Speakers at the ICAS Conference 2017

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Listed below are a selection of the speakers at this years' ICAS Conference. Coming from a range of backgrounds and perspectives, each will bring their own knowledge and expertise.

Baroness Manningham-Buller LG DCB

Brian SoutarEliza Manningham-Buller headed Britain’s Security Service (MI5) from 2002 to 2007, leading the organisation though substantial change in the wake of 9/11 and the threat from Al-Qaeda. During her time at the helm MI5 doubled in size, opened eight new offices and altered its approach to the professional development of staff with the establishment of a training academy.


Earlier in her career, Eliza led the Service’s investigation into the Lockerbie bombing. She served in Washington during the first Gulf war, returning to establish MI5’s intelligence effort against the Provisional IRA in mainland Britain. She joined the board and assumed lead responsibility for work on Irish terrorism, surveillance, technical collection, finance and IT before becoming Deputy Director General in charge of intelligence operations.  


In presentations Eliza draws on her experience in the most demanding of environments to stress the need for leaders in any walk of life to engage in frank dialogue and invite criticism: “Do not try to be something you’re not, take responsibility for your team and remember that praising people takes seconds and can make an enormous difference. And don’t forget that humour can be found even in the most awful situations.”  


Eliza Manningham-Buller is a active cross-bench Peer and the Chair of the Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s largest non-governmental fund providers for scientific research. She was also chosen to deliver the prestigious BBC Reith Lectures, alongside the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Sir Brian Souter CA

Brian SoutarSir Brian Souter (62) is one of the UK's leading entrepreneurs and transport innovators.

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.

Sir Brian still lives in his home town of Perth, Scotland, and is married with four children. He has received a number of awards for his business acumen, his personal achievements and his significant contribution to the development of the public transport sector in the UK. Sir Brian was named UK Master Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and, in 2012, became the first public transport entrepreneur to be inducted into the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame.  In 2013, he received the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Scottish Business Awards.

A strong advocate of business being an integral part of the communities they serve, Sir Brian makes significant personal financial contributions to a wide variety of good causes through the Souter Charitable Trust. The trust provides financial support to social projects, medical research and organisations promoting spiritual welfare.

James Burchell

James BurchellJames Burchell, Senior Sales Engineer at Sophos

James is a passionate, multidisciplinary security specialist who has the ability to de-mystify the complexity that shrouds many IT security challenges. With many years of experience in both military and corporate cyber security worlds, he has the knowledge to help you protect your brands’ reputation, data and intellectual property. The battle for IT security won’t end any time soon - James strives to make sure that everyone understands the challenges and are equipped to protect themselves from the most advanced modern threats.

Clare Campbell CA

Clare CampbellClare Campbell from the Highlands, qualified as a CA in 2003 with Tenon.  Her role in accountancy developed for 12 years both in practice and industry, then something changed…..

On achieving her CA qualification on first time passes she pursued a career in industry initially. She spent 5 years as the first in-house company accountant for a large family owned and managed business, Pat Munro (Alness) Ltd. Developing her skills in a business which had multiple revenue streams and was experiencing a period of significant growth. At 30 she returned to practice with Saffery Champness as a senior manager. She was responsible for a wide portfolio of clients and advised on all practice matters. A key highlight of her time in practice was engaging with trainees and sharing her knowledge of managing the clients expectation gap, a direct insight from her time post qualification. During the 3 years with Saffery’s she became part qualified with the CIOT.

The realisation for Clare at that point was her passion for industry and returned as a consultant servicing a number of SME business in the Highland community. In 2013 she become the full time Finance Director for one of her clients, MSIS Group, who operated in the Oil & Gas sector. Gaining further experience of investor board relations and international subsidiaries during her 2 years with them.

Then expect the unexpected became a reality. Clare has since October 2015 embarked on her own start-up, with a ambition to create Scotland's most innovative and disruptive tartan design house. A design house that extends to all ranges of application, and shakes the stereotype that has largely developed over the last 200 years for tartan. &Prickly Thistle has certainly been a journey of passion and determination. Clare hopes to blend her years of financial and commercial experience with her creative side and inject this into one of Scotland's most iconic heritage industries. To date the brand has collaborated with some of Scotland’s most prominent corporate brands such as Skyscanner and achieved a considerable international private client base. With ambitious milestones set for year two of the business Clare hopes to lead tartan into the changing world.

Professor Mike Chantler

293570Professor Mike Chantler has a first in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Glasgow and PhD in image processing from Heriot-Watt University. After leaving university he focused on software engineering, mainly military related projects, and preformed consultancy in Europe before taking up a post at Heriot-Watt’s Electrical Engineering Department.

His research interests cover the use of machine learning to extract meaning and value from data, and presenting these to users in a way that promotes understanding and trust. This not only means being transparent regarding the provenance of the data, but also making the reasoning accessible and understandable to users who may be domain experts but have little or no knowledge of machine learning algorithms. Without trust there is little point to performing the inferencing as users and stakeholders will not act on the results no matter how interesting they might first appear. 

