Vice President, Payments Consulting Services
With considerable international banking and payments experience, Ainsley Ward is an industry thought leader and business development lead for CGI's Payments Solutions. Previously, he worked on payment modernization and open banking in Canada and as an SME in Belgium. Bringing experience from working with banks on every continent, he is well versed in the demands of payment market modernization, finding opportunities from mandatory change, and guiding banks to better outcomes, representing many of his clients in industry working groups and committees including with the EPC and ECB. Prior to CGI, Ward worked with world-leading companies running Management Consulting at FIS (Clear2Pay), as 2FA Product Manager at MasterCard, and Senior Advisor to European banks with ESBG. He is a VISA-accredited EMV consultant and was US EMF Honor Roll listed for his EMV migration contribution. Currently, he works with major global banks undertaking payment market modernization, designing a new RTGS platform, supporting ISO 20022 migration, and examining the future role that banks will play. His thoughts are regularly shared as a panelist and speaker, with his understanding of the bigger picture providing delivery of winning payment strategies and products for clients around the world. He is also a member of the U.K.’s Digital Pound Forum. Ward studied Engineering, Science & Technology at Brunel University in London, and currently resides on the West Coast of Scotland.
Partner / Principal, Banking & Capital Markets
As a leader in Deloitte's Banking & Capital Markets, Amit acts as a collaborator across industry and capabilities teams to implement enterprise-wide change initiatives, developing transformation maps for Fortune 500 clients. He has worked with leading financial institutions to develop go-to-market strategies for financial services solutions, lead legacy and cloud transformation programs and drive open banking strategies. His experience gives him firsthand experience in how technology has the power to drive meaningful business value.
Global Banking Leader, Risk Advisory Partner
Dominic Henriques is a Partner in RSM’s Financial Services Risk Advisory practice with over 22 years of experience assisting audit and non-audit clients within the Banking and Capital Markets sector with a broad range of risk, compliance, systems, and operational control related services. He also serves as the Global Banking Advisory Leader, Carolinas Consulting Leader, and the Carolinas Multicultural Diversity Team Leader. Prior to joining RSM, Henriques spent 18 years as a Partner at a Big Four firm, where he was responsible for leading multiple global banking and capital market clients. He has been responsible for leading the business process and information technology aspects of the audits for several large, global banks, and he brings a deep understanding of internal controls to provide recommendations to management on improving control structure and complying with various laws and regulations. He also has deep expertise in the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley, including program design and optimization, as well as internal and external audit support related to regulatory remediation for clients including large multi-national banks, regional banks, broker dealers, payment processors, and service providers.
Arthur D. Little
Partner, Head of Financial Services Central Europe
Florian is a Partner and member of ADL’s global Financial Services Core Management Team and Head of Financial Services Central Europe. He supports top decision makers of leading financial institutions mainly in Germany and Austria on strategy, innovation, and cutting edge topics as well as on all aspects of digital business models. Forst started his career with McKinsey & Company in 2000. He moved to UniCredit Group in 2007 to establish and lead the inhouse-consulting unit, supporting the group across Europe in highly demanding growth, restructuring, and change projects. In 2016, he joined zeb consulting, a leading European consulting boutique focused on financial services, as a Partner. There, he built his client franchise, advising senior leaders of international/European universal banks, German private banks, financial services infrastructure providers, and PE firms. He is a lawyer by training, having studied at the Universities of Munich and Oxford. He holds a PhD in Company Law from the University of Munich.
Partner - Corporate and Institutional Banking
Harriet Roberts is a Partner in Oliver Wyman’s Corporate and Institutional Banking practice, based in the firm’s London office. She has 10 years of experience as a participant in capital markets, followed by 6 years of consulting experience at Oliver Wyman working with major financial institutions including banks, market infrastructure (MI) companies, fintechs, and private equity funds. She is driven by helping clients deliver on their growth aspirations, and specializes in strategic transaction and operational transformation topics, in both pre-deal evaluation and post-deal value-creation settings. As part of her work, she supports data and information services providers to develop their ESG business strategies across value chains, in turn supporting their clients in the financial services community and beyond to deliver on their own ESG and climate-related strategies and commitments. Recent clients have included global market infrastructure companies; banks; and technology, data, and information services providers. Roberts holds a Master’s in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford. She champions the importance of diversity of thought, experience, and skills in financial services, both within Oliver Wyman through her women in private capital events, talent management and recruitment lead roles, and in the wider industry through her industry relationships.
Director, Global Payments Products
Karen Brown serves as Director and Global Payments Product Lead, overseeing CGI payment solutions, including marketing and implementation. Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world, operating across 21 industries in 400 locations worldwide. They are insights-driven and outcomes-based to help accelerate returns on clients’ investments, and provide comprehensive, scalable, and sustainable IT and business consulting services that are informed globally and delivered locally. Brown joined CGI in 2013 as part of the acquisition of Logica, where she spent nearly 16 years. There, she began as a Consultant Operational Risk Manager, but spent more than 14 years as a Project Manager. Prior to Logica, she worked in the U.K. banking sector. She has more than 28 years of experience in payments product strategy and marketing, along with significant expertise in implementing payment solutions for banks.
