2021 Awards Judging Panel
The panel of judges for the 2021 Credit & Collections Technology Awards is a gathering of extensive experience across credit, lending collections and insolvency within the sectors of consumer and business commercial.
The Credit & Collections Technology Awards matter because they are judged by the toughest critics, your peers. Our expert judging panels are made up of leaders from across the credit, lending, collections and insolvency industries and we pride ourselves on the rigorous, objective and transparent judging process. Below is a list of the 2021 Judges.
We work our Awards Judges really hard so we can provide your company with relevant feedback. We can also tell you where your company finished if require a post Event Awards entry review through our Awards Insight report service. Please make contact if you are interested in finding out more.
Senior Policy Adviser, Finance and Leasing Association (FLA)
Faizan Haq is a Senior Policy Adviser at the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA). He has over 12 years of experience in the legal, consulting and financial services sectors.
Faizan graduated with an Honours degree in Law and started his career at a ‘Magic Circle’ law firm, before later moving on to work for one of the ‘Big Four’ consulting firms. He then spent over 7 years at one of the UK’s largest banks, with roles in the Credit Risk, Group Corporate Treasury and Group Corporate Affairs teams. Faizan helped shape the bank’s regulatory and external affairs strategy, and also regularly engaged with civil servants and politicians in Westminster.
In his current role at the FLA, Haq regularly engages with regulators and advises member firms on their approach to mortgage regulation, credit information and technology issues. He is keen to help his member firms to both navigate technological change and to embrace the challenges that come along with it.
Chief Executive, Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA)
Michelle Thorp was appointed CEO of the Insolvency Practitioner’s Association (IPA) in September 2018.
Michelle joined the IPA from the Department for International Trade where she was Digital, Data and Technology lead at the Department for International Trade and a major project leader for the Cabinet Office, strategic organisational change, often with a strong technology element. She has almost 20 years experience working with senior government departments working in many areas of policy, strategy, regulation and delivery.
President, Professional Paralegal Register
Amir Ali has worked in private practice for 21 years for a few leading firms of solicitors who specialised in Dispute Resolution, Insolvency together with Company & Commercial work at senior management level. He was also Head of Litigation for a Midlands based National Leasing Plc. Amir was invited to join the High Court Enforcement Officers Association (formally, the High Court Sheriff`s Association) firstly at John Marston & Co (now Marston Group) as Client Relationship Manager before taking up the role as Director of Client Services and Business Development at High Court Enforcement Group and has over 35 years of experience in both the Legal and Enforcement Sectors in the UK.
In addition, Amir is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (FCICM) and is a member of both CICM’s Think Tank and Technical Committee. CICM overseas & is responsible for £4 Trillion of Trade Debt in the UK and abroad.
Amir served as Chair of the Civil Court Users Association (CCUA) for five years from Sept 2015 to Sept 2020 (he served a total of 11 years on the CCUA Board). The Association is charged with airing and addressing the concerns of all Civil Court Users in the UK at the very highest levels of Government, Ministry of Justice (MOJ), and Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) to include all other Stakeholders concerned with Policy Change within the Civil Realm.
Amir sits on the Law Advisory Boards of three Universities in the UK and was recently appointed the inaugural President of The Professional Paralegal Register (The PPR). The Register champions diversity, inclusivity and equality within the Profession whilst delivering access to justice and consumer protection for all.
The PPR is the independent voluntary regulator for all paralegals.
Amir was also recently appointed to the role of Vice President at Resolve Disputes Online. RDO provide Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platforms to Ministry of Justices’ (MOJ’s) Globally. Closer to home, RDO are also leading the charge for the UK Government-backed initiative powered by Tech Nation / Law Tech UK, to help transform the UK legal sector through technology. The ambition is to create an online dispute resolution platform for UK PLC and the SME business community.
