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Winners

Expand each category below to view the winners and shortlisted nominees

ACCOUNTANT OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

Veronica Poole – Deloitte

Veronica has demonstrated an impact far beyond her actual role as an accountant. She has shown leadership and is a global champion of aligning corporate reporting and purpose to the climate change agenda. It is visible that Veronica has a strong personal advocation and passion for tangible action and implementation. She has shown focus on delivering high-quality and transparent information on climate change. Veronica has leveraged her internal profile and influence, to initiate collective action. The introduction of an online learning programme and training, and the elevation of climate change reporting as a key matter for audits, are proof of her great work and efforts. Externally, her determination to drive change and action by providing resources to help NEDs put into practice climate governance, and by promoting a coordinated response to climate change, is truly remarkable.

Shortlist

Becky Johnson – Refinitiv

Clare Weston – Blackstone

Lucy Boyne-Williams – St. James’s Place Wealth Management

Urvashi Shah – 3ES Accountants

Valentina White – Tax Spot Group

Veronica Poole – Deloitte

ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by J.P. Morgan

JOINT WINNERS:

Khayala Eylazova – PwC & Amy Mitchell – Leathwaite

Khayala has demonstrated a very clear focus on D&I both internally and externally. She has taken direct actions to create new areas of engagement and shows clear commitment to empower women and create change in the workplace. As part of PwC, Khayala is the founder of the firmwide “Women in Insurance Technology” programme and network. The objectives of this programme are to attract the best people to work in technology within the insurance industry; inspire a new generation to consider insurance and technology as a career choice; and to retain and support the progression of talented women in the UK.

Amy – Whilst many areas of finance are lonely for women, IT can to be one of the most isolated.  Amy’s top-notch career, successful international postings and her work for Girls Who Code are for our judges, standout points. Amy was able to bring the experiences she had with Girls Who Code to the UK. Her vision for the benefits to the UK economy of a domestic talent pool which is currently under-represented and untapped, is real evidence of her female advocacy.  Her commitment and drive to help young girls who become excluded/self-selecting to avoid tech jobs is truly impressive.

Shortlist

Amy Mitchell – Leathwaite

Carla Morris – 1762 from Brewin Dolphin

Emily Nichols – Willis Towers Watson

Jill Zucker – American Express

Khayala Eylazova – PwC

Laura Garry – Chase de Vere

Lydia Guett – Cambridge Associates

Maisha Sumah – SheWalksInValue

Oluchi Ikechi – Accenture

AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Fitch Ratings

WINNER:

Tali Shlomo – former Chartered Insurance Institute

All submissions were very impressive however Tali’s stood-out specifically because she has achieved long-term outcomes. Tali has had an impact on the way people think by actually going to the root of the problem, avoiding tokenisation and ensuring ideas are actually acted upon with a positive outcome. She fiercely drove the organisation, Chartered Insurance Institute, to excel in its culture, performance, and ability to attract and retain high calibre individuals – despite competing for talent in the increasingly competitive EC3 marketplace. Our judges identified good behaviours and early movement from the CII under her leadership and she has shared her voice and platform externally in a multitude of ways.

Shortlist

Amrita Aurora, former American Express

Christine Chow – Federated Hermes

Elena Koycheva – BlueBay Asset Management

Eugenia Campbell – RSM UK

Guinevere Taylor – RBC Global Asset Management

Lindsay Law – NatWest Group

Marion Bentata – State Street

Tali Shlomo – former Chartered Insurance Institute

Tamara Gillan – The WealthiHer Network

DISRUPTOR OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

Rosie Guest – Apex Group

Rosie Guest is commended for her introduction of a “Shadow Executive Committee” at Apex Group – A new team of high achieving, non-exec leaders from around the world that are given the experience of being involved in c-suite discussions and business strategies. They bring diversity into every decision and there is a 50/50 split between men and women. With the representation of a diverse set of younger senior leaders, they are able to bring different perspectives, challenge the status quo and demonstrate how diversity can help improve business decisions and drive innovation.

