30 Ones to Watch 2019

Here we reveal Brummell's seventh Ones to Watch listing, celebrating the brightest 30 under 40 making waves in the City

People 28 May 2019

Sarah Caldwell: Partner, Reed Smith LLP
Tahir Zafar: Independent Strategy & Management Consultant
Juan-Carlos Sánchez: Investment Senior Associate, Goldacre Noé Group
Adam Jones: CTO, Redington
Mariam Crichton: Head of Project Management, Every1Mobile
MaameYaa Kwafo-Akoto: Senior Associate, Allen and Overy
Vaiva Adomaityte: Brexit Programme Manager, Barclays Investment Bank

Brummell is proud to reveal the seventh annual Ones to Watch list, celebrating the performance and achievement of the brightest young talent in London’s financial services sector and allied fields.

The judging panel, comprising experienced professionals and high achievers from various parts of the industry, applied rigorous criteria to the lengthy list of nominations. Nominees are required to be under 40, be an outperformer in their market and demonstrate drive, energy and entrepreneurial spirit.

Additionally, the judges looked for evidence of a nominees’ holistic contribution to the organisation for which he or she represents, whether internally, as a leader of a networking or advocacy group, or externally outside of their day job, as a champion of a charity, mentoring programme, wellbeing and mental health initiative or another similar project.

The 30 talented individuals selected for the final list are on the rise and, just as importantly, making the world a better place with their inspirational endeavours.

Sarah Caldwell (pictured above)

Partner, Reed Smith LLP

A partner in Reed Smith’s Financial Industry Group, Caldwell advised Deutsche Bank on a $1.2bn shipping NPL portfolio sale to Oak Hill and Varde – a market first in the sector due to the transaction size, which won the 2018 Global Transport Finance Shipping Loan Portfolio Sale Award. Caldwell sits on the women’s board of children’s charity Street Child, supporting children and women in areas of conflict such as the Congo area, which raised enough money to build a school in 2018. She also actively participates in the firm’s pro bono and social impact finance work and is a committed member of the company’s Women’s Network initiative, organising and supporting events throughout Europe.

Sheena Amin

Director, UKTV Ventures

Amin began her career as a venture capitalist investing in high-growth technology businesses at Summit Partners and has gone on to hold senior positions in media and telecoms. She is responsible for running UKTV Ventures, UKTV’s multimillion pound media for equity fund that invests in innovative, high-growth start-ups. A passionate ambassador for entrepreneurship, having sat on the Board of Young Enterprise as a Trustee, in 2018 she founded the TYE network to foster the growth and development of young professionals in London. She also won the Rising Star Award at the English Asian Business Awards 2015 and Young Professional of the Year at The House of Lords Asian Voice Awards 2016.

Mary Agbesanwa

Management Consultant, PwC

Agbesanwa is passionate about encouraging millennials to tap into their potential. She works as a management consultant at PwC helping financial services firms solve operational problems. She co-chairs the firm’s Multicultural Business Network (MBN), which celebrates multiculturalism and helped lead the Twitter campaign for the MBN’s #ColourBrave campaign, which garnered over 2 million impressions on Twitter. Outside work, she writes her Medium blog, A Millennial’s Diary, about careers and personal development. She also runs a young professional women’s network called Now You’re Talking and regularly works alongside charities, given her past experience working with the charity VSO in Tanzania prior to PwC.

Hannah Olivia Broom

Graduate Analyst, Barclaycard International

Before her corporate career, Broom worked for a not-for-profit organisation alongside her studies, where she co-ordinated events to raise the profile of the City of Hull – 2017’s City of Culture. She now covers two roles in Barclaycard Payment Solutions – a project management position in Commercial Planning, and providing campaign support to Acquisitions – after gaining significant recognition, her second team requested her ideas, energy and stakeholder management skills on a permanent appointment. After just two months at Barclays, she took a leadership position on the Gender Network’s Early Careers workstream, to dispel myths around careers in financial services for women.

Tahir Zafar (pictured above)

Independent Strategy & Management Consultant

With more than 12 years’ consulting experience, Zafar achieved accelerated promotions to become a senior executive within Accenture’s Consulting Capital Markets UK/I practice. He consulted internationally for major tier one investment banks including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, and Barclays on their biggest and most transformational projects, and was also head of Capital Markets Blockchain UK/I. Outside his day job, he created the Accenture South Asian Network (ASAN), and is a strategic advisor to the development board of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He is also launching a new range of men’s underwear, Hid’n… Until It Matters, aiming to redefine the market and support young male fashion designers in the UK.