He has successfully supervised over twenty phds, published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, chaired a number of leading international conferences and workshops and attracted has multi-million pound EU and national funding.  Mike has been a member of a considerable number of EPSRC, ESRC, Data Lab and InnovateUK prioritisation panels and has been involved in strategy development for ESRC, EPSRC and InnovateUK.

Alison Cornwell CA

Alison CornwellAlison Cornwell is CFO of Vue International plc, one of the world’s leading cinema operators, spanning 10 countries, 211 sites and 1879 screens.

Alison qualified as a chartered accountant with Coopers & Lybrand, Glasgow, in 1990 and spent 5 years in corporate finance in London before joining Disney’s International TV business where she was head of finance responsible for TV distribution, Disney Channel and a portfolio of equity investments across EMEA, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Canada.

In 2005 Alison was appointed CFO of a private equity backed international TV broadcasting business, Sparrowhawk Media, which was successfully sold to NBC Universal at the end of 2007. Following this Alison was appointed CFO of the Goldman Sachs backed international film distribution company Alliance Films. Alison led a number of significant corporate acquisitions and corporate and film financing projects alongside the exit process and sale of the business in 2013.

Alison also holds a number of non executive director positions; She was appointed to the Board of Governors of the British Film Institute in 2013 and also chairs the BFI’s Audit Risk and Governance Committee. In 2016 Alison also joined the board of Centre For The Moving Image, a Scottish charity which runs the Edinburgh International Film Festival and film hubs at its Filmhouse cinemas in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Steve MacLaurin Elliott

Steve ElliottChairman at Investec Wealth & Investment UK

Steve’s career with Investec began in 1989. Responsible for the integration of Investec’s South African stockbroking operations, he joined Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite as a director in March 2002, becoming Managing Director and then Chief Executive in May 2004.

Upon Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite acquisition by Rensburg on the 6th May 2005 Steve was appointed Managing Director of Rensburg Sheppards plc and appointed Chief Executive on the 1st April 2007 (Investec held a 47% shareholding).

On the 25th June 2010, Investec acquired the remaining shareholding of Rensburg Sheppards and consolidated its private wealth management business within Investec Wealth & Investment, headed globally by Steve Elliott.

On a lighter note, Steve regularly plays golf and is an enthusiastic rugby and cricket supporter.

Steve has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa.

Jo Fletcher CA

Jo Fletcher CFO at the European Tour, Ryder Cup Europe

Jo, who is also a Chartered Accountant, assumes overall financial responsibility for the European Tour group – which comprises the European Tour, the European Challenge Tour and the European Senior Tour as well as being managing partner of Ryder Cup Europe.

Jo joined the Vodafone group in 2014, firstly as Head of Finance for Technology, Strategy and Operations before becoming the CFO of Vodafone Americas in April 2015, a role which meant she had overall financial, treasury and taxation responsibility for the Americas region.

An International Business and Languages graduate of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and ICADE in Madrid, she spent the first six years of her career at Ernst & Young, where her clients included Scottish & Newcastle plc, who she then joined as Commercial Finance Manager in 2001.

She then joined Deloitte in the Lead Advisory Team, Corporate Finance, in 2004 before taking on the role of Vice President, Finance, at TELUS Communications, based in Vancouver, from 2007-2013.

Martin Gilbert CA

Martin GilbertMartin Gilbert is a co-founder and Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, the holding company of the fund management group that was established in 1983.

Martin graduated from Aberdeen University in 1978 with a MA in Accountancy and LLB in Law. After university he joined Deloittes where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.  In 1982 he joined the investment department of local law firm Brander & Cruikshank, which subsequently became AAM.

Under Martin’s leadership, Aberdeen has become one of the world’s leading independent asset managers through a combination of organic growth and acquisition. The Group’s core expertise is in equities, fixed income, alternatives and property and it manages assets for national and corporate pension funds, central banks, financial institutions, charities, foundations and private individuals around the world. It joined the FTSE 100 in March 2012.

Martin was appointed Chairman of the Prudential Regulation Authority's Practitioner Panel in December 2013. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Institute of International Finance. He is also a member of the International Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the International Advisory Board of British American Business. Martin is also the Deputy Chairman of SKY PLC.

In 2008, Martin was named European Personality of the Year at the Funds Europe Awards. In 2009, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Aberdeen for services to business and entrepreneurship. In 2011, he was named Scotland PLC CEO of the Year at the Business Insider/PwC Scotland PLC Awards. Martin is Adjunct Professor of Finance at Imperial College Business School and in 2014 was awarded a Doctorate of Letters from Heriot-Watt University.

Martin, who was born in Malaysia, was educated in Aberdeen and has an MA in Accountancy and an LLB. He divides his time between Aberdeen, where the business has always been headquartered, and London, as well as overseeing the international operations of the Group.

Simon Lapthorne

Simon Lapthorne Simon covers the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sectors with a primary focus on UK companies. He also sits on the Stock Sector Committee. Simon has more than 25 years’ buy-side and sell-side experience in the industry, including several years as a media sector specialist covering mostly UK-based large and small companies.

