Victoria Whyte – Chairperson

Company Secretary, GSK

Victoria Whyte is Company Secretary of GlaxoSmithKline plc group.  She joined GSK’s Corporate Secretariat in 1998 as Director of Secretariat Services. Was appointed Deputy Company Secretary in 2005 and the Group Company Secretary with effect from 1 January 2011.

Victoria has acted as Secretary to the Remuneration Committee since 2009 and acts as Secretary to all of the Board Committees since her appointment as Company Secretary.

Prior to joining GlaxoSmithKline, Victoria worked in various company secretarial roles within BAE Systems, Coats Viyella, St. Ives plc, Schroder Investment Management and Vickers plc.

She is a solicitor and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.  She sits on the CBI Companies Committee.

Richard Watson – Keynote

Futurist, What’s Next

Richard is Futurist-in-Residence at the Technology Foresight Practice at Imperial College London. He is also a lecturer at London Business School and a member of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAAs) Aviation Futures Group.

Richard has worked with, amongst others, McKinsey, Lego, Ikea, Cambridge University, the Royal College of Art, Department of Education (UK and Australia), Vodafone, King’s Fund and NHS.

Richard has written five books. His first, Future Files (2007), was translated into sixteen languages. His most recent, Digital Vs. Human, explores the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics and the internet from a human perspective.


Tim Black

Joint Managing Director, Black&Callow

Tim Black is Joint Managing Director at Black&Callow. With over 30 years’ industry experience, including the last 24 at Black&Callow, his clients include leading investment banks, brokers, law firms and listed companies. In the Corporate Reporting arena, Tim looks after Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Dixons Carphone, Mothercare and numerous FTSE250 and AIM companies, applying Best Practice solutions to help them convey their best investment case. More recently, Tim has been closely involved in establishing BlackCallowEnergy, the company’s JV for Corporate Reporting alongside Energy Design Studios, to provide an unrivalled Reporting practice.

Kirsty Cooper

Group Company Secretary and General Counsel, Aviva

Kirsty joined Aviva in 1991 and is the Group General Counsel and Company Secretary for Aviva plc and heads the Office of the Chairman. She was appointed to the Group Executive in May 2012.

Kirsty established the legal and company secretarial function as a global team and is responsible for the provision of legal services to the Group, legal risk management, and compliance with UK listing requirements.  She also supports the Chairman and the Board in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Kirsty is a lawyer and held a number of legal roles within Aviva’s legacy companies before leading the property division of General Accident and the group legal function of CGU for eight years.

She was formerly deputy group company secretary and legal counsel of Aviva plc and she currently sits as a director on the board of Aviva Insurance Limited.

Professional qualifications and memberships

Kirsty holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Glasgow and is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales, as well as in Scotland. She is also a graduate of the general manager programme at INSEAD.

Kirsty is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Opera House and a non-executive Board Member of HM Land Registry. She served as a member of the Dormant Assets Commission and has been appointed by the government as the Insurance and Pensions Champion for an expanded dormant assets scheme.



Richard Pym

Chairman, AIB Group PLC

Richard Pym is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in financial services.  He has been Chairman of Allied Irish Banks plc since 2014.  He is a former Chairman of UK Asset Resolution Limited, the entity which manages the run-off of the UK Government owned closed mortgage books of Bradford & Bingley plc and NRAM Limited.  Richard is a former Chairman of Nordax Bank AB (publ), The Co-operative Bank plc, Brighthouse Group plc and Halfords Group plc.  He is a former Non-Executive Director of The British Land Company plc, Old Mutual plc and Selfridges plc.


Daniel Connell

Partner, Deloitte

Daniel is the global lead partner for our Legal Entity Management (LEM) services. Daniel has 15 years experience of working with clients on all aspects of their subsidiaries and the associated governance. Daniel assists clients designing and implementing subsidiary governance policies.

Daniel’s work also includes global outsourcing, where he leads a team operating in over 100 jurisdictions as well as transaction implementation programmes. Daniel also has a particular focus on the effective use of emerging technologies in helping clients to manage their global entities and drive improved governance.

Daniel has served clients across a wide range of sectors including consumer products, technology, life sciences, financial services, media and engineering, primarily in the FTSE 100 and Fortune 100 global MNE space.

Andrew Ninian

Director, Stewardship and Corporate Governance, The Investment Association

Andrew is responsible for representing The Investment Association members interests as institutional investors on corporate governance and engagement matters. He has oversight of The Investment Association’s Institutional Voting Information Service (IVIS), corporate governance policy development and company consultations or collective engagement with the companies in which Investment Association members invest. Andrew joined The Investment Association in June 2014, through merger of the Investment Affairs division of the ABI with the IMA. He joined the ABI in 2005 as a Corporate Governance Analyst and was promoted to Head of IVIS in October 2011 and Head of Corporate Governance in January 2012.  Before joining the ABI, Andrew was a Socially Responsible Investment analyst at HSBC, having joined HSBC’s graduate scheme in 2001 after reading Economics at the University of Bath.

