BUFDG Finance Festival 2024

11th-13th March 2024
Online - Hopin


Speakers - Monday


9.30 - 10.30

PLENARY 1 - University of Manchester

Andy Westwood, Professor of Government Practice and Vice Dean for Social Responsibility
Andy is an expert in further and higher education, science policy and local/regional economic development and has worked regularly as an adviser for the OECD, IMF and the EU and the House of Lords select committee on Economic Affairs and Digital Skills. He is a governor at NIESR and Vice Dean for Social Responsibility in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester. Andy has also worked in the UK government as a political and special adviser and civil servant in a variety of departments.

11.00 - 12.00

WORKSHOP 1A - Canada Life

Steve Matthews, Fund Manager - Liquidity, Canada Life
Steve joined Canada Life Asset Management in 1996 and took on responsibility for the cash funds in 2002. In 2010, his role expanded to encompass managing on balance sheet assets. He is lead manager for Canada Life Asset Management’s WS Canlife Sterling Liquidity Fund and WS Canlife Sterling Short Term Bond Fund, and co-manager of the WS Canlife Short Duration Corporate Bond Fund. Steve is a fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments.

David Arnauld, Fund Manager - Fixed Income, Canada Life
David cumulates over 18 years’ experience in investment management. He joined Canada Life Asset Management in 2006 as a credit analyst and was promoted to fund manager in 2009. He has direct management responsibility of fixed income assets for Canada Life’s insurance business and global bond mandates, overseeing £5bn corporate bond and government bond portfolios. David holds a MSc in Economics & Management and a Postgraduate diploma in Financial Engineering & Corporate Finance, both from Paris Dauphine University.  He is a CFA Charterholder.


WORKSHOP 1B - Cabinet Office

Sam Russell, Senior Policy Lead, Commercial Policy Team, Cabinet Office
Sam is a Senior Policy Lead in the Commercial Policy Team at the Cabinet Office, working on the Procurement Bill. He joined the Government Commercial Function in 2021 and has been working on areas to support SMEs, conflicts of interest and implementing international trade agreements on procurement.


WORKSHOP 1C - Buzzacott

Katharine Patel, Partner, Head of Charity & Not-for-Profit, Buzzacott
Katharine joined Buzzacott in 1996 and is a Partner and head of our Charity & Not-for-Profit team. She has particular responsibility for the provision of audit, financial accounting and regulatory compliance services to a portfolio of clients which includes many charitable and educational institutions (including Further and Higher Education Colleges, Academies and independent schools). Katharine has completed a postgraduate diploma in Charity Accounting and Financial Management at London South Bank University which has provided her with a broad insight into the activities and operations of a wide range of charities. She now lectures on a number of the university’s courses in respect of charity accounting and financial issues. She is also a Trustee and the Treasurer of a large drugs services charity based in South London. Since joining Buzzacott, Katharine has worked with not-for-profit sector organisations giving her extensive knowledge of the sector and its accounting regulations.

Shachi Blakemore, Partner, Buzzacott
Shachi joined Buzzacott in 2005 and is a Partner in the Charity & Not-for-profit team. Shachi works with a wide range of charities including educational organisations (further education colleges, higher education institutes and academies), health and welfare charities, membership bodies, hospital charities and grant making trusts. She specialises in statutory audit and assurance assignments but also provides clients with advice on risk management, governance, board assurance frameworks, financial and management reporting, and forecasting. Shachi has a particular interest in training and presents regularly at Buzzacott’s trustee training workshops and other seminars. She runs bespoke training sessions for trustees and audit committee members. Shachi is also a Trustee and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee at an Academy Trust in North London and a member of Finance and Risk Committee of a London hospital charity. Outside of work, Shachi is an avid traveller and loves to learn new things.

Catherine Biscoe, Partner, Buzzacott
Catherine joined Buzzacott in 2002 and is a partner in the Charity & Not-for-Profit team. She provides audit and advisory services to a wide range of charities and educational institutions. As well as statutory audit and assurance engagements, Catherine provides advisory services such as assistance with reporting systems, business plans and financial projections, funder specific audits and governance reviews including risk management and board assurance frameworks. Together with Buzzacott colleagues in the VAT Consultancy, Tax, Financial Planning and HR Consulting teams, Catherine ensures the smooth delivery of a wide range of complementary services to her clients. Catherine regularly presents at our client seminars and contributes to external conferences and events. She provides bespoke training for management teams and trustee boards on charity finance and governance topics. Catherine has been involved with charities as a volunteer in the Tower Hamlets Reading Partner scheme, as a board member of further and higher education colleges, and is now an external member of the Finance Committee of the Royal Foundation. Outside work, she enjoys visiting new places and skiing.

