Following the Business Administration Degree cum Laude at LUISS Guido Carli in Rome (2003) started working for Procter & Gamble in Rome in the Finance Department.
During my 13+ year finance career, went through a succession of challenging and fulfilling assignments across Western Europe in primary multinational Corporations (Procter & Gamble, Jaguar Land Rover [JLR]).
Key focus areas I developed over time relate to:
Additional interests concern Management and Personal Development techniques, Macroenomic and Socio-Political dynamics, photography (which was also run professionally in between finance assignments).
On top of the corporate day job, I also started developing an interest in Start-up Companies which I support in developing and growing with the tools and the knowledge gained over time.
Wayne Close was appointed Managing Director for UK Health Services in October 2017. Prior to that he was Acting CEO of International Markets. He has 25 years experience at Bupa having joined in 1992. His roles include leading Bupa International (the precursor to Bupa Global), MD of Bupa Global North America, setting up and leading Bupa Saudi Arabia, and holding a number of CFO roles across Bupa including the former International Development Markets (IDM) MU. Wayne is a Qualified Accountant and a Chartered Director.
Robs specialism & passion is improving Finance functions, starting with 10 years in the Profession and then 15 years in industry (large complex multi-national FMCG & Telecoms/Media). He starts with a compelling vision for Finance, anchored in the business strategy, and translates that into practical improvement to systems, processes, data and performance management. But ultimately Rob feels it is about people – working through change, managing stakeholders, unleashing potential. He has been at Sky for 9 years, and looks after Finance Transformation whilst leading our Finance Shared Service.
Gomars sprang to prominence when he led the 1992 England Schools U18 team to their first Grand Slam in 11 years. The following season, he joined London Waspsand made his full England debut in 1996 against Italy. In 1997, he played in three Five Nations games and came on twice as a replacement on tour in Argentina.
On the club scene, he was a member of London Wasps‘ 1999 Powergen Cupwinning side, then transferred to Bedford, where he was captain, before being persuaded to join Gloucester Rugby. He was a Gloucester Rugby favourite, and took part in his second Powergen Cup triumph in 2003.
In 2002 Gomars re-ignited his England rugby career after a period of 27 months in the international wilderness, when he played in the 26-18 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires in June. He sealed his place as one of the three scrum halves for the World Cup with a strong performance in England’s 43-9 defeat of Wales at the Millennium Stadium, during the World Cup warm up matches. He scored two tries in the 111-13 win over Uruguay in the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Brisbane.
Emerging enhanced from his World Cup performances, Andy was selected as England vice captain for the non-cap game against the New Zealand Barbarians in December 2003. Gomars started all three of England’s 2004 Autumn internationals at Twickenham and was vice captain in the England XV against the Barbarians in May as well as the Churchill Cup tour.
However, injury led to his replacement at both Gloucester Rugby and England, and so to prolong his career he signed a three year deal with Worcester Warriors in June 2005. However, his injury worries returned to plague him, and he was released along with nine other players by Worcester in May 2006, two months short of the end of the season.
On 25 September 2006 Gomars signed a one year “pay-as-you-play” deal with Harlequins.
Gomarsall performed well for Harlequins and was selected for the England squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. It was his kick down the touchline that enabled Josh Lewsey to score 5 points – the eventual winning margin for England that sent them into the final against South Africa on 20 October 2007.
In 2008, Gomarsall started the first two Six Nations games for England. After a brief spell at Leeds Andy has now retired and available for broadcasting and speaking opportunities.
Paul Harris is a Commercial Finance Director at Starbucks EMEA, based in London. In his role Paul is responsible for planning, forecasting and investment appraisals for the EMEA region.
Prior to joining Starbucks, Paul was EMEA Finance Director for Apple and before that a Commercial Finance Business Partner at Nike. Holding leadership positions in large global companies has made has developed his skills in working in fast paced, high growth matrix environments.
Paul has recently completed his Executive MBA at the London Business School and is a Professional Management Accountant.
