Finance Awards | ENGAGE 2021



Thank you for your interest in the ENGAGE EUROPE Finance Awards 2021, in partnership with ENGAGE EUROPE 2021.

We were delighted at the great responses from our members, students, tutors, accredited employers, and stakeholders; thank you to all who made the time to submit a nomination.

Please scroll down to view the 2021 winners, plus all who were shortlisted; congratulations to all.

Winners 2021!


Khalid Ali, CIMA Adv Dip MA

Senior Financial Project Coordinator

Ramboll UK

Here’s what the judge had to say …

Dr Matthew Hansard FCMA, CGMA


Here’s what Khalid had to say …

Acceptance speech

Major Sean Sapsford

Finance & Human Resources Officer

British Army - Armed Forces

Jamie Bacon BA(Hons), ACMA, CGMA

Senior Tutor and Cohort Team Leader

BPP Professional Education

Here’s what the judge had to say …

John Graham FCMA, CGMA


Here’s what Jamie had to say …

Acceptance speech

Renata Korshykova

Associate Professor

Kyiv National Economic University

Rolls-Royce plc

In recognition of it restructuring programme – Turning a Negative into Positive

On behalf of the project team members, the award was accepted by:

Adrian Davies BA(Hons), ACMA, CGMA

Senior Finance Business Partner - Restructuring, Civil Aerospace

Rolls-Royce plc

Here’s what the judge had to say …

Will James FCMA, CGMA


Here’s what Adrian had to say …

Acceptance speech

Richard O’Donnell FCMA, CGMA

Financial Controller

Dunelm Optical Company Ltd

Here’s what the judge had to say …

Carolyn Rand FCMA, CGMA


Here’s what Richard had to say …

Acceptance speech

Shortlisted nominees

Kati Arndt IBM UK Ltd Associate Partner - Finance
Nikolaos Arvanitis Coca Cola Hellenic Head of Order to Cash
Sharonjit Bagri ReBOUND Returns Chief Financial Officer
Mohamed Omar Bahar Global Experience Specialists Finance Manager FP&A
Michael Hall E Quality Solutions Group Limited Chief Finance Officer
Lee Hamill The University of Edinburgh Director of Finance
Lynne Marie Hamilton NHS Tayside Public Health Programme Director
Michelle Heywood easyJet Finance Director easyJet holidays
Shirley Keane Health Service Executive, Ireland. Senior Programme Manager for the HSE Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control Team (AMRIC)
Richard O'Donnell Dunelm Optical Company Limited Financial Controller
Colin Stokes Clacton Dental Care Ltd
T/A Together Dental
Chief Financial Officer
Sarah Baker Rolls-Royce Plc Capital Finance Manager, Civil Aerospace
Adrian Davies Rolls-Royce plc Senior Finance Business Partner - Restructuring, Civil Aerospace
Abby Sheppard


  Amy Fennell
EUCAN Financial Controller


 Senior Finance Manager
- Systems and Reporting
Mark Johnson Browne Jacobson Head of Commercial Finance
Margaret McGregor Catalent CTS (Edinburgh) Ltd Finance Director
Taina Nicolicin Royal Holloway Students Union Financial Controller
Jai Paragreen Grant Westfield Ltd Finance Director
Michelle Heywood easyJet Finance Director easyJet holidays
Kirsty Taylor Evergreen Garden Care UK Commercial Finance Manager
Kate Vain Danone Head of Revenue Growth Controlling, UK & Ireland
Olcay Yilmaz Siemens Mobility Limited Finance Director
Graham Gillen Crosshill Associates Ltd
T/A eccountinc
Iryna Knyzhnikova BDO Consulting LLC ( BDO Academy) Head of BDO Academy
Claire Metcalfe Ramboll UK Limited International & Major Projects Controller
Robert Nunn Raytheon Systems Limited Financial Controller
Kirsty Taylor Evergreen Garden Care UK Commercial Finance Manager
Oleksii Chaikovskyi Blackshield Capital Financial Analytic
Viktoriia Fetman Kyiv National Economic University Student
Luke Lyons Lloyds Banking Group Senior Finance Administrator, Financial Control
Rebecca Penn Balfour Beatty Finance Graduate
Hannah Place Hethel Innovation Finance Manager
Parul Ekta Pujara Nationwide Building Society Assistant Dealer - Treasury
Mark Johnson Browne Jacobson Head of Commercial Finance
Sean Sapsford British Army - Armed Forces Major - Finance & Human Resources Officer
Nicholas White East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust Senior Management Accounts Assistant / Finance Analyst (Secondment)
Nitish Anand Musgrave Finance Graduate
Emma Edgar Westlakes Engineering Limited Finance Manager
Aleksander Gorczyca CallPage Sp. z o.o. Chief Finance Officer
James McGilloway Reckitt Finance Graduate - Internal Audit
Kal Ali Ramboll UK Senior Financial Project Coordinator
Harrison Archer St. James's Place Wealth Management Trainee Financial Accountant
Alex Brady MIAA (NHS) Principal Auditor
Oscar Dixon Just Eat Global Marketing Business Partner Associate (current rotation)

