Our regular online features brings together the nation’s greatest minds from a wide variety of business areas. If you’d like to get involved, please contact the team for more information.
As CEO of the national airport for Wales, Deb is responsible for delivering an ambitious strategy for long term, sustainable growth for the Airport business, generating significant economic benefit for Wales. She joined Cardiff Airport in 2012 following a very successful career in the Royal Air Force. Under Deb’s leadership there have been significant improvements and changes to the Airport’s route network, infrastructure and customer experience. These include new airlines and more choice for customers, including a new Qatar Airways service to Doha which is due to begin operating in 2018.
Head of Business & Corporate Banking for Barclays across Cardiff and South Wales Valleys. With over 25 years’ experience within financial services, Karen is responsible for a team of relationship managers committed to supporting and growing the Welsh SME sector.
Ken is the Head of Economic Development at the City of Cardiff Council, he is responsible for the implementation of the Council’s economic development including the application to the UK Government for a £1billion City Deal.
Business of Welsh Politics
Dr. Meirion Morgan runs his own consultancy, chairs the think-tank Gorwel, and works closely with the third sector. He was formerly a Quantitative Analyst in the City
Technology, Start-ups & Business Growth Acceleration
Serial entrepreneur, investor, mentor and technology commercialisation expert, Mark recently established Smart Anchor Ventures, a Cardiff & London based advisory and investment firm that works with SMEs and Start-up entrepreneurs to facilitate growth acceleration and value creation.
Innovation and Enterprise
Kellie Beirne is Director of Innovation and Enterprise at Monmouthshire County Council and co-chair of the Innovation Advisory Council for Wales. Kellie is passionate about reclaiming entrepreneurship in the public space and for the last six months has been working to help position Innovation and Digital as central components of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal.
Matt Sutton is a Director at Greenaway Scott and has a decade of experience in Corporate Finance and Commercial Contracts, including experience in debt and mezzanine investments, equity investments, mergers and acquisitions relating to companies ranging from start-up through to exit.
Employed by Airbus Defence and Space, to deliver large scale systems and service solutions in both government and commercial sectors. Nick has worked in the UK, France and Germany and presented many business cases at a board level for opportunity pursuit decisions. Negotiating contracts with organisations such as European Space Agency, Defence Procurement and with the Economic Development Board of Singapore.
Serious Crime and Cyberlaw
Steve specialises in all areas of Criminal Law with an emphasis on serious violent crime and drug related offences. A specialist Criminal Lawyer with extensive experience in dealing with cases of serious fraud and white collar crime. Steve has had an increasing presence in Data Protection and Regulatory work and is regarded as one of the country’s leading lawyers in Cyber Security.
Alex Parr is the Managing Director of Wolfestone, one of the fastest growing LSP’s in the UK. She has wide ranging management experience and an impressive track record accelerating revenue at Wolfestone. Alex’s ethos is to deliver exactly what’s right for you, your project, your goals and your needs.
Accounting and Consulting
Leading the Wales G Team from Grant Thornton Cardiff office Claire is working with dynamic leaders of small businesses to support them in achieving their business growth ambitions. Claire’s role includes provision of workshops dedicated to helping SME’s improve their business planning and strategy, exploring ways to raise finance, including personal introductions to nationwide investors and delivery of added value initiatives such as engagement with collaborative partners, complimentary publications and provision of sector specific insights and analysis.
Skills & Learning
Tom Wood is CEO of My Development Zone and is a specialist in e-Learning and workplace skills development. Tom leads a team that now looks after the online learning needs of thousands of people across the world using their innovative and ground breaking online learning platform. In 2014, Tom was a winner at the Leading Wales Awards for his commitment to developing sustainable business practices for the future. The My Development Zone solution was selected as a member of the 2016 Wales Digital Dozen, highlighting the 12 Welsh digital solutions predicted to make a big impact in their industries. Tom is also the CEO of RWA, one of the largest insurance compliance consultancies in the UK.
