After two inspiring and memorable semi-finals in Edinburgh and Manchester, we are delighted to announce the four finalists who will be competing at the grand final, in Mansion House, on 19th September. 

  • David Akers, Coutts & Co
  • Tom Foster, NatWest
  • Alistair Gilfillan, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Nathan Williams, Coutts & Co

David Akers, Coutts & Co 

David is a Private Banker at Coutts. He is responsible for the banking affairs of High Net Worth clients and their families, ranging from City Executives to Business Owners. David specialises in the provision of bespoke funding solutions by way of regulated mortgages, unregulated loans and leveraging against investments.

The Umbrella Fund is a fund of money made available to Credit Unions to assist them in providing short term finance to those having a “rainy day,” more specifically as a viable alternative to payday lenders. This will be a vulnerable customer focussed initiative, which is ethically sound. The fund will be contributed to by the main UK banks with the aim of competing payday lenders out of the market.

Tom Foster, NatWest 

Tom has been in the Banking industry since 2007, having joined RBS after completing A-Levels. He continued his learning and obtained his degree in Banking Practice and Management whilst working within the Banks Business & Commercial Relationship Management teams. He is now part of the Bank’s Portfolio Management division, leading Corporate and Commercial clients through event driven debt transactions.

His response to the challenge has been designing an innovative product to solve the issue of home ownership facing “Generation Rent”. This will give financial access to those who have been renting a property and are unable to simultaneously save for an extensive house deposit, giving them the chance to buy a property and have the social stability that home ownership brings.

Alistair Gilfillan, Lloyds Banking Group 

Before joining Lloyds Banking Group on the Finance Graduate programme, Alistair managed youth work projects for six years, most recently supporting young people on an estate as they moved from primary to secondary school. Alongside studying for ACA, Alistair has worked in a range of teams. He has prepared statutory yearend accounts within mortgages; business partnered customer rectification teams; and managed conduct risk in the Halifax Community Bank branch network. Alistair currently works within Group Corporate Treasury delivering insight into group interest rate risk reporting.

His proposal is Split the Difference, a Halifax smart savings plan which increases customer’s savings contributions when their income rises. Aimed at low-income households, Split the Difference generates affordable regular savings, builds financial resilience, and reduces the likelihood of households falling into problem debt.

Nathan Williams, Coutts & Co 

Nathan has been a Business Readiness and Implementation manager at Coutts & Co for the last 18 months, having worked in various Financial Services roles, such as Root Cause Analysis, Credit Risk, Payments Technology, Operations, Communications and Data Project Management. 

He set up his own tutoring, mentoring, and coaching business in 2008, which has assisted over 300 individuals, professionals and start-up businesses achieve their respective goals.  Nathan is an accredited SFEDI Business Mentor, and recently obtained a Diploma in Coaching & Leadership from Cambridge University.

Nathan says, “It’s an honour to be a part of this competition, and I look forward to sharing with you the benefits of Intelligent Client Relationship Management (ICRM), which will re-shape how the Financial Services Industry anticipates, and meets, customer’s short, medium and long term needs through data analytics and artificially intelligent computing.”