*Where there are more than 10 shortlisted, this is due to joint scores when shortlisting down to 10 nominations per category. For Student of the Year award, three students at each level of study were shortlisted; where there are more than three, again this is due to joint scores in the shortlisting process.

Jamie Bacon BPP Professional Education Case Study Cohort Team Leader, and Tutor
Yew Ming Chia University of Edinburgh Business School Senior Lecturer in Accounting
Fiona Dearing Manchester Metropolitan University Senior Lecturer in Accounting & Finance
Robert Jasiński Executive and Non-Executive  
Renata Korshykova KNEU associate professor
Dr. Lana Y J Liu Newcastle University Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance
Vasiliy Zalutski ProConsultingBy LLC Partner | Tutor

Awards ceremony


While we can’t celebrate our winners’ achievements in person, let’s come together virtually, where we will literally take to the ‘Floor’ virtual event platform, to acknowledge and applaud those shortlisted, finalists, and winners.

This platform is very interactive by way of joining a table for a drinks’ reception, socialising, and networking with likeminded professionals, ahead of the main event, also looking up individuals to chat.

John Young - famed TV news reporter, with more than 30 years’ experience at the BBC, will host the ceremony.

CIMA President Nick Jackson FCMA, CGMA, will be ‘present’ to give a welcome address to guests and nominees and, make virtual award presentations.

For each winner, you’ll hear from their nominator / someone close to the work on which their success was based, to say a few words about the nominee, and our award category judges will be on hand to share what clinched it for each winner to receive the category award.

We can applaud the winners once they take to the stage, and send them emojis to show them support, as they deliver their thank you speech. So, with drinks and nibbles at the ready, do join this prestigious event, to give the winners a most memorable evening. We’re sure all nominees would appreciate and enjoy having family, friends, colleagues, clients, etc, along to their special evening.





5.30pm Reception – drinks and nibbles at the ready
6.00pm Welcome and introductions
John Young
6.05pm Welcome address
CIMA President Nick Jackson FCMA, CGMA
6.15pm Student of the year
6.30pm Tutor of the year
6.45pm Financial transformation project team of the year
7.00pm Responsible financial team of the year
7.15pm Finance business leader of the year
7.30pm Closing address
John Young
Guests are welcome to stay on the ‘floor’
to have further drinks, nibbles, and networking


2021 Judges


All Judges are CIMA members - Associates and Fellows, who have extensive experience in the field of the category which they are judging. Let's get to know them...

Sherie Harding MIP, MAres, ACMA, CGMA, MAAT

CIMA North West England and North Wales Area Treasurer

Director and Founder | Hone Financial

Sherie’s accountancy tuition provider firm specialises in CIMA and ACCA qualifications. She enjoys a hands-on role in accounting, finance, and education, and has a passion for developing the next generation of accountants.

Sherie was keen to increase knowledge of, and improve access to the CIMA qualification, in North Wales. Hone financial achieved CIMA success in 2020 with a student commendation for finalist in the CIMA student of the Year award.

