Once all the nominations & applications are in, it's over to the judges! We're proud to have a broad range of judges, including past winners of the awards, to reflect the breadth of talent and experience in our entries.
Cerys is the finance partnerships manager at Sero, leading numerous green finance pilots with financial institutions to tackle residential decarbonisation within their portfolios.
She has overseen the delivery of several innovative projects such as FLATLINE (Fixed Level Affordable Tariffs Led by Intelligently Networked Energy), VALUER (Valuations And Lending Underwriting Energy Reduction) as well as leading the Foundational Economy elements within the pan-Wales Optimised Retrofit project.Prior to Sero, Cerys managed a fast-paced city centre residential sales and lettings estate agency.
Cerys intends to keep building her skillset to play a key part in driving forward cutting-edge innovation and the use of new technologies and smart systems within the residential sector. As well as helping tackle the climate emergency, a personal key driver for her is the eradication of fuel poverty and to support better living standards within new and existing homes.
Elise Coole is the Managing Director of specialist buy to let lender Keystone Property Finance and is responsible for growing and driving the business forward.
She has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and her effective leadership style has created a collaborative working environment.
Eloise, Interim Head of National Accounts, has continued to grow Kensington's brand as an innovative and forward-thinking specialist lender since joining in 2019.
Eloise brought with her a wealth of experience from both Leeds Building Society and Principality Building Society prior to working at Kensington, and has worked with many key accounts throughout the UK. Eloise has won an array of awards since adopting the Interim Head of National Accounts role, including British Specialist Lender award for Lender: Business Development in 2021, Woman in Specialist Lending at Financial Reporter Women's Recognition Awards 2022 and Head of National Accounts at the 2022 British Specialist Lender awards.
Emma Roberts is Head of Intermediary Relationships at Connect for Intermediaries. Connect is a mortgage network with just over 300 members, as well as being a large mortgage brokerage with a particular strength in the specialist markets and a packaging arm too, not only for Connect members but for the wider broker population. This giving Connect a strong and fairly unique proposition.
Emma has enjoyed a fast paced and successful career in the specialist lending market for over 10 years, before that she held roles at Santander and Enterprise Rent a Car. She is now responsible for leading the Relationship team at Connect, making sure the network members are happy and supported, along with working along side the team to ensure that Connect is viewed as a Network of choice for both new and established mortgage advisers.
Emma joined Connect in May 2020 as a Relationship Manager. Since then Emma has been instrumental in record growth for the Network along with personal achievements of winning a Women’s recognition award and being a finalist in various others.
Helen has transformed Barclays approach to Intermediary marketing communications, advertising and events in her role as Barclays Head of Channel Engagement driving up awareness, sentiment scores and sales, as well as winning multiple awards including Marketer of the Year at the Women's Recognition awards. She is an active member of the internal Barclays Women’s network and DIFF in the intermediary industry.
Helen is passionate about delivering marketing that provides tools and information enabling our clients and brokers to succeed. Helen constantly listens to get their perspective, always striving for Barclays to continuously improve the service it provides them.
In addition to her role, Helen often sets herself challenges such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or the Base Camp of Mount Everest, as well a hiking expedition on the Great Wall of China raising thousands of pounds in support of a small local children’s charity. Recently, Helen graduated with an MSc in Business and Strategic Leadership from Cranfield University.
Jeremy has been with YBS since March 2018, having been in the mortgage market for over 20 years. He has worked in senior management roles for several lenders and distributers, and has also worked as an advisor and a broker. Prior to joining YBS was Director of Legal & General Mortgage Club.
Jeremy is responsible for the external delivery of the YBS & Accord Mortgage Distribution propositions, including the BDA, (T)BDM and Corporate Account Manager teams for Accord and the Direct Mortgage Team . He also represents YBS as spokesperson for press and PR.
His other main responsibility is to help develop the Mortgage Distribution proposition. Our purpose is to work collaboratively to build relationships that deliver outcomes above and beyond expectations.
Jeremy is also Chair of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), the trade association that represents the views and interests of UK mortgage lenders involved in the generation of mortgage business via professional financial intermediaries.
Joela joined the Landbay team in 2017 and has over 20 years of experience working in the mortgage industry. Prior to this, Joela spent a period working as a Broker, as well as time working as an Account Manager for various lenders in intermediary sales.