Farah Buckley

Head of Investment Solutions, Hermes GPE

Buckley has 17 years’ experience in private equity advising both institutional investors and family offices as well as investing in private equity managers. She leads numerous initiatives supporting the recruitment and retention of women in the industry, such as Parents in Private Equity (PIPE). She also speaks at inner city schools to encourage younger people to consider a financial services career. She was selected as a Private Equity “Prophet of Fortune” by Unquote magazine in 2015 and is on the BVCA’s (British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association) Members Engagement Advisory Committee, and on the Development Committee of the Global Thinkers Forum.

Ryan Clifford

API Product Manager, Digital Banking, Barclays

Part of the new world of Open Banking, Clifford was an early member of Barclays’ API Business – establishing a new business unit focused on creating new commercial API products for third-party developers. Alongside his day job, he co-chairs Barclays’ Male Allies in London, an initiative aimed at supporting the UN Women HeForShe campaign. He is also one of the youngest members to join Barclays’ Gender Network Steering Group. Outside his day job, he founded the Tech Allies Network, a movement of more than 1,000 people aimed at closing the digital skills gap and providing continued development for tech enthusiasts to inspire the next generation.

Lorna Croft

Global Co-Head of Insurance, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Following an earlier career as a physiotherapist, Croft began her City career in 2008 and joined Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 2016 to help build the bank’s international insurance presence across Europe and US. She is responsible for driving the strategic growth in CBA’s domestic and international business and has been successful in expanding the portfolio of diverse global insurers operating in key international markets, as well as providing solutions to Australia’s corporate clients. Last year she was also listed as an ‘Influential Woman in Re/Insurance 2018’ in the feature run by industry publication Intelligent Insurer recognising talented females across the insurance industry.

Juan-Carlos Sánchez (pictured above)

Investment Senior Associate, Goldacre Noé Group

Working as a investor at Goldacre, an innovative family office led investment house, S.nchez enjoys the opportunity to engage with early-stage innovative companies and support them in growing their businesses. He was awarded an MPhil Scholarship at the University of Cambridge after graduating top of his class in economics at the University of Manchester. Outside his job, he participates in sports challenges to fundraise towards research related to cancer and cystic fibrosis. His next challenge is taking on the Great Strides 65 Surrey Hills, trekking for circa 65km in 18-hours straight in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Julia De Boinville

Vice President, Global Business Development, Afiniti

Responsible for driving operations and strategy, and managing the advisory board for the global sales team at AI and data analytics company Afiniti, de Boinville also drives its Women in Leadership initiative, partnering with external organisations to campaign and provide support for women in the workplace. For International Women’s Day 2019, she led a partnership with the Global Thinkers Forum to host panel discussions in six countries, connected by video conference, to create a global conversation on female empowerment. She co-founded The Anti-Slavery Collective, with a mission to raise awareness for human trafficking as a global epidemic.

Noemie Djossou

Projects and Governance Manager, HSBC

After completing the RBWM Graduate Programme, Djossou launched an initiative building relationships between graduates and employee resource groups (ERGs) focused around the business’s priority focus areas including HSBC’s Embrace (BAME) network. She arranged a collective blog, which was showcased on HSBC’s Global Graduate Platform as well as on a much wider scale via the Embrace Network’s newsletter, giving a voice to under represented BAME colleagues. During her time on the Graduate Programme, she was recognised with the ‘Champions Change and Embraces Diversity’ award, and also as a Financial Times & EMpower Top 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leader.

Elizabeth Farrell

Partner, Energy & Natural Resources Group, Reed Smith LLP

Boasting one of the fastest promotions from qualification to partner in Reed Smith’s recent history – just 8.5 years – Farrell was primarily responsible for one of the highest-value cases her department has handled. She was ranked as a ‘next generation lawyer’ in Legal 500 UK in 2017 and 2018, and mentors junior lawyers at the firm. She is also the partner champion for the volunteer partnership with the Schools Consent Project, educating secondary school students on the law around sexual consent, and volunteers at a pro bono legal advice clinic in Tower Hamlets assisting victims of domestic violence.

Sophie Hart

Head of Design, Vortexa

A specialist in designing for AI-driven technologies, Hart is responsible for developing the brand for AI start up Vortexa, as well as designing its software, which provides intelligence to energy traders and investors on the flow of cargo ships around the world. Previously, she was chief design officer at Qumodo, designing intelligence systems for law enforcement, defence and security, used for child protection and counter-terrorism. She uses design to bridge the gap between cutting-edge technology and human psychology. She has also executed transformational campaigns including one for the CBI, which was shortlisted for ‘Best Integrated Campaign’ DigiAward from CorpComms, and was a business mentor for IBM Watson AI Xprize.

