Lightning Talks at the Young Leaders Summit


The ICAS Young Leaders Summit will be a highly practical, interactive event designed to hone the skills of the next generation of business leaders. It will provide you with the unique opportunity to learn from your peers and other CAs.

It brings together today’s most inspiring business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. They’ll share what it means to be successful in this era of dramatic global change. The event aims to energise and educate the leaders of tomorrow and inspire you to make a positive change in your career. Each talk focuses on a different theme and is your opportunity to not just listen, but to ask questions and connect with our industry's foremost leaders.

Lightning Talk 1 - Igniting Your Entrepreneurial Spark

This session aims to connect budding entrepreneurs and those interested in learning more about what it takes to succeed in the startup scene with entrepreneurial pioneers. You’ll hear first-hand, personal stories from CA entrepreneurs working to build their companies and outperform the competition. You’ll learn the secrets of the success - and failures - behind some of the brightest and best new businesses of today.

Speakers - Igniting Your Entrepreneurial Spark

Alexis Liming CA, CFO of Rota

Alexis LimingAfter leaving Ernst & Young to join Virgin Media, Alexis caught the Virgin brand’s entrepreneurial bug and is currently Chief Operating and Financial Officer at Rota, a London based start-up using innovative tech to better connect workers and employers in the hospitality industry. Previously at Virgin StartUp and Enterprise Nation, Alexis has helped support over 70,000 small business owners grow and connected over 1,200 entrepreneurs with funding and coaching to launch their idea. He has also founded two businesses - a photography business and a mobile cocktail bar called Bar on a Bike. 

Alexis holds a first class degree in Business Management from the University of Surrey and qualified as a CA in 2011 whilst working at Ernst & Young where he spent time in forensic accounting and fast-growth company audits.

Alongside work, Alexis is a keen runner and in 2012 took on a challenge to run 2,012 miles in a year, including 2 marathons!

Rachel Murphy-Rutland CA, Former Co-Founder of Garcon Wines

Rachel Murphy RutlandRachel qualified as an accountant in 2009, having previously completed the ATT qualification, with KPMG. She had a varied professional life in practice working in 3 different types of taxes and with a mixture of clients from financial services to owner managed businesses with a secondment in New Zealand along the way.

After almost 10 years she took a career break to go back to University and gained an MBA from Imperial College Business School. The year was transformative as Rachel gained a completely different experience from corporate life by working with entrepreneurs through the University-led enterprise Create Lab (now Enterprise Lab). As part of this she used her mid-year project to launch a business called Project Space which was designed to match freelance business professionals with early-stage start-ups requiring support. Her final project was a consultancy project completed as a secondment with a VC firm.

Both experiences gave Rachel the opportunity to test her entrepreneurial skills. When she left Imperial she wanted to pursue this further so immediately set up her own tax consultancy practice and worked with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Sony amongst other. In between tax work she had the freedom and flexibility to look for the real adventure and found Garcon Wines.

Rachel joined the team of two to as a co-founder and for almost 2 years lived the portfolio career of maintaining a 9-5 job while running a business. Garcon Wines grew from an idea to a business with a pop-up shop when CNBC and Alibaba joined forces to run a Dragon’s Den type TV show – Pop Up Start Up. In a matter of months they sourced bottles from China, wine from Wolverhampton, a brand and a revenue model that won the show and gave them £20,000 spending money! The business went on to raise funding, valued at £1m, and had offers from 2 other TV shows.

Barry Mulholland CA, Former CFO of Victoria Beckham Ltd

Bally MulhollandBarry’s most recent role was Chief Financial Officer of Victoria Beckham’s fashion business, which he helmed for over 2 years.  Prior to this he was Chief Financial Officer at Christopher Kane between May 2012 and June 2014, where he worked to prepare the business for its eventual sale to the Kering group in January 2013. Barry started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and has held management roles at Diageo plc and Burberry plc.

Lightning Talk 2 - Unleashing Innovation

Some of the today’s most successful businesses have challenged the status quo by harnessing new digital technologies. Understanding where and how digital disruption can be translated into an incredible business proposition is at the heart of this session. You’ll hear from CAs who have harnessed the power of new digital technologies - driving digital disruption, implementing new business models and generating an incredible competitive advantage.

Speakers - Unleashing Innovation

Gareth Lewis CA, Co-Founder & CFO Delio

Gareth LewisGareth is the CEO and co-founder of Delio. After beginning his career at IBM, he specialised in mergers & acquisitions, working with EY and investment boutique Convex Capital whilst training as a chartered accountant.

Having had access to and sold businesses for a number of today’s entrepreneurial wealth creators, Gareth recognised that their needs and wants in the private investment space were being under serviced.

Using his knowledge of the space and broader understanding of technology, he set out to help financial institutions deliver value and do more in private capital.

Oliver Cummings CA, Commercial Director

Oliver CummingsOliver is the Commercial Director of the VC backed, fintech start-up They are a graduate of the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator and recently pitched at Wired Money as one of the “next generation of fintech start-ups set to revolutionise the world of finance”.

