We are delighted to announce the names of the 11 semi-finalists who will be competing in the upcoming semi-finals in June. Four contestants will then go forward to the final in September.
Well done to everyone who participated, the quality of applications this year were extremely high.
Due to the effects of COVID-19, we have had to change the competition process slightly, and therefore we have given more contestants the chance to present their idea to a panel of judges. Our Semi-Finalists will present their idea virtually, and 4 candidates will be selected to go through to the Final in September.
Our 2020 Semi-Finalists competing on 2nd June are:
Jonathan Brewer is a Relationship Director at NatWest, supporting SMEs in the North West with revenues ranging from £10m to £60m. His role involves managing a portfolio of client relationships, supporting businesses with debt facilities, and implementing transactional banking solutions to proactively support their goals and plans.
High standards of customer service have been at the heart of the leadership roles Jonathan has undertaken to date. Having graduated from Leeds University, Jonathan joined NatWest on the retail leadership graduate scheme in 2011 working in a wide range of roles in Personal Banking. After conducting Branch Manager roles in Central London locations, Jonathan led 14 branches as a Local Director in North London before relocating to Manchester two years ago with his wife Rosie.
Outside of work Jonathan is a Fulham Football Club season ticket holder, and a keen runner albeit covid-19 has delayed his 2020 attempt at the Manchester marathon!
Charles Collis is a Global Commercial Banking Strategy Graduate working at HSBC, London, where he is also co-chair of the UK Graduate Committee. Born in Sydney, Australia, it was during high-school that he first developed a keen interest in financial markets and sustainability. This consolidated his determination to pursue a world class education at The University of Warwick in the UK, where he achieved a First-Class Bachelor’s Degree in MORSE (Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics). During university, he attended various internships at trade finance funds and commercial banks, and in his final year took on the role of Finance Editor for the university’s Student Newspaper, ‘The Boar’, which in the same year went on to win the BBC’s Student Publication of the Year Award. These cross-cultural experiences, education and extensive travel, have given Charles a unique perspective of the nuances that exist across global financial markets. Charles is also a Level 2 CSIA qualified ski instructor and loves to visit the British Museum, where he is an active member.
Executive Sponsor Statement
I would like to endorse Charles Collis application for Chartered Banker of the Year 2020. Charles’ proposal is interesting as it could help small and medium businesses address the challenges of transitioning to a more sustainable future using a digital platform, leveraging data which HSBC is able to access and therefore not requiring a detailed assessment of each business. Charles is also proposing that the scoring methodology could help businesses more readily access sustainable finance which is attractive given the increasing focus of financial institutions, including HSBC, in this area. Charles has correctly identified that, to date, much of the emphasis on decarbonisation has been on large, multinational corporates, however it will require concerted effort from all of us to address climate change and this proposal could help our smaller customers face these challenges.
Robert King, Head of Sustainable Finance, HSBC UK
Having graduated from the University of Lancaster with a BSc Hons in Business Studies, Charlotte Finney joined Lloyds Banking Group in 2018 as a Community Banking Graduate.
Here, Charlotte has accumulated a breadth of exposure across the Retail Banking Division throughout three eight month placements, starting with the branch network where Charlotte fulfilled a Bank Manager Role. The next placement saw Charlotte leading various roles within the Managing Director’s Office for Halifax Community Bank, with presence in both the Operations and Change Team and Engagements. Charlotte is currently in her final placement within the Business Optimisation Directorate, which seeks to realise the inherent potential within the branch network channel.
Prior to this, Charlotte’s intellectually curious mentality surrounding the industry led her to a Retail Banking and Wealth Management Placement at HSBC, along with attendance at a Summer University held by the London Institute of Banking and Finance.
Last year, Charlotte was delighted to achieved Chartered Banker Status, having studied an Advanced Diploma in Banking and Leadership in a Digital Age.
After studying business and accounting at college Gabbie started her career in banking with Santander. During her first couple of years with the bank Gabbie has worked her way up from Cashier to Personal Banker at the Bath University Campus site. The role involves her working closely with customers, students and lecturers – supporting them in all areas of their personal finances. Gabbie is passionate about educating people on how to make, save and protect their money; she gets satisfaction from seeing her efforts having a positive impact on both customers and the Bank.
This is Cole Hallsworth and he is newly qualified as a personal banker. He started working in the financial sector as he wanted to follow his dream of working in the banking industry.
Cole is currently a tech expert and is at the cutting edge of banking technology.
Since joining RBS, now Natwest Group, his journey in banking has gone from strength to strength and he is currently working towards a CeMAP qualification and diploma in banking to build a better understanding of the financial industry.
