BUFDG Finance Festival 2024

11th-13th March 2024
Online - Hopin


Speakers - Tuesday


9.30 - 10.30

PLENARY 2 - Sector Panel

Paul Gowdridge, CFO, University of Leicester

Paul is responsible for all aspects of the finance at the University, and is focused on ensuring the University is financially resilient and sustainable, while leading a Finance Division which adds value and communicates clearly with its stakeholders.Paul has been at the University since January 2017, initially as Deputy Director of Finance. In April 2019 Paul was appointed Deputy Chief Financial Officer in recognition of his role across the whole of the Finance Division.  In March 2020, just as the COVID pandemic began, Paul was appointed Director of Finance and managed the University’s finances through a particularly challenging period. Most recently, Paul joined the Executive Board in October 2022. Prior to joining the University Paul held a number of positions in the NHS, most recently a series of roles at the University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) where he ended his time in the NHS as Head of Financial Performance and Planning.

Craig Jones, CFO, Aston University

Craig Jones is the Executive Director of Finance at Aston University with responsibility for strategic financial management, helping to underpin delivery of the Aston University 2030 Strategy and support the development of the Birmingham Innovation Quarter. Craig came to Aston University from the University of Derby, where he was Chief Financial and Commercial Officer. Before his role at Derby, Craig was director of finance and corporate services at two large social housing and care organisations in the Midlands, where he developed new trading companies and secured substantial investment from UK and US debt capital markets to develop new affordable homes. Prior to that, Craig worked for 18 years in the big four global professional services firms, latterly as a corporate finance director in Deloitte’s UK Government and Infrastructure team, where he led the development and negotiation of a range of infrastructure capital programmes across government and local public services, including working extensively in the city of Birmingham. Craig recently completed a six-year term as non-executive director and chair of the Group Audit Committee at the Black Country Housing Group.

Zachary Maguire, Finance Graduate Scheme, University of Birmingham

Zak is a second-year finance trainee at the University of Birmingham. Previously, Zak studied Politics and International Relations at University of Birmingham and his entry into the finance realm was quite unexpected. Over the past year and a half, Zak has delved into various departments, acquiring hands-on experience and knowledge in Transaction Services, Procurement, and Buying. Currently, he is fully engaged in the challenges and joys of Management Accounting, his favourite placement so far. In addition to gaining practical work experience, Zak is also pursuing the CIMA Level 7 Qualification. Zak feels the University as a great workplace, not only due to its rich history but also because of the flexibility the finance department provides. This allows Zak to participate in diverse experiences, from contributing to graduate recruitment to engaging in one-off projects.

Stevie Quorn, Finance Business Partner, University of Westminster

After completing her degree in French and Drama at the University of Birmingham Stevie worked in a finance office for a construction company where she was offered the chance to complete the AAT qualification. Stevie then moved into other financial accounting roles within private sector organisations and started ACCA. Stevie joined the University of Westminster about five years ago as part of the Treasury team. She completed the ACCA qualification in 2020 and then moved into management accounting as an accounts analyst and then a Business Partner. Stevie works closely with various professional services departments, and she likes to keep up to date with developments in the HE sector.  Stevie is also a governor for her local primary school where she attend regular board meetings and school visits.

Vicky Skinner, Head of Faculty Finance (Humanities), University of Manchester

Vicky is relatively new to the University andHE having joined in June 2023; however, Vicky did complete her MSc in Accounting and Finance at the University of Manchester, so it has been enjoyable to return as a member of Finance. Following completion of her master’s degree, Vicky joined United Co-operatives as a Finance Graduate in their Retail division. While studying for her CIMA qualification Vicky had 2 brilliant years getting an overview of all areas of Retail Finance. Vicky then joined the Co-op Group as part of a merger of the two business, completing her CIMA qualification moving regularly around the Retail business covering Investment Appraisal, Somerfield Integration, Central Costs, Operations Finance and Commercial Finance. Vicky moved roles every couple of years as with a large complex business, there were always lots of opportunities to get stuck into. For her last two years at Co-op, Vicky moved supported the Funeralcare business, leading the FP&A team through a Finance Transformation project and post Covid environment.
Vicky loved being part of a complex organisation where the community and social footprint was key and the University of Manchester vision and goals really aligned to what is important for her. Vicky is really enjoying getting to know the sector and the University and the last 9 months have flown by. Personal development has always been really important to her, and she has always looked to have mentors and coaches throughout her career. Vicky loves to learn and she is naturally curious so working with and learning through others is something she really enjoys.