Noreena Hertz is a renowned thought leader with an impressive track record in predicting global trends. Her best-selling books, The Silent Takeover, IOU: The Debt Threat and Eyes Wide Open, are published in 22 countries. She advises a select group of the world’s leading business and political figures on strategy, economic and geo-political risk, digital transformation, Generation K and millennials and sits on the board of Warner Music Group.
The Observer has named her as “one of the world’s leading thinkers”, Vogue has named her “one of the world’s most inspiring women.” Her thinking served as the inspiration for Bono’s Product (Red). She has featured as the Cover Story of Newsweek.
Noreena graduated from university when she was 19 years old. Within four years she was advising the Russian government on its economic reforms and investors on M&A transactions as the Russian economy opened up to capitalism. At the age of 29, Noreena was working with the governments of Israel, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan on the role economics could play in the Middle East peace process
A regular commentator in print in the US and Europe, Noreena’s opinion pieces have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. She has made multiple television appearances on both sides of the Atlantic including on flagship shows such as BBC’s Question Time, PBS’s Charlie Rose and CBS’ This Morning.
Noreena is frequently sought after as a Keynote Speaker and Event Chair. She has given Keynote Speeches at TED, The World Economic Forum in Davos and Google Zeitgeist as well as for leading global corporations, sharing platforms with such luminaries as President Bill Clinton, Professor Stephen Hawking and David Beckham amongst others.
In August 2017 Noreena launched her own show MegaHertz: London Calling on Sirius XM, the United States’ biggest radio network with 64 million listeners. The show provides insights and analysis on what is happening in Europe and also a European take on what is happening in the US. She is the first and only non-US voice on the entire Sirius network. Previously she was ITV News’ Economics Editor where she led ITV’s economics coverage through a fascinating, fast-paced period that included the Referendum and its aftermath, the invoking of Article 50 and a General Election.
Noreena has a PhD from Cambridge University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Visiting Professor at University College London.
Peter was born in Paris in 1965, with arms that end at the elbow and no legs. From that moment, his parents were determined he should have the best upbringing he could. They let him fall and they let him discover so he could find his limits. As it turns out, he hasn’t found any yet.
He went to school, got a job, competed in two Paralympic Games and he has never allowed himself to step away from anything simply because of his body.
His parents instilled in him a core belief: ‘It’s not my body that limits me, I know I’m capable of anything, but the environment that I live in.’ So from a very young age he learnt that he would have to become adaptable and determined in his approach to life.
When he first announced he was going to drive, a friend of a friend, who was a driving instructor, told him he would never be able to drive – so he set out to prove him wrong. And did.
His swimming journey began in the 1970s when his school recommended he take it up for all-round exercise. It was clear that his upper body would have to be his strongest asset so he began to use the school pool and quickly discovered that he floated very well.
Swimming became a sanctuary for him and once he began to swim competitively at the age of 10 it wasn’t just about beating other people. It was about beating people’s expectations.
In 1984 he was scouted by the GB Paralympic squad and asked to join them – but he didn’t have a coach. He didn’t even have access to a pool. By coincidence, he got a job working at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst where he was allowed to use the swimming pool. By another happy coincidence, they hired a manager, Mike Gibson, who was a qualified swimming coach. He approached him to ask if he could be his coach, and between them they created a plan to help get him to the Seoul Paralympic Games in 1988.
It wasn’t until the Barcelona Paralympics in 1992 arrived that he really proved what he could do. He won 3 Gold medals and set 3 world records. Not bad for a guy with no legs, half arms and a coach who’d never trained someone with limbs missing before.
Connie joined Opple in 2014 and is responsible for Finance, Tax, Risk Management and Legal for Europe. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Opple Europe.
Prior to Opple, Connie worked for Philips/ NXP Semiconductors for +10 years. She has held multiple leadership positions across various businesses and Finance functions in Europe and Asia. She has also led several business spin-offs and post-merger acquisition projects.
Connie is based in the Netherlands and is an active promoter of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence applied to Finance.
