People & Leadership Archives - WeQual

Topic: People & Leadership


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.

Sir Ian Cheshire

Sir Ian is a member of the Board and is also Chair of Barclays Bank UK PLC.


He contributes substantial business experience to the Board, particularly in the international retail sector, from his lengthy executive career at the Kingfisher Group, as well as experience in sustainability and environmental matters – which are important to the Group’s strategy and long-term sustainable success. 


Sir Ian holds strong credentials in leadership, is involved with many charitable organisations such as The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation, and is highly regarded by the Government for his work with various Government departments.

Karen Hubbard

Karen Hubbard was appointed Chief Executive Officer of The Card Factory in 2016, prior to which she was Chief Operating Officer at B&M Bargains, accountable for a wide-ranging remit including IT, Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain. 


Previously she served on ASDA Stores Executive Board as Executive Director for Property, Multi-Channel, and Format Development. During her time at ASDA, Karen led the Netto Acquisition and Integration project having developed a small store format. She served as the Chair for ASDA’s Women in Leadership, and also on Walmart’s Women in Leadership Council. 


Prior to ASDA, she worked 18 years for BP Retail in various senior roles and in total has over 25 years’ experience in Retail at both Executive and Director Levels across a number of international markets. Karen has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and a Diploma in Company Direction from The Institute of Directors. 


She has two daughters and lives in Harrogate where she enjoys a range of outdoor activities and travelling.

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.

Kevin Fielder

Kevin Fielder is a well-known information security professional, currently dividing his time between roles as a Chief Information Security Officer, start-up advisor, CrossFit/fitness coach and doting dad.


He has a strong technical background, but his passion lies with building high performing, diverse and resilient teams and of course resilient individuals!


Kevin has created and delivered highly successful, agile security strategies meeting the demands of global businesses. He excels in building and leading high performing teams and effectively engaging boards around cyber-risk and resilience. An experienced and dynamic information security professional, Kevin is also a board advisor to several organisations, an experienced speaker and an active member of the cyber security community promoting awareness, diversity and innovation.


His goal is to break out of the security ‘echo chamber’ and speak more broadly on critical topics around cyber and resilience.

Mark Bateman

Mark Bateman has a unique way of engaging with audiences in a way that challenges, inspires and motivates.


The son of a preacher, Mark followed in his father’s footsteps until a career in technology unlocked his entrepreneurial nature. The result was a fast growth company running 24/7 with a global corporate client base. He sold the business in 2011 and has since devoted his time to working with senior leaders to unlock potential.


Mark has worked with hundreds of SME owners/directors to help them scale their businesses, improve work/life balance and ultimately, successfully exit.


His work with large corporations resulted in Mark joining WeQual Consulting as CEO. WeQual was founded to increase equality and diversity within the Executive Committees of the world’s largest companies. Deeply intuitive, and often called “Dr Truth” by those with whom he works, he has a knack of identifying the real barriers to achieving success at individual and organisational levels. He coaches senior executives, helps move senior leadership teams into high performance and is an excellent facilitator.


He has a Masters in Leadership Coaching & Mentoring, a Post Grad Diploma in Business Coaching & Mentoring, and post grad qualifications in human psychology. Mark has been fascinated by leadership his whole life and has written a book on the topic of disruptive leadership due to be printed later this year.


Mark has been married and divorced, has grown up children, has burnt out and recovered, grown a business, sold a business, succeeded and failed many times, and is passionately committed to helping others unlock their potential and achieve their ambitions. He is adept speaking in front of both small and large groups.

Mira Magecha

Mira Magecha is well known for being the Alternative Chief People Officer (CPO).


She is a huge advocate for enabling organisations through its People. She actively promotes People / HR teams as enablers rather than a ‘cost centre’. Mira is also a Non-Executive Director and Advisor for start-ups – whilst balancing life and staying sane as a want-to-be writer.


She is known for developing pragmatic, effective solutions for business problems. She is both highly commercial and technical – she is not your typical CPO.


Mira’s experience extends to leading, implementing, and supporting People functions in start-up, turnaround and transformation phases. She focuses on the importance of diversity, building highly effective teams across the business. Most recently leading the business through change and defining new organisational design, while negotiating a complex merger alongside the impact of COVID-19 on a global workforce.

Sharon Doherty

Sharon is the Chief People Officer at Finastra, #3 global fintech. She is a mother, an author, interested in the future of work, and a champion of inclusion for all. 


She has spent nine years at Vodafone helping shape their customer, digital and purpose-led Vodafone work. Sharon is best known for championing the award-winning diversity and inclusion agenda there, as the first company in the world to introduce a global maternity policy in 2015, launching the largest global programme to ReConnect women back to work in 2017, and, in 2019, the first global company to introduce paid leave for victims of domestic abuse. 


Her earlier track record includes Kingfisher, General Electric, PwC, BAA and Laing O’Rourke as CHRO. She has also been a Trustee at Regents College and NED for Laing O’Rourke. Sharon currently sits on The Vodafone Foundation Board, and the Talent Advisory Board for CEB. Outstanding 2018 Ally. She authored ‘Heathrow’s Terminal 5, History in the Making’ and is just about to publish Belong@Vodafone.

Amanda Cusdin

Amanda became Chief People Officer in September 2018, a role she started on an interim basis in October 2017. She joined Sage in March 2015 to lead first the people transformation across Sage Functions and then latterly as Executive Vice President People Business Partners – leading the regional and functional generalist people teams across all of Sage locations.


Amanda has eighteen years of HR experience across a number of global FTSE organisations, including manufacturing, engineering, and projects businesses where she focused on supporting executive leaders to drive change and transformation. During her career to date, Amanda has built extensive experience across North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe. She has led in all aspects of Human Resources but specifically in M&A, growth in new geographies and working across cultures and matrix organisations. Amanda has also specialised in talent development to executive level.


Passionate about developing talent and leadership and creating truly inclusive organisations which promote diversity, Amanda has a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Warwick and postgraduate qualifications in Human Resources Management.

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