Modupe Sanni, Finance Graduate Scheme, University of Birmingham

Modupe completed her BSc in Accounting and Finance  at the University of Birmingham. Having heard about the Graduate Trainee scheme, she then started the Finance Graduate scheme at the University, enjoying see what she had studied being brought to life. So far Modupe has enjoyed her experiences in procurement and buying, transaction services and most recently corporate accounting. Modupe values the experiences of all the different departments and enjoys seeing how they all piece together. When she’s not focused on finance, Modupe enjoys volleyball, travelling and studying Italian.

11.00 - 12.00


Carol Rudge, Partner & Head of Education, HW Fisher
Carol leads the Higher Education and NFP group at HW Fisher and is a member of the Management Board. She has worked with 20 universities from the very large to the small and specialist over the 25 years she has been involved with the sector. Her experience also extends across charities, trade unions, membership organisations and public sector bodies.  She leads on a wide range of activities in the higher education sector including facilitating sessions for Higher Education Audit Committee Chairs three times a year, writing for the sector press and regularly speaking at sector events.  Carol is also a member of the Charity Commission’s SORP committee, an accredited coach and is a passionate believer in EDI.

Mark Reveley, Director, HW Fisher
Mark is a Director in HW Fisher Forensic, the firm’s forensic accounting department. It specialises in non-adversarial third-party audit work, acting on behalf of its clients to audit performance under an agreement. Clients can include a company auditing its supplier, or a licensor auditing its licensee. Mark joined in 2011 and advises on the licensing of Intellectual Property across the entire spectrum of sectors including licensed merchandise, pharmaceuticals, digital rights, publishing and technology. He gained a reputation for untangling complex contractual arrangements and auditing agreements underpinned by significant amounts of data. Working cooperatively with licensees and licensors, he has assisted licensors in recovering substantial under-payments over the past 10 years. Mark has a keen interest in tech transfer, supporting HEIs to think commercially about their own IP. Establishing good governance, including advice on the drafting of key clauses in licence agreements, strategic to the generation of royalties. Additionally, he is aware of the risk of errors in reporting omission and avoidance of royalties, thus improving financial outcomes for a university. Mark has a BSc in Economics and Maths from the University of Sheffield and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Simon Warner, Head of Licensing and Ventures – Life Sciences, Oxford University Innovation Limited
Simon has over twenty-five years’ experience in commercial Biotechnology in various roles, raising venture capital, securing strategic partners and philanthropic funding sources. He joined Oxford University Innovation in 2021 as Head of Licensing and Ventures, Life Sciences. Previous career highlights include the successful sale of Oxitec, a spin-out from the University of Oxford, where he was CSO, leading the development of pioneering insect control in public health and agriculture. Oxitec was purchased by synthetic biology specialist, Intrexon in 2015 for $160m, following the sale Simon led further initiatives securing funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the control of mosquitoes that transmit Malaria and with Bayer to control devastating crop insect pests. Simon worked for Syngenta for over a decade and had roles in California, North Carolina, the UK, where he innovated in crop biotechnology and was responsible for developing agricultural products sold today.  At Syngenta, he had a role in technology, strategy and innovation, monetising IP assets in return for cash or equity in start-ups for Syngenta and in-licensing IP rights to support future commercial products. Simon has a Biochemistry degree from University College London and a PhD in plant molecular biology from the University of Leicester.

WORKSHOP 4B - Grant Thornton

Harriet G. Raine, Not-for-Profit Technical Manager - NAS Financial Reporting, Grant Thornton
My career in audit began with a mix of commercial and not-for-profit (NFP) entities but, once qualified, I specialised in the NFP sector and its technical reporting requirements. 
Working closely with our NFP audit teams, I provide technical guidance on, for example, statements of recommended practice (SORP) for housing, charities and education, and FRS 102. I also bring a deep understanding of the regulatory frameworks in which the NFP sector operates, including the requirements of the Charity Commission, Office for Students, Regulator of Social Housing, and Education and Skills Funding Agency.  
As well as providing internal updates on NFP accounting changes for our audit practice and for training purposes, I help deliver external events on important themes in NFP, and contribute to articles and reports on emerging issues. 

