Catherine Sukmonowski – Chair
Former Company Secretary, Burberry
Catherine Sukmonowski is an experienced company secretary and solicitor, most recently acting as Group Company Secretary of Burberry Group plc. Prior to her 6 years at Burberry Catherine spent 6 years as Senior Legal Counsel to the Group Company Secretary’s Office of BP plc and 8 years as a senior M&A lawyer at Clifford Chance.
Catherine has broad experience of global businesses and transactions, working with boards and executive teams, governance frameworks, regulatory compliance and legal and risk management particularly, in relation to companies experiencing transformative strategic and operational change.
Catherine also sits on the ICSA Forum and is Co-Chair of its Governance Committee.
Lisa Hart Shepherd
After working in analyst and business planning roles for eight years, Lisa founded Acritas in 2002 to fill a gap in the legal services industry of robust global market research data combined with deep sector knowledge. During this time, Lisa has worked on projects with most of the world’s largest law firms, devising research programs to help clients achieve service excellence, brand strength, people engagement and international growth.
A decade ago, Lisa developed an annual global market study, Sharplegal, which evaluates trends in in-house counsel attitudes and buying behaviors, including the perception of law firm brands. It is the world’s most comprehensive annual study of the legal market, encompassing over $10 million worth of data.
Over the last three years, Lisa and her team have developed a second global dataset, Acritas Stars. This database of high-performing lawyers is driven purely by client nominations and encompasses an annual survey of those Stars to evaluate how well firms develop, engage, retain and attract Star Lawyers.
More recently, Lisa has turned her attention to developing analytics tools for legal departments to help them understand global patterns in legal spend and team size and to offer peer benchmarks. Lisa has also developed a suite of metrics, the PEER Model, to help legal departments drive high performance.
GDPR Implementation Manager, Network Homes
Effia is a certified privacy professional (CIPP) and Privacy Programme Manager (CIPM) for European data Protection. With a background implementing iso27001 for public and private sector organisations, she is now consulting as Network Homes’ GDPR Programme Implementation Manager.
Effia started off within Audit and Compliance Management within public sector services before transitioning to information security and risk assurance for private sector (Both Worldpay and Visa Europe). A seasoned PMP qualified Programme Delivery Manager she is passionate about what GDPR means for Information and Cyber Security awareness and progress within UK and Europe.
General Counsel, Which?
Charmian joined the Consumers’ Association (Which?) in March 2015 as the group’s General Counsel, heading up the In-House Legal and Corporate Governance teams. She is also company secretary to Which? Limited, the Consumers’ Association’s main commercial subsidiary.
Which? is the largest consumer body in the UK. The group operates as a social enterprise with one overriding purpose: to make consumers more powerful. Profits from its publishing business and other commercial operations are used to fund its charitable research, policy and campaigning activities.
Charmian was previously the General Counsel for the Friends Life Group, the FTSE 100 life insurer (now part of Aviva), where she sat latterly on the Executive Committee and was responsible for the legal and secretarial functions. Charmian joined the business immediately following its listing in 2008 and helped guide it through three acquisitions, a UK re-domiciliation and corporate restructuring over a four year period. Charmian started her career as a corporate finance and merger and acquisitions lawyer, working first at Dechert LLP and then Slaughter and May.
Non-Executive Chair, and Chair of a portfolio of Risk and Remuneration Committees
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).
Managing Director, Company Matters, Link Asset Services
Tracey’s team provide class leading corporate governance and company secretarial support to clients, from FTSE100’s through to private companies.
Her role encompasses technical, financial and team management responsibilities.
An experienced company secretary, Tracey has worked extensively on a diverse portfolio of main market and AIM companies, both UK and offshore domiciled. Tracey is a Chartered Governance Professional of 20 years and a member of various Corporate Governance groups, including the All Party Parliamentary Corporate Governance Group.
Under Tracey’s sponsorship the first of Link Asset Service’s Ahead Programmes started in Q2 2017, providing a platform for governance professionals to meet, network, receive training and influence the future of the profession.
Director, Nicholls & Clarke
After many years working in the financial serves sector, David joined Nicholls & Clarke Limited in 2015 initially as Company Secretary and was appointed to the board at the start of 2017. He is responsible for Finance, Pensions HR, IT & Legal matters. He also sits on the Corporate Law Global Forum of the ACCA. Previously David worked at Lloyds Bank. Capita Registrars, Prudential and Citco and was a member of the ICSA Registrars Group for several years.
