Speakers List - Professional Adviser 360 2019 North


CHAIR: Tom Ellis


Professional Adviser

Sir Digby Jones was United Kingdom Minister of State for Trade & Investment July 2007 - October 2008, accepting a lifetime peerage in the House of Lords where he now sits on the cross benches and is known as Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham. During his 15 months in Ministerial office he made 45 overseas visits, travelling to 31 different countries and meeting with the world's top business leaders and politicians. He changed the way that UK Trade & Investment was perceived in delivering a record year for inward investment and expanding the UK's presence in all of the major international markets. Following his departure from Ministerial office he was appointed as a Business Ambassador for UK Trade & Investment.

Prior to this, he was the former director general of the CBI. He was considered to be one of the most successful holders of the post, and was an energetic champion of British Business around the world.

Born in Birmingham in 1955, Digby won a major scholarship to Bromsgrove School and gained a 2:1 honours degree in law at University College, London.

In 1978, after some time in the Royal Navy, he started his career with corporate law firm Edge & Ellison making partner in 1984. It was in corporate finance and client development that he made his name and was responsible for developing the firm's London presence and establishing its representation in many European countries as well as several states in America. He was also involved in most of the major management buy-outs and merger and acquisition activity in the West Midlands in the late 1980s and early 1990s before becoming senior partner in 1995.

In 1998 he joined KPMG as vice-chairman of corporate finance, where he acted as close adviser to many public companies across the United Kingdom and in KPMG's global markets.

On 1 January 2000 he became director-general of the CBI and in September 2003 his term was extended by 2 years at the request of CBI members. As the chief executive of the UK's 'voice of business', he regularly and repeatedly visited businesses around the UK and across the world, taking their views back to those who make the rules, be they in Westminster or Brussels. He appeared regularly on television, radio and in the newspapers, promoting the interests of wealth and job creation in the UK, and has taken the British business message to 60 different countries, and in the process set-up CBI offices in Brussels and Washington.

He holds a variety of directorships in both the public and private sectors and holds honorary doctorates from a host of universities. He is involved with a number of charities, including holding the vice presidency of UNICEF and the Chairmanship of Cancer Research UK Ambassadors for whom he raised £191,000 by running the Flora London Marathon in April 2005 in the modest time of 5 hours 58 mins, as well as supporting a variety of organisations in his beloved West Midlands, such as the Birmingham Hospice appeal, for whom he personally raised £218,000 by cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End in 1998.

Sir Digby is an outstanding orator - witty, authoritative, full of passion - and always tailors his material to suit his audience.

He is an experienced keynote speaker and a popular choice for conferences and seminars and can speak on a wide range business issues from international trade opportunities to the training & skills required to cope with globalisation, drawing on his lifetime of unique achievement having worked closely with governments all around the world promoting British business.

As an after dinner speaker, Digby has a fund of anecdotes to draw upon involving many of the famous people he has done business with over the years from leading politicians to show business personalities.

He lives in Marylebone and Warwickshire with his wife Pat. He enjoys the theatre, skiing, football, rugby, cricket and has more than a passing interest in military history.

KEYNOTE: Rory Percival


Rory Percival Consulting

Rory Percival was ‘the face of the FCA' to advisory firms for many years. He worked at the regulator for 10 years and was involved with many high profile projects such as risk profiling, centralised investment propositions, the RDR, research and due diligence, and the assessing suitability review as well as speaking regularly at conferences. Prior to joining the regulator Rory worked in the advisory for sector for 20 years mainly in compliance and training roles. He has Chartered Financial Planner status. In November 2016 he launched his own firm - Rory Percival Training and Consultancy Ltd to help support professionalism in the advisory sector.

STREAM CHAIR: Philip Martin

Business Development Director

Unique Financial Planning

Philip co-owns and manages Unique Financial Planning, a general advice business with 25 advisers operating predominately in the south of England. Prior to this, he was Marketing Director at Openwork for six years, with responsibility for product propositions, marketing, PR and leading its investment company, Omnis Investments.

Prior to that, Philip spent two years with F&C Investments with responsibility for the asset manager's UK retail proposition and was Business Development Director at wrap provider Nucleus Financial Group, which he co-founded in 2006. He had previously been a founder-director of consultancy Abacus Financial Marketing, working with more than 65 life companies, asset managers, IFAs and industry bodies on a variety of strategic and proposition projects.