Katy Doherty, Audit Director and Engagement Lead, Grant Thornton
I have spent over 10 years working within audit in the Not for Profit sector, which has included working with a mixture of large housing associations and education clients. 
My current and recent Higher Education experience includes Sheffield Hallam University and Durham University however I work with a wide range of businesses in a variety of sectors which allows for a dynamic combination of experience which I ensure I share with my higher education clients. I’m also a part of the leadership team for Higher Education in Yorkshire and the North East. As well as working with audit clients I have presented previously at external events for the sector and also assisted in developing and delivering training to our audit teams specifically on the higher education sector.  

Stephen Dean, Director - Audit, Grant Thornton
I have spent over 20 years working within audit in the Not for Profit sector, which has included working with a mixture of large charities and education clients, including a number of higher education institutions. My current and recent Higher Education experience includes Sheffield Hallam University, University of Hull, Buckinghamshire New University, The London Institute of Banking and Finance and the Institute of Cancer Research. I therefore understand the key challenges and opportunities facing the sector, particularly as they have developed over the last few years with the impact of Covid, the cost of living crisis and financial pressures arising from pensions and increasing cost coupled with static tuition fees. I lead our London Not for Profit team and am also part of the national Not for Profit leadership team. I am also the national Audit Quality Lead for the firm in Not for Profit and I speak regularly both at external and internal events on financial reporting and governance matters.   

WORKSHOP 4C - Sector / Various

Peninah Achieng-Kindberg, Interim Finance Manager, University of Bath
Peninah is a highly skilled Finance Strategist, Consultant and an experienced coach, with extensive expertise of leading operations, projects and change in busy, demanding settings. She possesses over 26 years of experience in finance and accounting, chiefly within the public and third sectors; used to working in fast-paced, results-oriented settings, and consulting a varied range of senior leaders on financial affairs. She is proficient in policy implementation, organisational and transformational change, diversity and inclusion. She is currently the Interim Finance Manager at Bath University with financial oversight over the implementation of the DDaT Target Operating Model alongside the operational, business as usual services.

Patrick Bolster, Deputy ED Resources, Solicitors Regulation Authority
Patrick studied History at Sheffield Uni before joining a large accountancy firm and becoming a chartered accountant. After 5 years in practice as an external auditor and working on flotations and acquisitions he moved to Melbourne and worked for a year in local government, before moving on to live in Zambia for 3 years, working as an Audit Manager. He then worked in Brisbane for three years in the rail industry, on infrastructure planning, before returning to the UK. Back in Bristol he worked as a financial controller in aircraft manufacturing then legal services, before joining the public sector again at the Environment Agency in a similar role but including risk management and counter-fraud. Patrick subsequently spent 5 years as the Environment Agency’s Director of Finance before recently joining the Solicitors Regulation Authority as Deputy Executive Director of Resources. Patrick has a passion for creating workplaces where everyone feels they belong and can flourish, and a particular desire to make good use of his experience as a white man who has been an ethnic minority with colleagues who have not, and to explore allyship and perspectives on the diversity of leadership teams in large organisations. 

Richard Claughton, Global Director of Human Resources, Heriot-Watt University
Richard joined the university in 2019 from the University of Glasgow, where he was Deputy Director of Human Resources. In this role, he led the HR Systems and Equality and Diversity teams and also undertook the role of Head of Employee Relations, implementing a number of key strategic projects. With extensive experience in both the public and private sector, including previous roles in Barclays, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, The Environment Agency, The Economist Group and the BBC, Richard has a broad range of skills on a UK and international level. Richard studied Music at the University of Oxford and outside of work, he enjoys participating in music activities as a keen amateur horn player. At Heriot-Watt he works closely with the University Music Director and plays in the University Orchestra.