Sherie believes management accounting tools enable users to make optimal decisions at all levels, afford businesses methodologies to deal with challenges - contributing to sustainable development through responsible management, and greater stewardship of natural resources on which our future generations depend.

On completion of her master’s by Research she presented a draft paper during the British Accounting and Finance Association conference at the London School of Economics promoting above mentioned stewardship.

Sherie’s experience spans 30 years working across both private and public sectors.

She developed her interest in accounting as a trainee at British Aerospace. After several years in the accounting function within manufacturing, service, and insurance, she worked upwards into more senior finance manager roles. Projects involved change management; specification and implementation of bespoke enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, activity-based costing (ABC), organisational restructuring, and due diligence. Sherie enjoyed working with senior teams formulating business plans and developing strategy and became finance director of a materials handling manufacturing company.

Following her experience of mentoring and coaching junior accounting staff and non-financial managers Sherie became a qualified lecturer in further and higher education. She has taught CIMA, ACCA and AAT over the past seventeen years.

Sherie is a CIMA Member in Practice and provides financial and management accounting support to small businesses alongside the tuition. The two roles go hand in hand and help contextualise teaching of accountancy in a continually changing and increasingly digital environment.

She is a member and previous chairman of, the CIMA Learning and Education Development committee.

Dr Matthew Hansard ACMA, CGMA, CPA(Aust.) PhD

CIMA Central Southern England Area Chairman

CIMA Directors’ Forum Chairman

Finance Director | HCRG Ltd

Matthew has had an interesting career, from scientist to finance professional, to general management across various industries, living in various countries. After initially working as a research scientist undertaking a PhD in Parkinson’s Disease, Matthew decided to pursue a career in business and felt finance was a suitable business profession.

Matthew undertook his CIMA training initially with a leading construction PLC before moving to Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc to complete his final exams. At Wm Morrison, Matthew held various roles including group controller – establishing and leading a new business partnering function, undertaking M&A activity, and partnering various board members.

Matthew then joined a listed US pharmaceutical company to manage a significant joint venture deal in Europe. He then delivered a large ERP implementation in Germany before moving to Asia to look after their Asia Pacific region across the full finance remit.

Upon returning to the UK, Matthew decided to pursue a career with entrepreneurial private equity (PE) backed businesses, initially as finance director for a leading professional services healthcare company. Matthew’s role became significantly operational, including leading a client service technology offering and becoming general manager for their Australia division.

Matthew then joined a PE backed clinical business as group finance director, partnering closely with the new PE owners and transitioning to a new bank provider, while partnering the CEO with integrating an acquisition (doubling the business overnight).

Matthew is currently finance director for a PE backed professional services business providing complex care, healthcare staffing, and a range of further services.

Throughout his career, Matthew believes passionately in the CIMA qualification; both the credibility of membership to a leading professional body, and providing a range and breadth of skills to tackle today’s workplace challenges and opportunities.

John Graham FCMA, CGMA

CIMA North West England and North Wales Area Chairman

CIMA Council Member | CIMA Professional Standards Committee Chairman

Executive Director of Finance | Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

In his current role since 2019, John’s primary responsibilities are to ensure that the Trust has in place financial systems that are fully compliant with statutory instruments and guidelines and ensure the Trust can monitor robustly its financial performance.

He is used to having a wide portfolio of work areas, and has contributed significantly to the success of organisations, ensuring financial sustainability without adversely affecting the quality of services delivered.

Since 1983 John has worked for a range of NHS organisations, including but not conclusive:

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

– MCP Finance Lead

Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

– Deputy Chief Executive & Executive Director of Finance

Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust

– Director of Finance & IMT

West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority

– Deputy Director of Finance

Department of Health

– Deputy Branch Head - NHS Financial Monitoring

Directorate of Health & Social Care North

– Deputy to Head of Finance

North West Regional Office

– Assistant Director of Finance

John completed his degree in Accounting & Finance at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), where he continued with his professional studies.

John is committed to the personal and professional development of others and himself; having completed a Post Graduate Qualification in Coaching, and chairs a Multi Academy (School) Trust.

