Judging Panel

The Judging Panel for these prestigious awards is made up of leading figures from business, charity, politics and the public sector. We are pleased to announce that once again the Chair of the Judging Panel will be Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE.

We will be updating this page as more judges are approved, please check it from time to time to see who else will be joining our esteemed panel.

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE

Chair of Restoration Partners

Chair of Judging Panel

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE

Chair of Restoration Partners

Chair of the Judging Panel

Ken is Founder and Chairman of Restoration Partners, the boutique technology merchant bank and architects of the Virtual Technology Cluster model Ken’s technology career spans over 30 years commencing with IBM from whom he won a scholarship while at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University. In 1992, after a twelve years as a senior executive at Wang Labs in the US and Europe, Ken founded Interregnum, the technology merchant bank.

He was elected as a Fellow of the British Computer Society in 2006. He has considerable public company Board-level experience on both sides of the Atlantic. He is currently a director of Thomson Reuter. He is also on the board of The Institute of Directors as a Non-Executive Director. Ken is a Freeman of the City of London; Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists; a Director of the Thomson Reuters Foundation; Chairman of Thames Reach (for which he received an OBE in 2010); Chairman of Shaw Trust, was an original member of IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standard Authority) and Founder and Chairman of the Powerlist Foundation. In 2009, he was named the Sunday Times Not for Profit Non-Executive Director of the year.

Ken was voted number one in the Powerlist’s Top 10 most influential British black people in 2016. In 2015 Her Majesty the Queen, appointed him as her Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. Ken was knighted for services to Business and Philanthropy in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

Nic Budden

Nic Budden

Chief Executive Officer

Foxtons

Nic Budden

Chief Executive Officer

Foxtons

Prior to joining Foxtons in 2005, Nic had an international career in business development, operations, marketing, strategy and finance, having held positions at BT Group plc (1990 to 1997), Cable & Wireless Group (1997 to 2002) and Severn Trent Group (2003 to 2005). Nic holds a degree in economics from the University of Essex.
Ed Stacey

Ed Stacey

Partner

PwC

Ed Stacey

Partner

PwC

Ed is a member of PwC’s UK Tax Leadership Team, holding the position of Tax People Leader. He is also a partner in the Employment Law team. He has a wealth of experience advising clients on UK and international employment law projects.

Ed advises on the employment law aspects of global mobility programmes, international restructuring, the delivery of training and the development of policies and procedures. Ed is experienced in working with employers on employee change programmes and transactions, including restructurings and TUPE work. He has advised on the exit of senior executives; numerous individual hires; and on team moves involving the enforcement of restrictive covenants in the UK and internationally.

He has advised clients in the Employment Tribunal and High Court on all types of employment litigation, and has significant experience of high profile discrimination claims.

Ed’s work has been widely reported in the UK media (including the BBC, The Times, and the Financial Times) and the German press (Die Welt). He has also been interviewed by CNN. The Legal 500 directory has described Ed as ‘very good at making difficult judgement calls’, leading an extremely hard-working team ‘that is very capable of running complex, high-level employment litigation’ and ‘a charmingly urbane partner who gets his hands dirty when required but is a reassuringly and charismatic leader’.

Ed graduated from Exeter University and undertook his legal training at the College of Law in Chester. Prior to PwC, he spent over ten years working in-house and has been a partner at PwC for seven years.

Nick Hedley

Nick Hedley

Partner

Hedley May

Nick Hedley

Partner

Hedley May

Nick is a recognised leader in the appointment of C-suite functional leaders, with a specialist focus on General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officers and Chief Risk Officers. He has worked across industry sectors and geographies on behalf of a diverse range of clients, helping them recruit talented individuals who are able to transform the impact a corporate function has on the business. Nick is a qualified lawyer who began his career in law before moving into search in 1995. He has an LLB from London University.
Alison Gurd

Alison Gurd

Global Head of Proposal Mgmt

BNP Paribas Securities Services

Alison Gurd

Global Head of Proposal Management

BNP Paribas Securities Services

Alison has over 30 years’ experience in the securities industry. In her current role with BNP Paribas Alison enjoys leading a global team supporting sales initiatives across 34 locations. Based in London, Alison is the Executive Sponsor for CSR at BNP Paribas Securities Services and a member of their CSR council, which drives the company’s agenda on social, environmental, economic and civic engagement. Alison is also an active member of Girlguiding, the leading UK charity for girls and young women.
Sarah David

Sarah David

Founder & Managing Director

Thrive Consulting Collaborative

Sarah David

Founder & Managing Director

Thrive Consulting Collaborative

Thrive founder and managing director Sarah David has built her consulting career having previously held senior executive level roles in a range of businesses going through significant growth and change. Her early career was spent as a lawyer with Slaughter and May, before moving into sales and management as a director of QD Legal, a highly successful recruitment business.