Stephen Cahill

Partner , Deloitte

Stephen is a Vice Chairman of Deloitte and leads our Executive Compensation Practice. He has almost 30 years’ experience in advising companies on all aspects of executive remuneration, including short and long term incentive design aligned with company strategy, package design for recruiting and departing executives, regulatory compliance and consultation with institutional investors.

Stephen is well known in the industry and has frequently spoken at conferences, is quoted in the media and has published numerous articles, thought pieces and books on executive compensation.  He has previously run executive compensation and human capital businesses across Europe and the US for other consulting firms.

Dr Jay Bevington

Partner, Deloitte

The engagement will be led by Dr. Jay Bevington, a Partner who specialises in reviewing and developing the effectiveness of NHS Boards and their associated assurance systems and processes.  He brings an extensive range of experience having worked with well over 350 Boards in the previous 15 years.  Jay will oversee the required reporting, liaising with the Chair and CEO as required.

Relevant Experience

  • Jay has significant experience of working with all types of FTs and has undertaken a number of governance-related projects for NHSI. He regularly advises NHSI on various aspects of governance.
  • Jay authored the Monitor guidance for boards of NHS provider organisations on quality governance (April 2013) and was retained by Monitor to act as a ‘critical friend’ on quality governance assessments at aspirant NHS Foundation Trusts. He also co-developed the Board Governance Assurance Framework (BGAF) with Monitor and the Department of Health – a tool designed to test the board governance arrangements of aspirant trusts.
  • Jay has advised over 350 private and public sector boards in the previous 15 years. He has recently worked with, or is currently working with, the boards of: The Royal Mint Limited; Transport for London; the Civil Aviation Authority; Network Rail; and the Care Quality Commission.
  • Jay has led master classes on board effectiveness for FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 Chairs and Non-Executive Directors. He has also published extensively – authoring over 35 articles on board effectiveness and strategic leadership development and had his own column in a major journal. He is a regular key note speaker at national and international conferences.

Stephen Craig

Partner, Deloitte

I am an audit partner with almost 15 years of experience, specialising in FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 public company audits. During this time I have worked with a wide variety of listed clients across a range of industries, with a focus on property and consumer business.


My current and recent audit clients include intu (FTSE 250), Barratt Developments (FTSE 100), Great Portland Estates (FTSE 250) and Hansteen (FTSE small cap). My previous audit clients have included Taylor Wimpey (FTSE 100), 3i Infrastructure (FTSE 250) and Dairy Crest (FTSE 250).


I have extensive FTSE experience gained both in the UK and Australia.  This includes transitioning and leading audits for clients in retail environments such as intu and Dairy Crest and auditing the owners of significant commercial and operational (including hotels) real estate portfolios. This includes businesses undergoing significant structural change or ERP implementation projects.

In addition to managing complex audits, I am experienced at leading advisory work across a range of projects.  This includes working capital reporting and reporting accountant work in connection with Class 1 transactions and bond issues. I also have experience in leading on real estate acquisition due diligence and recently worked on Hansteen’s Class 1 disposal of their European real estate platform.

Outside of my client work, I previously held the role of talent partner responsible for welfare, development, promotion decisions and reward in our real estate group.

Other information

I am married with two young children.

I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering MA (Hons) from the University of Bath.

I enjoy participating and watching all sports with my children and when time allows, travelling.

John Engholm

General Counsel and Company Secretary, Serendipity

John is the General Counsel and CoSec at Serendipity; a Swedish investment group with five publicly traded portfolio companies. When the Market Abuse Regulation came into effect in 2016 and increased their workload, John and his team developed a digital tool for automating this administration.

They started offering the tool to CoSec colleagues at other listed companies and today it is used to save time and ensure compliance by more than 300 companies in eight countries. After less than two years, InsiderLog was spun off and sold for € 7.25 million to Euronext, which operates the stock exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Dublin.

John’s story is an example of how an in-house legal department has not only digitised parts of its internal work flow but has also managed to commercialise and turn this into a profit center for its organisation and shareholders. John often talks to other in-house functions to inspire them to do the same with their own know-how, processes and tools.

Graham Long

CEO and Co-Founder, Safecall

As one of the founders of Safecall, Graham has been involved in the UK and European whistleblowing industry since its infancy. Since 1999, he has guided the business, taking it from a start-up to its current position as Europe’s leading provider of a speak-up hotline.