Across her career, Joela has had experience in all mortgage sectors, including buy-to-let, residential mainstream, self-builds, specialist mortgages, offset, and international lending. Joela’s extensive experience means that she understands the industry from the broker, lender, and client perspective, knowledge which is invaluable to provide excellent customer service
As Head of Intermediary Relationships Jonathan leads the Intermediary Development team and has overall responsibility for the intermediary distribution strategy including all key partner and corporate relationships, Field and TBDM teams as well as telephone and administration support.
Jonathan has been in financial services since 2000 and has been with the Society since 2008, previously holding a position in Corporate accounts.
Karen has over 20 years’ experience in the mortgage intermediary sector. Karen joined ULS technology, now Smoove, in April 2020 from Vida Homeloans, where she was Corporate Sales Manager for almost 4 years.
In previous roles, Karen has worked for One Savings Bank, where she was a National Account Manager working on both the Kent Reliance and Prestige Finance brands, as well as holding positions at Aldermore Mortgages, GE Money and Kensington. She started her career in financial services with Halifax and has worked closely with mortgage intermediaries ever since, building a deep understanding of relationship and service requirements of networks, clubs and brokers
Karen has considerable experience from her time in the intermediary sector.
Kathryn is a specialist adviser for personal, business and group life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection, within the UK and internationally.
Kathryn produces videos and a podcast that are used within the insurance sector, by charities and the general public, as a way to educate about ways to access insurance. She also works as a consultant training advisers in protection insurance and offering support in building client recommendations.
Katie is a Chartered Financial Planner and an Occupational Pension Specialist. She has worked in Financial Services since 1997 and joined Attivo in 2019. Katie is an Associate of the Personal Finance Society (PFS), part of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
Katie also holds Later Life Adviser Accreditation from the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA), an endorsement of her skills and experience of working with, and understanding the needs of, older people and their families and carers.
Lauren is an energetic, ambitious qualified mortgage adviser who has a passion for financial innovation and project management to improve both customer and colleague experience. Her current role as a Customer Journey Developer includes the design and delivery of the digital bank of the future with accountability for the creation and delivery of all products and services required to meet the customer journey vision. A Rising Star winner at the Financial Reporter Women's Recognition Awards 2022 Lauren is continually looking for opportunities to digitise, improve and manage the customer journey to deliver increased customer value and effortless customer experiences including her recent projects delivering the banks Green Mortgage product proposition.
Lauren was a finalist in the Chartered Banker Young Banker of the Year competition 2019 where she developed a solution to support customers to use their EPC to improve their energy performance rating on their homes which has been taken forward by NatWest. Lauren has recently completed her Masters in Innovation, Leadership and Business Management with her dissertation research on financial inclusion for women and puts this into practice with her Woman's Worth initiative supporting over 2,000 women to date. She also leads the award winning NatWest Group Gender Network Initiatives & Partnerships Committee where she has brought #IamRemarkable, MentorHER reciprocal mentoring and Lean In Circles to the group. Finally, Lauren has launched and leads the Women in Banking & Finance Norwich region to support and prove women can be successful working in rural locations.
As Head of Intermediary Sales at Gatehouse Bank, I am responsible for supporting the sales team to build and maintain solid relationships with a growing number of brokers and intermediaries.
My career spans over 20 years in the financial services industry, where I have held roles from both a lender and broker perspective. Earlier in my career, I worked as a Mortgage Adviser for a number of providers, including Countryside and NatWest, and I also previously held the role of a Senior Underwriter at Chorley Building Society.
My current role is something I am extremely enthusiastic and passionate about – establishing, developing, and maintaining strong broker relationships while helping our network of brokers provide their customers with Gatehouse Bank’s range of Shariah-compliant products.
Niki Cooke is an expert in the fintech industry, with a focus on the insurer and financial adviser markets. She has worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years, the past 20+ dedicated to advice and technology businesses helping organisations achieve positive firms through tech innovation.
She is Chief Revenue Officer at ProtectionGuru, a fintech dedicated to increasing consumer protection, helping advisers deliver the best protection advice and support networks and other large firms in meeting their consumer duty obligations. Previously, she has held roles at some of the sectors’ most successful companies including Twenty7Tec and Intelliflo.
Paula has been Head of Sales at LendInvest since February 2023. Paula joined LendInvest from Atom Bank where she worked as Head of Intermediary lending within the residential and commercial lending team.