STREAM CHAIR: Lee Robertson

Managing Director

Octo Members Group

Lee Robertson is the managing director of Octo Members Group, a new app based venture primarily aimed at supporting wealth managers and financial planners. He was the founding director of Investment Quorum but stepped back from the business in August although continues to provide strategic insight to the Board.
Lee is a regulator commentator on issues as well a regular columnist in several publications. He is well known for his client centric views. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments and amongst other awards was recognised in the definitive Spear's Wealth Management Awards as one of the top ten wealth managers in the UK and was named wealth manager of the year by the in 2015. Lee was also named UK Wealth Management CEO of the year last year in the Le Fonti International Business Awards.
He is a founding director of the Association of Independent Non-Executive Directors and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster DisLab on the Digital MA course.



Equity Release Council

Jim was appointed CEO of the Equity Release Council in June 2018.He joined from Reform think tank, where he was Deputy Director and Head of Research. Prior to this he was an Expert Adviser at the Department for Work and Pensions, initially supporting Lord Freud, then Welfare Reform Minister.
Jim has extensive experience of retirement and social care funding having led the Corporate Affairs functions at specialist life assurers Britannic Retirement Solutions, Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance.

He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Society of Later Life Advisers and an adviser to the Intergenerational Longevity Commission-UK, a leading longevity, ageing and population change policy unit. Jim is a former tax and trusts lawyer.


Head of Research, Adviser Services


With 15 years' experience as a paraplanner and consultant across protection and wealth, Adam has vast experience of helping advisers and technology suppliers to develop, implement and select software solutions. As the Head of Consulting for adviser services at Financial Technology Research Centre, he has a detailed knowledge of the software suppliers in the market and led numerous projects to help them improve their offerings and better understand the needs of advisers. Specialising in technology selection in order to increase efficiency, improve compliance and meet regulatory requirements, Adam has worked with some of the largest advisory firms in the country and helped them to shape their requirements and source solutions to meet their business needs.

Ray Adams



Ray Adams - Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society - is the man behind the UK's leading provider of cashflow planning software, CashCalc. He is also the Chairman of Independent Financial Advisers Niche, and creator of AdviserBook - an impartial online directory of regulated financial advisers in the UK.

Ray is a strong advocate of the role technology can play in the financial planning process. One of his proudest achievements to date is the award-winning success of CashCalc. CashCalc today is used by more than 12,000 planners in the UK alone, with users based in the 5 of the 7 continents - helping advisers drive efficiencies and power productivity in their own financial planning processes.

Earlier this year, Ray was named Personality of the Year 2019 at the Professional Adviser Awards, while CashCalc has also received a number of recognitions, including being named Best Non-Research Software at the Professional Paraplanner Awards 2019. CashCalc also won the Best Technology Provider award at the Professional Adviser Awards 2019.

Ray also plays a leading role in influencing financial advice in its efforts to adapt to the needs and requirements of an everchanging population. To that end, he is passionate about training the next generation of financial advisers and support teams behind his own business - a key initiative that saw Niche named as one of the Top 14 Financial Advisers to Work for in the UK.

Vanessa Barnes

Member Director

Personal Finance Society

After working for three years in scientific research, Vanessa joined a national firm of financial advisers in 1986. Over the next 10 years she became a recognised pension specialist and received an Independent Financial Adviser Of The Year Award. Having established Hannay Investments in 1996, Vanessa is proud to be leading a three woman adviser firm directly regulated by the FCA.

Vanessa enjoys travelling with her family, particularly to their cottage in Normandy. Vanessa, Kelly & Anne were profiled in the History of Parliament Voice & Vote commemorative album celebrating 100 years of Votes for Women.

In September 2018, Vanessa was appointed as a Director to the board of the Personal Finance Society and is particularly supporting the PFS executive as they open up discussion on the importance of Diversity and Inclusion to members and their clients.

Marcel Bradshaw

Head of UK Retail

Orbis Investments

Marcel Bradshaw, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws (University of Port Elizabeth), Admitted Attorney. Marcel joined Orbis in 2016 and leads the firm's UK retail initiative. He previously worked for Old Mutual in South Africa and more recently in London in various retail business development roles, and prior to that was responsible for building Sanlam's international business and international platforms. Marcel started his career with the Old Mutual Corporate Law division, specialising in tax.

