George Connell - VP Strategy, Finance Operations - Royal Dutch Shell
From his base in Glasgow, George has been closely involved in establishing a global network of centres, accommodating one of the largest and most progressive branded captive Finance Operations organisations in the world. Shell is seen by many in the shared service centre (SSC) community as the role model for a successful shared service operation. But, as one might expect, the journey to “maturity” has taken time and, according to George Connell, Shell’s journey is not over yet. A regular speaker on shared services on the international circuit, George's energetic presentations are inspiring.
Chris Paton - Managing Director, Quirk Solutions Ltd
A former Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines, with a wealth of operational experience, Chris’ military career included advising on Afghan Strategy and plans to the Cabinet Office and National Security Council, and he was responsible for the design of the drawdown of the UK presence in Afghanistan. He saw active service in a wide range of places including Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Georgia and Afghanistan.
In 2010, Chris co-authored a HBR article on planning in fluid situations. This then led to him leaving the military to create Quirk Solutions Ltd. Chris has worked with BUPA, Heineken, Standard Life Investments, Shell and a wide range of SME businesses. He uses his leadership, strategy and planning experience to give organisations increased coherency, direction and efficiency. Chris is also one of the UK’s premier exponents of Business Wargaming; stress testing plans to identify risks and opportunities.
Andrew Burgess - Leading thinker on robotics and artificial intelligence
Andrew has worked as an advisor to C-level executives in Technology and Sourcing for the past 20 years. He is a strategic advisor to a number of ambitious companies, particularly in the fields of Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence. He is also considered a leading expert in the Legal Transformation market and has written a book, ‘The Rise of Legal Services Outsourcing’ (Bloomsbury) in collaboration with the London School of Economics. He is considered a thought-leader and practitioner in Artificial Intelligence and is regularly invited to speak at conferences on the subject. He is a prolific writer on the ‘future of work’ both in his popular weekly newsletter and in industry magazines and blogs. He also writes a weekly publication "Space Cadet Glow" on the topics of science, psychology and culture.
Mélani Flores - P2P Advisory EMEA, The Hackett Group
Melani is a diversified professional with more than 20 years of experience in business consulting and benchmarking. She has worked in several industries supporting companies across Europe and the Americas in their Procurement transformation efforts, with main focus on Procurement strategy development, Operating Model and Organisational Design, Process Optimisation and Operational Strategies Design and Implementation. Melani leads Hackett Source to Settle Advisory Programmes in EMEA, and works together with executives giving advice on proven and emerging organisational and process best practices, and supports Hackett Benchmarking services.
Andrew Parris - Director of Shared Services, Tarmac
Andrew was appointed to the role of Shared Services Director for Lafarge Tarmac (now Tarmac, a CRH Company) in 2014. The 12 years prior to joining Tarmac were spent with National Grid in various Senior Finance roles, principally in business partnering capacities. His last role before leaving National Grid was Financial Controller for the Transmission Capital Investment programme, helping to deliver c£1.5bn of capital expenditure projects each year. Andrew originally trained as a chartered accountant with BDO in South Africa and spent three post-qualifying years with PwC in the UK.
Lucy Brownsdon - Facilitator, specialising in change management
Lucy's background is in organisation development within PLCs before moving to a freelance facilitator and project manager. Lucy is renowned as business focused facilitator, intent on delivering results. She works with clients collaboratively before an event to make sure that it is purposeful and focused. She brings a creative spark combined with a tenacity to tackle challenging issues.