"Our vision, at, is to unlock UK businesses’ full potential today by matching the right business to the right lender. With 360 plus lenders and growing this funding journey has become increasingly complex and hard to navigate. uses in-house technology and data analytics to identify the best financing options available for UK businesses. We've partnered with over 80 institutional lenders from High Street Banks to leading Peer-to peer funders to offer business loans to UK SMEs. We also work with over 400 accountancy firms across the UK, including PKF and Haines Watts, and help their clients find the right lenders for their businesses.

I have a lot of experience in the finance sector having previously worked with Smith & Williamson, HSBC and Nauta Partners. He was also recently involved in the establishment of a partnerships team at FinTech company MarketInvoice. I qualified as a CA with EY in 2008."

Neil Simpson CA, Financial Director Brewdog

Neil Simpson CA, Finance Director, BrewDogNeil Simpson joined Brewdog Plc in August 2012 as finance director. He previously had 20 years of experience, 10 of these at partner level, at Ritson Smith. Neil trained with Ritson Smith and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1995. During his time at Ritson Smith, Neil acted for and advised a wide variety of businesses, one of which was Brewdog.

Lightning Talk 3 - Next Gen Leadership Skills

Traditional skills are no longer enough to succeed as a leader in this new world. In this session, you’ll hear from successful CA leaders about the new brand of leadership skills that got them where they are today, and, more importantly, how you can develop them. Global mindsets, technology savvy and business agility are just some of the areas that will be covered in this ground-breaking session.

Speakers - Next Gen Leadership Skills

Sir Brian Souter CA, Founder & Chairman of Stagecoach

Sir Brian SouterSir Brian Souter is one of the UK's leading entrepreneurs and transport innovators and President of ICAS. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Stagecoach Group, the international public transport operator, which runs some of the UK's most recognised transport brands and is a market leader in delivering greener, smarter travel.

Sir Brian is architect of the company's philosophy and, along with his sister, Ann Gloag, founded the company in Perth, Scotland, in 1980, with just two buses. His vision, entrepreneurial flair and innovative ideas have transformed Stagecoach into an international market-leading business.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1993, Stagecoach Group operates around 13,000 vehicles and rolling stock and employs around 35,000 people in the UK, United States and Canada.

Sir Brian was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2011 for services to transport and the voluntary sector. A qualified chartered accountant, Sir Brian has been a long-standing supporter of business in Scotland and is also a former Board member of Scottish Enterprise. Sir Brian is also Chairman of Souter Investments, his private investment vehicle. It invests in a diverse range of private equity funds, bonds, quoted and unquoted investments and commercial and residential property.

Rimla Akhtar MBE CA, Founder of RimJhim Consulting 

Rimla Akhtar MBERimla is an Inclusion & Diversity Consultant at RimJhim Consulting in London. She is the first Muslim woman to sit on the FA Council and is Chair of the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation. Her work spans from community groups, to the Government and as far afield as the US, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and across Europe.

She was named Sky Sports and Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year in 2013, FA Grassroots Hero in 2013 and was a member of the 2009 Muslim Women Power List.

Rimla's MBE was awarded in 2015 for her exceptional work championing equality in sport. Rimla was the winner of the One Young CA award in 2016.

Baron Anyangwe CA, Management Consultant at North Highland

Baron AnyangweBaron Anyangwe is a chartered accountant with diverse experience in the public and private sector across various industries. As a protagonist for pursuing a career that is fulfilling and aligns with an individual’s passions and values, Baron has had quite an unconventional career journey to date.

Baron started his training with KPMG in their Tax Advisory function, supporting clients on a variety of tax compliance and advisory projects. Following his qualification as a CA, Baron dabbled in the world of investment trading for a couple of years at the height of the financial crisis, executing a range of financial derivative products for UK and French investors. However, the mirage of the exciting financial markets was not to last, and Baron eventually left the investment world disillusioned by the negative impact the financial markets were having on individuals and whole communities.

He then took up a commercial finance role at a telecommunications company, business partnering with the digital team, and working on several large scale transformation projects including the launch of 4G services. Following this, Baron moved to the finance, enterprise and performance function at Accenture where he worked as a management consultant on transformation projects including the implementation of new operating models for consumer products clients. This was succeeded by another move to a niche strategy consultancy in the public sector where he supported public sector bodies and socially-focused organisations to improve and grow their public services in order to be more sustainable in the future, through the exploration of different operating models and the identification of operational efficiencies.

Aside from his day job, Baron has a keen interest in innovative ideas and new technologies (backing over 10 projects on Kickstarter), is a promoter of social innovation and volunteering, and an advocate of mental health awareness and support services. He is a member of the ICAS Council and Policy Leadership Board, a governor on a London University strategic committee, and provides financial management advice to a debt advice charity on a pro bono basis. Baron is also an endurance sports enthusiast, loves outdoor activities (like mountain climbing and canyoning), and enjoys performing arts.

Baron currently works as a management consultant at North Highland within their organisational strategy and design function, helping organisations adapt to changes in technology, strategy and regulatory requirements.

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Investec Click & Invest, headline sponsor of the ICAS Young Leaders’ Summit and One Young CA Awards 2017, is a new online actively managed investment management service for UK residents with £10,000 or more to invest.

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