He got into banking as he always had a strong desire to help the customer. Helping customers with their financial needs has grown him as an individual and helped to increase his confidence.
Cole is grateful that his journey in life has lead him to where he is today. With the positive influence in the banking industry he feels encouraged and empowered to continue developing and strive to exceed expectations.
My career has always been intrinsically tied to AIB. After joining for work experience in 2008, I went on to graduate from Durham University, before gaining my first role in 2011.
I am now Associate Director on the Commercial Growth and Acquisition Funding team. The businesses we support are typically UK based, high-growth, lower-mid market corporates. Although my role is multifaceted, my primary focus is on deal origination and execution in the Private Equity market.
I am immensely proud of reaching the semi-finals. This competition has given me a platform to explore how I can support businesses in achieving their goals whilst also shaping AIB’s response to sustainability and climate change. These are topics that I am passionate about and I am excited to take part in bringing them to the forefront of the banking agenda.
Outside of work, I recently got married and we are now expecting our first child. I am hopeful that I will still find time to support Fulham FC in between nappy changing duties!
Executive Sponsor Statement
Matt is certainly one of our rising stars. His track record with us actually dates back to a work experience placement, so it’s heartening to see he returned to us after studying at university and shows that he took his work and future career very seriously even at that early stage. Having been with us almost 10 years now, Matt has gained good experience across a number of customer facing roles. We always consider that variety and what is learned from dealing directly with customers and managing relationships are critical elements of our staff development strategies. Matt has proved to be a great example of that, performing well consistently as he has progressed. He has identified that Sustainability is a key strategic pillar for the bank, so from that perspective I am particularly pleased with his proposal and the way it’s developing. He’s clearly very passionate and engaged on the subject, but has undertaken a significant level of research internally and externally which was evident when he first shared his proposal. He has added further depth as it’s developed, to the extent that we are now assessing what we can gradually start to implement from what he has already produced. Matt is thoughtful, articulate and confident as he has shared his thinking internally, casting a wide net to consult and gather a range of views, but keeping a relatively narrow focus on the specific areas he is bringing forward in a very practical way. In doing so, he is showing high degrees of persistence, motivation and collaboration, which we recognise as key attributes of our future senior leaders.
Steven Cochran, Chartered Banker, Head of Products & Customer Advocacy, AIB UK
The judging panel will include Simon Thompson, CEO, Chartered Banker Institute, Anne Marie Forsyth, CEO, CCA Global, Stephen Pearson, Business Advisor and Non-executive Director, and Irene Grant, Director, Craigelachie Consulting.
Our 2020 Semi-Finalists competing on 9th June are:
Cedric is a proactive, high-achieving individual who is passionate about using finance to create positive social change. He started a social enterprise in the last 5 years that captured recognition from the Clinton Foundation in the US, hosted one of the world’s largest social affairs youth conferences that featured 3 Nobel Prize Laureates and the President of the UN General Assembly, and received full-sponsorship from HSBC to conduct a study trip to Bangladesh to learn about micro-finance. In less than a year of joining Barclays, Cedric was nominated for external mentoring for outstanding contribution in diversity & inclusion, and appointed as the Secretariat for the Sustainable Investment Forum within the Corporate and Investment Bank, a committee set up by CEO Jes Staley. Prior to joining Barclays, Cedric was a Master’s student at the London School of Economics, specialising in sustainable finance and behavioural finance.
I am a Commercial Banker for a Private Bank servicing High net worth individuals, owner managed businesses and charities & trusts with turnover of £1m - £50m. I have a specialism in providing Banking and Investment services for Court of Protection Professional Firms catering for Serious Injury & Vulnerable Persons. I have previously worked in Invoice finance, retail banking & banking operations in the UK and abroad.
Outside of work, I am a Trustee for the North West Charity, Disabled Living Manchester; the charity provides information and advice about products, equipment and services for disabled people and has done this for over 120 years.
Socially, I am a keen Obstacle Course runner and many weekends you can find me participating in a Tough Mudder or Rough Runner cross country race. In quieter and saner times, I am daddy to a one-year-old Princess who I think the World of.
Executive Sponsor Statement
Since joining Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Ltd as a Commercial Banking Executive in September 2018 Tippie has quickly established himself as a pivotal member of the Commercial Banking division - not only in the Manchester office, where he is based, but across the wider AL business, where he frequently volunteers to help develop and test new systems, products and operating platforms.