The founding principle of the business was that the quality of those handling the calls is exceptional, and Graham remains committed to that standard today.

During his tenure Safecall has achieved significant growth and has built a large and diverse client base from around the world. In his 19 years with Safecall, Graham has gained extensive experience of the speak-up landscape and has supported numerous organisations on their journey towards a better, more open and ethical culture.

Ben Ward

Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

Ben has been a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills for 18 years and is head of our London-based Corporate Governance Advisory Team. He works with our FTSE-listed clients on corporate governance and board advisory matters and advises both listed and private clients on M&A, joint ventures, complex restructures and equity capital raisings. Working across sectors such as water and retail, Ben also advises multinational corporations on their strategic investments into Europe.


Russell Deards

Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Henry Boot

Group General Counsel since 2014 and Company Secretary since September 2013.

Additional Roles Held

Company Secretary of the Company’s four principal operating subsidiaries. Responsible for Legal, Insurance, IT, HR, Health & Safety, Group Communications and secretariat matters at PLC Board.

Past Roles

Head of Legal Services for Barratt Developments in 2007 and Partner at Flint Bishop Barnett Solicitors in 2011.

Brings to the Board

Russell qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and now has over 25 years’ experience in law with 11 years in the property and construction industries.

David Shammai

Corporate Governance Director, Morrow Sodali

David is Morrow Sodali corporate governance director – cross border. Having gained 15 years of consulting and corporate experience in corporate governance and executive remuneration, in 2013 David Shammai joined APG Asset Management, one of the world’s largest fiduciary asset managers.

Prior to that, David was a senior consultant with (now) Aon Hewitt and then with KPMG in London, where he advised companies and remuneration committees across a broad range of sectors. In 2009 David joined the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, where as Head of Executive Reward Policy, he was at the forefront of some of the changes to reward policies and governance processes the banking sector was undergoing at that time.

In his role at APG, David was involved in various aspects of APG’s capital markets corporate governance agenda including voting, formulation of policy and company engagement across a diverse range of markets and additionally was involved in integration of governance and sustainability within the investment process. David has academic background in law and in accounting, gained at Tel Aviv University (1996) and the London School of Economics (1998).

Tim Jackson-Smith

Partner, Shoosmiths LLP

Tim Jackson-Smith is a partner in the Corporate team at Shoosmiths LLP, and has acted on a number of high profile transactions in both the public and private markets. He has nearly 25 years’ experience as a corporate lawyer and, between 2010 and 2017 held senior management (CEO and Chairman) and NED roles in several listed and private companies, including Bglobal plc, MBL Group plc and Source BioScience plc.

The time he has spent outside of private practice have given him a distinctive skill set that sets him apart from his peer group and his advice and guidance is borne of first-hand experience of having to actually make and live with the consequences of commercial decisions. Tim understands the dynamics of the board room and can deliver advice that is considered and relevant.

Jeremy Small

Group Company Secretary, AXA UK

An experienced Company Secretary with wide-ranging technical and commercial experience in manufacturing, services and financial services industries, who has extremely good relationships with chairmen, directors and senior executives, and is often used as a sounding board for commercial propositions, strategy and cultural issues.  Jeremy led an international team to develop a direct to consumer wealth management product and for several years he has actively sponsored talent and development programmes, providing coaching and mentoring support in the UK, France and Germany.

At AXA UK, he introduced board evaluation and instigated several innovations to improve the culture and smooth running of board meetings.  In 2010, through CriticalEye, a business networking organisation, Jeremy published an article on directors and decision-making, and in 2011, he published an article on leadership in M&A. He has also published an article about the role of the Chairman, via Fidelio Partners in 2015. In 2017, he published an article on M&A: The Board’s Role, in Governance + Compliance, the professional journal of ICSA: The Governance Institute of which he is a Fellow. He acts as an informal advisor on a range of corporate governance matters and was a member of the CBI Companies Committee for 10 years. In 2011, he became a member of the ICSA Company Secretaries’ Forum, along with its EU and Professional Development Committees, providing comment and formal responses on various government and EU consultations, as well as helping to update the professional qualifying syllabus for company secretaries.

Jeremy’s experience at AXA, The BOC Group, Forte and Spear’s Games covers the entire range of company secretarial work including board and director succession planning, stock exchange compliance in the UK, US and Japan, contract negotiation, strategy development, corporate administration, company law, share options, insurance, intellectual property, pensions and the establishment of governance and risk frameworks, as well as financial services regulation.