A key player in business acquisitions, Sarah has unusually strong experience in change situations, particularly engaging teams in major change, restructuring international teams and leading change programmes vital to growth and retrenchment strategies. She has been able to apply her tactics and strategies in organisations ranging from £2bn to $1m turnover, particularly in professional services, search, regulatory and education sectors, and in all ownership models, private, listed, public and private equity backed.
Her MBA, executive Harvard Business School programme, executive coaching training and investment in professional development are components of her success. She was the first person in her family to go to university.

Sarah’s not for profit experience includes board roles at The Children’s Society, inspire* and as CEO of Firefly, an autism school and outreach centre in Colorado, USA. She coaches and mentors CEOs in the charity space and has led CSR programmes for businesses in an executive capacity. Thrive is a social business, supporting social justice and mobility causes and charities.
Returning from the US after being suddenly widowed, Sarah took her experiences into consultancy and founded Thrive with her belief that business leaders do have time to make changes that will make them and their businesses prosper.

Sara Brennan

Sara Brennan

Positive Business Director

Pentland Brands

Sara Brennan

Positive Business Director

Pentland Brands

Sara Brennan is Positive Business Director– where she is tasked is looking at how Pentland and its portfolio of sports, outdoor and lifestyle brands, can accelerate its positive business strategy to deliver on its commitment to take-action for people and our planet Sara started her career in regulatory affairs and later moved into sustainability and CSR, whilst working in the petrochemical industry.

Her work caused her to grow more conscious of existing sustainability issues and opportunities and the role of businesses in addressing those issues. Sara is also interested in organisational change, especially in relation to developing beyond conventional leadership and discovering new ways of contributing to the wider environment in which organisations operate.

Paul Monekosso Cleal OBE

Paul Monekosso Cleal OBE

.

.

Paul Monekosso Cleal OBE

Paul is Equality Adviser to the Premier League board and led on the development of the League’s No Room for Racism Action Plan. He is also a non executive board member at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and National Citizen Service Trust and an adviser to Sainsbury’s and Metropolitan Police. Previously he spent 16 years as a partner at PwC, the global professional services firm, where he served on the Management Boards of the firm in both the UK and in Africa. He also provided corporate finance and consulting advice to clients across a diverse range of industries including financial services, sport and infrastructure.

As well as a career in professional services, Paul has worked in both local and central government, been a board member at both the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission and Kingston University and works with a number of London schools, all of which reflects his interest in public services and issues of inequality. He has for many years been involved in diversity and inclusion in business and was recognised for his work in that area in the most recent New Year’s Honours List.

Steven Cooper

Steven Cooper

CEO

Aldermore Bank

Steven Cooper

CEO

Aldermore Bank

Within his 32 years in the banking industry, Steven was most recently CEO of Barclaycard Business Solutions, managing the payments division for Barclaycard including Merchant Acquiring, Commercial Payments and Sales Finance. Prior to this, he was CEO of Personal Banking at Barclays for both UK and Europe, where he gained a wealth of experience in the rapidly changing landscape of consumer banking with digital technology and data. He has also led UK Business Banking and businesses for Barclays in Africa, India and Offshore locations.

Steven sits on a number of advisory boards, including being a commissioner for the social mobility commission. Steven is a NED at Robert Walters PLC and the FSCS and is an Alumni of Harvard Business Schools.

Geoffrey Williams

Geoffrey Williams

Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Dr Martens

Geoffrey Williams

Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Dr Martens

Geoffrey has had a diverse career journey starting his working life in the entertainment industry then moving into health care, rail and media for the last 20 years. He has worked in Human Resources for the last 10 years of his career and has experience in Recruitment, Talent Management, learning and development, Orgnatsaional Design and Diversity and Inclusion.

He was the fromer Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Thomson Reuters , where he worked on strategy, culture and implimentation of a D&I agenda and globally launched Thomson Reuters Diversity and Inclusion index, was award EY’s National Equality Standard. As well as create programs that supported diverse communites within the Thomson Reuters business. He has been featured in the Financial Times Top 100 ethnic minority role models and DIMA 50 male advocates for equality in marketing and media for 2018.