Shortlist:

Claire Limon – Openwork Limited

Jennie Koo – Capital One

Louise Fletcher – Charles Stanley

Mary Waring – Wealth for Women

Rosie Guest – Apex Group

Ruth McMaster – Deutsche Bank

Zoe Mills – NHBC

DIVERSITY INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

The Diversity Project’s Neurodiversity Workstream – HSBC Global Asset Management

Meike Bliebenicht and HSBC’s ground-breaking work in the neurodivergence space is both inspiring and shines a light on an under-recognized and under-appreciated aspects of workplace diversity. With 10% of UK population being estimated to be neurodivergent, a better understanding of this and the creation of better work environments will positively influence their contribution to the organisation and to their teams. Meike and her team work to encourage neurodivergent individuals to be more confident and to direct their energy from covering up to showcasing their skills. There is clearly work being done to foster a culture of greater awareness and to provide training and education within HSBC AM via events, roundtables and other platforms to facilitate the sharing of experiences and stories. This initiative is helping to empower this under-recognised community and has advanced a wider industry understanding and awareness of it.

Shortlist:

Allianz Insurance

Rise – Bank of Ireland UK

Blend Network

Women and Money Campaign – Fidelity International

Balance Network Steering Group – Financial Conduct Authority

The Diversity Project’s Neurodiversity Workstream – HSBC Global Asset Management

Careers and Talent Outreach Campaign – Investment20/20

LSEG Proud LGBT+ Network  – London Stock Exchange Group

RBS Women – NatWest Group

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

J.P.Morgan Asset Management

Our nominated organisations have gone to great lengths to establish better initiatives and programmes to improve their culture, policies, and their diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels. This year’s winner, J.P.Morgan Asset Management, impressed our judges with their introduction of many initiatives designed to increase the gender diversity in every aspect of their workforce, notably with “Women on the Move”. This initiative offers women a platform to exchange ideas and to collectively explore ways to support their career development. In addition to this, the organisation’s outstanding initiative called “ReEntry Program” is an inspiration to all businesses. They are allowing women who have been out of work for long periods to get back into work with the right level of support – it is an outstanding initiative.

Shortlist

Deutsche Bank

Fitch Group

INDOS Financial Limited

J.P.Morgan Asset Management

MUFG Investor Services

Northern Trust

PwC

RBS Group / NatWest Group

Satago

ESG FUND MANAGER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Scotiabank

WINNER:

Harriet Parker – Liontrust

We celebrate Harriet’s career in the ESG sector. Our judges have recognised her strengths through excellent fund performance and engagement with key ESG themes including cleaner industries and long-term viability. Harriet is passionate about creating a more sustainable economy through capital markets and does this by selecting stocks for the funds that are positively exposed to key sustainable investment themes i.e. linked to making the world cleaner, healthier and more resilient. She also looks at improving the practices of companies across the portfolios and promoting sustainable, responsible finance more broadly. 

Shortlist:

Alina Donets – Allianz Global Investors

Audrey Ryan – Kames Capital / Aegon Asset Management

Dorothee Goerz – Aremus Partners

Hannah Johnson – BlackRock

Harriet Parker – Liontrust

Helen Steers – Pantheon

Joanna Crompton – JP Morgan Asset Management

Laetitia Girolami-Boyer – BNP Paribas

Sarah Norris – Aberdeen Standard Investments

Tatjana Greil-Castro – Muzinich & Co.

FINANCE TEAM OF THE YEAR (LED BY A WOMAN)

Sponsored by London Stock Exchange

WINNER:

GSK – Team led by Roselyne Cornut

Congratulations to Roselyne and her fantastic team. With a myriad of projects delivered that aim at ensuring accurate financials, making GSK’s systems and processes easier and strengthening business partnering, they have done a great job. Our judges highlighted some achievements such as the introduction of ‘One Finance’ to remove siloed behaviour and encourage collaboration. Here transparency, respect and integrity is being promoted and delivered. Colleagues and teams who show courage, promote teamwork and take accountability are encouraged. Roselyne has shown that she is committed to developing the capability of her team and improving their overall talent. Gender targets have been introduced that are more demanding than GSK’s corporate target with the objective of increasing the pipeline of female managers into leadership positions.

