Judging Panel

CHAIR: Tom Ellis


Professional Adviser & Multi-Asset Review

Pan Andreas

Head of Insight & Consulting


As Head of Insight and Consulting (Funds and DFM), Pan leads an expert team of insight analysts who are responsible for Defaqto's Ratings, Risk Mappings and authoring thought leadership articles and publications. The team also provide consultancy services to fund houses, DFMs and intermediary clients.

Pan has held senior management and leadership roles in Allied Dunbar, Towry, Intrinsic and Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG) - gaining experience in tied, multi-tied, independent and network business models. Most recently, Pan has specialised in the design, development and delivery of advisory investment propositions and technology solutions. Whilst at SBG, Pan was responsible for the launch of the Optimum Investment Management.


Chris Bredin


the lang cat

Chris has 8 years' experience in the financial service sector and has been at the lang cat for 2 years. A self-confessed geek, Chris spends most of his time staring at, and making sense of, the data and research the lang cat collects.
Chris works across a wide variety of projects and clients - from platforms and life companies, to platform tech firms and advice firms. He has a particular interest in using data and research to help firms of any type and size make decisions and develop new strategies which will ultimately benefit everyone involved in the advice chain.

Bella has 18 years' experience in the research and analysis of the UK, European and Asian asset management industries. She is the CEO of Fundscape which she set up in 2010. Fundscape is a leading research house and publisher of the widely respected Gatekeepers, Platform and Distribution Reports. Before starting Fundscape, she worked for Lipper FMI as Global Head of Research and Publications and was the author of numerous publications and reports. Early in her career she worked in investment banking and a London-based consulting firm where she specialised in market entry strategies for retail and institutional asset managers. She has a master's degree in International Business and is fluent in four languages.

Patrick Connolly

Head of Communications

Chase de Vere

Patrick Connolly is Head of Communications at Chase de Vere, the Independent Financial Advisers. He has 26 years of experience in the financial advice industry and is qualified as a Chartered Financial Planner through the Personal Finance Society and a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered MSCI through the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. He was named as the Financial Adviser of the Year, Investment Adviser of the Year, At Retirement Adviser of the Year and Value of Advice Ambassador at the Unbiased Media Awards 2017.

Chris Davies

Founder and Director

Model Office

Chris has 27 years experience in retail financial services both in the UK, and internationally in Asia and Australia. In 2013 Chris founded Engage Insight (Engage) a Compliance, Research and Development agency which focuses on ensuring that retail investment advice firms grow their businesses in a compliant, client-centric and sustainable manner. Engage's 5 years of industry research means business planning and consultancy services are tailored to the needs of the industry and consumers. Engage also conducts annual symposiums on key industry themes such as Intergenerational Wealth and Robo-Advice.

In 2017 Engage launched "Model Office"("MO®"), a Digital Compliance and startegic development platform that allows firms to self audit, identify probles early, cut through the noise and recive tailored tasks and resources to manage risk, improve professional practice and save time and costs. Model Office benchmarking and allows firms to benchmark their professional development against The FCA rules, their papers, key directives such as KYC, AML, TCF, Suitability, MiFIDII, The GDPR and SM&CR and gain a regulatory dashboard with digital strategies to improve compliance scores. MO®, an AI-driven chatbot complaince assistant has also launched, to answer compliance questions andl interrogate The FCA Handbook for required answers and guidance on improving complaince scores.

Chris's experience has given him an in depth understanding of the Fin/RegTech eco-system and the direction of regulatory and commercial travel. Indeed Thomson Reuters risk, compliance and RegTech social influencers listings ranked Chirs in their UK top 30 most influential thought leaders with MO® also voted in the UK's top 50 RegTech firms by ING RegTech Markets.

Chris is a Chartered member of The Chartered Management Institute and an Associate member of the Chartered Institute for Secrurities and Investments and holds an Msc in Organisational Behaviour and Certification in Finanical Advice.


