Deborah Benn, Chair

Deborah devised the concept for the Gold Standard Awards. Deborah edited Financial Times Magazine's Investment Adviser and she is the ex-editor of International Investment magazine. As well as her work on conference and awards' programmes, Deborah writes for a range of financial websites, newsletters and magazines.

Lawrence Gosling - Group Editorial Director, Incisive Media

Lawrence Gosling is the group editorial director of Incisive Media and the founding editor of Investment Week, for which he stills writes a weekly column, Gosling's Grouse. He was also the launch editor of IFAonline, and Mortgage Solutions, Cover and Bloomberg Money magazines, and one of the original judges for the Gold Standards. Lawrence is a regular guest on BBC Breakfast News.

Malcolm Kerr, Director, Ernst & Young

Malcolm Kerr is a director within Ernst & Young's UK Financial Services division providing advice to the key providers in the life, pensions and retail investment markets and to major intermediaries. Before moving into professional services some 10 years ago, Malcolm held a number of senior executive and board positions in the industry including IFA director at Canada Life(UK), vice-president of MetLife (US) and chairman of Albany International (IOM). Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services with 130,000 staff worldwide.

Philip Martin, Proposition and Marketing Director, Openwork

Philip joined financial advice network Openwork in September 2011 from F&C Investments, where he had responsibility for the asset manager's UK retail proposition, and sales and marketing. Prior to that, Philip was Business Development Director at wrap provider Nucleus Financial Group, which he co-founded in 2006. He had previously been a founder-director of consultancy Abacus Financial Marketing, working with more than 65 life companies, asset managers, IFAs and industry bodies on a variety of strategic and proposition projects. At Openwork Philip is responsible for the development of key propositions, including investment, pension and mortgage offerings, as well as marketing communications. He has over 20 years experience of working in the financial sector.

Chris Hannant, Director General, Association of Professional Financial Advisers

Chris joined APFA in January 2012 as Policy Director and was appointed as Director General in June 2013. He has 20 years' experience on public policy and working with government on a range of business and financial services issues. Chris started his career working in the, then, Department for Trade and Industry and HM Treasury. In 2003, he joined the ABI working on regulation and distribution of general insurance and financial crime. Most recently he has been Policy Director at the British Chambers of Commerce and Head of Representation at the EEF, the manufacturers' organisation.

Chris Harvey - Managing Director, Financial Marketing Ltd

Chris has twenty years experience in financial services. He is a true multi-disciplined marketer and has won awards for his work for both marketing and PR. Chris began his career in the insurance industry, rising to become head of marketing for one of the industry's largest brands for the over 50s. A move to agencies led him to the managing directorship of a leading City communications agency. On top of that he has launched a consultancy dedicated to TCF, worked as a NED, been a judge on major industry awards and is a committee member of the Sussex Branch of the IoD.

Chris is an experienced and trained (at post graduate level/ EMCC Senior Practitioner Level 7) coach-mentor and is a Fellow and Chartered Marketer of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Chris is a keen student of southern shaolin martial arts and travels far and wide with a fishing rod in his hand.

Daniel Hurdley MSc MCSI ACIS, Director, Asset Risk Consultants

Dan has been a director of independent investment consulting practice Asset Risk Consultants (ARC) since 2001, having worked in the finance industry in Guernsey since 1994. He manages the research team at ARC, which collates and reviews due diligence information and performance data from discretionary investment managers for the ARC Private Client Indices (PCIs), ARC Charity Indices and the DFM research portal Suggestus.com. Dan has a master's degree in corporate governance and administration, is a Chartered Secretary and a member of the Securities Institute.

Kim North, Managing Director at Technology and Technical Ltd

With 30 years in UK financial services Kim has worked with over 100 financial services companies from start ups to PLCs, trade bodies to IFAs. She is also a director of www.guidetoadvice.co.uk. Kim set up and ran a London City based Independent Financial Adviser firm so she understands the distribution, technical and technology issues facing product and service providers. She is a regular industry columnist and speaker at conferences. She is currently speaking about RDR and SIPPs. Kim is passionate about netball, walking her dogs, financial distribution.