Martin Webster

Partner, Pinsent Masons

Martin has practised as a corporate lawyer for more than 35 years. He now specialises in corporate governance and advisory work, helping boards, company secretaries and senior management teams understand their responsibilities and find practical solutions to issues surrounding corporate compliance, risk management and governance. He is the editor and main author of the Institute of Directors’ leading publication, The Directors’ Handbook, now in its third edition, and a contributor to the London Stock Exchange’s guide on Corporate Governance.  He also lectures and writes extensively on governance and corporate law, as well as providing training for boards and individual directors, the ICAEW and the London Stock Exchange.  He writes a popular one page monthly briefing for company directors, GCs and company secretaries and presents well attended webinars for the firm’s clients.

Martin is a member of the City of London Law Society Company Law Committee for which he has led and participated in several working groups responding to various government and regulator consultations.

Sharon Constancon

CEO, Genius Methods and Genius Boards

Sharon Constancon is CEO of Genius Methods and Genius Boards – a Group that offers tailored robust, behaviour focused board evaluations, mentoring, corporate governance services and training to many industries, listed entities and regulated businesses including FTSE, SME, Family, Investment Trusts, Insurance, Financial Services, Mutuals, Regulated, Health Services, Charities and the Housing Sector.

Sharon has a well attested reputation for providing confidential, straightforward, honest and effective Board Evaluations which have successfully empowered Boards to improve performance. Sharon regularly addresses industry audiences, runs workshops and chairs roundtable debates or panels. She has her stories and those as Board Evaluator which she successfully uses to help others understand the dynamics of the Board and of being a NED.

Sharon is a Chartered Director, Chartered Secretary and has an MBA. She is Chairman of the South African Chamber of Commerce, Non-Executive Director for Transact SA, International Committee Member for CISI, Membership Committee Member for WCCSA and CEO of Valufin, a forex advisory firm. Previous roles include various NED roles and Chairman of Conduct and Culture Committee for Buckinghamshire Building Society.

Sharon was awarded the SACC Business Woman of the Year in 2013 and in 2015 a finalist for the prestigious IoD Neville Bain Memorial Award.

Simon Ball

Independent Non-Executive Director, AIB Group PLC

Simon was appointed to the Board of AIB as a Non-Executive Director in October 2011.  He has previously held roles as Chairman of Anchura Group Limited, and Non-Executive Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director of Cable & Wireless Communications plc, and has served as Group Finance Director of 3i Group plc and the Robert Fleming Group.  A Chartered Accountant, he has held a series of senior finance and operational roles at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, and was Director General, Finance, for HMG Department for Constitutional Affairs.

John Odada

Executive Director, Assistant Corporate Secretary, Office of the Secretary EMEA, J.P. Morgan

John is an Executive Director and Assistant Corporate Secretary in the Office of the Secretary at JPMorgan, based in the EMEA regional office in London. In this role, he is responsible for the provision corporate governance advisory services to boards, committees and senior management of a number of regulated and unregulated JPMorgan subsidiaries that operate within the firm’s Corporate & Investment Bank and Asset Management businesses.

Prior to JPMorgan, John was responsible for subsidiary management and governance at a number of other companies, including BlackRock, Friends Life, ICAP and Unilever. He started his career in Law, and transitioned to a company secretarial career, qualifying as a Chartered Secretary with Ernst & Young.

John’s current areas of focus include unlisted company and regulatory governance requirements, boardroom practice, global subsidiary management and corporate legal/procedural aspects of company secretarial practice.

Jonathan Knight

Chief Operating Officer, Board Intelligence

As Chief Operating Officer Jonathan heads up the technology practice at Board Intelligence. Jonathan joined Board Intelligence in 2010 as Consultant and spent several years working closely with different boards to improve the quality of information available to its members.

Recognising the important role that technology has in the decision-making process, Jonathan built and developed Board Intelligence’s technology arm. Today, technology is a core part of Board Intelligence’s offering and is the mechanism by which the company aims to embed good Corporate Governance processes and decision-making tools in every organisation.

Jonathan previously sat on the IOD’s Good Governance Index advisory panel for two years.

Andrew Moore

President, Computershare Governance Services

Andrew has been at the forefront of international governance and compliance technology markets for over 15 years. President of Computershare’s Governance Services global division, Andrew has been a marked influence in the evolution of subsidiary governance, entity management software, board portals and other practices in both Europe and North America. Andrew heads up the international teams who maintain the compliance and governance technology solutions for over 800 global companies.

Miranda Craig

Deputy Company Secretary, The Sage Group plc.

Miranda is Deputy Company Secretary at Sage and is responsible for leading the Secretariat team with a focus on bringing best practice in governance to the Sage Board and its committees.  Miranda is also responsible for the subsidiary governance of Sage’s 126 subsidiaries worldwide.

Prior to Sage, Miranda has held senior secretariat roles at ARM Holdings, R&Q and EDF Energy, having qualified as a chartered secretary with Ernst & Young.  She has a particular interest in change management and bringing greater efficiency to secretariat processes through technology.