Shortlist:

CapitalRise – Team led by Uma Rajah

Close Brothers Motor Finance – Team led by Rebecca McNeil

Fidelity International – Team led by Cara Hewitt

Fitch Group – Team led by Clara Hughes

GSK – Team led by Roselyne Cornut

International Private Finance – Team led by Fiona Watts

Microsoft – Team led by Jane Hesmondhalgh

Refinitiv – Team led by Hayley Bobrige

Suse Linux Software – Team led by Maria Enrica Angelone

Starling Bank – Team led by Helen Bierton

FINTECH CHAMPION OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Refinitiv

WINNER:

Lucy Mullins – Stepladder

Lucy Mullins is doing phenomenal work with what judges described as a highly disruptive model that addresses a major issue in the UK – Generation Rent, helping them solve the challenge of buying a first home by using tech enabled approaches for saving and for credit. The offering is achieving strong growth and creating robust partnerships to address policy change. Key takeaways for our judges were:

1) A simple and effective P2P community that motivates and encourages as well as educates and empowers people to raise their property deposits faster;

2)Reporting members’ monthly payments to Equifax so they can improve their credit scores; 

3)Delivering a practical and accessible solution to encourage responsibility for financial wellbeing and building strong savings habits; 

4) Outstanding growth of participants interested in joining the platform and a significant increase in applications per month;

5) High innovation with a focus on human engagement – connecting emotional intelligence with fintech.

For these reasons and more, Lucy Mullins is our Fintech Champion of the Year!

Shortlist:

Arya Taware – FutureBricks

Basak Azaz – Money Pot

Emma Steeley – AccountScore

Francesca Carlesi – Molo

Geilan Malet-Bates – Plenitude

Georgia Stewart – Tumelo

Heather O’Gorman – Thistle Initiatives

Ipshita Saha – Digilytics AI

Lucy Mullins – Stepladder

INSURANCE LEADER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by LV

WINNER:

Becky Downing – buzzvault

Our Insurance Leader of the Year, Becky Downing, is commended for striking out on her own with Buzzvault and for, in a relatively short time, being able to grow rapidly and meet multi-million-pound funding goals. This award winning InsurTech brings the benefits of technology to the outdated world of home insurance. The transformation is remarkable and has made the experience for customers to securely catalogue their possessions, all from the convenience of their mobiles, effortless. Buzzvault is creating a new kind of home insurance: transparent, data-rich and tailored perfectly to customers’ needs.

Shortlist

Anna Rogers – LV= (Life and Pensions)

Becky Downing – buzzvault

Emily Fraser – RSA

Emma McWilliam – Hymans Robertson

Emma Watkins – Scottish Widows

Julie-anne Headington – Channel Islands Adjusters

Lorna Croft – Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Maxine Goddard – Zurich Insurance

INVESTMENT CONSULTANT OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

Alexandra Daly – AA Advisors

Alexandra Daly stood-out for all our judges for breaking down barriers, paving the way for diversity and for all the achievements made in the last 12 months. Her bravery in a lot of her initiatives and roles are commended and thereby pave the way for others to continue her good work. Alexandra is the originator and Chair of the Treasury-backed Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs. Her work in seeking better access for women entrepreneurs and support for best practice in the venture capital community, another overlooked area for women, has shone a light onto a dark corner. 

Alexandra has 20 years’ experience in the alternatives industry and set up her own company in 2008. Using this knowledge and her extensive network, Alexandra has proactively participated in and led initiatives campaigning for diversity and more specifically, how to tackle the funding gap for female entrepreneurs.