Director, Investment Banking, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods
Steve Williams has 14 years’ experience as a corporate finance advisor. He works at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a financial services specialist investment bank, having previously been a Director in Deloitte’s corporate finance practice. He has advised businesses across the credit management industry for 10 years, advising on numerous high profile transactions involving major companies in debt purchase, debt collection and judicial services both in the UK and across Europe.
Steve continues to witness his clients’ development of compliant technology solutions as an increasingly fundamental requirement to maintain operational effectiveness, preserve creditor relationships and adapt to evolving customer trends.
Chief Executive Officer, PayPlan
Rachel Duffey began her profession in the family business in 2000 as a newly-graduated Law student from the University of Leicester. Starting in the Helpline team, in the heart of the operation, Rachel gained first-hand knowledge of the clients that PayPlan helps with free debt advice.
With experience under her belt, Rachel went on to lead the department as Head of Advice and Support, where she gained invaluable insight into the world of debt management.
In 2007, Rachel sought a new challenge as PayPlan’s Partnerships Director. While excelling in her new role, Rachel enhanced her skillset even further by completing her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Nottingham University Business School in 2008.
After a further six years as Partnerships Director, Rachel was appointed into her current role as PayPlan’s CEO in 2014. Rachel now uses her wealth of knowledge and expertise to cement PayPlan’s position as one of the UK’s leading free debt advice providers.
Chief Executive Officer, Global Credit Recoveries
Charles Mayhew FCICM is the Chief Executive Officer Global Credit Recoveries. Charles joined Moreton Smith in London in 2002 as a Partner, after living and working in the UAE. Moreton Smith set up another business Square Marble Tech, which invested heavily in developing its own award winning credit management software, Mia, owned by Square MarbleTechnology.
Head of Policy, Consumer Finance Association (CFA)
Helen McCarthy has more than 20 years’ experience in the public policy arena. She started her career as a civil servant in the Department of Work and Pensions before moving to HM Treasury. Since leaving the civil service Helen has held senior positions in a large financial services trade association and major financial services companies. Most recently, she has been a senior policy researcher at Citizens Advice. McCarthy joined the Consumer Finance Association (CFA) as Head of Policy in January 2014.
Director, CVR Global LLP
Brendan Clarkson has over 20 years’ experience in the debt, insolvency and credit management sectors. He specialises in both non-court and court insolvency work.
Brendan has built close relationships with solicitors, other professionals, banks and client companies in order to understand their debt management needs. He has also developed good working relationships with government organisations. He appreciates the range of debt recovery options available to organisations, and works hard to ensure their best interests are served.
Brendan has regular contact with the credit management profession through his involvement in credit circles across the UK. He has served as chair of Surrey and Sussex CICM and is heavily involved with the institute.
Risk Director, Curve
Eleanor Demuth (Ned) is currently Risk Director at Curve. She has previously worked for Metro Bank, Deloitte, NewDay, and Cabot Financial.
Commercial Director, Cifas
Lee D’Arcy has over 20 years’ experience in, credit risk and fraud prevention and harnessing the power of data. He is responsible to the growth strategy working to increase memberships, geographies and data sets that enhance fraud detection. Before Joining Cifas Lee was Sales Director at EY in the Financial Services Division and previously with Dun & Bradstreet and Lloyds Banking Group.
Steven Preston has experience in working in the collections and recoveries industries, having worked in the industry, consulted as a data vendor and being an advisor to the industry.
Steve is Co-Owner of Elanev an automating real-time cloud-based scoring to the ARM / financial industries. He was Awarded in the top 200 most influential collections professionals in the US Collections Technology Advisor magazine. Steve is also the Credit Services Association (CSA) technical advisor on technology, analytics and change.
