WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (2023)

  • About
  • The categories
  • Sponsors
  • Speakers and Judges

The 24th Awards for Achievement aim to celebrate amazing talent in the financial services sector, as well as programmes by corporate members that progress diversity and inclusion and establish new industry best practices.

Despite decades of work, diversity and inclusion remains an issue for many firms. WIBF is delighted to be able to help challenge the status quo and remove the barriers that continue to prevent equality, with gender equity of particular importance.

Following the recognition of the below individuals and firms’ initiatives shortlisted for the awards, the judges are selecting the winners. They will now be celebrated at a national virtual event from 12:30 till 14:00 on Thursday 17th November.

You can sign up for the event .

We hope that you can all join to see a new list of role models ushered into WIBF’s prestigious awards alumni and get some inspirational advice from industry leaders!

The Awards for Achievement are made possible by Citi as our headline sponsor and supported by Credit Suisse, Cynergy Bank, Goldman Sachs, LSEG, Macquarie, Succession Wealth and TEN Group.

You can read more about each shortlisted nominee below the tables.

Shortlisted for the awards are:

WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (1)


Award for Achievement Shortlist

Inclusive Leader Award Shortlist

Future Leader Award Shortlist

WIBF Volunteer of The Year Award Shortlist

Tech Leader Award Shortlist

Mentor of the Year Award Shortlist

Most Successful Returners Programme Award Shortlist

Best Positive Social And Sustainable Impact Award Shortlist

Given the number of very strong submissions, WIBF also wants to flag some honourable mentions, recognising the achievements of the nominees, but which unfortunately will not be taken further due to the achievements of the candidates shortlisted.

These are:

Award for Achievement:

Danny Sam, Santander

Nicola Free, Wells Fargo

Future Leader Award

Amsy Tesfa, EY

Lillian Alfred, Wells Fargo

Aurela Deshishku, KPMG

Meshali Chotai, KPMG

Harriet Oram, KPMG

Niamh Murphy, EY

Isabelle Pratt, KPMG

Rosanna Ravey, KPMG

Jalpa Dodhia, KPMG

Swati Seshadri, Citi

Lauren Cassells, EY

Award for Achievement

An individual in a senior industry role who achieves success that can benefit the industry as a whole. The winner will have displayed qualities of determination, dynamism and daring in their working life to be a role model for the sector. They will have also sought to bring their experience to bear beyond their own organisation (e.g. by serving on other organisations’ boards) to further diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the financial services sector and support women more broadly. This is an individual making a significant impact, driving change, and is able to demonstrate that change through measurement/documented successes. They should be a role model who can be held up beyond our sector.

Inclusive Leader

This award celebrates a proud advocate for change. This is a leader making change happen by ensuring that women get equal access to voice, visibility and opportunities. Through personal commitment, application and dedication, they continuously promote and inspire women in the workplace to help them achieve their full potential. Their standard of inclusion and approach to D&I should become the norm, rather than the exception, setting best practices and methods for future inclusive leaders. The award is being judged in partnership with The Inclusion Initiative, LSE.

Future Leader

Celebrates someone aged 35 or younger (on 31st May 2022) who has had an exceptional impact within an organisation with regard to D&I, either as a role model or by leading progress. This person is shaping their company’s culture, not only in terms of business success, but also in the example being set for colleagues. This individual outperforms peers across their firm and demonstrates ambition and has seen career success, while helping others.

Tech Leader

Celebrates an outstanding contribution within digital or tech disciplines in financial services. This award recognises someone who is leading the tech agenda, either via thought leadership, technical expertise or as an innovator. This individual will have demonstrated their passion and innovation in either a project or in leveraging technology to advance the work of their organisation and improve gender equality either for their organisation, or for the financial services sector as a whole.

Mentor of the Year

Celebrates an individual who has consistently demonstrated the importance of mentoring, having given up time to support one or more mentees over the course of the last year, at a minimum. The submission should highlight how they have supported their mentee(s) in achieving their objectives and in what ways each mentee was able to progress/develop following their mentoring sessions. The submission should include endorsements from their mentee(s). The nominated mentor can be new to mentoring or a seasoned hand.