Sally Crabb, Associate Director - Treasury, University of Plymouth
Sally has worked in the HE sector for nearly 20 years and is currently the Associate Director of Treasury at the University of Plymouth. Sally is FCCA and ACG qualified and undertakes the Company Secretary role for the University of Plymouth Subsidiary companies and has experience of managing large Treasury, Financial Accounting, Operations and Governance teams. Sally loves all things outdoors, running, cycling, swimming and is rowing the Atlantic in December 2024 with a crew of 4 as part of the Atlantic Campaigns – World’s Toughest Row race.

Sital Shah, Head of Finance, School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University
Sital currently works for Cranfield University as a Head of Finance. Sital is a fully qualified CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountant) and CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant), with over 20 years of experience across a variety of sectors (and 14 years in universities). Sital is passionate about making connections via networking, and continuously learning.


13.00 - 14.00


Sam Sanders, Partner, KPMG
Sam is Lead Partner for Education Consulting at KPMG (UK). He has over 20 years’ experience of working with public sectors clients both in the UK and Australia, delivering major organisational redesign, improvement and change management projects. In addition to his day-to-day operational and digital improvement work in Higher Education and Central Government, Sam also leads the firms public sector ERP implementation capability (KPMG Powered Enterprise) and represents the UK on KPMG’s Global Centre of Excellence for Education, Skills & Productivity. 

Nicola Arnold, CFO, Jisc
Nicola qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young and then spent 12 years at the BBC. Her first role within higher education was at UCL where she became deputy finance director, before moving to be director of finance at St George's, University of London in 2016. As CFO, Nicola has responsibility for the finance and procurement teams who work across all areas of Jisc.

Andy Goor, CFO, University of St. Andrews

Andy Goor is the Chief Financial Officer at the University of St Andrews where he is responsible for leading and developing both short term financial plans and a long-term financial strategy, supporting the over-arching University strategy, along with ensuring financial control and long-term financial sustainability is maintained. He sits on a number of Committees and Boards within the University, sits in as a Director on some subsidiary business as well as representing the University on the Board of some spin-out companies. He also sponsors a number of capital and change projects.In his current role, Andy is directly responsible for over 50 staff covering Financial Accounts, Operations, Accounts Payable, Cash and Treasury and Financial Advice and Support (incorporating the Management Accounts and Research Finance Office functions).

WORKSHOP 5B - Bevan Brittan

Harriet Murray Jones, Partner, Bevan Brittan
Harriet is a property lawyer by background but specialises in delivering renewable energy and decarbonisation projects. Harriet is part of Bevan Brittan’s Higher Education Group and combines property knowledge with a wider understanding of the legal and commercial requirements. Decarbonisation is an area she is passionate about and with a strong reputation in the clean energy sector, clients appreciate her ability to understand the commercial issues at hand and her commitment to getting projects to completion.

Neil Rutledge, Director, Amberside Advisors
Neil has over 25 years of experience in corporate and project finance across various professional services firms. As a trained chartered accountant, he led the financial modelling function in each of those firms, developing a variety of tools to support infrastructure transactions. He spent 6 years delivering regeneration projects with KPMG, before becoming a partner with Grant Thornton’s Government & Infrastructure Advisory team and eventually a Director of Amberside Advisors. Neil’s experience with Amberside covers advising on over 200 PFI projects, providing financial advice to contracting authorities, project sponsors and lenders. He has helped clients to enter, review, optimise, restructure, refinance and exit PFI and PPP projects across a range of sectors. Neil is also well-versed in SOPC4, Green Book VFM methodologies, and contracting and governance arrangements between public and private sectors. Neil is experienced in supporting investors and public sector agencies to deploy funding at both portfolio and asset level, for net zero and other infrastructure projects. He also acts as Deputy Chair of the Hertfordshire LEP Board.


Paul Moreels, Director - Employment Solutions, KPMG

Paul leads KPMG’s public sector employment taxes team nationally and has worked closely with BUFDG and its members for a number of years. Paul is recognised within the sector as an expert in the fields of employment status, volunteers and non-typical payments such as stipends and bursaries, collaborating with BUFDG, UKRI and HMRC to improve understanding and guidance in this area.