Ben Kay has been the UK & Ireland CFO for Swissport since September 2017. Swissport has a turnover of €400m with operations at 29 stations in the UK & Ireland (part of Swissport International the largest provider of ground and cargo handling services in the aviation industry). He has a team of 84 finance people.
He joined Swissport after 22 years at NSG (formerly Pilkington Plc) where his last role was European Finance Director (business partnering at a European and Global basis as well as running the finance function of 220 people across 15 countries).
At Pilkington/NSG, Ben gained his CIMA qualification and performed a number of roles at different levels and completed secondments in Italy, Germany and Australia.
Outside of the office Ben spends much of his time doing sport (running, squash, cycling, yoga, gym..)
Jessica McDarren started her accounting career straight from secondary school when she joined a small Chartered Accounting firm in Ayrshire, Scotland as Trainee Accountant. She immediately realised that accountancy was to be her future. She moved on to larger organisations while continuing with her accountancy studies. In 2005 Jessica joined a rapidly growing digital media agency as Financial Controller. This was a part-time role as she now had a young toddler to care for as well as her CIMA studies to progress.
In March 2009 Jessica became a fully qualified CIMA member following four years of weekend and evening study and was promoted to the full-time role of Head of Finance. It was at this time that Jessica was awarded Young Accountant of the Year by Accountancy Age. The judges said “[she] made the role her own while showing great tenacity and determination to achieve many things at once”.
In 2010 Jessica joined L’Oréal as Commercial Controller. After two and half successful years in this role Jessica decided to broaden her knowledge of the business and joined Corporate Finance as Treasurer for L’Oréal UK and Ireland, featuring in Treasury Today in 2014. More recently, Jessica was promoted to Commercial Operations Finance Director for the Consumer Products Division where she specialises in retailer and channel strategy.
John Park became CFO for McDonald’s UK in 2016, and is responsible for finance, supply chain and legal oversight.
John joined McDonald’s UK in 2003 as an Assistant Operations Accountant. His progression through the company has included responsibilities as Regional Accounting Manager, Franchise Finance Manager and Head of Commercial Finance.
In his previous position as Finance Director, John was responsible for corporate and commercial finance in the UK, including supporting the organisation with commercial analysis and setting pricing strategy.
John is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and prior to joining McDonald’s he worked for KPMG.
James is Chief Financial Officer of William Hills Global Online business, spanning more than 15 countries, James has over 20 years experience leading, growing and developing financial and commercial teams in regulated B2B and B2C businesses across a range of sectors including banking, payments, fintech, consumer financial & retail services, property, and gaming & betting.
James qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers before specialising in mergers, acquisitions, business development and strategy, working with private equity funders, debt investors and FTSE100/250/Fortune1000 companies, funding, developing and expanding fast growing, high potential businesses, both in an advisory capacity and as part of inhouse management teams.
Wendy Smith is the Chief Financial Officer for Kellogg’s EMEA Region. She was appointed to this post in September, 2015. Prior to joining Kellogg’s, Wendy held senior finance positions in Johnson & Johnson and P&G. Most recently Wendy was the Chief Financial Officer for J&J’s Consumer Division in Asia Pacific Region. To date, she has held a range of senior positions in finance functions globally and in different regions across the world. She has industry experiences in Consumer Products, Medical Devices, and Pharmaceuticals.
As a finance professional, Wendy believes in the importance of Compliance, Business Partnering & People Development. Her primary focus and passion is in developing people, and being an active mentor and sponsor for many professionals in and outside of her company.
Married with three sons, Wendy values work life balance, diversity, and professional excellence. Her personal philosophy is to always push for breakthrough results and breakthrough thinking. She recently moved with her family to Ireland and enjoys traveling, music, photography, and spending time with her family.
Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Tweddle is a former British artistic gymnast and is the most successful British Female Gymnast in the history of the sport. Her impressive achievements include being an Olympic Bronze Medallist, a triple World Champion, a six-time European Champion, a Commonwealth Champion and seven-times consecutive National Champion.