Director, Kent Savers Credit Union and Independent Consultant, Consumer credit sector
Kathy Cox joined the UK consumer credit sector in 1998 with a rating agency/ data & technology background. After time with Cabot Financial and Tessera, she joined a team to form Capquest in 2004 from where she continued to grow the UK debt purchase industry. Capquest was sold to private equity in 2011 and to Arrow Global plc in 2014; she continued to focus on generating opportunities into Arrow UK’s newly integrated business, until she stepped down in July 2017. She has acquired portfolios with more than 3 million customer accounts. Her belief is in migrating accounts professionally, ensuring the integrity of handover and preserving customer experience. She has had broad exposure to systems and technology in collections, recoveries, data management & sourcing, voice and dialler arenas. Kathy has worked closely with the 3 Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs), and served on various governing committees, working parties or boards such as Credit Services Association, SCOR and others.
Chief Executive, Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA)
Russell Hamblin-Boone was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA) in January, representing around 2000 enforcement agents who collect civil debt on behalf of local authorities. For almost five years he was CEO of the Consumer Finance Association (CFA) and led reform of short-term lending practices during a period of intense political and media scrutiny. He has been described as doing more than anyone else to build the intellectual case for a high-cost, short-term credit market in the UK. For the second year running Russell was named in the Credit 500, as one of the fifty top influencers. He has also held senior positions at the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) and the Energy Retail Association, now known as Energy UK, where he helped to set up the first trade association dedicated to energy suppliers. He has worked in Downing Street and as private secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords.
Owner, Coverdale Debt Recovery Solutions
Bryan Coverdale has held senior roles within major financial institutions (including Head of Recoveries at Standard Chartered Bank, Head of Collections EMEA at American Express, Head of Collections at JAPA American Express, Senior Manager Collections at Lloyds TSB). He is now consulting with his own company, Coverdale Debt Recovery Solutions, focusing on later stage collections and recoveries.
Bryan has worked across multiple countries and regions of the world — his last role with Standard Chartered Bank, based out of Singapore, was Global and encompassed 31 countries covering all products ranging from Mortgages, Secured / unsecured Loans, Credit Cards and Auto finance. His specialisation for the last 35 years has been in late Collections & Recoveries and in all his roles the key deliverables have included driving results, reducing Operational Risk, implementing best practise MIS, implementing new tools and processes whilst at the same time embedding the principles of treating customers fairly in all countries.
The use of new or evolving technology has been intrinsic in all his roles and he has implemented and or utilised new technology (including customer based collection and recovery systems, contact centre solutions, legal case management systems and document storage) in order to achieve the deliverables.
Chair, Association of Credit Professionals (ACP)
Jennifer Lambden was appointed Chair for the Association of Credit Professionals (ACP) in 2014 following a career spanning over 15 years within credit management and debt recovery. Jennifer joined the board of the ACP in 2012 before being elected Chair in 2014. The ACP was formed in 2006 by like-minded Credit Professionals intent on raising the profile of the Credit Industry and each and every Credit Professional who join us as members. The ACP is an essential source of support for all those involved in the granting, collection and management of Credit and/or debt within the UK and Ireland.
Jennifer was a finalist in the 2015 North West Finance Awards. She has also had articles published and is a recognised leader within her field. Jennifer now works as a Consultant, coach and mentor using her expertise to assist business’ to streamline their processes and departments to ensure that their credit management team receive the support and training they need to manage the cash flow of the business. Her passion is mentoring other credit professionals on their career journey.
Chief Executive Officer, The Money Advice Liaison Group
Bob Winnington has a strong focus on the role of technology in the future of money advice and this featured strongly at MALG’s annual Conference held in November 2017. He is familiar with the current money advice landscape and the challenges to think beyond the next five years to the longer term. He is keen to work with all those involved in the money advice and personal debt arena to collaborate on ‘game-changing’ solutions that don’t just meet the immediate needs of consumers today but address the long-term eradication of problem debt through the proactive and meaningful use of inclusive technology.
Head of Regulatory Compliance & Standards, Credit Services Association (CSA)
Claire joined the Credit Services Association over 14 years ago as PA to the executive director and was one of only two employees. She has since played a vital role in the progression and growth of the Association and now heads up the compliance and membership departments, and leads on a number of working parties, including public affairs.Alongside the team at CSA Head Office, their efforts to clarify the many complex compliance issues and take forward new initiatives to promote best practice is highly commended by members and stakeholders.
