2020 Awards Judging Panel

The panel of judges for the 2020 Credit & Collections Technology Awards is a gathering of extensive experience across credit, lending collections and insolvency within the sectors of consumer and business commercial.

Faizan Haq

Senior Policy Adviser, Finance and Leasing Association (FLA)


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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.

Michelle Thorp

Chief Executive, Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA)


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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.

Amir Ali

Chair, Civil Court Users Association


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Amir Ali has worked in Private Practice for 21 years for a number of leading firms of Solicitors who specialised in Debt Recovery & Insolvency 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 known as the High Court Sheriff`s Association) firstly at John Marston & Co (now Marston Group) where he was Client Relationship Manager for over three years before taking up his current role as Director of Client Services and Business Development at High Court Enforcement Group. He has over 32 years’ experience in both the Legal and Enforcement Sectors.

Amir was elected to the post of Vice Chairman of the CCUA (Civil Court Users Association) in September 2009, (Acting Chairman from February 2015 to October 2015) and also serves as Chairman of the  Events Steering Committees. The Association is charged with airing and addressing the concerns of all Civil Court Users in England and Wales at the very highest levels of Government, MOJ, and Her Majesty’s Court & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) to include all other Stakeholders concerned with Policy Change in the Civil Realm. Amir is currently Chairman of the CCUA, a position he was elected to at the CCUA AGM in October 2015.

In addition, Amir sits on the Law Advisory Board at Wolverhampton University.

Steve Williams

Director, Investment Banking, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods


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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.

Rachel Duffey

Chief Executive Officer, PayPlan


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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.

Charles Mayhew

Chief Executive Officer, Global Credit Recoveries


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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.

Moreton Smith was fully acquired by Marston Holdings in 2015 and at the same time Chalres sold his shares in Square Marble to its fellow Directors. Prior to his role at Moreton Smith, Charles worked for STA International as Managing Director in London and Globaleye in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In 2018 Charles re-entered the debt recovery Industry with Global Credit Recoveries based in London and Dubai. Previous roles include Chairman of the committee for conference and seminars for the Chartered Institute of Credit Management and he has proudly served on the European board of the ICTF. (International Credit and Trade Finance Association) Charles is a keen member of the Institute of Directors and has lectured across EMEA on all aspects of International debt collection and asset recovery, and arbitration.

Helen McCarthy

Head of Policy, Consumer Finance Association (CFA)


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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.

Brendan Clarkson

Director, CVR Global LLP


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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.

Eleanor Demuth

Head of Model and Credit Risk governance, Metro Bank


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Eleanor Demuth (Ned) is currently Head of Model and Credit Risk governance at Metro Bank. She has previously worked for Deloitte, NewDay, and Cabot Financial.

Eleanor specialises in Credit Risk but enjoys all aspects of mathematical modelling and associated disciplines. She is also an authority on neurodiversity in the workplace.
Eleanor is passionate about the application of analytics and technology in credit and collections. She feels that, while there will always be a place for human intervention and personalisation, the choice of that intervention, consistency of service, and the capacity for rapid and continuous improvement are dramatically enhanced by smart use of technological solutions.

Lee D'Arcy

Commercial Director, Cifas


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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

Co-Owner, Elanev


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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.

Steve has a belief that we are working within a technological revolution, businesses need to adapt and embrace some of this technology if they are to remain competitive.

Kathy Cox

Director, Kent Savers Credit Union and Independent Consultant, Consumer credit sector


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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.

Russell Hamblin-Boone

Chief Executive, Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA)


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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.

Bryan Coverdale

Owner, Coverdale Debt Recovery Solutions


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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.

Bryan is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

Jennifer Lambden

Chair, Association of Credit Professionals (ACP)


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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.


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Bob Winnington

Chief Executive Officer, The Money Advice Liaison Group


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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.

Claire Aynsley

Head of Regulatory Compliance & Standards, Credit Services Association (CSA)


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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.

Marilena Ioannidou

Team Lead on FinTech investments, British Business Bank


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Marilena joined in the British Business Bank in December 2013 and she is the team lead on FinTech investments, having previously led the mid-cap direct lending portfolio.

Her previous career was spent largely in corporate finance and investment banking, having been an Assistant Director at the Shareholder Executive in BEIS and a Vice President at Citigroup Global Markets where she worked in financial strategy, equity capital markets and Financial Institutions M&A.

Sarah Cryer

Credit Risk Consultant , Draycots


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Sarah Cryer has worked in Financial Services since 2000. She started her career at Santander and has since worked with many lenders and credit reference agencies and is now an independent consultant. Sarah has expertise in data analytics and credit scoring, and has a passion for technology in customer application and lending processes. She has worked on numerous projects to help lenders to source and implement new technology to enhance customer decisioning. Sarah is also a Non-Executive Director at Kent Savers Credit Union.

Jennifer Tankard

Principal, Commercial Finance and Invoice Finance and Asset Based Lending , UK Finance


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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.