Nick Jackson, FCMA, CGMA

President | CIMA

Vice Chair | Association Board

Sales Development Leader, Finance Digital Transformation | Oracle

Nick has had a strong interest in financial management and performance improvement throughout his career, working across several industries, including central and local government, energy and utility companies. Graduating in 1987 with a degree in education from Exeter University he taught in Africa prior to starting a career in the UK civil service. Nick worked for the Lord Chancellor’s Department and joined HM Treasury’s bursary scheme to train finance professionals within Government. Qualifying as an ACMA in 1992, he supported the setting up of the Department of National Heritage including the implementation of a shared service for finance and HR.

In 1994, Nick joined Ernst & Young as a management consultant specialising in financial and performance management. He joined Capgemini in 2000 - then the largest European IT company, as part of the sale of E&Y’s consulting practice and was appointed a director in 2004, with responsibility for central and local Government clients.

Nick obtained his CIMA Fellowship in 2008, re-joining the civil service the following year. He worked for HM Treasury as head of finance professionalism, including working with ministers to develop and publish ‘Managing taxpayers’ money wisely’ (2011) which set a vision for improving financial management under the coalition Government. He later moved to the Ministry of Justice, managing the delivery of savings against the department’s £8bn budget, and acting as financial adviser on reform of probation services; building new prisons; and transforming HM Courts and Tribunal Service.

In 2013, Nick became director of corporate services at Ofsted, the inspectorate for schools and regulator for children’s services and early years’ provision. In this capacity, Nick led a programme to transform the way that inspections were conducted, managed a gross budget of £200m and delivered 15% savings in three years.

Nick currently works for Oracle, having joined in 2016. He leads a team of business development directors working across Western Europe. They are responsible for developing and promoting industry-based propositions using Oracle Cloud services for financial and performance management.

Nick was co-opted to CIMA Council in 2009. This was in recognition of his role in promoting the value of CIMA as a balanced qualification for public sector finance professionals. In 2011, he became a membership assessor and in 2013 – as Vice Chairman of the Professional Standards and Conduct Committee, led a review into the conduct processes, in light of concerns arising from a couple of high-profile cases. The comprehensive review addressed concerns raised by members and provided a clear set of specific recommendations that have since largely been implemented. In 2014, Nick was elected to the Executive Committee as Member without Portfolio, and remains an active advocate for CIMA, delivering talks to promote management accounting, with a particular focus within the public sector.

Nick lives in Buckingham with his fiancé. In his spare time, he can be found in an art gallery, the kitchen, underwater, singing, or watching rugby or cricket.

Carolyn Rand FCMA, CGMA, FCMI, CERT, IoD

CIMA East Midlands and East Anglia Area Chairman

Director and CFO | LSE AIM (listed Bango plc)

Bango is a fast-growing technology public company with a market capital of £150M, based in Cambridge with global subsidiaries in Japan, Korea, USA, and Europe.  It has unique payments technology used by global leaders, with customers including Amazon, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft.

At Bango, Carolyn is responsible for overall global financial management of corporate financial functions, facilities, and financial and investor relationships with Bango partners. This, while maintaining tight financial control and driving innovation, helping to bring profitability into the global businesses. Since joining the firm in 2018, revenues have increased five-fold, and the firm has reached profitability.

Before joining Bango, Carolyn held several executive positions including CFO at Zinwave (technology), CEO at Isogenica (biotechnology), CFO with Birdlife (charity), and head of treasury at Sepura plc (technology).

She has enjoyed being involved in some way with the CIMA East Midlands and East Anglia committee since 2013, as past Treasurer and currently the Area Chairman. She finds this to be a great way to meet the CIMA community, attend and help run social events, and expand her experience and knowledge.

Little-known factoids about Carolyn …

  • She has been struck by lightning and held at gunpoint, all in one day – and is still here to tell the tale!
  • Petrol or electric car?
    Pedal power – great for keeping fit, navigating Cambridge, and getting to Bango.
  • Favourite film?
    Absolutely anything sci-fi.