Geoffrey is also the co-founder of RockingUrTeens.com a social enterprise that introduces young people to the real world of work & aims to connect the teens to a positive and vibrant futures. As well as sitting on the board of film production company oneumbrellaproductions.com.

Geoffrey is committed to working to change the world of work so all people feel connected and business have high performing teams that trust and listen to each other.

Lyn Garner

Lyn Garner

Chief Executive

London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)

Lyn Garner

Chief Executive

London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)

Lyn joined LLDC, the body responsible for the development of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and its surrounding areas, as Chief Executive in February 2018. She is responsible for overseeing the delivery of 24,000 homes, 40,000 jobs, and the forthcoming East Bank project, a new cultural and education district comprising of new buildings for V&A museum, Sadler’s Wells, BBC Orchestra, and new campuses for UCL East and UAL’s London College of Fashion. Lyn is also currently serving as Chair of Future of London, an independent network for regeneration, housing and economic development.
Adrian Burns

Adrian Burns

Air Commodore

Royal Air Force

Adrian Burns

Air Commodore

Royal Air Force

Air Commodore Adrian Burns joined the Royal Air Force in 1990 as an Administration officer. He has undertaken a range of support roles at the RAF’s frontline bases and has a variety of operational experience in the Middle East, South Atlantic, Africa and Afghanistan. In staff appointments he has held a range of strategic roles and has held senior positions in the MOD’s Financial and Military Capability Team and Headquarters Air’s Manning Authority.

He has most recently completed Command of Royal Air Force Halton and a one year course at the Royal College of Defence Studies. He is married and has two grown-up children. He is a passionate believer in Social Mobility and the associated responsibilities that institutions and employers should discharge freely and gladly, using Role Models, Ambassadors and Advocates.

Mandhir Singh

Mandhir Singh

Senior Vice President

Castrol

Mandhir Singh

Senior Vice President

Castrol

Mandhir has 30 years’ experience at bp, and has spent the past 20 years working for the lubricants business, most recently in the role of Senior Vice President leading Castrol, a $7bn turn-over business marketing premium lubricants in more than 150 countries globally.

Previous roles have included regional vice president for Europe and Africa lubricants, HR director for Asia Pacific lubricants, integration lead for bp/Castrol Asia Pacific and downstream strategy manager, Middle East/Indian subcontinent.

Mandhir is recognised for his work to improve diversity in Castrol, being passionate about people development and positioning Castrol for the low carbon future. In his spare time, Mandhir likes to spend time with his three children and stay fit by cycling and swimming.

David Carrigan

David Carrigan

Group Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing

Sky

David Carrigan

Group Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing

Sky

David joined Sky from Live Nation/Ticketmaster, where as Director of Diversity he worked across 40 international markets.

Previously, he was the Head of Equality Strategy at Citizen’s Advice, headed Legal Affairs at the Commission for Racial Equality, and lead National Policy at the Housing Corporation/Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

David has also held advisory roles to the College of Policing and served as a Board member for a Human Rights Charity.

David was the first member of his family to complete his secondary education and worked as an apprentice Gas Engineer after leaving school. He was fortunate to be able to study at night school before attending the University of Nottingham. He is an alumni of Druids Health and is a proud Brummie. He is married with two daughters and lives in Surrey.

Alderman Vincent Keaveny

Alderman Vincent Keaveny

Senior Alderman

City of London Corporation

Alderman Vincent Keaveny

Senior Alderman

City of London Corporation

Vincent is Alderman for the Ward of Farringdon Within in the City of London and, subject to election, is in line to be Lord Mayor of the City of London in 2020/2021. He is a partner in the international business law firm, DLA Piper.

Since his election to the City of London in 2013 he has served on a number of City of London Corporation Committees including Finance, City Bridge Trust and Planning & Transportation. He is currently a member of the Policy & Resources Committee, Freedom Applications Committee and the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Sub-committee. He also a Governor of the City of London School.
Vincent was recently appointed as Co-Chair to a Government commissioned taskforce, looking at improving socio-economic diversity at senior levels within UK financial and professional services. He will be leading a workstream, which seeks to develop a membership body/peer network for financial services, focusing specifically on progression. This will offer a safe space for financial service employers to share best practice / benchmark against sector peers.   Vincent was Sheriff of the City of London for the year 2018/19.