13.00 - 14.00

WORKSHOP 2A - Blackrock

Sam McClellan, CFA, Vice President, Blackrock

Sam McClellan, CFA, Vice President, is a product strategist for the Fundamental Equities (FE) Sector and Megatrends Team, leading efforts for FE’s technology strategies. He is responsible for providing a link between investment teams and client groups and for providing insight into the FE product platform. Previously, Sam was a member of the Aladdin Client Engagement Group (ACE), where he managed institutional client relationships for BlackRock Solutions. Before his time in BlackRock Solutions, Sam spent six years in iShares, where he was a member of the Multi-Asset Portfolio and Investment Consulting (MAPIC) team, providing custom ETF portfolio solutions for strategic institutional clients. Sam's service with BlackRock dates to 2012 when he joined as a summer intern. He graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a BA in Economics/International Area Studies.

Devan Nathwani, Portfolio & Macro Research, Blackrock Investment Institute
Devan Nathwani FIA, Vice President, is a member of the Portfolio Research team in the BlackRock Investment Institute. The team is responsible for developing the core principles and intellectual property that underpin BlackRock's approach to portfolio design, such as capital market assumptions and optimization tools. Devan holds a masters degree in Actuarial Finance from Imperial College Business School, a bachelors degree in Mathematics and Statistical Science from University College London (UCL) and is a qualified actuary.



Glenn Ruane, Head of Fees, Income and Credit Control, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Glenn is a chartered manager and holds a Bachelor of History and a Master’s in Religion and Political Conflict. He has 20 years of experience in the Higher Education Sector. Glenn leads a team of 17, who seek to provide a ‘best in class’ customer experience by managing financial services for students and customers, combined with collecting income to maintain a healthy financial position for the School.

Neill MacKinnon, Client Services Director, STA International
Neill joined STA in June 2002 AS Business Development Manager to grow our business within the HE sector. In 2008 he initiated our “University Discussion Forums”, providing a platform for clients to come together in regional groups to discuss issues and challenges facing the various income teams. Neill continues to facilitate these meetings, which meet twice per annum across six locations, helping to give him an invaluable understanding of the changing needs of income collection within the sector. Neill has overall responsibility for the HE sector where we work with over 100 university clients. His role is to review and improve our performance through the introduction of new initiatives. Neill is a director and shareholder of the business.

Graham Smith, Director (UK), IODMConnect
Graham is the UK director for IODM, an Australian based company who specialise in automating the accounts receivable process. Having worked previously in the payments sector, he moved to IODM in 2021 to launch their business in the UK and North America. Since then, the focus has been on developing the IODM proposition to fit specifically into the higher education sector, helping institutions revolutionise the way they communicate with students about payments. Through automation and some of the tools developed in the last two years, IODM have helped create a seamless end to end payment journey for students, giving them clarity about when and how payments can be made.



Andrea Marshall, Tax Specialist, BUFDG
Andrea’s tax career spans over 30 years, beginning in 1988 when she joined HM Customs & Excise as a VAT Control Officer.  She then spent over 20 years in practice specialising in VAT, initially working with corporate clients, and from 2004 advising the housing association sector.  Andrea joined the University of Worcester in 2013 as its in-house Tax Officer before moving to BUFDG as its Tax Specialist in March 2020 - just a week before lockdown.  Her role now involves updating the HE sector on current,  relevant tax issues, of which there have been many since she joined BUFDG!

Julia Ascott, Employment Taxes Specialist, BUFDG
Julia joined BUFDG in October 2019 as Employment Tax, Payroll and Global Mobility specialist, after working at Deloitte, Grant Thornton and, more recently, in her own business where she was first introduced to the HE sector.  Her experience within the world of employment taxes spans almost 20 years, and she will happily chat about employment status issues for hours.  Her role at BUFDG is to inform and assist the HE sector on current, topical tax issues as well as highlight broader issues to HMRC on behalf of the HE sector.