Geof Stapledon

Vice President Governance , BHP Billiton

Geof Stapledon is Vice President Governance for global resources company BHP, based in London. He is also a director of ICGN, a global organisation whose investor members are responsible for $34 trillion of assets; and an Executive Committee member of GC100, the association of General Counsel and Company Secretaries working in FTSE 100 companies. Geof previously headed up Asia-Pacific research for ISS, having joined ISS when it acquired Proxy Australia, a governance research firm he co-founded. Prior to that Geof was a professor of corporate law and corporate governance at the University of Melbourne, and a lawyer specialising in corporate advisory and transactions. He has degrees in Economics and Law from the University of Adelaide, and a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Peter Montagon

Associate Director, Institute of Business Ethics

Peter Montagnon is Associate Director of the Institute of Business Ethics. He also serves as a member of Board of the Hawkamah Institute, Dubai  and as a Visiting Professor in Corporate Governance at the Cass Business School. Till July this year, he served on the expert committee appointed by the shareholders of Sika AG in Switzerland to monitor conflicts of interest connected with the hostile bid for that company by St Gobain.

Previously he held senior governance-related positions at the Association of British Insurers and the Financial Reporting Council. As a journalist at the Financial Times for two decades his assignments included Head of the Lex Column, Asia Editor and Capital Markets Editor. He is a past chairman of the International Corporate Governance network and was a member of the European Corporate Governance Forum from 2006 to 2011. From 2013 to 2017 he was a member of the corporate governance advisory board of the Norges Bank Investment Management.


Freddie Woolfe

Head of Responsible Investment and Stewardship, Merian

Freddie joined Merian Global Investors in 2017 as Head of Responsible Investment and Stewardship, with the remit to build a global responsible investment platform across the business. Previously he worked at Newton Investment Management as a responsible investment analyst on the equity research team for nearly three years and Hermes Equity Ownership Services, latterly as Associate Director of Engagement from 2008. He started his career in 2006 in HSBC’s fraud, risk and security office. He has a BA from University College, London and is currently completing an MBA at Cass Business School.

Elizabeth McClure

Senior Assistant Company Secretary, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Elizabeth joined Walgreens Boots Alliance (“WBA”) in February 2014. As Senior Assistant Company Secretary her role is wide ranging and includes global subsidiary management, corporate re-structuring, acquisitions and divestments, oversight of governance processes and, most recently, pension scheme projects. Prior to joining WBA, Elizabeth worked at Charles Stanley Group plc and Centrica plc.


Elizabeth studied Social and Political Science at Cambridge University. She is a Chartered Secretary and Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries.

Steve Williams

Advisor, Spencer Stuart

Steve Williams is a graduate of King’s College, London, Steve joined Slaughter & May, after law school, in 1970 where he qualified and was admitted as a solicitor, and a member of the Law Society, in April 1972. Steve practiced in the tax and corporate departments of that firm for some three years.

In 1975 he joined the legal department of Imperial Chemical Industries Plc. In 1984, he was appointed one of ICI’s two assistant company secretaries, working closely with the Board.

In 1985 he was appointed Joint Secretary and General Counsel of Unilever, holding this office for 25 years. In this role, he was responsible for all legal, intellectual property and secretarial services provided to Unilever in both the Head Offices in London and Rotterdam and worldwide throughout the group. This meant that for the first fifteen years he sat with the Special Committee of the two Chairmen, and thereafter, following extensive changes to the governance of Unilever, with the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. During his career at Unilever, and in addition to his day job, Steve also took the Chairmanship of the Group Contemporary Art Collection and was Chairman of the project to rebuild and redevelop Unilever House in London.

From 1995 until 2004 he was a Non-Executive Director of Bunzl Plc, serving on the Audit and Remuneration Committees. From 2005 until 2010, he served on the board of Arriva Plc where he was Senior Independent Director. In 2008, he joined the board of Whitbread Plc as a Non-Executive Director. He was Senior Independent Director there until 2014 when he took over the Chairmanship of the Remuneration Committee. He retired from the board after 9 and a half years’ service in the summer of 2017. In 2010, Steve joined the board of Croda International Plc as a Non-Executive Director where he currently chairs the Remuneration Committee. In 2011 he was appointed a Non-Executive Director of Eversheds LLP, the international law firm, retiring in the spring of 2017 at the expiry of his permitted two terms. Also in 2011, he was appointed to the Board of Moorfields NHS Trust where he is currently Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director.

Steve is Vice Chairman of the De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust (having served as Chairman for six years), a contemporary arts centre in Sussex. He is also a Board Member of The Leverhulme Trust, the second largest research grant funder in the UK. He is also a Senior Advisor to Spencer Stuart in London.