She started as a Regional Business Development Manager back in 2015 and was instrumental in helping set up the Mortgage Lending department. Paula has previously held positions in Lloyds Banking Group, where she was a business development manager. Paula has over 21 years of management experience and has held roles in retail, utilities and financial services.
With over 20 years’ worth of experience in Financial Services, Rachel East is currently Divisional Head of Advice for Key.
Winner of the 2022 ‘Woman in later life lending’ award, she is also a proud member of the Equity Release Council and passionate about achieving great outcomes for customers.
Ranila is the Distribution Director for Insurance and Pensions division for Lloyds Banking Group with responsibility for all intermediated sales across Scottish Widows and Embark Group. She joined LBG from Aviva where, as Distribution Director of the Workplace Savings and Retirement business, she had responsibility for acquisition, retention and member engagement in the UK. Previously Ranila used to lead the customer strategy for the SME market as Director of SME Solutions at Aviva. Working horizontally pan-UK across GI, Life and Health businesses she was responsible for innovating propositions and distribution models. In this role, Ranila launched a market first digital, composite proposition for small businesses called Aviva360.
Before Aviva, Ranila was at NEST Pensions where she had responsibility for customer strategy, propositions, distribution, and digital across commercial and retail markets. She has broad experience of delivering business growth and strategies in diverse sectors such as professional services, financial services and charities. She is passionate about financial inclusion, gender and development issues.
Originally from India, Ranila now lives in London with her husband, 2 children and Bruno, the dog. She loves cooking, long walks, reading and watching sport - cricket, football and rugby.
Richard joined Paragon in 2020. In his previous role he was the Managing Director of Mortgages for Bank of Ireland and he has almost three decades of Retail Banking leadership experience across five major UK banks.
Richard joined the UK Finance Mortgage Product and Service Board in 2016 and became Chair in 2019. Richard is a member of the Buy-to-let Committee for UK Finance. Richard is a non-executive director of Progress Together, part of a Government commissioned taskforce led by the City of London Corporation to improve socio-economic diversity in financial services.
He has been awarded Freedom of the City of London for his work in this field. Richard is an associate member of the Charted Institute of Bankers and hold an honours degree in financial services.
Rob Barnard has over 30 years of knowledge and experience navigating successfully through the twists and turns of the UK mortgage market.
Rob has developed and executed sales and marketing strategies throughout his career to drive growth and maximise retention. In his role as Director of Intermediary Relationships, Rob is responsible for nurturing and developing key broker and distribution partners for the lender. Rob is passionate about mortgages but, more importantly, the people he works with within the industry.
As a result, he is the host of The Specialist Podcast - a platform created to provide established and upcoming stars in the industry an opportunity to discuss everything mortgages and beyond.
Shrena has been in the property finance sector for over 15 years, starting her career at Barclays and worked for several High Street banks in between including Santander for 9 years. Shrena then moved on to a challenger bank as a BDM for Shawbrook looking after the Top brokers in London and the South East.
Shrena Joined octane Capital in March 2020 as a Senior BDM for London and South East with the challenge to increase and grow broker engagement in the area.
Her vast experience working with Key introducers and structuring property deals has been highlighted with the completion of Octanes Largest loan in 2021.
As Director of Client Distribution, Stephanie is a tenacious advocate of technology being used to enable growth in the UK Protection market. Partnering with intermediaries to put in place processes and technology that has transformed their performance and raised the quality of client outcomes.
As a member of the Women in Protection Network Exec, Stephanie is focused on ensuring our industry remains relevant to the next generation of consumers and the underserved female market, challenging the status quo, seeking positive change and action. Stephanie has been recognised with several industry awards including, Women of the Year Technology, Women of the Year Protection, and Outstanding Contribution to the Industry.
I joined TMBL 9 years ago and enjoy advising on mortgages helping a range of clients varying from first time buyers, to investors and home-movers.
I am surrounded by a strong team, primarily women, who support and encourage me in my role and help show me what is possible in the industry.
Tiba Raja founded MFS, a specialist finance company offering bridging loans and buy-to-let mortgages to property investors, in 2006. As the company’s executive director, she focuses on strategy, marketing, and business development.
Tiba is responsible for the overall strategic direction for the firm. This includes ensuring MFS has a strong presence at industry event, provides informative content for borrowers and brokers alike, and offers a shining example for how property investors can be supported.
Tiba brings a broad spectrum of experience and expertise to MFS. She has specialised in several financial arenas, having held roles at Goldman Sachs, Aviva, and the investment arm of HSBC.
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