Bella Caridade-Ferreira



Bella has 18 years' experience in the research and analysis of the UK, European and Asian asset management industries. She set up Fundscape in 2010. Before starting Fundscape, she worked for Lipper FMI as Global Head of Research and Publications and was the author of numerous publications and reports including the popular European and Asian Data Digests, the Fund Market Profile series of reports and the UK Platform guide.
Early in her career she worked in investment banking and a London-based consulting firm where she specialised in market entry strategies for retail and institutional asset managers. She has a master's degree in International Business and is fluent in four languages.
Bella is particularly fussy about grammar and punctuation, and loves going to the theatre, disco dancing and pub quizzes.

Simon Chrystal

Chief Executive Officer

WPS Advisory

Simon Chrystal is the Chief Executive Officer for WPS Advisory Limited. He is responsible for business strategy and management, with particular focus on creating access to high quality, affordable, financial advice.

Simon started his career in the pensions industry in 1989 as an administrator with the Teachers' Pension Scheme, being promoted through various roles before taking on a role with another industry wide scheme, the Motor Industry Plan. He then moved into consulting roles with The Pensions Trust and Ernst & Young.

In 2004, within Cavanagh Group he set up a new actuarial and consulting business, cprm Actuaries and Consultants Limited, being appointed as a founding Director.

In 2009 he was appointed as Head of Strategy for Oval Pension Solutions, a startup division of Oval Financial Services Limited. In 2012 he was promoted to Head of Oval Pensions Solutions.

In 2014, at the point of the sale of Oval Group, Simon, together with Paul Butler, founded UK Workplace Solutions Limited, which ultimately acquired the current trading entity, WPS Advisory Limited.

Simon is often identified by his passion for his efforts to ensure consumers have positive outcomes from their interactions with financial advisers. As a result of this passion he was fortunate enough to be appointed to the Incentive Exercise Working Group set up by then Pensions Minister Steve Webb, which produced the Code of Good Practice for Incentive Exercises, credited for ensuring thousands of members received independent financial advice which clearly represented their best interests. Simon was then appointed as a member of the Incentive Exercise Monitoring Board, working within its core technical group.

Subsequently Simon was part of the Personal Finance Society Pension Advice Taskforce, contributing to the new Pension Transfer Gold Standard as part of a coordinated, industry wide, effort to ensure consumers get access to high quality advice they can trust.

George Cliff

Pre-Sales Technical Manager

Clever Adviser

As Pre-Sales Technical Manager, it is Georges role to ensure prospective firms receive the highest quality service when first introduced to the business. Responsible for presenting the business at large events and seminars, George has the specific duty of articulating complex product features and investment strategy to a wide range of audiences in the UK.

Previously in a post-sale support function, working day to day with the IFAs for whom Clever serve, George boasts a valued knowledge and understanding of what needs and demands both business and client face in this ever-changing industry.

Alastair Conway


James Hay

Alastair cut his teeth in financial services as an IFA. That grounding at the coalface of financial services has never left him. As CEO of James Hay understanding the challenges advisers and their clients face is brought to bear on the direction he is taking the business - making it the platform for retirement wealth planning, focused on delivering unparalleled choice of investment type, wrapper, fund and drawdown options.

Before he took the reins at James Hay, Alastair was Sales and Marketing Director of Cofunds, so he knows the UK platform market - and its challenges - inside out.

Amongst the various other roles he has held in his 26 year career in financial services, Alastair was Head of Proposition and Commercial development at Sesame, the largest IFA network in the UK.

Lawrence Cook

Head of UK Intermediary Distribution


Lawrence joined the team at Sanlam in 2019 as Head of UK Intermediary Distribution.

He brings a wealth of experience most recently as a board director of discretionary investment manager Thesis Asset Management.

At Thesis Lawrence had responsibility for the Private Client Division along with Marketing and Business Development.

He was a key member of the Thesis leadership that managed the sale of the discretionary business to Sanlam in 2019.

Previously he managed the Bristol Towry office and had a successful career at Standard Life within distribution.

Nick Dixon

Investment Director


Nick is responsible for shaping Aegon's investment proposition, the fund range, and leading its relationships with fund managers. Nick's team also develop and launch new investment solutions. Nick has been Investment Director at Aegon since September 2013.

