Judging Panel

Chris Baigent-Reed

Founder & Director

Jigsaw Tree and Jigsaw Tree Outsourcing

Ian Chimes

Head of Global Distribution


Ian joined Liontrust in February 2017 as Head of Global Distribution, having previously been Sales and Marketing Director at Miton Group. From 2007 to 2013, Ian was Managing Director of PSigma Asset Management, a UK equity income boutique that he co-founded, and before that was Managing Director of Credit Suisse's UK Retail fund management business. Ian was also with Henderson for eight years and has an English degree from Leeds University.

Patrick Connolly

Head of Communications

Chase de Vere

Patrick Connolly is Head of Communications at Chase de Vere, the Independent Financial Advisers. He has 26 years of experience in the financial advice industry and is qualified as a Chartered Financial Planner through the Personal Finance Society and a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered MSCI through the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. He was named as the Financial Adviser of the Year, Investment Adviser of the Year, At Retirement Adviser of the Year and Value of Advice Ambassador at the Unbiased Media Awards 2017.

Hannah Godfrey


Professional Adviser

Cathi Harrison

Founder & Director


Cathi is the Founder & Director of Para-Sols, an outsourced paraplanning firm and sister company, Apricity, a new compliance firm launched at the end of 2017. She has been in financial services since leaving university and holds both the Chartered and Certified Financial Planner status as well as being a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society.

Cathi splits her time across both companies - supporting her team and clients on a daily basis, managing the strategy and focussing the growth for both Para-Sols and Apricity as well as championing female leadership within, and external to, financial services. Outside of work, she loves nothing more than spending quality time with her young family and is a travel junkie.


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.


Heather Hopkins

Managing Director


Heather Hopkins is founder and MD of NextWealth, a research business that helps financial institutions adapt to what's next in wealth.

Heather has worked in the field of market research, competitive intelligence and industry benchmarking for two decades in North America, Asia and Europe.

She has spent most of her career in financial services helping asset managers, platforms and financial advisers improve their propositions, customer communication and to benchmark success against competitors. She was Head of Platforum until December 2017 and has also worked in digital marketing at Hitwise and Econsultancy.

[email protected]


Abbie Knight

Group Head of Digital Marketing and Director of DISCUS

Embark Group

Jaqueline 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.


Julian Marr


Professional Adviser

Julian Marr is editor of Professional Adviser, Incisive Media's news, opinion and analysis website for UK financial advisers, as well as its sister publication Multi-Asset Review. Prior to rejoining Incisive in March 2016, he was editorial director of financial adviser resources Adviser-Hub and Events-Hub as well as a regular contributor to a variety of financial magazines and co-author, with Cherry Reynard, of Investing in Emerging Markets - the BRIC economies and beyond, published by John Wiley & Sons. Before joining Adviser-Hub in 2008, he was editorial director of Incisive Media's Investment Division, including Investment Week and Professional Pensions. His career as an investment journalist, writer and conference moderator now spans more than two decades, including five as editor and then publisher of personal finance magazine Bloomberg Money. He used to be a solicitor but that really was a very long time ago.

Helen Morrissey

Pension Specialist

Royal London

Helen joined Royal London in May 2017 and creates content and comment across a range of personal finance topics. Before this she was a journalist for 18 years and specialised in retirement issues. She edited trade titles Professional Pensions and Retirement Planner. In 2016 she was voted Pensions Journalist of the Year by the Investment Association and Institutional Journalist of the Year in the Kames Capital Journalism Awards.

Kerry Nelson

Founder and Managing Director

Nexus IFA Ltd

Kerry Nelson is founder and Managing Director of Nexus IFA, a business she set up a decade ago. She has previously worked as a Director of Communications for a large financial advice business and began her career in financial services at a High Street bank. Kerry firmly believes that small financial advice businesses - whether they aspire to become larger or not - have a crucial role to play in delivering financial planning to the UK public. Kerry feels strongly that advisers should lead the financial services sector by example, by setting the highest standards, though that means driving out poor practice as well. Finally, she believes that advisers should play a role in spreading good money habits, not just among clients, but the public at large.

