Finance Archives - WeQual

Topic: Finance


Holly Kulka

In a world where regulation and compliance are fast becoming the most important topics across all business sectors, Holly Kulka is an expert worth listening to.

The Global Head of Compliance and Control for S&P Global Ratings, Holly has been at the core of the credit rating agency’s response to the most recent global financial crisis and its emergence as the most respected in its sector.

A former public prosecutor, Holly is a compelling speaker and as a former EVP and Deputy General Counsel for Intercontinental Exchange, which owns NYSE Euronext, she has a breadth of experience at the heart of the US financial sector.

Penny James

Penny James was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Direct Line Group in May 2019, having held the role of Chief Financial Officer since joining the Group in November 2017. Direct Line is a leading insurer of cars, homes and small businesses in the UK, through its own brands (Direct Line, Churchill, Privilege, Green Flag and NIG) and through partnerships. 


Penny has extensive financial services experience, having been Group Chief Risk Officer and Executive Director at Prudential plc, where she was responsible for leading risk oversight globally. Before this, Penny was Director of Group Finance at Prudential. 


She had previously been Group CFO at Omega Insurance Holdings Limited, and CFO, UK General Insurance, at Zurich Financial Services. Penny was a NED of Admiral Group plc from January 2015 to September 2017. She is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Ron Kalifa OBE

Ron is Chairman of Network International, a fast growing payments company previously owned by private equity. He joined just ahead of its initial public offering (IPO) in 2019.


He serves as a Non-Executive Director for the Court of Directors at the Bank of England, and Non-Executive Director for Transport for London, where he chairs the Finance Committee. He is also a Non-Executive Director for the Hundred England and Wales Cricket Board.


Ron was Vice Chairman of Worldpay (2013-19) and its global CEO (2001-2013). He developed the business from a small start up to an IPO in London and then took it through its merger with US based companies, Vantiv and FIS. Ron has worked at NatWest (1978-2000), RBS (2000-2010) and across the UK, Europe and the USA. He has covered many aspects of business including strategy, marketing and operations.

Ann Cairns

In her role as Vice Chairman, Ann represents Mastercard around the world, focusing on inclusion, diversity and innovation. She plays the important role of senior ambassador and executive leader with a global remit and sits as part of the company’s global management committee. 


She is passionate about the role Mastercard can play in delivering inclusion through innovation and continues to build new global partnerships with governments, businesses and NGOs. 


Prior to this appointment, Ann was President of International Markets responsible for the management of all customer-related activities in over 200 countries around the world. In this role she focused on building sustainable, strong growth rates across both mature and emerging markets. She has led the company’s expansion into new and diverse geographies and opened up new customer segments; embracing the continued evolution to digital while driving an increased focus on safety, security and convenience. 


Ann brings more than 20 years’ experience working in senior management positions across Europe and the US, where she ran global retail, commercial, and investment banking operations. Prior to joining Mastercard in August 2011, Ann was head of the Financial Services Group with Alvarez & Marsal in London, where she led the European team managing Lehman Brothers Holdings International through the Chapter 11 process. In addition she helped restructure banks across Europe including Ireland and Iceland. 


She has held senior positions within many global organisations, including a tenure as CEO of Transaction Banking at ABN-AMRO, and 15 years in senior operational positions at Citigroup. 


Ann is currently chair of ICE Clear Europe, one of the world’s leading clearing houses owned by the Fortune 500 company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). She is also global co-chair of the 30% Club, the chair of the Financial Alliance for Women, and serves as a member of the UK government’s AI Council and the IBDE advisory board. She has previously held board positions with ICE, AstraZeneca and Charity Bank as well as chairing the ABN foundation.


She has a Pure Mathematics degree and honorary doctorate from Sheffield University, and an MSc with research into medical statistics and an honorary doctorate from Newcastle University. An early career as an award-winning research engineer culminated in the role as the Head of Offshore Engineer-Planning for British Gas, where Ann was the first woman qualified to go offshore in Britain.

Rob Guyler

Rob Guyler has been with British Energy and subsequently EDF Energy for 21 years.


A chartered accountant, having qualified with Coca Cola Schweppes and Mars Confectionery, Rob spent several years in Management Consultancy with Price Waterhouse before joining EDF Energy. Rob has undertaken a number of finance management roles, both operational and corporate, including that of Group Financial Controller for British Energy Group plc, and Finance, Commercial and IT Director of EDF Energy Generation. His current role is Chief Financial Officer of EDF Energy.


Rob is a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion and takes an active role in promoting this both in EDF Energy and the Energy Industry as a whole. Married to Judi for 21 years with two children (Katia 20 and Sophia 17) Rob lives in Scotland but spends most of his working life in London. He has a BSc (Hons) Degree in Business Studies and ACMA accounting qualification. His pastimes include music, cricket and cycling

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