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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.

Louise O'Shea

Chair of FinTech Wales

Louise O’Shea is the former CEO of leading comparison provider 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

Sarah Williams-Gardener

CEO of FinTech Wales

Sarah Williams-Gardener is the first CEO of FinTech Wales, joining as a highly experienced businesswoman with 17 years’ experience as Government Affairs Director at IBM. Sarah was also member of the founding team at Starling Bank, a challenger start-up which succeeded in obtaining a full UK banking license, gaining market traction with over 1 million account holders in both retail and business.

Scott Jones

Director of FinTech Wales / CEO of Illustrate Digital / Co-Founder of Identitech

Scott is the Founder & CEO of Illustrate Digital, one of Europe's leading UX and WordPress technology agencies. Scott is also a co-founder of Identitech, an industry-changing compliance technology, as well as director of FinTech Wales.

Ben Joakim

Director of FinTech Wales / Head of Strategy at Principality Building Society

Ben Joakim is the Head of Strategy at Principality Building Society. Previously 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.

Alan Patefield-Smith

CIO, Admiral Group

Alan brings over 25 years of technology leadership experience and is passionate about helping businesses innovate and grow, having led strategy formulation, transformational change and operational excellence for a number of leading global brands including Admiral Group, Barclays, Bupa and GE Capital. Alan is known for driving additional business value from technology, through cloud adoption and shifting from legacy to digital systems. He also specialises in helping organisations accelerate time to market for new products, by improving their operating model design and ways of working using agile and lean techniques.

Damon Chapple

CEO of Sonovate

After spending almost two decades in recruitment, Damon wanted to do something uniquely different. Having encountered all the barriers involved with financing and running contractors first hand, Damon set up Sonovate to challenge the stagnant finance on offer and provide a new solution tailored specifically to the needs of the contract recruitment sector. Damon is using his experience of building businesses all over the world as a Group Director of a global recruitment brand, to drive Sonovate into the market transforming solution it is today.

David Rozier

Director at Deloitte

David is a Director at Deloitte LLP, a professional services firm. David works within the Audit & Assurance practice specialising in FinTech and Financial Services and has more than 14 years’ experience.

Ella Hastings

COO of Wagonex

Ella Hastings has been working at some of the most influential Fintech companies born in Wales, from Head of Marketing Planning at GoCompare, to COO at one of the leading car subscription companies. Ella is a marketing strategist who uses her skills and experience to scale and support efficient growth. Through her role as a board member at miFuture and mentor at the Alacrity Foundation, she has a keen interest in driving up skills in the region.

James Rudolf

Chief Commercial Officer of Acquis Insurance

James has worked in Welsh FinTech since 2004. Previously he was the Managing Director of Target Group leading its transition from a licensed software model to full suite credit and investment servicing. After a 4 year stopover building a BioTech business, James is back in Financial Services as Chief Commercial Officer at Acquis, Europe’s leading provider of equipment insurance programmes to the leasing industry.

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.

Prof. Jason Tucker

Cardiff University

Jason is a qualified solicitor, who worked in private practice until joining the School of Law & Politics at Cardiff University, to teach the qualifying courses for aspiring solicitors and barristers. He is now a professor of law, specialising in clinical legal education, and is the University’s Dean for Student Employability, with strategic responsibility for embedding employment-rich learning across the curricula in 24 academic Schools and a student population of circa 30,000.

Iain Mansfield

COO at Principality

Iain initially joined Principality’s subsidiary business, Nemo Personal Finance, as Finance Director in January 2015. Then in October 2017, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer for the Society, in addition to retaining overall responsibility for Nemo.

Lee Griffin

CEO, Go Compare

Lee has spent over 20 years in the insurance industry, in various roles with insurers, brokers and comparison websites. Lee is a walking, talking insurance encyclopedia, and he uses his knowledge of the industry to help GoCompare develop its services.

Lucy Cohen

Co-Founder, Mazuma

Lucy is a well-known industry expert, public speaker and author, and has been at the forefront of progress in the accountancy sector for over 16 years. In October 2021 Lucy was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Accounting Excellence Awards in recognition of her exceptional service and contribution to the accounting profession and working for the good of the wider profession. Her second book, Forget the First Million won the Best Short Business Book of the Year 2022 at the Business Book Awards, and in September 2022 Lucy was presented with the Past Presidents Award by the AAT – an award that recognises the outstanding contribution by one member of the accounting body. She was also elected to the AAT Council.

Prof. Mike Buckle

Professor of Finance at Swansea University

Mike is a Professor of Finance at Swansea University and has been a university academic for over 30 years. He has published many research papers in both academic and practitioner journals on a wide range of financial market topics.

Rachel Hillier

Partner at Capital Law

Rachel Hillier is a Partner 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 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.

Sarah McQuaid

Senior Director of Marketing at LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Sarah is senior marketing director and board member for UK & Ireland at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Sarah led global data and analytics marketing for PwC. As part of her current role, she works closely with the public and private sectors across the UK, including Government, trade associations and industry bodies as well as businesses across a range of sectors to encourage greater intelligence sharing and cooperation.

Sina Yamani

CEO & Founder of Yoello

Sina worked as a Technical Consultant for a variety of different payment and technology firms but quickly found a market gap with new regulatory changes happening in the banking sector, leading to the founding of Yoello with the aim to provide disruptive payment technology across a number of verticals.

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