The judging panel for the 2018 Corporate & Financial Awards will be made up of leading industry experts.

Our esteemed panel from 2017 can be viewed below. If you would like to be considered as a judge, please send a short bio to lauren.ditcher@communicatemagazine.co.uk

Sarah Boundy
group corporate communications director
The Go-Ahead Group

Sarah Boundy joined The Go-Ahead Group as its group corporate communications director in 2013. Previously she was head of communications and publicity at one of Go-Ahead’s rail companies, Southeastern, where she was part of their executive team and was instrumental in the introduction of the UK’s high speed rail service and in the successful delivery of rail transport for the London 2012 Games. She has extensive communications and public affairs experience with previous roles in PR, publishing, marketing and broadcast journalism.

Gary Davies
director of investor relations

Since joining GSK and its heritage companies as a neuropharmacologist 28 years ago, Gary has had the opportunity to work for the Company in the UK and the US in a wide variety of roles. He has held positions in R&D in medicines development and commercialisation and in corporate communications where he headed the Corporate Product Communications function for several years. Gary has been a Director in the Investor Relations team at GSK for the last 9 years. He holds an MBA, has achieved the Certificate in Investor Relations from the IR Society and was recently among the first to pass the Society’s new Diploma in Investor Relations and now sits on their Education Committee.

Laura Doyle
head of investor relations
Legal & General plc

Laura joined Legal & General Group plc in 2013 and is head of investor relations.  Prior to joining Legal & General, Laura held group development and IRO roles at Inchcape plc, a FTSE 250 global automotive distributor and retailer.  Before working at Inchcape, Laura trained as a chartered accountant with KPMG in London with roles in audit and in transaction services. Laura received her BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and Computer Science from King’s College London.  She is also an FCA of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

Emma Hughes
director, group external communications
Standard Chartered Bank

Emma is director, group external communications at Standard Chartered Bank. She has a passion for oral and written communication and prior to joining Standard Chartered Bank, she was executive editor of Trade Finance magazine. Emma’s background is in technology research and has enjoyed spells in the mining, semiconductor, consumer technology and photovoltaics manufacturing industries. An alumnus of the University of Herefordshire, Emma has a BA in English and philosophy

Jesse Karjalainen
corporate communications manager

Jesse Karjalainen is the corporate communications manager at SCISYS plc, a software and IT-solutions company serving the media and broadcasting, commercial, defence and space industries. He joined the AIM-listed group in 2015 after a decade of international roles in journalism, publishing, editorial, design, marketing etc. He has a BA Hons in journalism, a masters in marketing communications and is a member of the CIPR. Jesse hails from Scandinavia and speaks two and a half languages fluently but grew up in Australia. He is also the published author of a book on English grammar and several books on the history and etymology of the English language. 

Asmita Kapadia
head of international communications
BNY Mellon Investment Management

Asmita is head of communications for EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America at BNY Mellon Investment Management, the world’s largest multi-boutique asset manager with over $1.6tn under management. She has over two decades of communications experience within financial services, with a specialism in asset management, and extensive expertise in establishing and rebuilding the reputation of companies through media relations, external/internal communications and crisis management. Prior to BNY Mellon Investment Management, Asmita held senior communications roles at M&G Investments, Hermes Investment Management and Colonial First State, having begun her career at Barclays.  

Denis Kerby
director of communications

Denis has been director of communications at SGN Ltd since 2008, responsible for both internal and external communications for the gas network company as well as being responsible for writing and producing the annual report. With over 30 years’ experience in the energy industry he has a wide and varied experience in financial and crisis communications and runs a small comms team reaching across Scotland and the south of England.


Jonathan Low
head of investor relations

Jonathan joined Petrofac as international accountant in May 2003 in Aberdeen, visiting many of the group’s projects around the globe, before spending 18 months in their Middle East operational centre in the United Arab Emirates. Shortly after joining the corporate office in London in April 2006, following Petrofac’s IPO in October 2005, Jonathan took over the role of head of IR.  The primary focus of his role is investor relations, but works closely with the external communications team. Prior to joining Petrofac, Jonathan spent seven years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Aberdeen and Sydney, predominantly in the audit department, and trained as a Chartered Accountant.

Colin Mayes
head of UK PR
Aon Hewitt

Colin is head of UK PR for Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc. He joined the organisation in 2002 after leading media relations in Europe for real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield.  Prior to this, he worked at PwC and the London Stock Exchange in both media relations and corporate communications roles, having gained his initial experience in consultancies including Good Relations.  He is a graduate of Queen Mary, University of London and a member of the CIPR.