Following a successful consulting career in the oil and gas sector Nick moved into financial services with Skandia in 2002, working as strategy director between 2002 and 2007 and marketing director between 2007 and 2013.

He is passionate about investments, the positive role of savings in the UK, and the importance of making sure investment strategies meet the needs of advisers, employers and investors.

Following a successful consulting career in the oil and gas sector Nick moved into financial services with Skandia in 2002, working as strategy director between 2002 and 2007 and marketing director between 2007 and 2013.

He is passionate about investments, the positive role of savings in the UK, and the importance of making sure investment strategies meet the needs of advisers, employers and investors.

Chris Flowers

Head of Distribution

Pure Retirement

Chris has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years, including the last 9 years in equity release. Having been a successful Equity Release Adviser at Age Partnership, Chris moved to Pure Retirement in 2014 and has successfully helped the organisation become a market leading lender, including ranking 34th in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2018.

As Head of Intermediary Sales, Chris has a passion for driving sales through offering a first class service, something which has been outlined by winning ‘Best BDM' in 2017 at the Equity Release Awards and being instrumental in helping Pure to win ‘Best Provider-Adviser Support' for three years running.

Paul Freeman

Senior Underwriter

Liberty Specialty Markets

Ryan Gardner

Investment Director

Quilter Investors

Ryan joined Quilter Investors in January 2016 as investment director. He has extensive experience in the multi-asset market both UK and global, previously working at Rand Merchant Bank (Johannesburg) and Prescient Investment Management. Ryan studied a Bachelor of Business Science (Honours in Finance) and is a CFA charterholder.

Ben Hammond

Principal Consultant

Altus Consulting

Ben has over 17 years' experience in financial services, and specifically in the platform space for the last 8. Prior to joining Altus, he worked for both Cofunds and Ascentric, building and launching new products and propositions as well as navigating the complicated world of regulatory change.

Ben works with a wide range of Altus clients across the UK and South Africa, helping them understand the future of the platform landscape, the impact change will have on running their businesses and how they can improve the efficiency of their operations.

Ben writes for and provides commentary to a number of well-known financial services publications. He co-authored the 2018 Altus white paper "Giving your platform wings" and his dream is to see all platforms in profit by 2025.

@BenHAltus @AltusLtd

Gillian Hepburn

Intermediary Solutions Director


Gillian has over 30 years' experience in financial services and has recently joined Schroders as Intermediary Solutions Director.
Previously, Gillian had an extensive career at Standard Life followed by consultancy positions with a range of platform providers, asset managers, life companies and financial advisers. In 2016 she founded DISCUS, a business providing research, insight and educational content for financial advisers about the outsourced investment market and discretionary managers. Following an acquisition of the business by the Embark Group she continued to develop DISCUS, provided expert consultancy services for the launch of the Embark platform and was Head of Strategic Partnerships.

Hilary Inglis

Senior Relationship Manager, Distribution

First State Investments

Hilary Inglis joined First State Investments in 2015, as Senior Relationship manager for their Institutional Clients. Prior to which she spent seven years in Australia working within the asset management arm of the financial advice company, ipac, delivering multi-manager portfolios for pre & post retirees. This was followed by AMP's Head of Investments in their Corporate Super business, leading their investment strategy.

Prior to this, Hilary has worked in Edinburgh in client relationship roles for Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and for Investec Asset Management in London in a Portfolio Manager role within the International Equities team.

Hilary has BA Hons from Oxford Brookes University, an MBA from Heriot-Watt University and is currently the vice chair of the DCIF.

Janice Laing

Managing Director

Compliance First - part of the Simply Biz Group

As Managing Director of Compliance First, Janice has responsibility for the overall strategy, management and delivery of services for that business. She joined Compliance First in 2004 and her career in financial services spans over 30 years, having previously worked with Scottish
Amicable, Eagle Star and National Australia Group.

Janice's breadth and depth of knowledge has been gained from her previous roles, which include broker and adviser sales, training and competence supervision and compliance consultancy and implementation. She is Level 4 qualified and also holds mortgage, equity release and long term care qualifications. Janice is a key member of the SimplyBiz Group Management Board and a significant part of the team overseeing the Group's Compliance Centres of Excellence

Amongst her other responsibilities, she is currently leading the highly detailed support being made available to Group Firms in respect of the Senior Manager & Certification Regime.