14.30 - 15.30

WORKSHOP 3A - Greenbank

Kai Johns, Senior Ethical Sustainable and Impact Researcher, Greenbank
Kai conducts analysis of investments against a range of environmental, social and governance criteria for both new ideas and companies in Greenbank’s investment universe. He uses a range of data sources and integrates them into the Greenbank research process. Kai’s focus is on climate impact and risk assessment across the investment portfolios Greenbank manages and his areas of interest include climate solutions, net zero and smart cities. Kai joined the Greenbank ethical, sustainable and impact research team in March 2019 after graduating from the University of Cambridge with a BA in Law.

Victoria Hoskins, Head of Charities, Greenbank
Victoria is an investment director at Greenbank with over 20 years' experience in providing and managing investment solutions to Charity and Pension Fund trustees, as well as to individuals including those with bespoke or complex investment requirements. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CISI and an experienced Trustee. Victoria is a former Executive Trustee of the Edward Gostling Foundation, former trustee of the Lankelly Chase Foundation (an early adopter of the UN PRI) latterly chairing the Investment Committee, and former advisor to the Stroke Association Investment Committee. Victoria joined Greenbank in 2015 from Barclays where she was senior director for the London Charity Team. From 2007- 2010 she was Regional Investment Director for London and the South East responsible for the Gerrard Investment Management business. Victoria began her city career with Capel Cure Myers in 1998, following a successful career in Opera and Musical Theatre.

Mary White
Mary is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Royal Holloway University of London, a role she has held since April 2020.  As Chief Financial Officer, Mary is responsible for the ensuring the financial sustainability of the University, production of the financial statements, setting the annual budgets, and financial compliance. Prior to joining Royal Holloway, Mary previously worked at the University of Southampton for 22 years in various roles across the University including Director of Finance – Operations and Finance Director of the University of Southampton Science Park. Mary is chair of the Financial Reporting Group, a member of the BUFDG financial ESG disclosures group (SACRED), and sits on the BUFDG Executive.

Rachel Burgess
Rachel is a chartered accountant with over 20 years’ experience working in audit, financial management and risk and control. Rachel joined Royal Holloway in 2018 and oversees a number of the University’s finance functions, including treasury and investments. She has been instrumental in progressing the University along its journey towards sustainable and responsible investing, and has been working closely with Greenbank since 2019. Prior to Royal Holloway Rachel worked at Oxfam in various audit and financial management roles before moving into FD roles within further education.


Peter Lyons, Partner (Education), QMPF
Peter provides specialist corporate finance and strategic advice with a focus on the Higher Education sector. He has worked alongside a range of clients on several types of debt raising transactions including various forms of ESG-linked facilities such as the sector’s first sustainability-linked private placement for King’s College London. He has also raised various ESG linked debt facilities for the likes of the University of Essex and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Graeme Tough, Director, QMPF
Graeme is an experienced financial and commercial adviser specialising in complex project finance transactions. Graeme also has extensive financial modelling credentials having developed models to support a wide range of projects, including multi-billion pound contracts.  The models Graeme develops are focussed on supporting underlying financing while also provide clients with clear, robust and dynamic financial projections that add value.

Douglas Kyle, Associate Director, QMPF
Associate Director - Douglas joined QMPF in 2019 in our advisory team providing financial advice and support across a range of projects in renewables, education and infrastructure. He has also been involved in a number of remits assisting universities in assessing available options to support their campus development plans. He has direct recent experience in adapting, improving and operating University forecasting models.



Fiona Raistrick, Head of Economic Crime Advisory, BDO
Fiona is a Financial Services Advisory Partner at BDO. She has been advising financial services institutions for over 20 years, supporting firms across the sector on regulatory, governance, risk management and financial matters. She is an expert in the use of s166 Skilled Person reports by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority, having been responsible for the establishment of the skilled person panel and over 150 skilled person reports during three years at the FCA. Her areas of specialism include financial crime, prudential risk, including capital, liquidity and regulatory report, and Client Assets advisory services. She has also supporting firms in much broader areas such as conduct risk, suitability of advice, risk management frameworks and governance matter.

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