Learn from the leading lights of financial systems change

Written by Lisa Stanley Mann on 25th Jan 2016

As part of our look at the exciting Fellowship programme launching at the Finance Innovation Lab, we’ve listed below 13 trailblazers who have already earned the title of Senior Fellow.

The Senior Fellowship recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution towards a more sustainable financial system, and who have shown ongoing support for the work of the Lab.

Senior Fellows are a diverse group of trailblazing thinkers, doers, creators and campaigners, whose achievements have helped move the UK towards a more democratic, fair and responsible financial system. Senior Fellows continue to champion and contribute to the Lab’s work, attending events and advising on projects. 

  1. Bertrand Beghin

Bertrand is co-CEO of Numbers for Good. He is an investment expert, with specific expertise in designing and implementing innovative financial products and working with the social and environmental sectors. He has 15 years of experience in the City, with Deutsche Bank in the Strategic Equity Transactions Group. He was part of a team that structures equity-related transactions for the bank’s corporate, private and strategic European clients, specialising in monetisation strategies, equity financing, employee incentives, M&A derivatives, and share buy-backs.

Bertrand holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Bristol and a M.Sc. in Management Science and Operational Research. In his spare time he enjoys windsurfing, sailing and the outdoors.


2. Fran Boait


Fran is Positive Money’s Executive Director. Positive Money is a research and campaigning organisation which aims to democratise money and banking, so that it works for society and not against it.

Fran studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and went on to complete a PhD researching carbon dioxide storage. Fran became interested in economics and money creation after realising that the huge environmental and inequality crises we face could not easily be fixed without re-thinking how the current economic system works, and how to redesign it. Fran has worked at various global organisations including the United Nations, Greenpeace and BP.


3. Martin Campbell


Martin is one of the UK’s leading media advisers to the retail financial services industry. As a founding member of the Virgin Direct (now Virgin Money) management team, he was the product designer for the ground-breaking firm before managing its highly successful PR function, winning the MORI annual journalist poll for best press office for three years running.

After 7 years at Virgin, he left to become a freelance PR and lobbying adviser to other brands competing by offering a genuinely better customer proposition. Martin was pivotal in getting the now legendary Zopa taken seriously and embraced by the press and broadcast media, before handing over to others after 6 years as the pioneering P2P lender’s adviser. His recent and current clients include leading names in the alternative finance movement – including Abundance, Seedrs, SyndicateRoom, Loot and Landbay – along with influential bodies including the Pensions Policy Institute, The Fairbanking Foundation and Positive Money.


4. Bruce Davis


Bruce Davis is joint Managing Director of Abundance, the first regulated debt crowdfunding company in the UK. He is an anthropologist with a creative drive that helped create the world’s first peer to peer lender Zopa in 2004, as well as products and innovations for most of the UK leading banks and building societies. Bruce is a founding director of the UK Crowdfunding Association and Visiting Research Fellow at the Bauman Institute, Leeds University.

Bruce gained an MA from the University of Cambridge and has since worked for companies large and small on branding, innovation and research. He has worked in many countries around the world, developing insights into the social life of money and its impact on everyday life.

Bruce was previously Non-Executive Director of the Move Your Money campaign and is also a Trustee of The Finance Innovation Lab.


5. Simon Deane-Johns


Simon Deane-Johns is a consultant solicitor specialising in fintech regulatory and commercial work, including payment services, P2P lending, crowdfunding and data services. He has advised on the launch of many innovative start-ups, including Zopa, Prodigy Finance, Abundance Generation, Crowdbnk and Proplend, and is involved in assessing various potential applications of distributed ledger technology.

He previously consulted at Amazon and WorldPay, and led legal teams at GE and Earthport. Simon advised on the creation of the P2P Finance Association and co-organised the P2P Finance Policy Summit for UK and EU officials and crowdfunding industry representatives with the Finance Innovation Lab in 2012. Simon also chairs the Media Board of the Society for Computers and Law.


6. Tony Greenham


Tony has progressed from a conventional finance career in investment banking and accountancy to championing financial system reform.

He is the Director of Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing at the RSA, where he leads work on progressing towards a more creative, inclusive and sustainable economy, and was previously Head of Finance and Business at the New Economics Foundation. He is co-author of many books and reports including Where Does Money Come From?, Strategic Quantitative Easing and Reforming RBS: Local banking for the public good, and is a regular media commentator and public speaker on economic reform. He has contributed to programmes including BBC Newsnight and Today, and written for the Guardian, Sunday Times and Daily Mail.