Alex Farlow

Head of Risk Based Solutions Research

Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research

Alex heads up the risk targeted/volatility managed research and co-leads on multi-asset fund research. Other research responsibilities include Asia and emerging market equities. Alex is involved in producing our Adviser Insight reports as well as our comprehensive risk targeted fund reports. He regularly comments in the financial press and produces articles on topics within his specialist research areas. Prior to joining Square Mile, Alex worked at Morningstar OBSR between 2005 to February 2014, predominantly working with IFAs building and servicing investment and product best advice panels. Alex holds a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of East London, the Level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning and the Investment Management Certificate.

Dennis Hall


Yellow Tail

Dennis is in his late fifties and has been advising clients for over thirty years. In 2006 he started his own practice, Yellowtail Financial Planning, and has offices in London and Exeter. He likes to enter awards (and occasionally wins) because it helps differentiate his small company from the rest. He has written a book called ‘Who Will it Hurt When I Die' dealing with the conversations couples should have - but invariably don't - about money. He is a Chartered Financial Planner.

Ben Hammond

Platforms Director

Altus Consulting

Ben has over 17 years' experience in financial services, and specifically in the platform space for the last 8. Prior to joining Altus, he worked for both Cofunds and Ascentric, building and launching new products and propositions as well as navigating the complicated world of regulatory change. Ben works with a wide range of Altus clients across the UK and South Africa, helping them understand the future of the platform landscape, the impact change will have on running their businesses and how they can improve the efficiency of their operations. Ben writes for and provides commentary to a number of wellknown financial services publications. He co-authored the 2018 Altus white paper "Giving your platform wings" and his dream is to see all platforms in profit by 2025.

Gillian Hepburn



A specialist in platforms, investment and in particular discretionary managed solutions, Gillian has over 30 years' experience in financial services. Following an extensive career at Standard Life covering product development, platform development and intermediary distribution she set up her own consultancy in 2011. Gillian worked for clients such as Pershing, FNZ, Friends Life, Defaqto, Legal & General and in 2016 co-founded DISCUS which was acquired by the Embark group in 2017.

Whilst continuing to develop the DISCUS business under the Embark ownership, Gillian provided expert consultancy services for the Embark platform launch and is now Head of Strategic Partnerships.


Heather Hopkins

Managing Director


Heather Hopkins is founder and MD of NextWealth, a research business that helps financial institutions adapt to what's next in wealth.

Heather has worked in the field of market research, competitive intelligence and industry benchmarking for two decades in North America, Asia and Europe.

She has spent most of her career in financial services helping asset managers, platforms and financial advisers improve their propositions, customer communication and to benchmark success against competitors. She was Head of Platforum until December 2017 and has also worked in digital marketing at Hitwise and Econsultancy.

[email protected]


Paul Ilott

Managing Director

Scopic Research

Paul is managing director of Scopic Research, the UK's first fund research business dedicated solely to researching multi-asset solutions. Paul was one of the first to categorise and research multi asset funds based upon their investment outcomes and expected return patterns. Before founding Scopic in 2009, he led the investment communications strategy for Fidelity's unfettered multi-asset business. Between 2001 and 2005 he was a member of the management team and investment research committee at the advisory firm, Bates Investment Services Ltd, where as well as conducting fund research, he led investment communications.

Andy Kirby


Adviser Home

Brendan Llewellyn


Marketing Edge

Brendan Llewellyn, Director and Co-Founder of Adviser Home - helping advisers run and develop their practices - has over 30 years' experience in management, leadership and marketing. He has worked as a consultant and coach with over 50 companies from leading multi nationals like GE Capital, Barclays and Aviva through to a range of SMEs, focussing on strategy, proposition development, communication advice and delivery. In delivering consultancy he draws on 20 years' experience in corporate management. His particular focus is the inter-relationship between strategy and communication. He has a regular thought piece commenting on the financial services sector with Incisive Media - "Armchair Critic"

Darius McDermott

Managing Director

Chelsea Financial Services and FundCalibre

Darius joined Chelsea's training scheme in February 1996, after graduating from Birmingham University with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry. He was promoted to managing director in February 2000. As well as managing the business and being part of the research team, Darius is also lead investment advisor on the VT Chelsea Managed fund range, which was launched in 2017.
In 2014, Darius helped launch FundCalibre, an independent ratings and research business. He is also Chairman of the Association for Independent Discount and Non-Advisory Brokers (AIDB). The AIDB represents the views and interests of the discount broking, execution-only and non-advised sales community to the regulator, the fund groups and platforms and the general public.

