in transformational consulting and outsourcing engagements, driving these challenging programmes to deliver value to her clients. She has led digital projects since the advent of internet shopping in the UK and advised clients across the world. She has worked with many large companies to help them realise their multichannel digital vision. Before joining Elixirr, Clare was a senior client partner at Accenture, primarily working with clients across travel, transport and retail. She has extensive operational experience from her previous management roles, having led the Accenture UK automotive, industrial, travel and transportation (AIIT) industry. She was also their UK products COO and led the business systems integration consultancy practice. Clare is passionate about giving back to communities and runs the Elixirr Foundation to support this ambition. Outside of the firm, she invests time and money working with start-ups and is a volunteer counsellor for various charity ventures such as The Poppy Factory.

Marianne Ismail – CEO, European Wealth Group (Wealth Managers)

Marianne IsmailMarianne is the Group Chief Executive Officer of European Wealth Group and a member of our Investment Management Committee. She was formerly the Head of Private Banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Standard Chartered, Chief Executive Officer for Citigroup’s European wealth management business, and Head of Private Wealth Management for Morgan Stanley. She currently serves on the boards of the Court of the University of Greenwich, ACE Africa, the Advisory Board of Riverpeak Wealth and the Town and Country Housing Group.

Shalini Khemka –CEO, E2Exchange

shalini khemkaShalini Khemka is the founder and CEO of E2Exchange. A champion of entrepreneurs, Shalini was appointed by Sadiq Khan to the Mayor of London’s Business Advisory Board tasked with boosting economic growth in the capital. With a wealth of banking and investment experience, Shalini founded The E2Exchange Group in 2011 as a catalyst for entrepreneurial growth, helping to build and foster connectivity for a 12,000-strong entrepreneurial business community. She is also a Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) and a judge for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. E2Exchange facilitates high quality connectivity between scale-up founders, super angel investors, high quality Non-Exec Directors and the UK’s leading corporate organisations. E2E’s former Honorary President is Sir Richard Branson, Special Adviser is Luke Johnson and its Board include: Lord Bilimoria CBE DL, Duncan Bannatyne OBE, Kanya King MBE, Hugh Chappell, Russ Shaw and Darryl Eales.

Kendall Langford – Senior Partner, Patron Capital

Kendall LangfordKendall Langford is a Senior Partner and General Counsel at Patron Capital. She is also an active contributor to the Women in Fund Finance initiative through the Fund Finance Association and a trustee of the Barbican Centre. As one of the founding members at Patron Capital, Kendall is on the management team and leads a team of seven dedicated legal professionals. During her 18 years at the firm, Kendall has been instrumental in raising, structuring and closing five funds and four co-investment funds – representing approximately €3.4 billion of equity capital for investment in real estate and real estate related transactions across Europe. Prior to this, Kendall served as in-house counsel for four years at Cargill Inc., dedicated to the real estate private equity group, following her position as a banking lawyer at Clifford Chance.

Simon Lewis – CEO, Association for Financial Markets in Europe

Simon LewisSimon Lewis was appointed Chief Executive of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) in October 2010. AFME is the trade body which represents the pan-European capital markets industry. Previously Simon was Director of Communications and the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman at 10 Downing Street. He has held a number of senior corporate roles including Director of Corporate Affairs at Vodafone, Centrica and NatWest. Simon was appointed as the first Communications Secretary to The Queen in 1998. Simon has a degree from Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He also holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley as a Fulbright scholar. He is a Visiting Professor at the Cardiff School of Journalism. Simon is a board member of TheCityUK and a member of the Chatham House North American Advisory Council, as well as a member of the Academy’s Advisory Board. He is Chairman of the Governing Council of University College School (UCS) in Hampstead, North London. Simon is a Patron and former Chairman of the Fulbright Commission. He is married with three children. Simon was appointed an OBE in the 2014 New Year Honours List for public service and services to international education through the Fulbright Commission. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in 2016.

Alison Pask – Managing Director, Financial Capability and Community Outreach, LIBF

Alison has years of experience in the financial sector, with a career including Director of Marketing and Communications at the Tenet Group. She is currently responsible for The London Institute of Banking & Finance’s financial capability programmes, including qualifications for 14-19 yr olds as part of the national curriculum, adult education and our Student Investor Challenge, working closely with schools and students, and runs Women in Banking events with key organisations like HSBC. Her wider responsibilities include e-learning, media & communications, events, innovation and transformation.

Sarah Pennells – Financial journalist & Founder, SavvyWoman.co.uk

sarah-pennellsSarah Pennells is a financial broadcaster, journalist and author with over 20 years’ experience working across television, radio, web and print. She is the founder and editor of the UK’s leading finance website for women, SavvyWoman.co.uk. Sarah also presents weekly finance programmes on Share Radio and was recently named BIBA journalist of the year and Santander financial broadcast journalist of the year. Sarah has written three personal finance books – on making good money decisions as a couple, green and ethical money and divorce and finance and has worked for BBC1’s Breakfast programme and Radio 4’s Moneybox.

Phaedra Andrews, Finance Director, Accounting, Amazon Corporate

Phaedra AndrewsPhaedra leads Amazon’s Accounting and Financial Reporting teams for the UK and France.  She joined Amazon in 2011 bringing with her a multi-national experience in accounting advisory, transactions, GAAP conversions as well as audit. Prior to working at Amazon, she was Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the USA for 13 years. She has a broad range of international finance and accounting experience across many countries and industries including consumer products and manufacturing, transportation, telecom, as well as banking and financial services. In addition to the US and UK, Phaedra has also spent significant amounts of time working in France, Belgium, and Japan.  She has a Bachelors in Accounting from the NYU Stern School of Business. During her time working in the US she was an active volunteer for Housing Works, a New York based non-profit organisation that supports homeless people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Jon Thompson – CEO, HMRC

Jon ThompsonJon was appointed Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in April 2016 after more than three years as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence. As Chief Executive, Jon is responsible for delivering the department’s strategy, including HMRC’s ambitious transformation programme, business objectives and customer service improvements. Jon is HMRC’s Accounting Officer, accountable to Parliament for the department’s expenditure and performance. He is also a Commissioner of Revenue and Customs, and a member of the HMRC Board. A member of the Civil Service Board, Jon leads HMRC’s relationships with other government departments. Jon is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA).

Jenny Tooth – CEO, UK Business Angels Association

Jenny ToothJenny is CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, the trade body for angel and early stage investing, representing over 15,000 investors around the UK. Jenny has over 20 years’ experience of facilitating SMEs access to investment, both in the UK and internationally. She ran her own consultancy on access to finance for SMEs, including spending nine years based in Brussels, working closely with the EC. In 2009, Jenny co-founded Angel Capital Group which incorporates London Business Angels, one of the most established and active angel networks in the UK. Jenny is an angel investor and in her role at UKBAA she focuses on building the angel community around the UK, connecting investors to good deal flow and assisting entrepreneurs to attract investors. Jenny sits on the steering group for emerging technologies and innovations for Innovate UK and the advisory board for the London Co-Investment Fund. Jenny is an experienced speaker on angel investing and entrepreneurship both in the UK and internationally. She has an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Jenny was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to small businesses.