Tony holds a number of non-executive posts including sustainability advisory committees for Alliance Trust Investments and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and as a Trustee of Transition Network. He was voted one of the Future Finance 50 in the Innovative Thinkers category by Economia magazine.


7. Julia Groves


Since co-founding britishairways.com in 1994, Julia has led a series of start ups in the digital and environmental sectors, and invested a combination of her time and money in a portfolio of sustainable businesses, including Loco2, and most recently Trillion Fund, a loan-based crowdfunding platform offering triple bottom line returns of people, planet and profit.

Julia co-founded the UK Crowdfunding Association in 2012, and has successfully campaigned to make finance more democratic and accessible to regular investors, under the banner #wealthisnotaskillset. She is a member of Innovate 50 in the UK, CF 50 in the States, and recently completed a two-year Non-Executive Director role at Move Your Money.


8. Malcolm Hayday


Malcolm is a social banker and disruptive thinker with a background in international wholesale banking, including export, trade and Islamic finance, the third sector and values-based banking.

Malcolm developed the concept of a bank for charity and piloted a loan fund, Investors in Society, in the mid 1990s, before becoming founding Chief Executive of The Charity Bank in 2002, then the world’s only registered general charity and authorised bank. Malcolm took the bank to profitability before standing down in 2012. He joined the Institute for Social Banking to deliver the international summer schools in 2013 and 2014, where he co-developed the first citizens’ response to the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System.

9. Marloes Nicholls


Marloes Nicholls is Programme Manager, Finance at Meteos. She directs Money Comms Lab, a collaborative research project that brings together communication experts from across civil society, consumer organisations and academia to understand the most effective ways to engage and communicate with the public on issues relating to money and the financial system. She is also the project manager and lead researcher for BankingFutures, a unique, multi-stakeholder dialogue that asks: how can we rebuild a healthy banking sector in the UK?

Marloes co-founded and is a Director of the campaign Move Your Money UK, which supports people to find financial service providers that they understand and whose business practices they agree with. Previously, she was a divisional project manager at Oxfam GB, supporting global campaigns and policy. Most recently, she co-founded a collective called Show Me The Money that experiments with using participatory theatre techniques to engage people with money and is also a guide for Occupy London Tours.


10. Karl Richter


Karl is Executive Director and Co-Founder of EngagedX. He specialises in social impact investing and provides bespoke consultancy, thought leadership, advocacy and policy work. He has worked internationally across private, public and social sectors. He is an experienced entrepreneur and has held numerous leadership, management and executive positions.

He is a member of Groupe d’Experts de la Commission sur l’Entrepreneuriat Social (GECES), appointed by the European Commission to advise on its Social Business Initiative; sits on the OECD expert group on social impact investing that reported to the G7; is an Adviser to the Global Value Exchange, an open source database and platform for measuring social and environmental values; and is an advisor on social impact investing to the Euclid Network (of European civil society professionals). In 2011, he co-authored Making Good in Social Impact Investment: Opportunities in an Emerging Asset Class. Karl is an UnLtd Award Winner for social entrepreneurship and holds an MBA specialising in entrepreneurship and project management.


11. Brett Scott


Brett is a journalist, campaigner and the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money.

He works on financial reform, alternative currencies, P2P economic systems, corporate transparency and economic advocacy campaigns with a wide variety of NGOs, artists and student groups. This has included ActionAid, Global Justice Now, OpenOil and MoveYourMoney UK. He has written for publications including The Guardian, New Scientist, Wired Magazine and CNN.com, and provides commentary on financial reform and crypto-currencies on media channels such as BBC, Arte and VPRO. He also helps facilitate a course on power and design at the University of the Arts London, and workshops on alternative finance with The London School of Financial Arts. He is an advisory board member of the Brixton Pound community currency.


12. Emma Vartolemei


Emma is the founder and CEO of All Street, a provider of in-depth, independent, expert analysis on crowdfunding investments. An economist by trade, Emma is dedicated to enabling everyone to get involved in the new financial system that crowdfunding is creating. She brings significant experience in financial services across corporate banking and asset management, an MBA degree from Oxford University and two Masters of Science. She believes in the power of shared knowledge to transform the alternative finance space.


13. Bryan Zhang


Bryan Zhang is a Founding Director at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, University of Cambridge Judge Business School. He is a co-author of several influential industry reports on the state of alternative finance both at national and international levels. Bryan has advised and consulted for numerous business and institutions including the Royal Society of Arts, the British Business Bank, the Department of International Development and the European Commission. He is also a Research Fellow in Finance at the Cambridge Judge Business School and a Teaching Associate at Girton College, University of Cambridge.


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