Mike Richards - Chairman, Capital City Media

Mike started his advertising career as a messenger at McCann Erickson in 1975. He has since progressed, although still happy to deliver things for clients, and now is the chairman of Capital City Media. This will be the fifth year Mike has judged the Gold Standard awards and he is still waiting for the new carpet Lawrence Gosling promised when it all started. He has also helped out on other Incisive Media activities including fetching Tim Weller's dry cleaning for four successive years. Mike is scared of thunder and pigeons. He owns a season ticket to Bayern Munich Football Club.

Guy Vanner BA, MSc Managing Director, AKG

Guy graduated from University of Birmingham in 1991, before going on to become visiting Commonwealth Universities Scholar to Nigeria. He developed an area of research expertise with regard to social dynamics in industrialising economies and lectured in industrial sociology. Guy joined AKG in 1992 from this background in social research. His initial role being to add social analysis to AKG's pioneering research into issues such as pension lapse rates, originally produced for the Securities and Investment Board (SIB). Following this, he moved into AKG's wider activities, developing and promoting product and company analysis within the UK financial services industry.

As well as responsibility for marketing communications and the promotion of AKG within its chosen markets, Guy has had a principal role in the development and distribution of AKG's Information products and services, including financial strength analysis and ratings. He was appointed Managing Director of AKG in January 2009.

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 Insurance. His roles included investment sales manager and sales director at Zurich Life and group director at ZIFA. 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 with his wife, Monica. Clive has an MBA from Wolsey Hall, Oxford and is an Associate of the Personal Finance Society. He has been a regular speaker at industry conferences and writes on a variety of issues. Clive writes regular features for FT Business publications.


Robert Wood, Financial Services Consultant

Prior to becoming an independent consultant in 2016, Robert had spent six years as an Executive Director in the Financial Services practice at Ernst & Young. He previously spent 5 years with KPMG Consulting where he was a senior member of their financial services practice and was previously head of Xansa Insurance Services (one of the UK's leading IT and Business Process Outsourcing companies). He held Board positions with Commercial Union and GE Insurance Holdings prior to becoming a consultant. Robert has in-depth expertise in financial services marketing and operations, transaction services, business performance improvement and programme management. He has an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Manchester University and is a fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Nick Baker - Managing Director, Bakehouse Communications

Nick is a marketing professional with more than 20 years' experience in financial services, including financial services consultancy and client-side experience in blue-chip companies such as Barclays and Aetna, and agency experience with clients spanning banking, life offices, insurers and investment companies. He has expertise in strategic marketing and marketing communications, brand development and design of propositions, products and customer experiences. Nick is an associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Rosy Anand, Financial Services Consultant

Rosy Anand has worked for 20 years in financial services industry. She has extensive experience of working in wealth management covering both retail and corporate channels. Rosy was previously with Legal and General as Marketing and E Commerce Director for Workplace savings, managing defined contributions pensions and award winning auto enrolment propositions, a position she held for five years. Her experience ranges from proposition development, digital platforms, marketing communications and member engagement at workplace. Rosy has held range of roles for global corporates such AIG, Barclays and Zurich. She has master's degree in sociology and marketing & sales management, and is a member of voluntary career programme for charities as a Trustee.

Alan Noble, Managing Director, Venturehaus

Venturehaus is a specialist training and management consultancy firm, which helps financial services organisations to deliver excellence in their businesses. As the owner and managing director, Alan has developed the Design for Operational ExcellenceTM approach, which includes best practices and training curricula specifically designed to achieve excellence in financial services businesses. Alan has over 36 years' experience in banking, investment management, and insurance. He has been the CEO or Director of various Citibank businesses in Europe, including 5 years as CEO of Citibank (Channel Islands) Ltd and Regional Quality Director for the UK and Ireland offshore markets. After a 22-year international career with Citibank, he founded Venturehaus in 2002.

He has a track record of building, re-structuring and managing financial services businesses in UK and European onshore and offshore markets. He also has extensive operations management, business performance improvement, and quality assurance expertise, and has personally advised and trained over 1,200 executives and managers in the pursuit of excellence across the industry. Alan holds a Master's degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University, is bi-lingual in English and German, and speaks fluent French and conversational Spanish.