A full time business troubleshooter and advisor to business owners and SEM decision making teams. Graham is able to bring determination, confidence and creativity to each and every challenge by drawing on his 32 years in commercial and business banking dealing with businesses operating in all sectors and in all markets.
Iestyn specialises in supporting small and medium sized businesses to write high-quality bids and tenders, and to understand the procurement strategies used within the public and private sector. To date, Iestyn has directly assisted hundreds of business across Wales in winning a combined value of over £100,000,000 in contracts, helping secure or create in excess of 727 jobs.
Corporate and Commercial Insurance Specialist
Justin has 15 years’ experience in the insurance industry. He specialises in arranging insurance and risk management solutions for companies turning over between £1m – £500m operating in the UK and overseas.
Full time manager of the Bridge Innovation Centre in Pembrokeshire, David is a senior member of the Pembrokeshire County Council Economic Development Team. David loves anything to do with Science and Technology and works alongside businesses helping to bring ideas to closer to the commercial market.
Elaine joined the Taff Housing Association in January 2000 from CT Dewi Sant, where she was Director of Housing Services for over five years. Elaine’s previous experience includes many years spent in local government in Cardiff and Nottingham, and three years in Australia.
Property Management, Development and Investment
Douglas has over 15 years experience in managing, developing and investing in residential and commercial property. He is at the forefront of legislative changes in the market advising and consulting with local authorities, government and business on their impact on supply and value. Douglas is also the Vice-Chairman of the Residential Landlords Association which represents over 28,000 private sector landlords.
Martin is from Cardiff and is Director for Wales Representing the ICAEW. He is a Chartered Accountant who has worked at Director level in the Public, Private and Voluntary Sectors. In his current role he works with members and stakeholders of ICAEW including Government.
Product Marketing Manager
Jayne Kendall is the newly appointed Product Marketing Manager for Nominet, one of the world’s largest Internet registries. Her role is to lead all marketing initiatives for .cymru and .wales, identifying opportunities for the development of these domain names for Wales.
Investment Director, Development Bank of Wales
Investment Director for Development Bank of Wales with responsibility for all direct investment as well as strategic and operational fund management activities throughout Wales.
Philip Cooper has a track record of managing the growth and profitability of regional subsidiaries of major organisations throughout the world. Phil is an avid Scarlets and welsh sports fan and a welsh speaker from Llanelli.
Mark is the editor and MD of Business News Wales, leading recruitment news website Recruitment Buzz and niche digital agency Ecom Digital. A passionate Welshman and serial entrepreneur from Pembrokeshire mark has lived and breathed the development of the digital marketplace for the last 15 years.
Founder and MD of one of Wales’ leading communications agencies, Effective Communication, Alastair has been at the heart of The Welsh Media sector for over 25 years and now represents over 45 of the country’s leading brands.
A dynamic and proactive entrepreneur with an outstanding record in business growth and turnaround. An experienced business mentor and featured on the hit Channel 4 series “Secret Millionaire.”
Jo has an international career in sales and marketing within a number of media and digital organisations. After returning to Wales in 2011 to manage the launch of the .cymru and .wales domains, she moved in January of this year to head up the engagement team at Wales’s new innovation hub, Innovation Point.
Cardiff-born, Steve has been a thought-leader in UK Creative Industries for over 25 years, with 36 industry awards and Creative Directorships at Havas and Omnicom to his name.
Liz Brookes founded Grapevine Event Management in 2011. A graduate of Cardiff University in Social Policy, Liz went on to carve a career in the events industry. Responsible for organising events throughout Europe and the UK for numerous corporations, most prominently the Society for Endocrinology and from 2006 as the events manager for the Audit Commission.
Leon Window is a business owner, who has built his company from a startup into one of the leading security firms in Wales. Through a combination of hard work, dedication, and a commitment to quality, Leon has secured numerous prestige clients and received a number of high profile awards and accolades for his efforts. An entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word, Leon has an the enviable ability to define his vision and motivate teams towards shared goals.