Enthusiasm, energy, commitment, drive and a sheer determination to make a positive impact - these are all impressive qualities but in almost 40 years in banking, I have rarely witnessed an individual capable of demonstrating such qualities so consistently, day in and day out. Tippie is one such individual and this is what makes him an outstanding young banker and worthy candidate for this prestigious award.
His conceptual proposal for developing a ‘one stop’ solution for legal practices operating in the serious injury/Court of Protection arena is a highly credible and potentially viable idea, bringing together as it does, many of the highly specialised, bespoke services and functional solutions already offered in part by specialist banks such as AL. Furthermore, the concept further demonstrates Tippie’s passion for making banking matter to real people, facing real challenges in these times.
I am happy to commend Tippie for this award, which would be a richly deserved mark of the positive contribution he has already made as well as his potential as a banking leader of the future.
Andrew Broughton, Director & Head of Private & Commercial Banking, North of England
As Card Payments SME at Starling Bank, Thomas Robinson is responsible for managing card payment products across customer, operational, technical and regulatory verticals. In this role, Thomas has been key to the successful delivery of a number of high profile internal cards projects and has created and embedded processes to optimise management of the product roadmap. Thomas joined Starling in March 2019 as a Supplier and Scheme Manager, with responsibility for creating frameworks for managing supplier service delivery and payment schemes compliance. Since arriving at Starling, he has founded and lead the bank's LGBTQ+ Network, helping to embed a culture internally, where everyone feels valued, included and is given the opportunity to bring their authentic self to work. Previously, he worked at Tesco Bank, which he joined as a graduate trainee in September 2016 and completed roles in Operations, Product Management and Risk before taking a permanent role in the Payments team. When not at work, Thomas enjoys working his way through cookbooks and planning foreign adventures with his partner.
I am currently a Business Readiness and Implementation Manager at Coutts & Co, having previously worked in multiple Data & Analytics roles (including building Communities of Practice within NatWest Group), Global Payments and Credit Risk.
I have also run my own coaching and tutoring practice since 2008, which has assisted over 300 individuals in their academic and professional careers.
I am currently working on upskilling myself in the fields of emergent technology, such as Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation, which includes coding with Python, User Experience & Design, as well as Deep Learning.
It’s a privilege to be a part of this competition, and I look forward to sharing the benefits of ARIEL with everyone, as the banking industry looks to negotiate the increasingly challenging times its customers, shareholders and colleagues are currently facing.
Ana is a multi-lingual and high-achieving Business Manager with six years of Corporate Banking experience. She works closely with the various Corporate Lending and Portfolio teams and senior management across Europe, Middle East and Asia to ensure implementation of strategic goals, operational and commercial effectiveness of the wider business. Aside of her day-to-day job, she is an active member of the Barclays Citizenship and Sustainability Working Group having owned and maintained the Sustainability linked Debt products such as Green Loan and Sustainable Revolver Credit Facility to International Corporate banking clients.
Gender equality has been an area of passionate focus for her inspired by the inequality witnessed in her home country, Albania. She is committed to use her platform, network and knowledge of the Finance Industry to incentivise more product innovation and cross-collaboration between the private and public sector in order to enhance gender equity through Lending. She is an aspiring free-lance journalist regularly contributing thoughts on diversity, inclusion and equality across various online platforms such as The Hustle is Female, Thrive Global and LinkedIn.
Executive Sponsor Statement
Ana is passionate about the broad topic of sustainability, and has actively engaged in a range of initiatives during her career. She is highly motivated to support sustained improvements across the ESG spectrum, and has demonstrated her proactive approach to this through her involvement and leadership in Barclays sustainability-linked networks. Ana brings new perspectives and a confidence to challenge the norms. She has a strong desire to drive change, including preparation of high quality thought leadership pieces for her wider network. Ana’s proposal for a Gender Equality Linked financing structure brings together her knowledge of the financing markets, with her personal commitment to progress the gender equality conversation. Her proposal fits well with recent market developments around sustainable financing; with growing demand for ESG linked financing, Ana’s proposal sets out a framework for companies and lenders to use when structuring their loans.
Dave Davies, Senior Director, Head of Credit Analysis, Barclays Corporate, One of the founding members of The Barclays Green and Sustainability Working Group
The judging panel will include Simon Thompson, CEO, Chartered Banker Institute, Dr Sue Mitchell, Director, Aeona and Founder of Edinburgh Hub, Women in Sustainability, Steve Pateman, CEO, Arora Group and Vice-President of the Chartered Banker Institute, and Lydia Hascott, Head of Intrapreneurship, The Finance Innovation Lab.
Best of luck to everyone, and we look forward to discovering our 2020 Finalists.