Shortlist:

Alexandra Daly – AA Advisors

Alice Bordini – GLC Advisors

Fiona Lehane – PwC

Helen Hope – Mercer

Samia Bayou – Artoc Group

Tracy Toledo – Deloitte

Zoe Cousens – Castellet Consulting

LEGAL ADVISER OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

Helena Thernstrom – NatWest Group

Helena Thernstrom is not only celebrated for being a champion for diversity within the firm, but she is also recognised for the cumulative body of work and positive change that she continues to deliver within the Bank and the wider industry, and for the significant difference she has made to countless individuals. Our judges highlight her work in charring RBS’s Gender Network in London, which has hosted hundreds of events and initiatives, aimed at closing the gap between men and women in the workplace. In her capacity as chairwomen, she has provided input to the banks senior management and championed the need for gender diversity.

Helena has also supported the creation of a pro-bono scheme with the National Centre for Domestic Violence and Dentons through which RBS lawyers interview victims of domestic abuse and draft relevant court documents.

Shortlist:

Clare Belcher – Travelex

Helena Thernstrom – NatWest Group

Lesley Gregory – Memery Crystal LLP

Lisa Simmons – LV= (Life and Pensions)

Mikhaelle Schiappacasse – Dechert LLP

Roya Motalleb-Zadeh – Credit Suisse International

Sheena Singla – Logicor

Sue McLean – Baker McKenzie

MALE ALLY OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

Michael Cole-Fontayn – AFME

Michael Cole-Fontayn is our Male Ally of the Year for 2020. He has extensively supported and is active in driving forward D&I initiatives and creating an inclusive workplace for women. Judges describe him as a true unsung hero dedicating himself to diversity and inclusion. The sheer range and breadth of Michael’s activities in supporting women takes some beating.  He is clearly committed to a wide range of diversity causes and as a founding member of the 30% club and other initiatives has used his seniority for the benefit of others. Michael has shown to be generous with his time and contacts, and is an active, engaged, supportive and outspoken Patron.

Shortlist:

Andrew Kail – PwC

Andrew Ninian – Investment Association

David Littlechild – London Stock Exchange Group

Didier Lambert – JP Morgan Asset Management

Jonathan Bell – Stanhope Capital

Mark Freed – E2W

Michael Cole-Fontayn – AFME

Michael Leithead – EFG Asset Management (UK)

Paul Richards – International Capital Markets Group

SPECIALIST INVESTOR OF THE YEAR

JOINT WINNERS:

Keeran Kang – Partners Group & Ana Plecas – Green Investment Group, Macquarie

Keeran is responsible for the European fund investment and co-investment arm of the real estate team at Partners Group. She is the most senior woman in the real estate team in Europe, and the most senior woman of an ethnic minority on an investment team. Judges were extremely impressed by her achievements in her four-year tenure at the organisation. It is important to note that these achievements were accomplished even after having been on maternity leave twice during that period. One of these achievements was being responsible for investing over EUR 750m in European real estate in 22 separate transactions; new fund investments, co-investments and recap situations. This is only one example of many very impressive results. Keeran is seen as a role model within the company, mentoring formally and informally other women in the firm, not only in the real estate business but also in private equity.

We commend and celebrate Ana Plecas and her outstanding achievements. Ana’s role is Senior Vice President with overall responsibility for Africa in the UK Climate Investments (UKCI) fund, a £200 million climate finance investment vehicle that is a Joint Venture between the UK Government and the Green Investment Group. She has delivered three significant green finance projects in the past two years. These three projects have a tangible impact on the local communities. Our judges highlighted that her nomination stands-out because of the large-scale delivery of her projects, the specialist area in which she works and the impact that they have on communities. She has demonstrated her aptitude, resilience, intelligence and skill. She is a role model through her role, achievements and impact.