22 years within IT Recruitment, initially working for a large PLC in London between 1995 and 2004 and then had the privilege of being a co-owner and Director of CPS Group, driving it to become a multi award winning £10m turnover business with a team of 40 staff across three offices in Cardiff, Manchester and Swansea. Married to Jane with four lively boys who keep me busy.
Marketing, Life Sciences
Kevin Dooley is the Marketing Manager for Life Sciences Hub Wales, the nerve centre of the vibrant Welsh Life Sciences eco-system, bringing together healthcare, business, academic, funding and government organisations to provide a commercially-driven resource for the sector. Kevin leads on all strategic and operational brand, media, digital, events and marketing communications for the Hub.
Employment Law, HR and Health & Safety
From the Vale of Glamorgan, Croner Business Manager Paul Collins is the dedicated point of contact for a number of organisations in Wales. Paul has advised and supported hundreds of employers through complex areas and updates surrounding employment law and health and safety obligations. He works closely with organisations of all sizes to identify and tailor the best HR solutions in the market.
Rhianon is a specialist in mentoring, coaching and professional development with over 10 years’ experience in training and development in education and the NHS in areas including the design and delivery of bespoke executive mentoring schemes. Rhianon is now responsible for the design, coordination and delivery of academic modules along with the expansion and development of the curriculum to meet business needs.
Ethics in Business
Matt joined BITC Cymru as the Director in July 2016 from one of Wales’ most successful communications consultancies. Matt has previously represented many of Wales’ highest-profile businesses and organisations and as such has an in-depth knowledge of how companies operate and the challenges shared by business, communities and individuals in today’s Wales. At BITC Cymru Matt is responsible for the strategic direction of the Prince’s Responsible Business Network in Wales and oversees the charity’s top level stakeholder and Member engagement activities.
Economic Development and City Centre Management
Adrian has worked in Economic Development and City Centre Management for 18 years, beginning his career at the Chamber of Commerce in Worcester. An influential and respected senior Director, Adrian comes to FOR Cardiff after managing the Worcester BID for over 8 years. In recent years, he has overseen two successful ballots, delivered award winning projects in addition to undertaking regional and national roles for Place Management organisations.
Property & Housing
Simon Finneran, Managing Director of Ad Hoc Property Management, is one of the leading housing experts with a career in the property sector spanning over a decade. Simon joined Ad Hoc in 2014, and has since experienced a marked increase in empty properties and the demand for cost-effective security solutions across the UK. Outside of work, Simon enjoys spending time with the family and is a keen sport enthusiast and traveller.
Having left the Army as a very junior Captain and despite being utterly useless with computers, Naunton has spent most of his career at the cutting edge of Internet technology. As a founder member of one of the earliest Internet start-ups in 1995, he went on to manage several venture capital backed companies involved in the provision of Wi-Fi, VOiP and Cloud Computing. After 20 years on the superhighway he decided it was time to change down a few gears and move left into a slightly slower lane. He acquired Pronto Vehicle Rentals in May 2015.
In 1997, Mark was approached by Howard Ross, to co-steer newly established brokerage ‘Henry Howard Finance’ (HHF). Together, Howard and Mark shared an entrepreneurial vision for SME funding, and identified a gap in the market for a flexible and responsible asset finance house, that would understand the financial challenges faced by SME’s. In 2000, the company decided to ‘change the game’ and evolve from a brokerage, to an independent finance house with an in house lending facility. The shift in focus resulted in increased levels of own business transactions, supporting the company’s transition to funder status. Today, HHF is the largest Finance house in Wales.
My approach is different, by working with you and understanding your business I can ensure that you make the right decisions, avoid risks and maximise potential. With straight forward advice I can offer the support you need with realistic and workable solutions. Well documented agreements are essential – get it right at the outset and avoid costly and complicated disputes in the long term. Its that simple!
As Managing Director and Founder of RW Learning, Ian brings energy, creativity and drive to the business. While leading his team in providing high-end bespoke business psychology solutions, Ian has pioneered new and innovative products that have shaped the training industry.