Cherry Reynard


Investment Week

Cherry Reynard is a freelance financial journalist. She has worked for a range of national, consumer and trade titles including the Financial Times, Telegraph, Independent, Money Observer, Moneywise, What Investment, Citywire and Money Marketing. She has co-authored a book on investing in emerging markets and is six-time winner of the Investment Management Association's freelance journalist of the year award and four-time winner of the AIC Freelance journalist of the year award. She began her career as a tax accountant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, before moving to investment bank JP Morgan.

Andrea Rozario

Chief Corporate Officer

Bower Retirement

Andrea has over 25 years' experience in financial services becoming a specialist in equity release over 10 years ago. As a high profile commentator and industry expert Andrea has contributed to both trade, National Press, TV and radio. Her career has included the position of Director General for the trade association SHIP now known as the Equity Release Council whereby she spent over 5 years as the industry spokesperson helping to educate and inform media, Government and the general public on the safeguards of equity release.

As a member of Bowers Board for the last 4 years Andreas experience across providers, solicitors, advisers and customers, along with a deep understanding of the industry has helped to shape and grow Bower.


Emma Thomson

Product Strategist

British Friendly

Emma has nearly twenty years' experience in the Protection industry, and uses her expertise and influence to help grow and improve the protection market. Emma is LifeSearch's Life Office Relationship Director and Press Spokesperson. Both roles involve her lobbying for improved customer experiences and increased consumer awareness; she works closely with insurers to develop their propositions, helps journalists with Protection stories, together with speaking publicly and writing columns herself on issues and opportunities to help get more consumers protected. Through this work for LifeSearch, Emma founded and is Chair of the Women in Protection Network. The group's purpose is to highlight the need for more women to take out Protection insurance, and to help increase the number of women working within and influencing our industry. Emma is also chair of the Protection Distributors Group which aims to improve the industry for consumers.

Johnny Timpson

Financial Resilience and Protection Specialist

Scottish Widows

Johnny Timpson is Scottish Widows' financial resilience and protection specialist. He has 40 years' experience working in a variety of technical roles and distribution models. He is a member of the ABI Protection Committee and was recently appointed by the DWP to be the disability champion for the insurance industry and profession. He is also a member of the Income Protection Task Force and sits on both its Welfare and Building Resilient Households working groups. In addition, he is a member of the CII's Insuring Women's Futures Programme Advisory Panel and was, until its close, a member of the Seven Families Project team and work stream lead. Until recently Johnny was chair of TISA's Consumer Protection Policy Council. Outside work, Johnny actively supports the Fawcett Society and campaigns for gender equality and a 50:50 Parliament.

Claire Trott

Head of Pension Strategy

Technical Connection

Claire, Head of Pension Strategy at Technical Connection, has worked in the pensions arena for the whole of her career. This has ranged from a pension transfer specialist to helping advisers deal with the complexities of SIPPs and SSAS in a post simplification environment. Her role with Technical Connection continues to build on her technical insight, thought leadership and ability to make complex issues simple to understand.

Jessica List

Pension Technical Manager

Curtis Banks

Jessica has been with the Curtis Banks Group for seven years, having joined Suffolk Life in 2011. She's worked in various roles, including the SIPP Support team helping customers with general queries and the Product Technical team working on projects to deliver legislative changes and delivering staff training. As the Group's Pension Technical Manager she now focuses on helping advisers, presenting on technical issues and writing for the press. She has been a regular contributor to Retirement Planner since 2016.

2018 Judging Panel

Melissa Collett

Professional Standards Director

Chartered Insurance Institute

Melissa Collett is Professional Standards Director at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), leading its professional standards, ethics and conduct activity as a united profession across insurance and financial planning. She is also responsible for the professional body's legal affairs, risk management, disciplinary matters and governance. She is keen to raise awareness of best practice and drive ethical behaviour through engagement with the profession and external stakeholders.