Shortlist:

Amelie Petit – Macquarie Group

Ana Plecas – Green Investment Group, Macquarie

Anya Navidski – Voulez Capital

Jo Waldron – M&G

Keeran Kang – Partners Group

Kirsty Grant – Seedrs

Magda Posluszny – Speedinvest

Roxana Mohammadian-Molina – Blend Network

Susannah Mcclintock – Sustainable Ventures

WEALTH MANAGER OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

Olivia Maguire – JP Morgan Asset Management

Judges agree that Olivia stands-out as the clear winner in this category. She has achieved impressive business results and is involved in a wide range of diversity initiatives – including a considerable number of hands-on initiatives within lower socio-economic urban communities. Olivia is contributing at all levels for change. She has demonstrated to our judges that she is a strong role model who can achieve success even in the face of adversity. Olivia is seen as highly motivated, and even through personal and professional challenges, she has become a recognised portfolio manager among many globally managers at JPAM. Olivia is highly active on several high profile and influential external committees and groups, to offer her personal experiences to address and support other young women by inspiring them to strive for leadership and fund manager positions. 

Shortlist:

Claudia Quiroz – Quilter Cheviot

Fiona Frick – Unigestion

Gemma Cottis – FLM Wealth Management

Jane Sydenham – Rathbones 

Olivia Maguire – JP Morgan Asset Management

Olivia Shipstone – OCS Wealth Management

Rosie Hooper – Quilter Private Client Advisers

Shakhista Mukhamedova – Brewin Dolphin

Tracey Reddings – Reddings Wealth Management

WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by GP Bullhound

WINNER:

Marisa Hall – Thinking Ahead Institute, Willis Towers Watson

Marisa Hall, is co-head of the Thinking Ahead Institute, a global not-for-profit investment research network focused on mobilising capital for a sustainable future. She has led the Institute to increase its public influence and its membership to include 45 of the world’s largest institutional investors controlling USD $12trn. The team at the Thinking Ahead Institute has written over 30 research papers over the last 3 years, and Marisa has been featured in the media and industry papers shared across the globe. She is an exceptional global influencer. and are shared across the globe. She is an exceptional global influencer. Our judges were overwhelmed by her fierce advocacy for positive change in the financial services industry and spends much of her time focusing on sustainability, organisational culture, diversity and inclusion, and improving respect for individual identity. We admire her strong leadership as the largest institutional investor focusing on sustainability.

Marisa is on the standing committee of award-winning Investment 20/20. She is on the board of London Women’s Forum and she is on the steering committee of #talkaboutblack, a powerful movement of over 1000 members that aims to improve the conversation on ethnic diversity. She is a standout winner and a professional that is taking an internal and external stand on many areas of diversity; gender, race, neurodiversity, early careers, leadership and culture – just fantastic! You are our 2020 Woman of the Year.

Shortlist:

Carolyn Porretta – Macquarie Bank

Erica Ingham – Mediacom North

Erin Platts – Silicon Valley Bank

Hanneke Smits – Newton Investment Management

Kshamta Kaushik – Scotiabank

Latifa Gaillard – Goldman Sachs International

Marisa Hall – Thinking Ahead Institute, Willis Towers Watson

Sarah Soar – Hawksmoor Investment Management

Tiina Lee – Deutsche Bank

YOUNG LEADER OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

Magdalena Krön – Barclays

Magdalena has proved to be a rising star and one to watch. Our judges commend her accomplishment of becoming a director at one of the most influential banks in the UK, if not the world, in under 5 years. In addition, Magdalena’s accomplishments in her start-up retail management business and her investment service platform, support entrepreneurs to build and scale companies by connecting them with seed capital. Furthermore, I am impressed by her involvement in the launch of the Rise platform and the running of the London chapter, using it to gather entrepreneurs and innovations who are helping to shape the finance of tomorrow. She has shown clear leadership at an early age in supporting entrepreneurship and women founders in fintech, supporting and leading a new initiative and at the same time helping to change the culture in Barclays on entrepreneurship and innovation. Wow watch out financial services, a star is born!

Shortlist:

Antonella Mule – Citigroup

Bijal Majithia – EY

Hannah Ellis – KPMG LLP

Kate Surala – The Analyst Research LLP

Magdalena Krön – Barclays

Natalia Kasyanova – MUFG Bank

Natalia Zurowski – Synechron

Roisin Levine – Flux

Yulia Manyutina – Coutts