Adam Jones (pictured above)

CTO, Redington

Having worked in FinTech for a decade, with clients ranging from large banks to innovative start ups, Jones joined Redington as CTO in 2017 to deliver the firm’s next generation of technology tools and to build out its growing SaaS business. An advocate of supporting and improving diversity in technology, increasing access to technology for under-represented communities and supporting non-standard career paths, outside his day job, he is on the advisory board for the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance at UWE, an advisory board member at Fintech West, a trustee of the RedStart charity, a visiting lecturer at Henley Business School and he also mentors a range of people with varied backgrounds within the industry.

Mariam Crichton (pictured above)

Head of Project Management, Every1Mobile

An entrepreneurial force in growing start-ups both at a board level and as a shareholder for the past 16 years, Crichton is a former co-founder and CEO of professional mapping tool Find, with expertise in innovative technology management within geographic information systems, SaaS, software, mobile design and development. She is currently working in international development for Every1Mobile on digital social impact solutions, managing digital programmes for gender justice, digital literacy, livelihoods financial literacy health in sub-Saharan Africa. She sits on the Wired Sussex board providing expert support in Sussex’s digital, media and technology sectors, and is on the Advisory Board of Safe & the City.

Sarah Hudson

Director, Head of Product Strategy for the Global & UK Equity Teams, BlackRock

Promoted three times in five years, most recently to director in 2018 and team leader for the Global and UK Equity Product Strategy Team in 2019, Hudson is a top producer among the team and played a key role in growth of the Global Equity Income franchise from $8bn to $13bn. She led ‘Pitch Club’, developing junior talent within Active Equities, and was an early adopter of the active equity platform at BlackRock. An active member of WIN (the ‘Women’s Investment Network’) within BlackRock, she sits on the WIN EMEA Steer Co, co-chairing the ‘Industry best practice and external networks’ pillar.

Christiana Imafidon

Education Ambassador, Government Blockchain Association

Imafidon, described by The Guardian as ‘truly exceptional’, passed GCSE mathematics aged nine and was regarded by the University of Cambridge as ‘the youngest person to study at undergraduate level aged 11’. At 14, she was invited by West Ham and Tottenham Hotspurs to play in their U-16 teams. Her work mentoring socially disadvantaged students was honoured in Parliament and nominated for an award. Following roles at HSBC, Boots and Citi, Imafidon founded EMPOWERed To Work! organising events to support graduates entering the workforce. She is a Cherie Blair Foundation mentor and raises the profile of blockchain education internationally.

Kayleigh Leonie

Senior Solicitor, Macfarlanes

A vibrant lawyer, outside her day job Leonie represents solicitors 0-5 years’ qualified as their Council Member of The Law Society of England and Wales (TLS) and sits on TLS’ Employment Law and Women Lawyers Division Committees. Leonie has undertaken research into the mental health of junior lawyers and prepared best practice guidance for employers on supporting resilience and wellbeing in the workplace. She also runs regular employer round table events for law firms to encourage them to support their junior lawyers in the workplace and share their wellbeing strategies. She has recently been appointed as a trustee of LawCare, a charity promoting good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community.

MaameYaa Kwafo-Akoto (pictured above)

Senior Associate, Allen and Overy

Kwafo-Akoto is an active participant in Allen and Overy’s female development programme, often sought as an informal mentor and role model to junior associates. She has undertaken various speaking engagements at schools and universities discussing careers in law, and regularly speaks at female universities in Saudi Arabia, such as Dar El Hekma, to inspire female law students. She is also working with Saudi corporations to implement Saudi Arabia’s vision of increasing females in the work place, and hosts career insight days at A&O for young black girls from a local school interested in a career as City lawyers. She spearheads the firm’s BAME initiatives and is a founding member of the BAME network.

Nick Lewis

Director, Investment Consulting, Redington

Lewis leads the delivery of investment advice to Defined Benefit Pension Schemes, with assets ranging from £100m-£10bn. Alongside his consulting role, he leads Redington’s research into alternative governance models, including one that outsources all operational activities to an implementation manager as well as providing oversight of fiduciary managers. He helped develop the firm’s approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks, designing training sessions, surveys and workshops to allow trustee boards to understand and debate ESG issues that have a real impact on their investment portfolios. He helped update Redington’s Shared Parental Leave policy.