Simon graduated with an honours degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham in 1984 and qualified as an investment analyst over 20 years ago.

Colin McLellan CA

Colin McLennanCFO at Skyscanner

Colin qualified as a CA and tax advisor with KPMG in 2008 and after being there four years left to work with Scottish Power as their IAS39 hedge accountant. Colin then moved to the role of group accountant at Worldmark, a global material science and manufacturing business in the electronics sector. In 2013 Colin joined Skyscanner as Group Financial Controller – at that stage the business had around 150 people and 3 offices.  In 2015 Colin took up the post of interim CEO of Skycanner’s Japan joint venture with Yahoo! Japan which involved relocating to Tokyo.

On returning to the UK in 2016 Colin was promoted to the role of Finance Director. Colin played a key role in the acquisition of Skyscanner by Ctrip in 2016. Colin has recently been promoted to the role of CFO. Skyscanner now has around 900 employees and 11 offices globally.

Ricky Munday CA

Ricky Munday Ricky is a Chartered Accountant with broad experience of leading large, multidisciplinary and multicultural support function teams in complex and insecure contexts.

His early career focus was in external/internal audit and portfolio management in the financial services sector, before refocusing on aid/development in 2008. Since then, he has led support functions within the Red Cross Movement and INGOs in developing countries (Sudan, Bangladesh, Pakistan & Haiti), with responsibility for 300+ staff in the largest single-country overseas operation in the history of the Canadian Red Cross following the terrible earthquake in Haiti that affected 3 million people.

He joined BAS and relocated to the UK in July 2014. He is a member of the BAS Executive Team, chairs the BAS Management Team and represents BAS at the NERC Operations Group. He is a member of the NPRV Associated Projects project board, the Innovation Centre project board and the Governance, Responsibilities & Ownership (GRO) working group.

Outside of the office, Ricky has planned and led mountaineering expeditions to six continents and he completed the Marathon des Sables in 2004. He’s a member of the Canadian Red Cross Advance Delegation Team, whose primary task is to set up a Canadian Red Cross office and scale up support systems in the immediate aftermath of a major natural disaster. He is a member of the Finance Committee of the British Mountaineering Council.

Isabel Oakeshott

Isabel Oakeshott Political Editor At Large on the Daily Mail and a panelist on BBC1's Sunday Politics show

Isabel Oakeshott was the Political Editor of the Sunday Times and is a regular panellist on the BBC1’s Sunday Politics show. She has won Political Journalist of the Year at the UK Press Awards and is a regular commentator for Sky TV and Radio 4, including the flagship Today programme.

Like many journalists, Isabel’s career began in regional newspapers. Starting out in the less than illustrious newsroom of the East Lothian Courier, Isabel moved to the Edinburgh Evening News, then on to the Daily Record. At the Record and then at the Sunday Mirror, Isabel found herself dispatched to Glasgow’s toughest areas to seek out unsavoury characters and shocking stories. Good preparation for her assignment to cover Madonna's wedding at Skibo Castle where she found herself at Liam Gallagher’s private party.

In the early days of the Scottish Parliament, Isabel was sent by the Daily Mail to cover events at Holyrood. She then covered health for the Evening Standard in London before returning to politics as a lobby correspondent and then joining the Sunday Times, becoming the paper’s first ever female Political Editor. She has become perhaps best known for breaking the Chris Huhne speeding points scandal.

Isabel wrote the best-selling Inside Out, an explosive insider account of Gordon Brown’s period in office based on the experiences of Peter Watt, former General Secretary of the Labour Party. Watt spilled the beans on cash for honours, Brown’s failure to call an election, and the precarious state of the party’s finances. Isabel’s next book was Farmageddon, an expos√© of the practices and shortcomings of commercial, industrial farming. Most recently was Call Me Dave, a controversial unauthorised biography of David Cameron co-written with former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft.

Isabel is a respected commentator on Westminster and UK politics with a unique insight into the workings of politics in all areas. In speeches she analyses the state of the parties, the futures of the leaders, the implications of policy decisions as well as the gossip and indiscretions of parliamentarians.

John Wyn-Evans

John Wyn-Evans John, as Head of Investment Strategy, is responsible for developing and marketing the firm’s investment strategy to IW&I’s network of Investment Managers and also to the professional adviser community. After graduating, John joined stockbrokers Fielding, Newson-Smith as an equity salesman in London. Following the Big Bang reforms in 1987, he moved to New York with Greenwell Montagu before joining Smith New Court (SNC).

Following his return to London in 1990, SNC was taken over by Merrill Lynch, whence he moved to Lehman Brothers in 1999. Following Lehman’s bankruptcy in 2008 he joined Nomura when they took control of Lehman’s European assets. In 2012 John made his first move towards the buy side by acting as a consultant to Troy Asset Management before joining IW&I in September 2013.

John has a BA in Modern Languages (French and German) from Exeter University.

To book your place at the ICAS Conference 2017, please visit our booking page.

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