Her medal haul started at the 2002 Commonwealth Games where she collected Gold and two Silvers. Over the next decade Beth won over 20 more Gold medals, competing all over the World in major Championships. Having achieved her lifelong dream of winning an Olympic medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Beth thought it would be perfect timing to retire from competitive gymnastics. Beth’s phenomenal achievement in the sport saw her nominated for Sports Personality of the Year Award twice, finishing 3rd in 2006. She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours for her unequivocal dedication, commitment and success in gymnastics.
Beth, a three time Olympian, is almost as successful outside the gym as she is in it. In 2007, Beth found time to graduate from Liverpool John Moores University with 2:1 in Sports Science and subsequently was accepted to study Physiotherapy at the University of Liverpool. Although Beth retired from Gymnastics she couldn’t part from the sport, as she became the Director of Total Gymnastics, a company that delivers recreational gymnastics to thousands of children. Beth has also set up a series of #trainwithBeth camps across the UK, engaging thousands of children in bespoke, elite gymnastics experiences.
Beth is also involved in sporting governance, holding positions with the FIG as the Global Athlete representative and Team GB and British Gymnastics. Beth has also been appointed as a Director of Switch the Play, an organisation that delivers a pathway for professional athletes with a careers and training after sport.
Beth’s profile allowed her to take on a variety of media and sporting work. In 2013, Beth won the eighth series of Dancing on Ice and has also participated in many other TV reality shows. Beth also commentates regularly for the BBC and Sky Sports, as well as making numerous media appearances on both TV & Radio.
Since starting gymnastics at the age of seven, Beth has helped to reinvent British gymnastics and her achievements place her in the ‘greatest of all time’ category within her sport. Her variety of talents and life experience make her a highly regarded motivational speaker, approachable to inspiring school children, whilst being able to motivate the employees of blue chip companies.
Christoph Grossbaier is Head of Product Marketing at Celonis. As part of Celonis, he has worked with numerous customers like Swisscom, Döhler and Andritz to support them in making their procurement processes more efficient by leveraging Celonis Process Mining.
Christoph holds a Master of Science from the University of Cambridge in Engineering and previously worked as a Business Development Manager at Celonis.
Having worked in software for over 20 years, Mark is passionate about delivering innovative solutions through the use of Cloud application solutions.
He has worked with Private and Public Sector organisations and will continue to look at innovative outcome based solutions that drive sustainable transformation to ensure UK business and Public bodies are fit for the future, despite the potential challenges they may face.
Mark believes the use of Cloud solutions will allow organisations to focus on strategic matters; deliver valuable services and a competitive edge to service innovation, whilst utilising their ever-shrinking budgets. New initiatives such as RPA, chatbots and AI are among the areas Mark is looking to leverage to make a difference in today’s competitive business “Battle Arena”.
Jane is a qualified actuary who helps employers and other benefit sponsors with their pension matters. This assistance will vary from adhoc advice on specific topics to pragmatic advice on understanding and implementing a strategy to allow an employer to ‘exit’ from their defined benefit pension scheme.
In her 25 plus years in the pensions industry, she has advised the full spectrum of clients from listed global multinationals to small family owned businesses with assets ranging from £3 billion to £20 million. She advises companies on member options and liability management, benefit design changes, scheme merger and harmonisation, scheme funding negotiations, longevity transactions, M&A activity and accounting disclosures. In addition Jane historically advised Trustees and therefore has a good understanding of the approach trustees and their advisers might adopt.
Jane’s extensive experience, clear advice and proactive approach has helped her to become a trusted consultant to a wide range of UK and multi-national businesses. She is committed to being at the forefront of delivering independent tailored actuarial advice to Barnett Waddingham’s corporate clients
Andrew advises a range of UK and international businesses on defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension issues including pension scheme funding, risk reduction exercises, pension benefit design, M&A transactions, and accounting disclosures.Andrew’s extensive experience, clear advice and proactive approach have helped him to become a trusted consultant to a wide range of UK & multi-national businesses. Throughout his career, he has worked at board level with FTSE100 (or equivalent) organisations and major multinationals.