Claire’s dedication and passion for the Industry have greatly enhanced the status of the Association, forging strong relationships with regulatory bodies and other industry stakeholders to ensure the CSA is at the forefront of any regulatory and legislative changes.
During her lengthy time with the CSA, Claire has seen vast changes within the industry, from improvements in practices and standards through to the fast-paced developments in innovation and technology which have aided, and continue to greatly enhance, the sector.
Head of Strategic Relationships, StepChange Debt Charity
Vanessa Northam is Head of Strategic Relationships at StepChange, having joined from Open Banking pioneers the OpenWrks Group.
She has an extensive background in developing solutions between organisations and vulnerable customers. At OpenWrks she was Head of External Affairs for Tully, the UK’s first digital debt advice organisation to utilise open banking, and led on ensuring the service and solution worked for the needs of vulnerable customers.
Prior to this she lead E.ON’s UK vulnerable customer programme, as well as roles within EDF Energy, Capital One Bank, and a year in consultancy advising organisations across the financial services and utility sectors on the needs of vulnerable customers.
She’s a firm believer in the role technology can place in helping all consumers access services and help, earlier and easier when faced with difficult financial situations.
Director, Digital Cat Consultancy
Alexandra Jones was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Registry Trust in July 2019.
Alexandra joined Registry Trust in September 2017 as Director of Operations and Deputy CEO, with responsibility for compliance, business development, contract management and complaints.
Alexandra moved to Registry Trust from the Financial Ombudsman Service where she was Head of Casework, leading on diverse areas including pensions, investments and jurisdiction, with responsibility for planning and directing different elements of the operation. Key initiatives that Alexandra was involved with were the rapid growth of the PPI casework management model; knowledge resource systems and management information reporting among others.
With over 20 years’ management experience, Alexandra has held various roles across financial services and not for profit organisations. Alexandra is an advocate of using technology and data to improve economic fairness and the customer experience.
Principal, Commercial Finance and Invoice Finance and Asset Based Lending , UK Finance
Jennifer Tankard is Principle, Invoice Finance and Commercial Finance at UK Finance. She works on a range of projects including ‘Investing in Female Entrepreneurs’, ‘Just Transition for SMEs’ and supports UK Finance’s invoice finance and asset based lenders and specialist banks.
Chief Executive Officer, Registry Trust
Maria Harris is the Director of Digital Cat Consultancy Ltd and is a Non-Exec Director at United Trust Bank and South Tees NHS. In her consultancy role, Maria provides digital and fintech expertise to the mortgage industry. Previously the Director of Lending at Atom bank where she designed, built and launched the multiple award winning, first fully digital mortgage in the UK.
With over 25 years’ experience in management, Maria has held roles across a number of sectors including travel, utilities and more recently in financial services where she was awarded the inaugural Women in Finance Award for services to banking by HM Treasury. She is a vocal advocate for equality, diversity, and the role of technology in improving financial wellbeing and the customer experience.
Head of Risk & Collections , Business Stream
Martin Kirby Head of Credit Collections and Risk at Scottish Water Business Stream since January 2020. Martin has repeated success in guiding global business strategy by establishing and developing credit, collection and fraud policies and objectives, aligned with the company’s acceptable risk appetite for commercial, consumer and credit card lending.
Martin has extensive experience in developing risk management framework and scorecard analytics, ensuring compliance with internal and legal regulatory guidelines. He has a proven history of achievement working with globally recognised brands including KIER Group, Adecco UK, Hays Recruitment, Bupa Healthcare, and CHEP. Talent for driving optimised operational performance to achieve measurable financial targets and stakeholder satisfaction. He is expert presenter, negotiator, and communicator; able to forge solid relationships with strategic partners and build consensus across multiple organisational levels.