Steve has served as a member of the Companies Committee of the CBI and alternate member of the Take Over panel, and also is a member of the Law Society Company Law Committee. He is a member of the RAC, 2 Brydges Place, the Euston Club and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His interests include contemporary art and architecture, professional football, pulp fiction and vulgar automobiles.


Helene Li

Office of the Secretary EMEA, J.P Morgan

Helene is a VP and Assistant Corporate Secretary in the Office of The Secretary at J.P.Morgan, based in the EMEA regional office in London. Helene is responsible for providing corporate governance advisory services to the firm’s UK risk committee and nomination committee, board effectiveness reviews, succession planning and overseeing governance and subsidiary management in Luxembourg.

Helene has held a number of former roles in private practice and in-house including several years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she was responsible for EMEA subsidiary governance and was part of a team instrumental in the merger of the legacy banks.  Helene started her career in insolvency with PricewaterhouseCoopers before transitioning to the company secretarial team at PwC and later qualifying with Linklaters.

Helene is also a member of J.P.Morgan’s Legal Pro-bono Committee and Environmental Interest Group.

Joanne Lake

Chairman, Mattioli Woods

Joanne has over 30 years’ experience in financial and professional services; in investment banking with firms including Panmure Gordon, Evolution Securities and Williams de Broe and in audit and business advisory services with Price Waterhouse.  Joanne is Non-executive Chairman of AIM quoted wealth management group, Mattioli Woods plc and Non-executive Deputy Chairman of main market listed land management and construction group, Henry Boot PLC.  She is also a non-executive director of AIM quoted law-led professional services group, Gateley (Holdings) Plc and non-standard finance provider, Morses Club PLC.  Joanne is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and of the ICAEW, and is a member of the ICAEW’s corporate finance faculty.

James Wates CBE

Chairman, Wates

James feels passionately that business, well done, is a force for good in society. Through his 30-year career, he has seen that responsible business creates jobs, supports individuals’ career development, invests in the community, generates tax revenue, and adds social value. This commitment to the alignment of business and social benefit is integrated into the operations of the Wates Group, of which James is Chairman, and has led him to take on a number of other roles, such as Chairman of the think tank Tomorrow’s Company, Chairman of the Princes Trust Corporate Advisory Group, and Ambassador for the Young Women’s Trust. In January 2018 he was appointed by the Government to be Chairman of the coalition group developing corporate governance principles for large private companies (the so-called ‘Wates Principles’).

He has worked in construction all his life and seeks to drive change in the sector to ensure that it meets the UK’s needs for a high quality infrastructure and buildings in which people live, learn, work and enjoy life. Within the sector, he holds numerous positions through which he has championed change, including Chairman of the CBI Construction Council and Chairman of the BRE Trust. To help ensure that the UK punches its weight internationally, he has taken on the role of Co-chair of the government-sponsored Infrastructure Exports: UK.

Reflecting his belief that education and support for young people are the key to society’s long-term growth and success, he holds positions as a Trustee of the University College of Estate Management, Governor of the University of Westminster, and Governor of the Emanuel School.

In 2012 he was awarded the CBE for services to construction and the charitable sector.

Paul George

Executive Director, Corporate Governance, Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

Paul is Executive Director of the Corporate Governance & Reporting Division. Paul joined the FRC in 2004 as the Director of the Professional Oversight Board.

He was Chair of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) from April 2011 to April 2013.  He holds a degree in Accountancy and Financial Analysis from Warwick University, qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1985 and was a partner from 1995 until he left the firm in 1999. In addition to being responsible for the audits of many major public interest entities he managed one of KPMG’s significant consulting businesses and was on their UK Consulting management committee.

Following KPMG, and prior to joining the Financial Reporting Council in 2004, Paul was a main board director of a UK publicly quoted company specialising in helping multi-national companies improve their operational efficiency and the effectiveness of their finance functions.

Alison Kay

Group General Counsel & Company Secretary, National Grid

Alison was appointed Group General Counsel & Company Secretary for National Grid plc in January 2013. As such, she will be responsible for shaping the Group legal function within National Grid and providing Company secretariat support to the Boards and Committees of National Grid.

Formerly, Alison was Commercial Director, Transmission at National Grid for 4½ years working with the gas and electricity industries in the UK and Europe to influence the legal and regulatory regimes in which National Grid operates, to deliver improved efficiency and reliability, whilst facilitating security of supply for Britain.

Prior to this Alison was General Counsel and Company Secretary for National Grid Electricity Transmission plc and National Grid Gas plc until February 2008.