Company Secretary, CDC Group plc
Jane Earl has had a 30 year career as a Company Secretary in the financial services and media sectors. Jane’s breadth of experience has been in senior roles in both the listed and unlisted environment. She was Company Secretary of Sedgwick Group plc, Cazenove Group plc, BBC Worldwide Limited and is currently Company Secretary of CDC Group plc, the UK Government’s DFI.
She has served as a Pension Trustee, a Trustee of a Charitable Trust and is currently a Director of 6 companies. Having trained as an Executive Coach, Jane is passionate about helping other reach their potential.
Director, NE Consulting Services
Nicholas is a consultant general counsel and company secretary who specialises in assisting companies primarily in the arts, culture, media and communications sectors with their legal and governance requirements. He has a broad range of experience gained in leading organisations including O2, the BBC and Christie’s where he was general counsel and secretary for each organisation. He currently supports English National Ballet, the Royal Ballet School and the Bishop Auckland Project He has just completed a major governance overhaul for the Architectural Association and before that assisted an organisation with a complex three-way demerger. He is currently advising on a number of corporate matters including a major governance review for a well-known institution.
In addition to core legal expertise, he has significant risk management, regulatory, compliance and audit experience to be used in an executive or non-executive capacity.
Business Development Director, ICSA
Charis is ICSA’s Business Development Director. In this role, she is responsible for partnerships, marketing and outreach as well as leading the digital and data teams.
Charis joined ICSA in 2013 as Head of Marketing. Her previous in-house and consultancy roles have been with educational publishers, Collins and Granada Learning, heritage organisations including the V&A and the Imperial War Museum and digital business, principally recruiters and start-ups in the creative industries.
Charis began her career lecturing in English and Communications in a Further Education college. She has continued to participate in education through governance roles; as Chair of Governors in a maintained primary school, and currently as Chair of Trustees of a school charity.
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.
Group Secretary and General Counsel, The Co-operative
Helen joined the Co-op Group as Secretary in January 2016 and took on the additional role of General Counsel in July 2017. Helen is a solicitor and has held previous roles as General Counsel and/or Company Secretary for a number of listed companies including Dixons Carphone, Dixons Retail, William Hill, Chubb and Hepworth working across a range of industries from Retail to Building Materials.
Director of Governance, Compliance and Legal, Network Homes
Tabitha Kassem is Director of Governance, Compliance and Legal, Company Secretary and the Data Protection Officer at Network Homes Limited.
Tabitha is a qualified and practising solicitor with 10 years post qualification experience, with professional and voluntary experience in company secretary and data protection matters as an employee and volunteer in the private, charitable and public sectors; she also serves as a trustee for a community charity on a pro-bono basis. As company secretary of the Network Homes group, she services 18 legal entities of varying legal status. She is responsible for ensuring regulatory and legislative requirements are met for the business, with approximately 550 staff and over 20,000 properties in London and the South East. She manages a team of 11 including the inhouse legal team, all Networks insurance arrangements, Data Protection team and company secretariat. She is now also looking to oversee tenancy fraud arrangements for the business. Tabitha is not your typical company secretary, using her knowledge and understanding of the sector to identify and deliver improvements across the business. Tabitha was recently highly commended as Company Secretary by the Institute of Company Secretaries and Administers in their 2017 National Awards.
Legal Director, Corporate, Specsavers
Corporate Legal Counsel , Specsavers Optical Superstores
Tori Lewis is corporate legal counsel at Specsavers Optical Superstores Limited based in Southampton and the head office in Guernsey. Tori specialises in both corporate and commercial law and supports the goods not for resale function which includes, IT and marketing. Tori also assists with the supply chain remit in Hungary and Thailand. Prior to joining Specsavers, Tori trained and worked in private practice in London and specialised in mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring.
Alistair founded SYKE after leaving Asda where he was Head of Contracts and Data Protection Officer.
At Asda Alistair successfully deployed Contracts Express and other technologies to deliver an end-to-end digital contracts and compliance solution called “Delphi”. Delphi significantly enhanced operational efficiency and delivered considerable savings.
Alistair is a very experienced contracts and privacy solicitor with a focus on simple solutions and sustainable progress.
Corporate Counsel & Company Secretary, Tullow Oil
Kevin Massie is the Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary for Tullow Oil plc, a FTSE 250 oil & gas company focusing on oil exploration and production in Africa. Kevin joined Tullow in 2011 as a legal advisor in Tullow’s Cape Town office before relocating to London with the company in 2014. Kevin advises Tullow on a wide range of issues including corporate governance, corporate finance, structuring, M&A and tax. Prior to joining Tullow, Kevin was an associate at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Canada and at Ashurst LLP in Dubai
Solicitor, Kemp IT Law
Deirdre is a lawyer specialising in all aspects of commercial, intellectual property law and data law as they apply to the development, procurement, licensing and use of AI, robotics, software, data and other new technologies. Deirdre works with clients from all industry sectors and has significant experience advising on GDPR compliance from a contractual and procedural perspective. Deirdre has published a number of blogs and has spoken at a number of events on GDPR.
