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Meet the Panel

To help you learn more about the people behind FinTech Wales, meet our advisory panel - leaders from the FinTech and Financial Services sector in Wales.

Our Advisory Panel

Established in 2019, our not-for-profit organisation has been driven by the skills, expertise and connections within our advisory panel. The panel represents a variety of industry leaders including founders and board members of FinTech companies, as well as those who work to enable and support the FinTech and Financial Services sector in Wales. It is the panel’s responsibility to make the voice of FinTech companies in Wales heard and to provide opportunities for growth in this thriving sector.

Adrian Grindod

Chief Technical Officer at W2 Global Data

Adrian Grindrod is Chief Technical Officer of W2, a company providing solutions such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) to organisations in regulated markets to meet their compliance needs. He has been in tech for nearly two decades, working with brands including Sony, Panasonic, Motorola, Nokia and Orange, with the last four years spent growing the W2 platform and team from start-up to scaleup.

Andy Blackmore

Audit Partner and Head of Financial Services for South West & Wales Region at Ernst & Young

Andy Blackmore is the Audit Partner and Head of Financial Services for South West & Wales Region at global accounting firm Ernst & Young. With 19 years of experience in the financial sector, Andy leads on the expansion of EY’s financial services (FS) practice here in Wales.

Arman Eshraghi

Chair of Finance and Investment at Cardiff Business School

Arman Eshraghi is the Chair of Finance and Investment at Cardiff Business School, whose academic research spans finance, accounting and applications of fintech, amongst many other subjects. Prior to academia, he was a senior management consultant in the banking and telecom sectors.

Ben Joakim

CEO of Disberse

Ben Joakim is the founder and CEO of Disberse, which enables donors and aid organisations to send and receive funds around the world more efficiently. Ben’s background is originally in international development and social enterprise.

Dan Mines

Data Transformation Manager at Admiral Group plc

Dan Mines is Data Transformation Manager at Admiral Group plc and part of the original cohort at Confused.com. Through his role in Admiral he collaborates with entrepreneurs to keep Admiral at the forefront of innovation in insurance.

Gareth Morgan

Chief Operating Officer at Delio

Gareth Morgan is the Chief Operating Officer of Delio Ltd, a platform-as-a-service provider to financial organisations. He has 20 years of experience in financial services, including as the Global Chief Risk Officer of HSBC Private Wealth Solutions and the Chief Risk Officer of HSBC Private Bank in Asia Pacific.

Gavin Powell

General Secretary at FinTech Wales

Gavin Powell is General Secretary of FinTech Wales. He worked in various roles around the innovation space for Airbus, the UK’s largest commercial aerospace company. As Head of Project and Programme Management at Airbus, Gavin managed a diverse set of projects covering, change, improvement and innovation.

Gino Brancazio

Entrepreneur Engagement Manager for Wales at Tech Nation

Gino Brancazio is the Entrepreneur Engagement Manager for Wales at Tech Nation, working with local tech organisations, co-working spaces, incubators/accelerators and the government to help UK-based tech entrepreneurs to raise their game through knowledge, insights, resources and connections.

Jeff Poole

Managing Director at i-advisory

Jeff is the Managing Director of Wrexham based i-advisory, a strategic, commercial and operational consultancy for the consumer lending and fintech sectors. He has more than 30 years of experience in financial services, having previously worked for broker lender platform Freedom Finance, as well as Tesco Bank, KPMG, TSYS, Barclaycard and MBNA, where he was one of the UK founders.

Jon Platts

Dean of Cardiff School of Technologies & Professor of Autonomous Systems

Jon Platts leads the ambitious multi-million-pound Cardiff School of Technologies development to further establish Cardiff Metropolitan University as a world leader within the tech industry. The School plans to recruit 2,000 new students by 2024, aligned to the employment needs of South Wales' growing tech sector. It will partner with technology-focused companies across the Cardiff Capital Region to support its growth plans to produce students ‘work ready’ in areas such as data science, cyber security, mobile computing, artificial intelligence and systems engineering.

Julie-Ann Haines

Julie-Ann Haines is the Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society, responsible for strategy, marketing, distribution and leading the Society’s transformation programme. She is also Chairman of the UK Finance Cymru Mortgage Committee.

Louise O'Shea

CEO at Confused.com

Louise O’Shea is the CEO at leading comparison provider Confused.com. With over a decade of experience working within the insurance industry, her previous roles include Investor Relations and International Business Development Director at Admiral Group, as well as Finance Director at Confused.com.

Matt Hyde

Director at Recruit 121

Matt Hyde is Director at Recruit 121, a specialist finance and technology recruitment provider. He is also the Managing Director and founder of the FinTech Wales Awards which celebrate the best FinTech businesses, large and small, in Wales; and the Finance Awards Wales which are designed to recognise, attract and invest in talented finance professionals working in Wales.

Rachel Hillier

Senior Associate Lawyer at Capital Law

Rachel Hillier is a Senior Associate Lawyer at Capital Law, advising on a broad range of regulatory issues in the financial services and technology sectors, commercial contracts and transactions. A large part of Rachel’s work is in the financial, information technology and life sciences sectors, particularly FinTech and InsurTech.

Rhys David

CEO of Credas

Rhys David is the CEO of Credas, the tech start-up using facial recognition technology to enable businesses to verify identification remotely. Rhys is a former executive at GoCompare, who has more than 15 years’ experience in technology and innovation.

Rhys Thomas

Chief Operating Officer of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal

Rhys Thomas is Chief Operating Officer of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, leading the operational delivery of the City Deal. He was formerly at Cardiff University, spearheading the strategic advancement and leadership of innovation within the university. Having spent 16 years with Cardiff University, Rhys previously acted as Head of the Vice Chancellor’s Office, advising on policy, strategic and operational issues.

Richard Theo

CEO of Wealthify

Richard Theo is the CEO of investment platform Wealthify and founder of ActiveQuote.com, the UK’s leading health insurance and protection comparison. In 2018, Richard was appointed as Fintech Envoy for Wales and is the founding member of Fintech Wales.

Scott Jones

Managing Director at Illustrate Digital

Scott is the Managing Director at Illustrate Digital, a specialist digital agency based in Cardiff, which focusses on User Experience Design and WordPress Development. With plenty of experience in the digital and FinTech sectors, Scott also serves as a project lead on the marketing team for WordPress.org and is a regular speaker and writer on the benefits of using the WordPress platform in tech and marketing.

Stephen Widnall

Development Director at Rightacres Property Company

Stephen Widnall is the Development Director at Rightacres Property Company. Stephen has over 25 years’ experience in the commercial property sector, most recently as a Partner with Knight Frank LLP and previously with DTZ in Cardiff.

Steve Conibear

Country Manager for Wales at British Business Bank

Steve Conibear is the British Business Bank UK network senior manager for Wales. Steve represents the UK Network across Wales and will engage closely with business finance stakeholders in the area. He was formerly the Head of Business Growth Team at Life Sciences Hub Wales and lead the development and delivery of EU Government incentives services at Deloitte.

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