Thor Maalouf

Counsel, Reed Smith LLP

As a passionate maritime lawyer, Maalouf was named “Associate to Watch” in Shipping Law by Chambers & Partners in both 2018 and 2019 – the only junior lawyer to be named in the directory – and was promoted to Counsel in 2019. Outside work she is a Girl Guide Leader in Bethnal Green, where she mentors girls aged between 10 and 16, as well as representing people with disabilities who are appealing refusal of their benefits at the First Tier Tribunal. She also volunteers as a mentor with Mission Include, advises prisoners on their legal rights pro bono via the Prisoner’s Advice Service and served in the Army Reserves for nine years, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Beccy Milchem

Director, BlackRock

An enthusiast for the liquidity industry, Milchem has risen through the ranks and now oversees BlackRock’s engagement with Corporate Treasurers, a unique client base in charge of connecting the real economy with the financial ecosystem. As the youngest board director of the powerful money market fund industry body IMMFA, she committed to serve the broader sector and actively influenced the seismic regulatory changes introduced by the European Money Market Fund Reform. An accomplished but unassuming and selfless coach, Milchem is described by her diverse team as an empathetic and devoted role model who has skilfully created an environment that fosters both business success and personal development.

Parisa Namazi

Head of Talent, Cicero Group

Namazi is responsible for all areas of strategic human resource management at leading UK public affairs and integrated communications agency, Cicero Group. She joined the agency three years ago and has built the HR department as well as leading the agency to win Ethical and Workplace Champions awards in the PR industry in 2018 and 2019. Namazi runs a mental health awareness and wellbeing programme, which comprises training and awareness talks that aim to facilitate the reduction of stigma around mental health in the workplace. Namazi is also passionate about diversity and inclusion. She sits on HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter Industry Board to represent SME and professional service signatory firms.

Vaiva Adomaityte (pictured above)

Brexit Programme Manager, Barclays Investment Bank

With extensive experience leading Global Strategic Regulatory, Business and Technology change, Adomaityte is responsible for infrastructure readiness within Barclays Investment Bank. Adomaityte is also a speaker on social equality topics, and runs mentoring and career coaching workshops voluntarily for night shelter guests and at-risk pupils within Tower Hamlets. She is also working towards a PhD in occupational psychology, where she researches the impact of group psychology on the increased success of programme delivery. To achieve this, she is developing a framework enhanced with business intelligence tools, aimed at supporting inter-governmental initiatives whose success is dependent on material shift in public opinion.

Sam Powers

Co-Founder of Lens on Life Project, and Associate Director, Dataminr

Powers is the co-founder of Lens on Life Project, a nonprofit that supports computer literacy and photography training for at-risk youth around the world including in the Za’atari refugee camp and the embattled eastern Congo. He is also a filmmaker, currently directing a documentary about a man who spent 39 years wrongfully behind bars in America. Powers heads the EMEA public sector team at Dataminr, the leading AI platform for real-time information discovery. He has played a significant role in establishing the company’s footprint in the EMEA region. Today, clients in more than 70 countries rely on Dataminr’s solutions for finance, corporate risk and more to stay ahead of events.

Catherine Rice

HR and Talent Lead, Provenance

Rice established the People function for Provenance, a technology start-up empowering brands to take steps toward greater supply chain transparency using blockchain technology. She has scaled Provenance’s impressive team from six to 22 employees over the past nine months, her team is 55 per cent female and Provenance has a majority female board. Rice is an advocate for inclusivity and diversity and has developed an innovative approach to People, which has enabled Provenance to attract and retain top talent. Prior to working at Provenance, Rice spent six months volunteering for ENGOs across New Zealand. In her free time she is a violinist in the London Euphonia Orchestra.

Nav Sahota

Partner, Reed Smith LLP

Specialising in real estate investment, Sahota is Reed Smith’s London office’s first female partner of Indian ethnic origin to have worked her way up from junior lawyer to partner. An active member in the firm’s India Group, closely managing and supervising a diverse team of lawyers, she is also a committee member of Reed Smith’s Multicultural Network, committed to diversity, inclusion, intersectionality and social mobility. She mentors on the firm’s diversity and social mobility Access Scheme, participated as a mentee with the 30% Club cross-mentoring scheme, and is a member of Reed Smith’s graduate recruitment panel. Recently she was also a panellist for the Estate Gazette’s NJAPE diversity event.

