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.
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.
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.
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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.
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