Alison qualified with corporate solicitors, Martineau Johnson and spent 8 years in private practice before joining National Grid Company plc in 1996.

She has extensive external industry exposure including a number of positions on European and UK Committees. From 2006 to 2011 she was Chair of the Electricity Pension Scheme from and Chaired Enabling, Grid’s Disability Network.

Julian Baddeley

Deputy Group Company Secretary & Corporate Counsel, Aviva

Julian is a Company Secretary & Corporate Lawyer and leads the Aviva Group Secretariat team. Julian began his career at Cadbury Plc holding various roles, ending as Head of Cadbury Secretariat in 2011. Julian then worked for Clifford Chance as a Corporate Finance Lawyer until 2013 when he joined Friends Life as the Deputy Company Secretary & Corporate Counsel. Following the acquisition of Friends Life Julian joined Aviva in his current role.

Sharon Baylay

Non-Executive Chair, Ted Baker

With a career in the tech sector that spans three decades, backed by extensive commercial and marketing expertise – most notably Board positions at Microsoft and the BBC – Sharon’s executive career has been dominated by roles that helped transform consumer behaviour through the utilisation and implementation of technology.  Sharon received the Microsoft Chairman’s Award for sustainable innovation from Bill Gates in 2004 and when she moved onto work for the BBC went straight onto the Executive Board as Director of Marketing, Communications and Audiences.  In 2008 Sharon also joined the BBC Worldwide Board, and became Non-Exec Director of both Freesat and Digital UK.  Since leaving the BBC, Sharon has developed an extensive portfolio career and currently holds several Non-Executive Directorships, including Risk Chairman at Restore plc and Remuneration Chairman at ITE Group plc. Sharon was also a finalist for the Dame Helen Alexander “NED to Watch” award this year, 2018, and was a previous finalist for Chairman of the Year in 2016, for her role with Dot Net Solutions Ltd.  Additionally Sharon is an  Advanced Coach and Mentor, with a client list that includes top-tier executives from many global brands, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an active Member of Women in Advertising and Communications London (WACL).

Rob Booth

General Counsel and Company Secretary, The Crown Estate

Rob is the General Counsel and Company Secretary of The Crown Estate – a unique organisation which manages a £13bn Crown property portfolio; including assets as diverse as Regent Street and the UK seabed.  A former City lawyer, Rob is the strategic lead for legal, knowledge, information security and governance at The Crown Estate.

Rob is a vocal advocate for progress and change, and has been heavily involved in reshaping his organisation and function.  Outside The Crown Estate, Rob supports a number of initiatives that seek to promote equality in both the property and legal sectors; and The Financial Times have recognised him as one of the top young legal innovators in Europe.

Noëlle Colfer

Senior Group Counsel, BAT

Noëlle is Senior Group Counsel at British American Tobacco p.l.c.

A key part of her role is the provision of proactive and commercial advice and guidance on corporate governance issues and promoting global awareness of, and compliance with, the BAT Group’s Corporate Governance Framework and its related policies.

Katie Hollis

FCIS, ICSA’s Governance Professional of the Year 2017,

Katie has been working in and leading in-house Company Secretarial teams since 2005, and was appointed as Company Secretary of the Pension Protection Fund in 2012 having been recruited in 2007 as Deputy Company Secretary. In 2017, she won the ICSA “Governance Professional of the Year” award for her work, including in building a successful and highly regarded team who were appraised as being a team “of a quality that a FTSE 100 company would envy” by Independent Audit. In addition, she is a PROSCI qualified Change Manager and has led a range of change projects successfully covering topics such as introducing a document management system and GDPR projects.

David Jackson

Company Secretary, BP

David Jackson is Company Secretary at BP p.l.c., and has held that position since July 2003.  He is actively involved with the Board and its Committees in the development of corporate governance.  Previously he was General Counsel and Company Secretary at PowerGen from 1989 to 2002 were he was responsible for all legal matters relating to the PowerGen Group of Companies and all company secretarial matters relating to the Board its committees and their corporate governance.

Prior to that Mr. Jackson held a number of legal positions with Matthew Hall, AMEC, Chloride Group, Nestle UK and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.

Mr. Jackson is a Director of BP Pensions Trustees Limited. He was previously Deputy Chairman of GC100, the Association of General Counsel and Company Secretaries of the FTSE 100 and was on the Advisory Committee of the UKLA.

Mr. Jackson has an LLB (Hons) from the University of Bristol.

Viviane Joynes

Managing Director, EQS

Viviane is Managing Director of EQS Group’s London office. She has extensive experience of advising UK and European companies on their corporate governance, compliance and IR practices. Prior to joining EQS her roles included heading up the IR Services at Capita Asset Services (now Link Asset Services) and being Managing Partner of a corporate governance and communications consultancy.