Mervin Nkole MBA, ACMA, CGMA

CIMA South East England Area Chairman

PMO Manager | Thames Water

Having successfully completed his CIMA professional qualification and achieving CIMA membership eight years ago, Mervin had already accrued seven years of experience working in capital projects, with various companies.

During his time with Thames Water, Mervin has climbed the ladder from projects accountant – retail finance, to projects accountant and business partner – major projects, to his current role of PMO manager – infrastructure programmes. Here, he set up a team which he now leads, that is accountable and responsible in the infra-prog alliance, supporting programmes with project managers. He is responsible for control, monthly finance reporting, budget setting, quarterly re-forecasting and, programme governance. Here, Mervin has reported on some of the biggest capita projects including, the Thames Tideway Tunnel – 25km, also Lee Tunnel – a sewer stretching from Abbey Mills Pumping Station to the Beckton Sewage System.

Previously, Mervin worked with the intergovernmental organisation – United Nations, in finance operations looking at the accounts payable, also implementation marine environment, where he helped the head of major projects on implementing projects in the ASEAN countries.

Since 2009, Mervin has volunteered to support the CIMA South East England Area, initially as hosting local events, then representing the Area on the UK & Ireland Network Committee, and in 2019 was elected to the role of Area Chairman.


CIMA Central London and North Thames Area Treasurer

Principal | Anro Accounting Solutions

Managing Director | Anro Financial Planning

Shalin has had a varied career and has a wealth of experience in accountancy, financial services, and information technology sectors.

Having qualified as a graduate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), and holding a master of arts (MA) in Strategic Financial Management from Kingston University, Shalin progressed to qualifying as a chartered secretary, and subsequently completed his CIMA studies to qualify as a Chartered Management Accountant. He also holds the Diploma in Financial Planning from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

Starting work in retail financial services at junior level advising on mortgages and investments, Shalin progressed to senior management roles; managing a building society branch and, credit management team, where he specialised in loss provisioning.

This led Shalin to become a consultant of business software solutions, for banking and debt management, where he gained significant experience in information technology, database management and automation. He progressed to become a quality assurance consultant of software systems and worked primarily in the financial services sector. This included mortgage origination companies, payment processing companies, and investment banks. Shalin completed a 12-month assignment in Frankfurt in designing and delivering a quality assurance management strategy.

As a CIMA Member in Practice (MiP) Shalin practices as a chartered management accountant and as a chartered secretary in public practice, providing accountancy, taxation, company secretarial, estate planning and probate services. At his separate financial planning company - directly authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Shalin advises on mortgages, equity release, protection, and insurance.

In his spare time, he enjoys long walks, spending time with family and friends, listening to music and reading.

Karen Marrinan BSc, FCMA, CGMA

CIMA Central Southern England Area Treasurer

Financial Controller | Social Link

Karen is an experienced and professional business development and finance director, who is accustomed to working at board level, with a proven track record spanning over 30 years.

She has a broad experience in both multi-national and small start-up companies, growing the start-ups to achieve private sale and flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

Karen is a strong team player, a completer / finisher, with outstanding commercial acumen and, the ability to think around problems and be creative.

Having graduated from Newcastle University, with a joint Degree in Mathematics and Psychology, Karen went on to study the CIMA professional qualification, achieving membership in the 80s.

Currently working part-time in the charity sector, Karen finds that due to her expertise in many areas, boards turn to her when an important project must be evaluated and executed.

These include fund raising for Safetynet and Netstore, the sale of a company, building partnership programmes, winning, managing, and delivering valuable new business from government procurement frameworks or entering a new market. At Netstore Karen was a key player in the acquisition of QSP customers, by winning 27 new customers and £20m of business in just six weeks.

Jill Urron BA(Hons), ACMA, CGMA

CIMA North East England Area Chairman

CIMA North East Coast Branch Deputy Chairman

Finance Manager | Greggs Foundation

In Jill’s current role, she manages the finance team and is responsible for the day-to-day control of the charity’s financial processes, monitoring budgets, reporting on fund classifications, and for keeping up to date with regulatory and legislative changes.