Andrew was appointed EMEA Finance Director at Zuora in August 2015 as part of the EMEA management team to drive strategy and commercial performance. Prior to this he has held senior finance roles in the TMT sector including IDT, EDS and AboveNet, where he has led international finance teams and worked as a strategic business partner to develop and execute business plans. Andrew started his career with Deloitte where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant having graduated from Southampton University with a degree in Business Economics.
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Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance brokerage and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 72,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative risk and people solutions. For further information on our capabilities and to learn how we empower results for clients, please visit: www.aon.co.uk
Barnett Waddingham is proud to be a leading independent UK consultancy at the forefront of risk, pensions, investment and insurance. We’re a team of over 900 people in eight offices, each delivering on our values and our promise to ensure the highest levels of trust, integrity and quality.
Everything we stand for at Barnett Waddingham is embedded in our promise – to do the right thing. We’ve applied this meaningful principle across all aspects of our business with continued success. Our continued and long-term commitment to delivering value is our promise to all our people and clients.
BlackLine is a provider of cloud-based solutions for Finance & Accounting (F&A) that centralise and streamline financial close operations and other key F&A processes for midsize and large organizations. Designed to complement ERP and other financial systems, the BlackLine Finance Controls & Automation Platform increases operational efficiency, real-time visibility, control and compliance to ensure end-to-end financial close management, fuelling confidence throughout the entire accounting cycle.
BlackLine’s mission is to continuously improve the quality, accuracy and efficiency of Finance & Accounting by centralizing key functions within a single, unified cloud platform. Enabling customers to move beyond outdated processes and point solutions to a Continuous Accounting model, in which real-time automation, controls and period-end tasks are embedded within day-to-day activities, BlackLine helps companies achieve Modern Finance status, ensuring more accurate and insightful financial statements and a more efficient financial close.
More than 1,700 companies with users in approximately 130 countries around the world trust BlackLine to ensure balance sheet integrity and confidence in their financial statements. For more information please visit www.blackline.com
BOARD International is a global provider of Business Intelligence and Performance Management software.
Founded in 1994, BOARD International has enabled over 3,000 companies worldwide to improve the effectiveness of their management decision making processes, unifying BI and CPM in a single integrated environment.
BOARD provides a seamless solution for the support, control and management of core processes such as:
Thanks to its programming-free toolkit approach, global organizations such as Coca-Cola, DHL, KPMG, Puma, Siemens, Toyota and ZF Group have rapidly deployed end-to end decision-making applications in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional solutions.
Headquartered in Chiasso, Switzerland, and Boston, MA, BOARD International has branches in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Benelux, Nordics, UAE, Singapore, Australia, India, Japan, China, Mexico, Argentina and a worldwide network of distributors and certified partners.
Capita Integrated business solutions with over 30 years’ experience, is a leading provider of financial software solutions to many organisations. Their clients’ needs and expectations are the forefront of what they do, which is why they specialise in providing innovative financial software solutions. Capita Integrated business solutions plays a major role in enabling organisations to achieve their financial and e-Business strategies.
Their financial software solution, Integra, enables organisations to manage all their financial requirements via a comprehensive, web-based, easy to use solution. Relied upon in the private, public, housing, and Not for Profit sector organisations; Integra uses a world-class software framework and proven built-in processes to deliver significant operational savings, a high degree of flexibility and an immediate return on investment.
Established in 2003, Cedar is a specialist recruitment consultancy operating in the finance, transformation and procurement arenas. Cedar offers highly effective bespoke recruitment solutions to clients in the private, public and not for profit markets in the UK and internationally. We manage an extensive range of permanent and interim opportunities from entry level through to senior executive. Cedar promotes a culture based around the concept of ‘Listen, Advise, Deliver’ – we listen to our clients and candidates, understand their key drivers and then advise them as to the best approach to ensure effective delivery.