Global Head of Insurance
Laura Hay is the Global Head of Insurance for KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. KPMG is one of the Big 4 accounting firms, with 227,000 outstanding professionals working together to deliver value in 146 countries and territories. With a worldwide presence, the firm continues to build on its successes thanks to a clear vision, defined values and, above all, its people. KPMG’s industry focus helps its firms’ professionals develop a rich understanding of clients' businesses and the insight, skills, and resources required to address industry-specific issues and opportunities. Hay has more than 30 years of professional experience in the insurance industry focused on audit, advisory, and actuarial services (including global US GAAP and IFRS conversions), Solvency II and ERM assessments, and finance/actuarial transformations and modeling services (including model risk and control assessments and model validation work). She was named to Consulting Magazine’s 2012 Women Leaders in Consulting List, is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries. Prior to her current role, she worked her way up from Partner to Americas and U.S. Insurance Practice Leader for KPMG US. She got her start as an Actuarial Student for MetLife. Hay earned a Bachelor’s in Mathematics with a minor in Statistics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Global Banking Lead
Michael Abbott is responsible for Accenture’s overall vision and strategy for banking. With more than 25 years’ experience in the banking industry, he is committed to helping banks develop and execute strategies that capitalize on the opportunities of industry disruption. His passion for envisioning what is possible has made him a pioneer in the sector. And his deep expertise in strategic innovation, digital banking, payments, and operational technology has enabled him to help create business and operating models that deliver efficiency, competitiveness, and growth. His corporate career started as a Research Scientist at IBM. He then moved to GE Capital where, as the CMO for Consumer Finance, he started and grew GE’s bankcard business to $10 billion in assets and built its private-label business into a 30% ROE growth engine. He received the Chairman’s Award for decisively leading the business through the financial crisis. Prior to joining Accenture, Abbott was the Founder and CEO of Softcard, which was acquired by Google in 2015 and is now the mobile wallet platform for Google Pay. He is a regular speaker at major banking events and has authored numerous banking articles and reports. He has a Bachelor of Science from Stony Brook University, and a Master's in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, both from Columbia University.
Partner, Pricing, Sales & Marketing, Private Capital
Currently a Partner in the Brussels office of Oliver Wyman, Muriel Schtickzelle leads the Pricing, Sales, Marketing Team in Europe. She has spent her entire career at Oliver Wyman since joining the Paris office in 2007 and being promoted to Partner at the end of 2015. Most of her work focuses on value creation strategies and commercial transformations for PE-owned portfolio companies, especially in the payments sector. Schtickzelle has carried out more than 15 transformation projects on behalf of several bank and non-bank payment services providers in Europe, APAC, and LatAm, covering topics related to offer portfolio optimization, pricing optimization, go-to-market strategy implementation, and salesforce improvement. She also handles the coverage of one of the world’s largest PE funds. Committed to helping her communities, Schtickzelle has dedicated a portion of her time to providing pro bono consulting support to non-profit clients and leading significant social impact projects in France. For the past six years, she has been working with Alpha Omega, Réseau E2C, and AFEV, all non-profit organizations working to increase access to education and employment for under-privileged young people. At Oliver Wyman, she actively takes part in the talent management strategy of the firm, pushing for the promotion of gender diversity and inclusion throughout the entire career advancement of consultants and implementing efficient mentoring and sponsoring programs. Schtickzelle herself has sponsored more than 20 consultants in the past eight years, and encourages constant improvement of I&D targets in the election process of new partners. She is a commercial engineer and graduated from ICHEC Brussels Management School with a major in Finance. She is fluent in French and English and has a basic knowledge of Dutch.
Alvarez & Marsal
Paul Sharma leads Alvarez & Marsal’s European Regulatory Advisory Practice. He specializes in non-routine regulator issues such as investigations, diligence, remediation, business transformation, restructuring, and litigation. His expertise spans financial crime, market conduct, consumer protection, prudential standards, and financial stability. He works across the banking, insurance, payment services, and investment/securities/commodities sectors. His assignments have included work in respect of financial institutions based in (or whose parent is based in) the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Nigeria, Bahrain, Lebanon, and UAE. He was formerly the Deputy Head of the U.K.’s Prudential Regulation Authority, an alternate member of the boards of both the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), and a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. He earned a Master of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.
Partner, Global and Europe Lead, Financial Services
Simon Kent is a Senior Partner at Kearney and the Global Lead for Financial Services. He is based in the London office and has over 25 years’ experience working across the global financial services market. He is passionate about building successful teams and developing talent, and is an active coach and sponsor who aims to make work enjoyable for all involved. Kent has extensive experience in working with clients on a range of strategic transformation topics including corporate strategy, growth, efficiency, ESG, and digital transformation. In addition, he has supported clients in launching a range of new fintech and challenger banks. He has received several awards, authored a series of thought leadership articles, is a regular industry commentator, and represents the firm at the World Economic Forum (Davos). Kent received a BA Hons in Economics and Politics from Newcastle University. He is married with two children and enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and following sports.