She is also responsible in supporting the operational team in reviewing risks, with data and the preparation of monthly and end of year accounts, delivering insight to this team, and to the Trustees.

Having graduated from the University of Sunderland in 1999, with a BA Hons degree in Business and Finance, Jill studied for the CIMA professional qualification, attaining her membership in the late 90s.

She has gone on to accumulate over 20 years’ experience of working in finance teams, in various roles including a management accountant, project accountant, financial accountant, and now finance manager. These have been in a range of sectors including automotive, engineering, manufacturing, third sector, public sector, and now the charity sector.

In judging entries for this award category, Jill will be considering teams that deliver efficient core finance processes, have a real understanding of their businesses, deliver simple actionable insight, influence key decisions, and challenge future plans in their organisations.

As for Jill’s wider association with CIMA, she has volunteered in supporting the member network to plan and run local events, since early in 2000. Even when she moved abroad for a few years, she rallied around members in Spain, then in France, to come together to maintain their CPD. Since her return to the UK, Jill re-joined the CIMA North East Coast branch committee, volunteering for all kinds of roles, leading to her becoming Branch Chairman, and onto Area Chairman.

Jean Lowes Bsc (Econ), ACMA, CGMA, MBA

CIMA East Midlands and East Anglia Area UK&I Network Committee Representative

Founder and, Managing Director | Sustainability Vision Ltd

Jean is an accounting professional focused on sustainability reporting for organisations, with 20 years’ experience of consulting projects, delivering process improvements, key performance indicators, and sustainability, having reported to clients including Lloyds Bank, Newcastle United FC, Citibank, Lacoste, Wyndham Hotels, and Renault.

Jean graduated from Swansea University with a BSc in Economics, and went on to study the CIMA Professional Qualification and become a chartered management accountant.

Roles in Jean’s early career include an accountant, finance manager, and project accountant, before taking a year out from work to do a MBA at Cranfield. This covered core marketing, operations, human resource management, finance, and corporate strategy, and he further specialised in the marketing of service businesses, information systems strategy, the management of technological change, and the management of organisational change.

On returning to work Jean had an eight-year spell with Boots Group plc as a finance manager then financial controller, ahead of setting up as a management consultant. This new role covered business process mapping, restructuring, developing and implementing information systems for forecasting and reporting, and implementing general ledger systems and enterprise resource planning systems. Also risk analysis and business continuity planning, including contingency planning exercises under different scenarios.

Jean is adept at developing and delivering management training, and has developed and delivered training programmes for CIMA including risk management, contingency planning, corporate governance, developing KPIs, carbon footprinting, accounting for carbon, and strategic corporate social responsibility.

Jean then shifted the focus of his work far more toward sustainability and set up Xcarbon Ltd to provide consultancy and training for sustainability reporting. The company has delivered statutory carbon emissions reporting for a wide range of clients in including Itochu plc, Lacoste, RCI Banque, and Wyndham hotels.

Alongside running Xcarbon Ltd, Jean set up Sustainability Vision Ltd, which he runs to develop software which specialises in products and services that support environmental sustainability. Its lead product is GHGi Analytics – a system for analysing and reporting energy use and the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Will James MBA, FCMA, CGMA

CIMA South West England and North Wales Area Chairman

Finance Change and Shared Service Leader | AVEVA Group plc (FTSE100 commercial software)

Will applies a commercial approach to deliver value using the art and science of management accountancy – wining hearts and minds.

Having passed his CIMA exams first time via college and home study packs, the first half of Will’s career was spent in a range of finance leadership roles with large companies covering business partnering – financial planning and analysis, decision support, and value maximisation. Hence, he has a good grounding in how businesses work: collaborating across business functions – sales, marketing, IT, HR, and the trade-offs such as short-term profit or cash maximisation versus the need to improve capacity and quality. Will’s business experience was enhanced by gaining a MBA from Manchester Business School.

After one annual budget too many and using his passion for end-to-end process efficiency, Will transitioned into finance transformation / change. At Aviva, this included Aviva Offshoring, RAC integration, new systems, and P2P from business case to implementation.