Kerry Nelson

Founder and Managing Director

Nexus IFA

Kerry Nelson is founder and Managing Director of Nexus IFA, a business she set up a decade ago. She has previously worked as a Director of Communications for a large financial advice business and began her career in financial services at a High Street bank. Kerry firmly believes that small financial advice businesses - whether they aspire to become larger or not - have a crucial role to play in delivering financial planning to the UK public. Kerry feels strongly that advisers should lead the financial services sector by example, by setting the highest standards, though that means driving out poor practice as well. Finally, she believes that advisers should play a role in spreading good money habits, not just among clients, but the public at large.

Rory Percival


Rory Percival Training & Consultancy

Rory Percival was ‘the face of the FCA' to advisory firms for many years. He worked at the regulator for 10 years and was involved with many high profile projects such as risk profiling, centralised investment propositions, the RDR, research and due diligence, and the assessing suitability review as well as speaking regularly at conferences. Prior to joining the regulator Rory worked in the advisory for sector for 20 years mainly in compliance and training roles. He has Chartered Financial Planner status. In November 2016 he launched his own firm - Rory Percival Training and Consultancy Ltd to help support professionalism in the advisory sector.

Roderic Rennison


Rennison Consulting

Roderic Rennison FCII, FPMI, FPFS, CFP Chartered MCSI, CDir FIoD is director of Rennison Consulting Ltd a company that he set up in 2008 to provide consultancy and non-executive director services to intermediaries and providers in the retail financial services sector. He focuses on strategy, transition, proposition, governance, risk and compliance, as well as intermediary acquisitions and sales. Roderic is a member of the CII's Disciplinary Committee and a trustee of Wembley High Multi-Academy Trust. He has a particular interest in the future of financial advice and how intermediaries deliver their services to clients and build value in a fast changing market that is increasingly impacted by regulation and technology.

Lee Robertson

Chief Executive

Octo Members Group

Jack Rose

Strategic Sales Director

Triple Point Investment Management

At Triple Point I am in charge of helping to build and execute the sales strategy for Triple Point's new and existing retail products as well as increasing awareness of them within the adviser industry. Prior to Triple Point I spent over seven years working at the financial product distribution company LGBR Capital, where I was head of their Tax Efficient Investment Division, LightTower Partners, and as such was responsible for creating, organising and implementing the distribution strategy for the EIS, VCT and IHT products the firm represented.

Clive Waller

Managing Director

CWC Research

Clive Waller held a variety of management positions in sales and marketing for some twenty-five years with Scottish Amicable and Zurich. He became managing partner of the Training Design Studio in 1999, writing and delivering training programmes on taxation, pensions and investment. At the same time, he set up the specialised research-based consultancy, CWC Research.

He chairs The Investment Network, is managing director of the Schroders UK Platform Awards and is a director of NextWealth, a consultancy that helps customers adapt to what's next in wealth.

Clive has an MBA from Wolsey Hall, Oxford and is an Associate of the Personal Finance Society. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences and writes on a variety of issues around retail investment.


Jaqueline Lockie

Head of Financial Planning

Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment

Jacqueline is the Head of Financial Planning at the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI).
She has worked in the financial services sector since 1988 in technical and training roles and also as a financial planner.
She is a Fellow of the CISI and holder of the internationally recognised Certified Financial Planner Licence, for which she was one of the first examiners in the UK.
Jacqueline was previously Head of Training at the Association of Investment Companies and Director of Training and Education for the Institute of Financial Planning, where she designed, wrote and delivered new courses for financial advisers wishing to enhance their investment and planning skills and paraplanners to learn the methodology of financial planning.

Tim Sargisson


Sandringham Financial Partners

30 years working in financial services with 15 years as CEO. A clear focus on strategy, operations and business development in regulated businesses, coupled with a track record of successful business restructuring, integration and transformation. To ensure the customer is at the heart of the business and to provide the platform for growth.

A leadership, style designed to inspire and motivate employees, coupled with an emphasis on team building, to support, encourage and challenge people to excel.

CEO of Sandringham Financial Partners since August 2015. Previous CEO roles include James Hay Partnership and IFG Financial Services.