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


Andrea Deegan, Fraud Risk Services Director, RSM

Andrea started her career as an internal auditor and has now worked in the field of fraud prevention and investigations for over 20 years, spending time at RSM and PwC, her portfolio has included a range of public sector clients. Her role involves helping a wide range of not for profit and corporate organisations develop a proactive approach to fraud prevention through their internal anti-fraud strategies, encompassing Fraud Risk Assessments, awareness activities, directed fraud detection work and investigation services. Whilst being responsible for developing a number of tools to assist organisations in developing anti-fraud arrangements and compliance with sector-specific, regulatory and legislative requirements, she also has responsibility for leading on wide ranging reactive investigations, ensuring they are compliant with overarching regulatory requirements. Over recent years, her involvement in reviewing cyber fraud cases and working with RSM’s Technology & Cyber Risk specialists has increased. Andrea’s coverage and review of the public sector’s implementation of the counter fraud agenda has been invaluable in developing innovative ways to tackle the preventative counter fraud and bribery measures which are implemented and embedded in organisations.

Richard Curtis, Technology Assurance Director, RSM
Richard brings over 25 years of hands-on experience working within organisations to lead, manage, and deliver cyber security and technology operations. His client base is heavily regulated and any control failures subject to public scrutiny. Richard is a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), passionate about IT security and risk management and has worked for various leading IT consulting firms during his career covering a variety of roles in network infrastructure and IT management, offensive security and penetration testing, advanced firewalling and routing, cloud & virtualisation technologies and IT risk assessment focusing on cyber security. Richard is passionate about cyber security and risk management and has spent the majority of his career growing and understanding complex security systems. Whilst being responsible for delivering on cyber security engagements, Richard is also responsible for the development of RSM UK’s in house Offensive Security platform, offering advanced researched and targeted phishing campaigns, penetration testing and vulnerability assessments.


Sophie Ash, Director, Actuary and HE pensions specialist, Isio Group
Sophie leads Isio's work in the Higher Education sector and is a qualified actuary with over 35 years' experience and retains a Scheme Actuary accreditation. Her clients include pre-92 universities, with their own schemes, and post-92 universities using the statutory schemes, and USS across the sector. Pension strategy and benefit design has been a key area of advice. Many of Sophie’s clients operate a ‘pensions committee’ to oversee the pensions strategy for the organisation through the lenses of finance, people and governance. In recent times, employee communications, including USS, has had additional focus since the 2020 USS valuation and part of this included the provision of explanatory videos on the covenant support mechanisms. In addition to the HE sector, Sophie’s clients include housing associations, charities and private sector organisations with public sector involvement. Outside of day-to-day work, Sophie is a regular bell-ringer and park-runner - not at the same time.

WORKSHOP 6C - Cazenove / BUFDG

Kate Rogers, Global Head of Sustainability, Schroders Wealth 
Kate graduated from University of Durham with a degree in Natural Sciences and is a CFA Charter Holder. She has 23 years’ investment experience and is Global Head of Endowments and Foundations.  Kate also leads our sustainability capability, building investment portfolios that offer strong financial returns and positive impact. She was a 2018 Women in Investment award winner for her work with the Treasury, Charity Commission and FCA to establish the Charity Authorised Investment Fund and is Co-author of ‘For Good And Not For Keeps’, ‘Intentional Investing’ and ‘Time and Money’, published by the Association of Charitable Foundations and ‘How to write your investment policy statement’ published by Charity Finance Group.

Emily Peterson, Portfolio Director, Sustainability Lead, Cazenove Capital 
Emily graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in Economics and Philosophy and is a Portfolio Director, responsible for advising and implementing sustainable and impact investment strategies for Universities, Endowments and Family Offices. She is part of Cazenove Capital’s sustainability leadership team, a member of the Impact Investment Committee and was a 2022 Women in Investment Awards Finalist. Emily has worked with a number of HEIs on climate related investment policies and is the co-author of Climate Confident: charity investments and net zero, as well as the University net zero investment report in collaboration with BUFDG. 




This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of the site and services and assist with our member communication efforts. Privacy Policy. Accept cookies Cookie Settings