Susan McKenzie
content editor

Susan is content editor for Deloitte UK and is responsible for producing the Impact Report: the firm’s annual report demonstrating its impact on clients, people and society. She advises on, and writes, executive communications and works with the PR, internal communications and corporate marketing teams to align corporate messages and strategy. Susan previously worked in event-driven equity sales and is a former newswire journalist.

Martha McKenzie-Minifie
head of corporate communications, UK

Martha McKenzie-Minifie is ING UK region’s head of corporate communications. Her experience in marketing and communications includes almost 10 years as a journalist on daily, weekly and Sunday newspapers and magazines before joining ING in 2009. Martha has been a spokesperson on consumer economics for several years and appeared live on BBC News, Sky News and CNBC during that time.In 2016, she has stepped to lead the UK communications team. Outside of ING, Martha sits on the board of membership organisation Women in Banking and Finance as head of marketing and communications.Martha holds a master of journalism from the University of Queensland, an advanced certificate in public relations from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a bachelor of arts (English) from the University of Canterbury. 

Stephen Nightingale
director of investor relations

Having qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant Stephen’s career has included commercial finance roles at P&O, Lloyds TSB and Cleanaway before joining Britvic. In 2008 he joined the Britvic IR function, becoming IR Director in 2014. His IR career has covered the range of events that any company is likely to face. In the early years the company faced several profit warnings, a product recall and an aborted merger. In 2013 a new CEO has seen a significantly improved performance with 3 acquisitions and an equity raise added to the CV. Stephen has 3 teenage children, enjoys watching sport, travel and music

Simon O Brien
head of brand and reporting
Coats Group plc

Simon has worked in corporate communications for over 15 years, in both client and agency roles and across a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, beverages and manufacturing.  Currently he is head of brand and reporting for Coats, the world's leading industrial thread manufacturer, with responsibility for its corporate reporting strategy and delivering the programme globally. Working for a company that has only recently returned to the market as a listed entity, Simon is excited by the potential a ‘digital first’ approach to reporting can have on communicating with corporate stakeholder groups.

Brendan O Grady
senior vice president of corporate and financial communications

Brendan O'Grady is senior vice president of corporate and financial communications at the world's leading education company, Pearson, a role he took on in 2014. He is responsible for relationships with global business media and supports the CEO, CFO and Board on communications strategy. Brendan joined Pearson in 2010 as UK head of corporate affairs. In 2012 he became communications director for Pearson EMEA, and subsequently all international markets (ex-US). Before Pearson, he was a civil service press spokesman at the British Embassy in Washington DC, the Prime Minister's Press Office, and in other government departments.

Mark O Sullivan
head of corporate reporting

Mark leads PwC’s corporate reporting and governance team here in the UK. He has over a decade of experience in advising many leading organisations on current and best practices in reporting, the effectiveness of their corporate reporting and the implementation of new reporting strategies in order to meet the needs of the capital markets and the increasing regulation around corporate reporting.Mark is actively involved in helping to shape the future direction of corporate reporting. He sits on ICAS Corporate Reporting Committee and in his work with the International Integrated Reporting Council he: sits on the training advisory group; sat on its working group; and led PwCs role in designing, developing and hosting their Pilot Programme conferences. He oversees PwC’s annual review of the corporate reporting practices in the FTSE 350 and is responsible for the firm’s excellence in reporting in the FTSE 100 and 250 and Governance awards at their annual Building Public Trust Awards

Helen Parris
director of investor relations
G4S plc

Helen is the director of investor relations and is responsible for the group’s communication with the investment community, providing stock market analysts and shareholders with quality information on a timely basis so the group can be assessed and valued appropriately by the market.  Helen has held this role since March 2008 and been voted top IR professional in the Institutional Investor and Extel Pan European Awards for the support and business services sector.Helen has 30 years of city experience, covering fund management, investor relations (for media, security and oil and gas companies) and stock-broking. Prior to this appointment, Helen was investor relations manager at BG Group, the FTSE 10 oil and gas company.Helen has a BSc in accounting and financial analysis from Warwick University, is a Member of the Society of Investment Analysts, a Trustee for the G4S plc pension fund and board member for the Investor Relations Society.

Charles Reynolds
vice president corporate communications
Smith & Nephew

Charles is vice president corporate communications at FTSE100 medical technology business Smith & Nephew, where he is responsible for external communications including media and digital. His previously experience includes senior roles at AMEC plc, Bell Pottinger and Madano. Charles is also a Trustee & Director of international youth development charity Lattitude Global Volunteering. 