Melissa has an extensive background in consumer insurance and legal issues. She spent over a decade at the Financial Ombudsman Service, was a Director at Fairer Finance and sits as a Tribunal Judge. She is also qualified solicitor, and specialised in insurance law at Hogan Lovells. She is a frequent speaker at insurance conference and events, sits on judging panels, and is the author of numerous articles and publications on consumer insurance law subjects.


Kevin Carr

MD Carr Consulting

CEO Protection Review

Kevin has been in the financial services industry since 1993. Following three years providing mortgage advice on the high street, he progressed through several roles with independent protection specialist LifeSearch including Head of Protection Strategy and Director of Public Relations. In 2008 Kevin joined PruProtect (now VitalityLife) as Director of Protection Development, a role which included all aspects of protection business including sales, marketing, product development and public relations. A previously qualified IFA and mortgage adviser Kevin is a well-known industry figure who speaks regularly to the media and at conferences on all matters related to protection. Kevin is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and has won many industry awards including accolades for protection advice, business strategy, influence and PR. In 2006 Kevin was voted Protection Adviser of the Year and also the UK's Best Financial Services Press Officer.

In 2007 Kevin was voted the 2nd most influential person in the UK protection industry of the last ten years. Kevin is Managing Director of PR and consultancy firm Carr Consulting & Communications, CEO of Protection Review and Co-Chairman of the Income Protection Task Force. A keen Arsenal fan he has also been known to play keyboards in various bands over the years.

Julie Lord

Chief Executive

Magenta Financial Planning

Julie Lord is a Chartered and Certified Financial Planner at Magenta - a specialist Financial Planning company that helps its clients build plans for future security and happiness.

She was an Institute of Financial Planning Board member for 15 years and is a former President. She has been a member of the FSA Training Advisory Panel; Chairman of the IFP Education Committee and member of the ISO working party and is keen to ensure that all professional advisers are well qualified to deliver the best possible advice to the public.

As well as being a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, and a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, Julie has won numerous Financial Planning awards and is a regular writer and presenter of financial issues in the trade and public press.

She is very passionate about providing the best quality advice to clients and ensuring that Financial Planning businesses are embracing the best possible practices in order to deliver this effectively and profitably.

Victoria McKeever


Professional Adviser

Victoria is a reporter, focusing on investment, at Professional Adviser. She joined the publication in August 2016, after studying French and History at the University of Warwick.

Outside of reporting the latest news in financial advice, Victoria enjoys running and going to gigs.


Kim North

Managing Director

Technology & Technical Ltd

Kim has worked in UK financial services for over 35 years. During this time, she provided consultancy to over 100 financial services companies. She's a columnist and an industry judge for many awards. In the early 1990's she created consultancy Pretty Technical Partnership and later founded Pretty Financial a London City based IFA. She has been consultancy head of compliance for 3 major companies and currently works with a Chartered and Certified IFA business and a leading pensions actuarial consultancy.

Clare Parsons

Chair and Co-founder


Clare is Chair and co-founder of strategic communications consultancy Lansons, set up in 1989. Voted Best City (Financial) Agency by PRCA, Lansons was ranked 15th best Medium Size Workplace by the Great Place to Work Institute, the 14th year in a row to be in the Top 50. Leading the agency's international business, Clare is Global Chair of PROI Worldwide, the first woman in its 48 year history.

Clare is Trustee of HighTide Festival Theatre; a member of the 30% Club championing diversity inclusion; is on the advisory group of The Supper Club and Trustee Recruitment Pathways. Clare was recognised with the Stephen Tallent Award by the CIPR for her contribution to the PR industry, where she was made a Fellow, and she was a Real Business Magazine's Top 100 Women UK Entrepreneurs alumni.