Vincent is a Liveryman of the City of London Solicitors', the Woolmen's, Distillers', Spectacle Makers', Stationers’, Framework Knitters’, Upholders’ and Security Professionals’ Companies. He served as Master Solicitor in 2014/15. Vincent is a member of the City Livery Club, the City Pickwick Club and the Royal Society of St. George (City Branch) and the Court of The Honourable The Irish Society. He is the Senior Patron of the Farringdon Ward Club.

Vincent advises banks, financial institutions and corporate clients in the UK and internationally on banking, finance and capital markets transactions. He is listed as a leading practitioner in his area of practice by all of the principal legal directories.

Vincent graduated from University College Dublin with a BCL and subsequently obtained an MLitt from Trinity College, Dublin. He was recognised in 2018 by UCD as their Law Alumnus of the Year. Since his admission as solicitor in England & Wales in 1992 he has worked in private practice in the City. He was President of the City of London Law Society in 2014/15 and is an Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn.

Vincent's interests include theatre and the arts. He is a trustee of the Sir John Soane's Museum, chairs the board of the vocal ensemble, Exaudi, and is a director of Actors Touring Company.

Vincent is married to Amanda, an Intensive Care Nurse and in what spare time he has, he enjoys tennis and walking their Labrador.

Mayoral Theme

People with Purpose - Vincent’s year will focus on putting people and purpose at the heart of financial and professional services – driving positive impact across the City.

People with Purpose will focus on investment, skills and social mobility – growing the impact investing and sustainable finance market, promoting new skills and diverse talent pools and championing social mobility to drive the global competitiveness of the UK.

Laura Battley

Laura Battley

Company Secretary & General Counsel PLC

Watches of Switzerland Group

Laura Battley

Company Secretary & General Counsel

Watches of Switzerland Group PLC

Laura Battley is Company Secretary and General Counsel at Watches of Switzerland Group PLC, a FTSE 250 luxury watch and jewellery retailer. Before joining Watches of Switzerland, Laura was Company Secretary and General Counsel at high street retailer New Look, with responsibility for the legal and secretariat teams as well as the wider group compliance functions across the business. Laura was also responsible for ESG at New Look (including diversity and inclusion).

Laura trained and qualified as a corporate lawyer at Magic Circle law firm Slaughter and May and later spent time at Addleshaw Goddard and KPMG, where she was seconded to New Look before joining on a permanent basis.

Anna Lane

Anna Lane

CEO & President

Women in Banking & Finance (WIBF)

Anna Lane

CEO and President

Women in Banking & Finance (WIBF)

Anna Lane is CEO and President of Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF), a not-for-profit, UK wide volunteer-led network that has been championing women in financial services for 40 years with over 1500+ individual members, 36+ corporate partners She is also founder and CEO of The Wisdom Council (TWC) a majority female owned business focussed on delivering strategic, innovative and actionable strategies to improve consumer engagement and access to long term savings and investments.

Anna’s commitment to gender equality also includes a focus on closing the gender pensions and investments gap. In 2020 Anna sat on the Money & Pensions Service (MaPS) Gender and Financial Wellbeing Challenge Group tasked with considering the impact of gender across the five national goals of the MaPS UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing. She launched the cross-industry Yes She Can initiative in 2019 drawing on techniques used by FMGC brands to encourage women to take control of their financial futures and affect behavioural change. The 2021 campaign “Get Financially Fit” is led by the TV journalist Kate Thornton and aims to reach millions of women this year.

Prior to launching TWC Anna ran a specialist wealth and asset management consultancy and worked in the City for over 20 years in senior roles including JPMorgan Private Bank and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. She recently stood down after eight years as Trustee on the Board of the Young Vic Theatre.

Ira Read

Ira Read

Global Director of Diversity & Inclusion

The LEGO Group

Ira Read

Global Director of Diversity & Inclusion

The LEGO Group

Ira Read is a recognised inclusion and diversity expert specialising in change management and strategic planning on culture. She is the global Director of Inclusion & Diversity at the LEGO Group whose mission it is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.

Ira is committed to sustainable change on inclusion and diversity which empowers people to feel connected to a sense of genuine purpose and belonging. One of her favourite expressions is “Be the change you want to see.”

Her wealth of knowledge and experience is built on an extensive HR career which includes work across diverse industry sectors and geographies. She has undertaken varying roles in HR business partnering, talent acquisition, talent management, employee experience and organisational design.