Celonis is the world´s leading process mining company. The innovative big data technology applies machine learning across all company data to provide full, unbiased visibility into all business processes, uncover bottlenecks, and provide prescriptive recommendations on how to eliminate them effectively. Enterprises in over 25 countries trust Celonis to visualize, analyze and maximize the efficiency of their operations. Celonis is based in Munich with offices in the U.S. and the Netherlands.
FD Recruit is a leading recruiter of CFOs and Finance Directors operating across England, Scotland & Wales. FD Recruit specialise in a number of sectors working with SME’s to Plc’s and private equity backed businesses. Their expert recruiters source candidates for a variety of assignments including roles on a full-time, part-time or interim basis. By developing a niche focus FD Recruit have become industry leaders within their field.
The ICAEW Academy of Professional Development offers a comprehensive curriculum of CPD courses, talent development programmes, bespoke in-house training and specialist qualifications. It reflects our commitment, as a world leader of the accountancy and finance profession, to high quality professional development, using our rigorous standards and leading edge content.
The Academy has been specifically designed to equip the future professional in the fast-changing business environment. With outstanding training specialists, coaches and mentors to leverage our knowledge and create engaging, practical training, which endows participants with applied skills and have a tangible impact on business performance.
Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) is one of Europe’s largest asset managers and a major global investor, with total assets under management of £951.1 billion *. We work with a wide range of global clients, including pension schemes, sovereign wealth funds, fund distributors and retail investors. Throughout the past 45 years we have built our business through understanding what matters most to our clients and transforming this insight into valuable, accessible investment products and solutions. We provide investment expertise across the full spectrum of asset classes including fixed income, equities, multi-asset, commercial property and cash. Our capabilities range from index-tracking and active strategies to liquidity management and liability-based risk management solutions.
*as at 30 June 2017, including derivative positions. These figures include assets managed by LGIMA, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.
Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management is changing how enterprises compete and grow, by delivering faster, simpler and flexible business management, without the complexity of typical ERP systems.
Designed for the demanding enterprise users, it introduces a faster way to manage all business processes –from procurement to warehousing, production, sales, customer service and financial management– and offers real-time insight across the supply chain, on a global scale. Built on a flexible, Cloud and mobile technology platform, it is easy to configure and to extend with industry-specific applications, and is ready for innovation, offering a cohesive, simple solution for all enterprise management needs today, and well into the future.
TPT Retirement Solutions is an award-winning specialist provider of defined benefit pensions with 70 years’ experience. As a not-for-profit organisation with c.£9 billion assets, TPT is run for the benefit of more than 2,400 employers.
Running defined benefit pension schemes can be costly and time consuming. With the burden of ever changing legislation, administration hassles and the other pitfalls of managing your own pension scheme. TPT’s DB Complete product saves time, money and gives peace of mind, by combining expert support and scheme services in one solution.
Trintech, Inc. pioneered the development of Financial Corporate Performance Management software to optimize the Record to Report process. From high volume transaction matching and streamlining daily operational reconciliations, to automating and managing balance sheet reconciliations, journal entries, treasury management and bank fee analysis, to governance, risk and compliance – Trintech’s portfolio of financial solutions, including Cadency®, ReconNET™ and Adra Suite, help manage all aspects of the financial close process. Over 3,100 clients worldwide – including the majority of the Fortune 100 – rely on our cloud-based software to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve governance and transparency across global financial organizations.
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Trintech has offices located across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands, as well as strategic partners in South Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific. To learn more about Trintech, visit www.trintech.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Zuora, powering the Subscription Economy®, provides the only SaaS platform that automates all subscription order-to-cash operations in real-time for any business. Companies in any industry can launch new businesses, shift products to subscription, implement new pay-as-you-go pricing and packaging models, gain new insights into subscriber behavior, and disrupt market segments to gain competitive advantage. Zuora serves more than 900 companies around the world in a wide range of industries, including Box, Komatsu, Rogers, Schneider Electric, Toshiba, Xplornet and Zendesk. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Zuora also operates offices in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, San Francisco, London, Paris, Beijing, Sydney, Chennai and Tokyo.