Sarah McLaughlin

Group Company Secretary, AIB Group PLC

Sarah was appointed Group Company Secretary in November 2016, having spent the best part of 12 years with AIB, almost 8 of which were in company secretariat.  Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is a credit institution in Ireland and identified as a significant, systemically important institution in the EU and, its newly established parent holding company, AIB Group plc, is the listed entity with premium listings on the Irish and London stock exchanges.  The Group itself has a further 120 subsidiary entities which her team oversees from a governance and company law perspective. The structure of the Group means that Sarah is responsible, inter alia, for advising the Board and Executive on, and ensuring compliance with, Irish, UK and EU corporate governance obligations and the listing rules of the Irish and London Stock Exchanges, along with market abuse regulation and company law more generally.  External to company secretariat, Sarah spent time working in finance and private banking. Sarah is a graduate of Economics and Geography from UCD, a qualified financial advisor and a licensed compliance officer.

Liz Miles

Deputy Company Secretary , Landsec

Liz Miles is Deputy Company Secretary at Landsec, a FTSE 100 property company.  Liz focuses on board support and corporate governance for Landsec and its subsidiaries and heads up the Co Sec team.  Liz started her career as an M&A lawyer at Linklaters before moving in-house to Vodafone, initially continuing with M&A, before qualifying as a company secretary and refocussing her career on listed company governance and compliance.

Dottie Schindlinger

Vice President and Governance Technology Evangelist, Diligent

Dottie Schindlinger is Diligent Corporation’s GRC Technology Evangelist and promotes the intersection of governance, risk management, compliance and technology as a recognized expert in the field. Diligent is the leading provider of secure corporate governance and collaboration solutions designed to promote improved performance for boards and senior executives. In her role, Dottie provides thought leadership on related topics through digital and print publications, conference presentations, and workshops for board members and executives globally.

Dottie was a founding team member of BoardEffect, a board management software platform launched in 2007 focused on serving the needs of healthcare, higher education, and nonprofit boards.  Prior to helping found BoardEffect, Dottie spent 15 years working in governance-related roles, including as a board liaison, board member, senior executive, consultant and trainer of private, public, and nonprofit boards.  Dottie’s efforts helped BoardEffect expand from a four-person tech start-up to become an industry leader in the board portal space — serving over 1,700 organizations and more than 120,000 board members and senior executives.

Dottie’s career has included roles as various as program development with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Director of Training & Education for the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University, and Associate Faculty of La Salle’s Communication Department, teaching Public Speaking to incoming first-year students.  Dottie currently serves on the board of the Alice Paul Institute.  She received BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds certificates in Management and Board Leadership from The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University.

Yogi Ashokananda

Authentic Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Yogi Ashokananda School

An authentic Yoga & Meditation teacher, raised in India. Yogi Ashokananda is an expert and pioneer as a practising master of yoga and meditation and a speaker on humanity and spiritual philosophy. Yogi has been practising yoga since early childhood when his Grandfather was his first teacher. Over many years Yogi Ashokananda has been fortunate to develop his teaching, experience and education of yoga under some of the great, remote, Indian masters and siddhas. He has taught the teachings of the Bihar School of Yoga, the Sivananda Ashram, hatha yoga and meditation at the Shri Ved Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh and the Yogamaya Ashram in Vrindavan. Now he teaches a number of his own profound disciplines and insights which have their roots in ancient, sacred Indian tradition.

Yogi Ashokananda spent many years in India learning, exploring and developing what he has found to be the most simple, beneficial forms and techniques of meditation. He believes that meditation is one of the most powerful and subtle ways of getting to know yourself, and to understand who are we. This exploration of the self helps you to explore the depth and subtleties of both your human self and your spiritual self; known as “swadharma” – finding the centre of yourself, your self-religion.

Yogi’s approach to the origins of yoga and meditation is grounded and down to earth, based on beginning with embracing the human self and all that entails. This can help you return to a place within you which is both magical and very real. When you rediscover this place, your life will change around you as your perception shifts and you see through new eyes. It is not about running away from yourself or creating a fantasy, it is in fact the opposite; it is based on staying with yourself, on every level and with every aspect of your physical body as well as your emotional and psychological self.

Michael Sholem

European Counsel, Davis Polk & Wardwell London

Mr. Sholem is counsel in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the London office.

His practice focuses on the supervision and regulation of banks, investment firms, insurance companies and asset managers, including in connection with new authorizations, changes of control, corporate governance and regulatory investigations. His practice has also included advising non-financial groups on the impact of new regulation, with a particular focus on market infrastructure.

Mr. Sholem also has extensive experience advising clients on developments in European Union laws, rules and policies affecting financial institutions.