Meet our advisory groups
Alongside our ambassador and trustees, Pennies is supported by our two advisory groups, who volunteer their time and expertise for free
Retail and Hospitality
The Retail and Hospitality Advisory Group – made up of industry leaders from across high-street retail, e-commerce, restaurants, pubs and hospitality – plays an important role in helping Pennies reach more businesses, consumers, and ultimately raise more vital funds for charity.
Ian Filby (Chair)
Non-Executive Chairman at Joules and Chairman at Sofology. Prior to this Ian was the CEO at DFS and previously enjoyed a number of Buying and Marketing roles at Boots, culminating in his appointment to the Boots Executive 10 years ago, as Trading Director. In 2014 Ian became Chairman of the BRC Policy Board and Shoe Zone PLC.
Kate Nicholls is CEO of UKHospitality, the powerful voice representing the broad hospitality sector, having previously worked as CEO and Strategic Affairs Director of the ALMR. In July 2019, Kate was appointed Chair of the Tourism Alliance, the membership organisation for the tourism industry comprising of leading trade associations/trade bodies within the sector. Kate is also Chair of Mayor of London’s Night Time Commission, and is also a member of the Events Industry Board, London Food Board, Tourism Industry Council, Cultural Cities Enquiry, London & Partners Members Group and the Advisory Board for the Institute for Industrial Strategy.
Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium
Helen leads the team and sets the strategic direction of the BRC. She joined in January 2013 and has been working with retailers for over 25 years. In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for Services to Retail. Helen is passionate about diversity and inclusion in retail, acting as the BRC’s Social Mobility Commission ambassador; participating in the Timewise Innovation Unit, looking to support more flexibility in jobs, particularly at senior levels; supporting the Everywoman Retail Ambassadors Programme; and having previously been the Chair of Working Chance, a charity helping women offenders find employment. Helen was previously UK Head of Retail at KPMG, driving and developing the retail practice and leading relationships and audits for many clients.
Managing Director, Pets at Home
Partner – Retail Sector, KPMG
CFO, Shop Direct
Partner, The MBS Group
Elliott is Managing Partner at The MBS Group, an executive search firm focusing on consumer facing industries. He specialises in NED, CEO, MD and senior functional roles across private and public companies globally. He started his career with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), before becoming CEO of a luxury cosmetics brand and CEO of a respected fashion label. He holds a first-class degree with honours in Geography from Brasenose College, Oxford, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Elliott also currently serves as a trustee for a number of charities.
Founder & MD, Drake & Morgan
Jillian MacLean MBE is the Founder and CEO of the pioneering bar and restaurant group, Drake & Morgan. Established in February 2008, Drake & Morgan consists of 23 large-scale bars and restaurants in London, Edinburgh and Manchester. Despite opening at the height of a recession, Jillian’s hard-working ethos combined with her focus on delivering excellent customer service has seen Drake & Morgan emerge as one of London’s leading bar and restaurant groups, with sales now in excess of £50 million.
Founder, Transforming Lives
Catriona Marshall has enjoyed a career in Retail and is now the owner of an independent retailer, Running Bear. She’s an ardent supporter of charities and the founder of her own charity, Transforming Lives. She also invests her time in supporting fledging businesses in different consumer markets. Catriona was formerly Chief Executive of Hobbycraft, the UK’s leading retailer for arts and crafts, where she led the transformation from a business in its infancy to a customer-led and dynamic, multi-channel organisation over a six year period. She started her career in personal finance at Midland Bank before moving to Mars Confectionery and then Kraft Foods (now Mondelez). From this foundation she moved into Retail, joining Asda in the mid-nineties in the midst of their turnaround. With Asda, her career fast-tracked through a number of functions over seven years leading to an operating board position responsible for private label for UK and Germany. From Asda, she moved to Pets at Home as Commercial director, supporting the rapid growth of the business over 8 years and two private equity sale processes to Bridgepoint and then KKR.
Non-executive Director, The Original Factory Shop
Our Payments Advisory Group is made up of members of the payments, technology and financial services communities, helping Pennies respond to trends and changes in consumer payments and unlock more technology for good.
Peter Ayliffe (Chair)
Deputy Chairman, Coventry Building Society
Peter is currently Deputy Chairman of the Coventry, the UK’s second largest Building Society and Chairman of truRating, a company which provides multi-channel customer insights in real time. He has been President of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), a Board Director of Investors in People (UK) and Chairman of Monitise. His Executive career was spent almost entirely in Retail Banking and Payments. Peter was President & CEO of Visa Europe and prior to that was a Group Board Director of Lloyds TSB with responsibility for the Retail Bank.
Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Worldpay
Jana is the Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy at FIS, where she is responsible for delivering a global strategic policy programme, focused on the payments, fintech and digital agenda. She serves on a number of advisory and industry boards and manage FIS’s key regulatory and policy stakeholders across the globe. She built up experience in competition and regulatory policy by working across the public and private sectors around the world. Over the last few years, Jana focused on shaping the development of payments regulation in UK and Europe. She worked with HMT and the FCA in establishing the PSR and continue to contribute to the Bank of England Real-Time Gross Settlement programme to allow UK Fintechs to directly participate in UK payments systems and shape payments for the future.
UK & I CIO, Compass Group
CEO, Personal & Business Banking, RBS
Vice President, Oracle
Non-Executive Director at Accourt, Caxton FX, Valitor
UK Managing Director, Vocalink
From cash and cards to alternative payment solutions, Gregor has always been driven by innovation and the desire to discover the next big thing. Gregor has a career spanning more than 17 years in payments, beginning his career at NCR, before joining De La Rue in 2005. In 2014 Gregor joined Vocalink’s Card Transaction Services business, and in 2017 he was appointed to the role of UK Managing Director, where under Gregor’s leadership, the UK business has delivered on its commitments to customers and expanded beyond its core product and services. Gregor now leads Vocalink as CEO.
Managing Director Northern Europe, Ingenico
Ian Benn is a senior vice-president at Ingenico where he is responsible for Banks & Acquirers, Western Europe Region. Formerly COO of FIS in Europe, Middle East and Africa and previously CMO at Misys, Ian has spent his career in the join between financial services and technology. He is the author or “Strategic Outsourcing: exploiting the Skills of Third Parties” and, most recently, “Write to Win”. In addition to being an advisor to the Pennies Foundation, he’s also an advisor for tech start-up, Obsidian Solutions.
Head of Relationship Management, Pollinate International
A leader in the payments industry, Ian is currently Operations Director at Pollinate, a software business, focused on payments and financial services, created to help the world’s largest and most complex banks compete with digital challengers. He joined from Optomany where he was Group CCO. Prior to Optomany, Ian was CEO of leading mPoS solution provider MiuraSystems. He has also served as Chief Product Officer at Worldpay UK, where he was responsible for setting the strategy for propositions and marketing for all payment services, for SMEs through to large corporate customers. He is an expert in innovation within payments, including the latest developments in omnichannel solutions, contactless and emerging payments.