Volunteer of the Year

A WIBF volunteer who has served during the previous year and is seen as having provided an outstanding contribution to WIBF beyond their initial remit as a volunteer. The winner for this award will be selected by WIBF individual members through a voting process, based on how this person has stood out as a volunteer versus others, and whether their contribution has supported success for a WIBF project, pillar or region, or has generally championed the broader aims of WIBF.

Best D&I Innovation – Gender Equality

Good ideas can change the world. The challenge of delivering gender equality requires organisations to think differently about their work with colleagues, communities and wider society. This award recognises an organisation that is leading the way in supporting gender equality in new and innovative ways. Whether celebrating a project or team that has delivered a successful innovation project driving gender diversity and inclusion, the focus may be on a business division, on a specialist function (such as HR, operations), on a community network, or on a time-limited project. Submissions must articulate how a model for success was developed that sought to fundamentally progress diversity and inclusion for the broader company. The submission also needs to provide evidence (and data) of the state of affairs before and after, hurdles that needed to be overcome and outcomes (including quick wins) that could be used to develop/replicate industry practice.

Positive SOCIAL & SUSTAINABLE Impact

Pressure from investors and customers has moved sustainability higher up boardroom agendas, and companies have become more conscientious and strategic in how they address environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. However, there is one key area many organisations overlook as they concentrate on ESG: the link between diversity and inclusion (D&I) and sustainability. But this represents a clear opportunity due to the availability of data, e.g. on gender equality. We believe that a focus on D&I can lead to more sustainable business practices and contribute to a better world. D&I is a critical component of ESG and no longer just a nice-to-have. With a clear and strategic approach – built around an inspiring narrative, leadership engagement and data – companies can accurately reflect their progress, align reporting with investors’ expectations, and more confidently and transparently communicate what they stand for as organisations. In addition to details of company’s values and the programmes in place, the judges want to understand what efforts you have made to build a narrative around your organisation’s D&I efforts that link specifically to the corporate purpose, align the leadership team and inspire the workforce.

Most Successful Returners’ Strategy

As a sector where women are significantly underrepresented in the workforce at senior levels, it is worrying that only 14% of HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter signatories specifically include returners as part of their recruitment strategy. Submissions must highlight the drivers to implementing the strategy, how it is sponsored and communicated (both within the organisation and externally), how it has developed and progressed since inception and how it is part of a longer-term strategic approach to diversity. This award will celebrate the effective recruitment strategies of the winning company that look to encompass a range of women returners who have had a career break for any reason. The award is being judged in partnership with The Return Hub

SME categories

The details of the SME awards are the same as for the awards for (large) corporates, although corporates entering this award category must demonstrate that they have an annual turnover of less than £250m. As a brand new membership category, announced earlier this year, 2022 will see the formal introduction of just one award – the D&I Innovation Award – and we will encourage all SMEs working within the financial services sector and eco-system to enter. As a celebration of this new membership category it will not be necessary for the SMEs to be WIBF members to qualify. Additional award categories will be rolled out in 2023 to mirror the full ‘large’ corporate programme.

WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (9)

Alex Cheatle

CEO, Ten Lifestyle Group

Alex Cheatle is CEO of Ten Lifestyle Group, the world’s leading lifestyle concierge service. Alex has grown Ten from a bedroom start-up in 1998 to now using world-leading tech and over 1,000 employees globally to help financial institutions and other premium brands to attract and retain wealthy and mass affluent customers.

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Andew Pitt

Global Head of Research, Citi

Andrew is Global Head of Research across the whole Institutional Clients Group (ICG) at Citi and a member of Citi’s ICG Management Committee with a broad mandate to coordinate and develop original content across the whole of the firm. He has 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry and has been at Citi since 1996.

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WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (11)

Anne Marie Fleurbaaij

Managing Director, Marketable Assets, University of Cambridge Investment Management Limited

Anne Marie is Managing Director, Marketable Assets, at University of Cambridge Investment Management Limited, which she joined in 2020. Previously, she was with GIC, a sovereign wealth fund, where she spent 12 years as a Senior Vice President and Global Equities Portfolio Manager.