Ira has worked with a number of global organisations including Diageo, where she was the Global Head of Inclusion and diversity, as well as Visa and Johnson Controls Inc. She trained and qualified as a commercial property lawyer and practiced in London before making the decision to pursue a career in Human Resources.

Ira was born in Africa and spent her childhood in the UK. She is married and lives with her family in London.

Wendy Lyons

Wendy Lyons

Director

Human Assets

Wendy Lyons

Director

Human Assets

Wendy is an Occupational Psychologist and a chartered member of the British Psychological Society. She runs a talent management consultancy, Human Assets, based in central London. Wendy helps organisations to access, secure and benefit from the full diversity of talent. With social mobility as a specialism and passion, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of all the initiatives she designs.

Wendy has worked with a wide range of organisations in private, public and not for profit sectors. She has successfully led high profile projects in government departments and the private sector where the imperative has been to increase the diversity of applicants and recruits. She has also designed development initiatives to help people from underrepresented groups progress. She has extensive experience designing and delivering bespoke assessment and development initiatives at all levels within the organisation from graduates to Boards of Directors. Wendy co-authored ‘Holding on While Letting Go: A Director’s Guide to Contemporary Talent Management’, 2009 and she has featured in The Times, The Observer and on Sky News commenting on business issues.

Michael Zdanowski

Michael Zdanowski

Consultant in the energy, industry and sustainability space

Michael Zdanowski

Consultant in the energy, industry and sustainability space

Michael is a consultant in the energy, industry and sustainability space. He advises leading organisations on communicating the transition to a NetZero world having led projects in low carbon technology, EVs, new nuclear and fusion, hydrogen and solar.

He is passionate about communicating how low carbon technology can decarbonise the economy and recently ran a nationwide campaign in the UK to promote the benefits of electric vehicles. He is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in organisations having seen the benefits to businesses of diverse thinking.

Michael has worked for several leading international communications consultancies and has lived, worked and studied across Europe and in Russia. He has a PhD from the University of Leeds and a Masters' degree from the College of Europe.

Nan Gibson

Nan Gibson

HR Board Director

Lidl

Nan Gibson

HR Board Director

Lidl

Nan joined Lidl GB as Chief Human Resources Officer in 2016. Since then she has helped future-proof the continuing growth of Lidl GB with a focus on talent sourcing and development as well as creating a culture of inclusion and opportunity. Before joining Lidl, she was Senior Vice President, People at Virgin Atlantic. Prior to Virgin Atlantic, Nan worked for American Airlines where she held the position of Director International HR – Europe & Pacific. In her two airline roles she oversaw all aspects of HR across multiple geographies and supported major restructures in both companies.

Nan is a graduate of St Andrews University. She has two grown-up sons and lives in London with her husband.

Simon Levine

Simon Levine

Global co-CEO & Managing Partner

DLA Piper

Simon Levine

Global co-CEO & Managing Partner

DLA Piper

Simon Levine is the global co-CEO and managing partner of DLA Piper. He has extensive experience of intellectual property, media and sports law, advising on all aspects of copyright and related rights, advertising and sponsorship, design rights, trade mark rights, passing off, breach of confidence and patents. Simon has many years' experience of acting for well-known individuals, trusts and charities, and companies in many industries, in particular media, new media, sport and manufacturing.

Simon advises on both commercial and litigation matters. He has been involved in all aspects of litigation and arbitration and has experience in the High Court, the Copyright Tribunal, the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and Privy Council, as well as the Trade Mark Registry. A number of these matters have been the subject of media interest. Simon is a visiting professor and lecturer at Imperial College Business School and a member of the Board of the Office for Students, the UK government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the higher education sector.

Katja Hall

Katja Hall

Chief Corporate Affairs & Marketing Officer

Capita

Katja Hall

Chief Corporate Affairs & Marketing Officer

Capita

Katja is the Chief Corporate Affairs & Marketing Officer at Capita and is responsible for both Capita’s internal and external communications, including employee engagement, public affairs, responsible business and brand & marketing, Katja was Group Head of External Affairs at HSBC where she was responsible for external communications, public affairs and sustainability. Prior to joining HSBC, Katja was Deputy Director-General at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and led CBI’s policy development and advocacy work in the UK and internationally. She led campaigns on skills and education, public service reform, trust in business and diversity.

Gold Partner

.

Share This