Laura Sainsbury

Director, FTI Consulting, and Chair, Women in Public Affairs

With a decade of experience working in public affairs, Sainsbury delivers impactful campaigns to help clients engage with the government. Her work has twice been shortlisted for industry awards, most recently for an integrated campaign, which saw the creation of the UK’s first ever Minister for Financial Inclusion. A champion of diversity in the workplace, she is an FTI Diversity Ambassador and helps lead the London office’s branch of FTI’s women’s network. She is also the current Chair of the Women in Public Affairs Network, which aims to bring together women from across all areas of the public affairs world, connecting professionals in an informal and supportive environment.

Tsanimir Sakutov

Technology Portfolio Management Office, Barclays

Representing a new generation of computer scientists, Sakutov has become an outspoken advocate for change, innovation and cultural shifts in the FinTech industry. His ongoing work with digital banking, technology transformation and innovation have made him a key player on the journey of transforming a 320-year-old bank into the cutting-edge FinTech provider it needs to be. He is also the co-founder and current co-lead of the Women in Technology efforts at Barclays, aiming to improve female representation in technology, promote the career to female students, and shift the portrayal of tech careers in media. He sits on the committee of Barclays’ LGBTQ society.

Anastasia Vallen

Client Engagement Manager, Accuity

With a computer science and mathematics background, Vallen runs projects worth millions per year as a key client relationship manager. Identified as a trailblazer and high potential employee within Accuity, she has quickly risen through the ranks, managing London consultants and assisting building the operations model for the team. She currently plays a leading role within the Accuity Women’s Network and mentors junior members of her organisation, having also established an internal online education platform for new joiners. Further to this, she helped design the EMEA consultants career development and internal progression guidelines, and organised a company charity programme, helping to raise thousands last year.

The panel

Introducing our distinguished panel of judges who, with their own list of achievements alongside extensive industry knowledge and range of expertise, selected our admirable 30 Ones to Watch

Dan Ricard

Chief of Staff in PwC’s UK Sales & Marketing

Dan Ricard is chief of staff in PwC’s UK Sales & Marketing function and an ambassador of Glee@ PwC, the firm’s LGBT+ employee network in the UK, which he previously chaired. Outside PwC, he is the founder and co-chair of LGBT TNON (The Network of Networks), which connects network leaders across 150+ organisations to share best practice. He was nominated in Brummell’s 2015 ‘30 Ones to Watch’ and in the 2016 and 2017 Financial Times Top 50 LGBT+ Future Leaders in business. He is also a mentor to Opening Doors London’s corporate ambassadors and supports other charities through fundraising and pro-bono consulting.

Asif Sadiq

Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, The Telegraph

A multi-award winning diversity and inclusion expert, Sadiq is responsible for delivering the strategic plan to drive a co-ordinated approach across The Telegraph to focus both investment and intent on the broader inclusion agenda. A passionate and inspirational leader with the ability to empower individuals and create a truly inclusive environment for all, he is key in implementing D&I activities and programmes, as well as connecting with stakeholders at all levels to build strong relationships with business leaders and influencers. Sadiq acts as a role model, providing governance across the business on D&I and cultural change.

Dame Fiona Woolf DBE DL

Partner, CMS Cameron McKenna

Woolf is an energy and infrastructure lawyer who has advised more than 28 governments and the World Bank on energy reforms and infrastructure, culminating in a CBE for her contribution to the UK knowledge economy and invisible earnings. She was president of the Law Society of England and Wales in 2006 and was Lord Mayor of London in 2013, where she promoted the UK-based services sector, diversity and inclusion and the sustainable, low-carbon economy, which she continues to promote through her honorary presidency of the Aldersgate Group. She is trustee of the Science Museum Group, and her DBE is for services to law, diversity and inclusion in the City of London.

Shannon Sagawe

Director, UBS

Sagawe began her banking career in LA with Salomon Smith Barney in 1994, moving to London in 2001 to start a new branch. She spent the next seven years managing assets for HNW, Ultra HNW and institutions, joining Advanced Equities’ London office in 2008, raising late stage venture funds for portfolio companies backed by Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capitalists. In 2017, she joined UBS in Zürich – a wealth manager that has raised nearly £2bn worth of assets YTD through its Sustainable Investment portfolio – as a director- relationship manager covering the UK market. She is a passionate advocate and tour guide through their financial future, helping them to leave a legacy bigger than just a number. She was also included in Brummell’s Inspirational Women: City Pioneers list in 2018.