Andy Rowlands
corporate communications lead, UK & Ireland

Andy is corporate communications lead for Accenture in the UK & Ireland.  He was previously head of global corporate communications for Arcadis, the global design and engineering consultancy. He has 20 years’ experience in B2B/ professional services creating award winning content marketing campaigns. Prior to Arcadis he worked for agencies Burson-Marsteller and Bell Pottinger with clients including Accenture, Alcatel, the Co-operative Bank and Nestle

Charlotte Sjoberg
head of media relations

With more than 14 years experience in communications, Charlotte has a proven track record of making organisations, people and products well known and highly regarded.  Most recently she has developed, led and managed the external communications for the UK high street launch of TSB Bank plc in 2013, the successful float of the Bank onto the London Stock Exchange in 2014 and its eventual sale to Spanish Banking Group, Sabadell, in 2015.  Prior to building TSB’s media relations team and function from scratch, Charlotte held senior roles in Lloyds Banking Group and Nationwide Building Society. Outside of work, she enjoys having fun with her one year old, going for long walks in the countryside and being an advocate for working mothers juggling family life with their careers.

David Smith
head of corporate reporting
British Council

David has worked in a number of strategy and planning roles, including recently starting as the head of corporate reporting at the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. He has responsibility for global corporate reporting and shaping the organisation’s strategic priorities to translate into business planning. David is also currently a board member at Northampton College. Prior to this, he worked at the Open University in a number of operational and strategic roles. He holds a BSc and an MSc in science and a Professional Certificate in management.

Jennifer Thomas
head of internal communication and employee experience
Direct Line Group

Jennifer has over 20 years of public relations experience and has extensive experience of both corporate and consumer PR. She has been at Direct Line Group for ten years heading up financial communications for the past few years and has recently been appointed head of internal communication and employee experience. Jennifer was previously media relations executive at Lloyd's of London and Motability.  She is married and has two boys, aged 7 and 6. She has a dual degree in economics and dance and alongside her keen interest in performing arts, she was also a 400m/400m hurdle runner for England

Ian Thornton
head of investor relations

Ian Thornton is ARM's head of investor relations.  He joined ARM in 1999 and has held various technical and commercial marketing roles.  Prior to taking charge of ARM's investor relations Ian was responsible for training the ARM sales force in the breadth of ARM's product portfolio, managing ARM's ecosystem and leading the company's competitive analysis program.

Shellie Wells
head of corporate communications
Phoenix Group

Shellie Wells has over twenty years’ experience in communications.She has worked for the UK’s leading consolidator of closed life and pension funds, Phoenix Group for almost seven years, initially as head of media relations and now as head of corporate communications.  Working closely with the CEO and other senior managers, she leads a reputation management programme covering both consumer and city media, as well as government relations and other stakeholder engagement for the FTSE 250 listed company.Prior to joining Phoenix, Shellie was a partner at PR consultancy Lansons Communications.  During her 13 years working for the company, she specialised in delivering communications programmes for consumer finance brands including Churchill Insurance, Direct Line, LV= and Tesco Personal Finance, as well as non-financial organisations including Virgin Media, 1837online and the Post Office. Shellie started her career in direct marketing and advertising, working for Saga Financial Services – the over 50s specialist.

Andrew Whyte
director of communications
Financial Conduct Authority

A former vice-president of the National Union of Students, Andrew started his career in the mid-1980s in campaigning roles in civic society organisations, including the British Youth Council and Barnardo’s. Andrew went on to work in senior communications roles in some of the world’s most high profile organisations, including News International where he was deputy director of corporate affairs and the BBC where he was head of corporate and public relations. Subsequently Andrew has been director of communications for three organisations - Arts Council England and two UK government departments, Defra and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  Immediately before joining the FCA as head of external and internal relations in July 2014, Andrew was director of Kingsnorth Communications, a specialist consultancy focusing on strategy, leadership and change

Lisa Williams
head of investor relations advisory EMEA
Citi Bank

Lisa joined Citi’s Depositary Receipt Group in December 2014 as head of investor relations Advisory for EMEA.  Lisa has worked investor relations for 15 years and has experience of many aspects of corporate IR including equity capital raising, defence, management transition, shareholder activism, credit ratings and debt IR.  She was director of investor relations for FTSE-250 retail brand Debenhams plc from 2007 to 2014 and for Rentokil Initial plc between 2005 and 2007 and Cookson Group plc between 1999 and 2015.  Lisa holds an LLB Law from the University of London.

Katharine Wynne
director of investor relations

Katharine joined Debenhams in March 2015, before which she spent three years at Tulchan advising a variety of FTSE 350 companies on financial communications.Previously she had a long career as a retail analyst, including at Investec, Merrill Lynch and (the former) Kleinwort Benson.She was involved in the IPO of Debenhams in 2006 and has known and researched the Company since its demerger from the Burton Group.


Align your brand with this annual celebration for the IR and corporate communications community

For details on sponsorship opportunities, please email Andrew Thomas - andrew.thomas@communicatemagazine.co.uk


If you are interested in being a supporting partner of the Corporate & Financial Awards please email Michelle Kibble