General Counsel and Director, Regulatory Affairs, trainline
Neil joined trainline in March 2005 and his role from June 2015 is General Counsel and Director, Regulatory Affairs – and Group Company Secretary. Prior to that he was Legal and HR Director (and Group Company Secretary). He sits on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of Trainline Investments Holdings Limited. Prior to joining the Company, he worked for four years at Inmarsat Plc, a satellite communications company, as Senior Attorney working on corporate finance and commercial matters, including a number of high yield bond issues, a private equity acquisition of the company and the implementation of a global distribution system. From 1998 to 2000, he worked as a senior solicitor at Nabarro, a law firm in London, primarily relating to merger and acquisition transactions and commercial work. Neil also practised commercial law for four years at a shipping and transport law firm in the City upon qualification as a solicitor. He qualified as a solicitor in the UK in 1996.
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.
Company Secretary, Hampshire Trust Bank
Shilpa Parihar has had a career spanning over 15 years as Company Secretary in diverse jurisdictions of India, Channel Islands and the UK, working in the financial services, software services and manufacturing sectors. Shilpa is currently Company Secretary at Hampshire Trust Bank, a challenger bank, which is in its exciting growth phase, mainly engaged in commercial lending. She started her career at Tata Consultancy Services, a publicly listed entity in India, moving to the UK and building her experience in the Financial Services Sector, having previously worked as Company Secretary with Kleinwort Benson and Towerstone Partners. Shilpa is a member of the ICSA UK and ICSI India and is also a law graduate.
Associate Managing Director, Cyber Security and Investigations, Kroll
Ioan Peters is an Associate Managing Director in Kroll’s Cyber Security and Investigations practice, based in the London office. Ioan has nearly 20 years of experience leading transformative information technology projects that have better enabled business operations and managed risks in organizations as diverse as law enforcement, the UK government, and blue-chip companies. His experience includes serving as a representative of the UK Government, for which he has worked bilaterally and multilaterally as a senior manager and consultant on matters relating to intellectual property protection, both in the country and abroad.
Enterprise Agile Coach, Trainline
Haran Rasalingam is responsible for Agile Process and Culture at Trainline. Operating out of the Technology Team, Haran’s role takes a holistic view in order to ensure smooth workflows throughout the business. Successful workflows require a combination of excellent technology, lightweight processes, which can be easily self-managed, and a culture of collaboration and trust among motivated people.
Haran graduated in Linguistic Science, but the Internet boom rekindled his childhood software hacking and drew him into software development. Before Trainline, Haran’s tech career included spells at The Guardian, the BBC and eFinancialCareers.com. The people-side of making things work led to Haran taking a Masters in the field of Psychology, specialising in Psychotherapy, Counselling and Coaching. With a combined background in software development and psychology, Haran’s experience covers the sweet spot where technology and humans meet and where most process solutions need to be found.
UK Company Secretary, Bank of Ireland UK
Fahrin Ribeiro is an experienced company secretary having built a career in financial services. She is currently the UK Company Secretary for Bank of Ireland UK plc, a wholly owned but highly regulated subsidiary bank of the Bank of Ireland Group plc, which was established in 1783 by Royal Charter in Ireland and is a traditional, publicly listed, relationship-driven retail and commercial bank. Fahrin is a solicitor and Fellow of the ICSA by qualification. She began her company secretarial career at Addleshaw Goddard LLP and has worked at both large listed FTSE 100 organisations (Aviva plc) as well as regulated subsidiaries (Aviva Asia, Bank of Ireland, Santander). Fahrin has a diverse and international background, having worked in Singapore and Kenya over the course of her career to date.
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.
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.
Group Data Protection Officer, Regulatory Compliance Team, Peabody
Policy and Research Director, ICSA
Peter Swabey is Policy and Research Director at ICSA. Based in London, he is responsible for developing the profile of ICSA and the governance profession with members, regulators, policymakers, employers and other stakeholders by delivering thought leadership and lobbying campaigns promoting governance as the vital ingredient for success in organisations.
Peter, who joined ICSA in 2013, has more than 30 years’ experience of company secretarial work. He was formerly Company Secretary and Industry Leadership Director at Equiniti and a Director of Equiniti David Venus, a Company Secretarial Services provider. Peter is a member of a number of industry committees and working parties, and is a regular speaker at conferences and events, with an industry wide reputation as an expert on shareholder and governance matters.