Martin Lines

Business Development Director


Martin Lines is Business Development Director with Just. Martin shares his knowledge of the retirement and later life markets with intermediaries through the delivery of business development presentations and workshops.

He has 30 years' experience in financial services, working extensively with local and national adviser firms on pension and retirement-related issues.

Martin joined Just in 2009 where his expertise puts him in an ideal position to support financial intermediaries and their clients to benefit from the considerable opportunities this market presents.

He lives near Reading with his wife and three children and is a keen drummer in his spare time.

Jacqueline Lockie

Head of Financial Planning

Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment

Jacqueline is the Head of Financial Planning at the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI).
She has worked in the financial services sector since 1988 in technical and training roles and also as a financial planner.
She is a Fellow of the CISI and holder of the internationally recognised Certified Financial Planner Licence, for which she was one of the first examiners in the UK.
Jacqueline was previously Head of Training at the Association of Investment Companies and Director of Training and Education for the Institute of Financial Planning, where she designed, wrote and delivered new courses for financial advisers wishing to enhance their investment and planning skills and paraplanners to learn the methodology of financial planning.

Max Maxwell

Head of Business Development


Max leads the business development team at IRESS, working with wealth management and planning firms nationally. Having spent much of his career in national roles with a major life office, he is a passionate advocate of the adviser and their role in people's lives. He is also an avid supporter of the role technology plays to enable businesses to transform their propositions. Outside of IRESS Max is a keen runner and rowing coach.

Jan Oliver


Baillie Gifford

Jan graduated MA in Arts from Glasgow University in 1987. She gained 13 years' experience in various roles at Standard Life before joining Baillie Gifford in 2001. A Partner in the Clients Department, she is a member is a member of the Multi Asset Product Group and is responsible for UK Defined Contribution Strategy

Justin Onuekwusi

Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds

Legal & General Investment Management

Justin is a fund manager within the Multi-Asset Funds team, leading on the management of the team's retail and risk-profiled multi-asset funds. Prior to joining LGIM in August 2013, Justin was a fund manager with Aviva Investors' multi-asset team combining both strategic and dynamic asset allocation with manager selection in the construction of multi-asset portfolios. He was lead fund manager on a range of risk-targeting multi-asset funds and co-lead fund manager on a number of unit-linked Life and Pension funds, as well as manager of manager offerings. Justin previously worked as a fund research analyst at Merrill Lynch and an investment consultant for Aon Consulting. Justin is a CFA Charterholder and holds a degree in economics from the University of Warwick and the Investment Management Certificate.

Les Pick

Head of Sales

Canada Life Home Finance

With over 20 years of experience in Financial Services, Les Pick can offer insight from both an adviser and product provider perspective. Les has worked for some of the largest names in the later life sector including Canada Life, Aviva, LV=, The Right Equity Release and Equity Release Supermarket. In addition to this, he has also run his own IFA practice and knows first-hand the challenges that advisers face on a day-to-day basis. He is passionate about adviser education and increasing the awareness of the need for holistic financial planning in the later life lending sector.

Andrew Tully

Technical Director

Canada Life

Andrew's primary role is the analysis and communication of pension regulation, legislation and taxation. He regularly writes and comments on pensions for the financial media, speaks at conferences and seminars and is a member of a number of industry-wide working groups. He is currently spending much of his time helping advisers work through the opportunities arising from the many changes taking place to the retirement income landscape. Previously, Andrew was Senior Pensions Policy Manager at Standard Life, where he spent 18 years over two spells, and he also worked for 7 years at Scottish Equitable as Technical Development Manager.

Stuart Wilson

Corporate Marketing Director

more 2 life

Stuart joined as the B2B Marketing Director for more 2 life in July 2014. He has over 30 years of experience in the Financial Services sector, working for a range of well-known brands including Friends Provident, Abbey Life, LV= and Just. He also ran his own marketing agency specialising in helping advisers working in the mortgage market before joining a start-up company called Living Time that launched Fixed Term Annuities in to the UK pensions market. The last five years have been spent helping build more 2 life into one of the largest lifetime mortgage lenders in the UK.