With Friends Life, this involved Will ‘merging’ AXA Life into Friends Provident, including migrating ex-AXA businesses from SAP to a tight timeframe – delivered on time and within budget.

Will’s recent experience has included re-engineering finance shared services and, managing an international Oracle cloud ERP implementation. In his last role at Ultra he was leading UK global business services – running / expanding the function while improving / developing people, process, technology, and data.

Will is currently using all his previous experience to support an Oracle implementation, finance change and financial shared services for AVEVA – a global leader in engineering and industrial software driving digital transformation.

Over-all Will has a proven finance change / shared services pedigree, using influencing and change skills to add value, via a collaborative approach between businesses – finance, HR, IT, and others, to deliver sustainable results.

John Hindson BA(Hons), FCMA, CGMA

CIMA West Midlands Area Chairman

Head of Finance & Planning and, Deputy CEO | Build IT International

John left full-time education at sixteen and joined a company in the Johnson Matthey Group, spending five years on a cost and management accountant training programme, and studying for his CIMA professional qualification, at what is now Staffordshire University. He qualified as a CIMA member in 1982 and achieved his fellowship in 1989.

John continued to study and gained a BA (Hons) degree including a thesis on an aspect of international development. He moved to a manufacturer of frozen foods, installing their first full costing system and joined the senior management team to bring financial insight to pricing and commercial decisions. A few years later he moved to Johnson Tiles – a much larger company within the Norcros Group of companies, overhauling the costing department, covering seven factories, and working closely with marketing in profit optimisation.

Seeking to broaden his financial experience John moved to a successful private company manufacturing water and sewage equipment as group chief accountant, seeing through its purchase by a major water utility. After the sale, he returned to a ceramics industry company, determining and implementing transformation of procurement and stock control, leading to an appointment as financial controller which later included another sale of the company and post-acquisition integration.

John moved on to Bentley Motors, and during his twelve years there held several roles including three as finance manager for Bentley Mulliner bespoke vehicles and products. Subsequent to Bentley’s acquisition by Volkswagen he joined a multi-disciplinary project team for the introduction of the Bentley Continental model from initial drawings to factory production, including responsibility for maintaining the project business modelling. This was to lift the output of the Crewe factory from around 2,000 to over 10,000 cars per year.

Following this John returned to an earlier and growing passion and joined a fledgling international development charity where he has created an international finance team that works alongside colleagues to transform through livelihoods training the prospects of hundreds of young people in Africa.

Maciej Kubat MA, ACMA, CGMA

CIMA Central London and North Thames Area Secretary

CEO and Co-founder | Coach Beni

Maciej graduated with a MA in Philosophy of Management from Wroclaw University, Poland, and at the same time, started his own music business – Sonic Vibe Studio, which in three years had become an international media company with operations in Germany, Czechia and Poland.

Maciej went on to study business administration, ahead of enrolling to do a PhD programme in Artificial Intelligence at the Ludwig-Maximillian University, Munich, after which he moved to London and started studying for his CIMA Professional Qualification.

In 2010 Maciej joined FD Solutions – providers of interim and part-time finance director, as an accountant, working his way up to become an interim CFO for a range of companies.

After achieving his ACMA, CGMA designation, Maciej joined Hussle – formerly PayAsUGym, as head of finance, where he helped the company raise £10m from various VC funds, and to become the gym and fitness marketplace leader.

After a four-year stint at Hussle, Maciej joined Electric Gamebox - immersive team adventures, as vice president of finance, with the responsibility to build the finance function, help the company to raise funds, and to expand into the UK and the US.

Maciej recently followed his passion for artificial intelligence and technology start-ups by launching Coach Beni, a solution to overweight and obesity problems that utilises AI, human coaches and science – clinical psychology and cognitive behavioural therapy.

To sum up Maciej, he loves to solve problems and to learn new ways to resolve them efficiently. He’s always interested in what's ahead, rather than what was the past performance. He uses his experience as a Chartered Management Accountant, to help businesses find their place in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment. He’s worked with, advised and mentored, numerous companies across diverse sectors, also led and informed business strategies; helping them to achieve fast growth and sustainable success.



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