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WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (12)

David Holton

CHIEF TRANSFORMATION OFFICER, CAMBRIDGE AND COUNTIES BANK

David is the Chief Transformation Officer at specialist SME lender Cambridge and Counties Bank, responsible for the bank’s change function and the continued evolution of its people, process, technology and data capabilities.

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Dominie Moss established The Return Hub in 2016. She has 20 years’ experience in the financial sector, 16 of which in Executive Search. The Return Hub is a leading financial services executive search and advisory firm designed to fill a significant gap in the recruitment market.

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FELICIA MEYEROWITZ SINGH

MANAGING DIRECTOR, FNZ

Felicia Meyerowitz Singh is a growth focused tech innovator, with a specialisation as a fintech and wealthtech leader and entrepreneur.

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WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (15)

DR GRACE LORDAN

FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF THE INCLUSION INITIATIVE AND AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

Dr Grace Lordan is the Founding Director of The Inclusion Initiative and an Associate Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Grace is an economist and her research is focused on quantifying the benefits of inclusion within and across firms, as well as designing interventions that level the playing field for under-represented talent within firms.

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WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (16)

DR HEATHER MELVILLE OBE CCMI

SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR, PEOPLE ADVISORY TEAM AND DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION PRACTICE LEAD, TENEO

With a career spanning over 40 years, Heather brings a wealth of experience across corporate and international banking, technology, and most recently in professional services, which positions her to advise leaders on both the challenges and opportunities in building commercially strong and inclusive businesses.

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JINA MELNYK

MANAGING DIRECTOR, CORNDEL

Jina is the Managing Director for Corndel Advance, developing and executing the strategies for Corndel’s bespoke leadership and data training programmes. With significant previous senior executive experience, Jina has an innate understanding of the challenges her clients face, and what it means to lead and run a top-flight business, in a changing marketplace.

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WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (18)

LORNA HINDS - SOTOMEY

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GLOBAL CAO IT TRANSFORMATION

Lorna has almost 30 years’ experience within financial services which includes over 15 years in progressively responsible financial leadership roles covering finance, strategy, regulation and technology. A fellow and member across various chartered bodies.

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Sabrina is the founder and CEO of Kore, a financial technology company based in London.

She has over 25 years’ experience in financial markets, business transformation and application of new technologies in banking.

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Samantha Price

Headmistress, Benenden School

Samantha Price was educated at Malvern Girls’ College and Edinburgh University, where she read History of Art (with modules of European History). Having graduated, she joined the Tate Britain and was responsible for marketing for Members and Patrons and became heavily involved with the Patrons of what is now the Tate Modern.

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SANDY BEGBIE CBE

CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SCOTTISH FINANCIAL ENTERPRISE

Sandy Begbie CBE was appointed Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise in October 2020.

Prior to joining SFE, Sandy led the development of the Scottish Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee following an 18-month contract at Tesco Bank as the Chief Transformation Officer.

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WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (22)

SOPHIE KENNEDY

JOINT CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, EQ INVESTORS

Sophie Kennedy is the Joint Chief Executive Officer of EQ Investors (EQ). As Joint CEO, Sophie overseas EQ’s investment management operations, including its discretionary fund management business.

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WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (23)

SUE DAWE

FINANCIAL SERVICES PRACTICE IN SCOTLAND AND MANAGING PARTNER FOR THE EDINBURGH OFFICE, EY

Sue leads EY’s Financial Services Practice in Scotland and is the Managing Partner for the Edinburgh office. She has been with EY for 34 years. Sue is on Scotland’s Financial Services Growth and Development Board (FiSGaD) and is on the board of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), where she was recently appointed Deputy Chair.

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WIBF | 24th Annual awards for achievement (24)

Tanya Tracey

CEO, GAIN

Tanya is the CEO at GAIN following a career in investment banking, investor relations and running a diversity and inclusion programme.

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