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.
Non-Executive Chairman at Joules. Prior to this Ian was the CEO at DFS, Chairman at Sofology, 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.
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.
Jillian MacLean MBE
Founder & MD, Drake & Morgan
Jillian 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.
Kate 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. Kate is also Chair of Mayor of London’s Night Time Commission, and 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.
Non-Executive Director, The Original Factory Shop
Matt is a non-executive director at The Original Factory Shop and the previous CEO of Topps Tiles PLC. Coming from a family of retailers, Matt learnt his retailing skills working at the coalface. This experience has led to a strong belief that organisations that engage their people in what they are trying to achieve and why it is worthwhile, will win. Joining Topps Tiles as Property Director in 1999, Matt was promoted to COO in 2004 and then CEO in 2007, Matt built and led the team that firmly established Topps as the number one tile specialist in the UK.
Helen Dickinson OBE
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; supporting more flexibility in jobs, particularly at senior levels; and supporting the Everywoman Retail Ambassadors Programme. She was previously the Chair of Working Chance, a charity helping women offenders find employment, and UK Head of Retail at KPMG.
Angela has had a long career in consumer facing businesses. Her last executive role was as Chief Executive of N Brown plc, which she left in October 2018. Prior to this she was CEO of The Original Factory Shop Limited and previously held senior executive positions at Debenhams PLC, ASDA Group Limited, The Mars Corporation, Coca Cola and Cadbury Schweppes. She now has a portfolio of Non Executive Directorships – ScS Group plc, Portmerrion Group, The Hiring Hub Holdings Limited and New Look Retail Holdings Limited.
Founder, Transforming Lives
Catriona 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, having also worked for the likes of Midland Bank, Mars Confectionery, Kraft Foods (now Mondelez), Asda and Pets at Home as Commercial Director.
Managing Director, Pets at Home
David is Chief Operating Officer of Pets at Home, the UK’s largest pet care business. Prior to joining Pets at Home, David has amassed a wealth of experience in senior roles, with blue-chip retailers such as Dixons Stores Group, Homebase and latterly Argos. At Argos, David was Chief Operating Officer and was part of the team that led Argos’ successful digital transformation.
Partner – Retail Sector, KPMG
Don has over 25 years of experience of advising clients in the retail sector, initially as an audit partner and National Head of Sector at BDO. His clients are, predominantly, private (family) or private equity owned and focused on managed growth to maximise shareholder value. Don joined KPMG in late 2014 and continues his focus on the retail sector with a view to building on the existing strength of the firm’s retail franchise and leveraging existing experience and services that are currently employed effectively with other sectors.
Group CFO, Very Group
Ben Fletcher joined The Very Group as chief financial officer in January 2020 and leads the 150-strong finance team. He was previously UK and European president at Clarks Shoes and Managing Director of Boots Opticians. Prior to joining Clarks, Ben was at Walgreens Boots Alliance for six years. Between 1999 and 2011, Ben held several senior finance positions at Procter & Gamble worldwide before joining Boots and progressing to the role of finance director. Ben is a trustee of the National Literacy Trust, a non-executive director of the British Retail Consortium, and chairs the St John’s Foundation in Bath.
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 Chair of the Coventry, the UK’s second largest Building Society. He has been President of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), a Board Director of Investors In People (UK) and Chair of Monitise and truRating. 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
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.
Vice President, Oracle
Mark is the Vice President for EMEA at Oracle Food and Beverage. He has been with Oracle for 12 years and is member of the Global Leadership Team. As the Sales VP for EMEA, his job primarily entails running direct & indirect business across this region. Prior to Oracle Mark has carried out various roles across the industry and been involved in a number of M&A activities. Mark persistently challenges the status quo to ensure both the business and customers stay current.
UK & I CIO, Compass Group
Jon, CIO for Compass Group, the world’s largest catering company (FTSE20) is responsible for digital, data and technology change and operations across 5,000 operating units within the UK&I. Formally, he was at McDonald’s where he held the roles of Senior Director, Global Technology Delivery, responsible for implementing digital solutions in over 6,500 restaurants in McDonald’s International Lead Markets, and UK&I CIO responsible for the technology in over 1,400 restaurants. Prior to this, Jon spent four years as CIO at Gala Retail and Interactive and has over 20 years senior management experience in legal, media, financial services, government and consulting sectors.
Director of Payment, Natwest Group
Marion King has extensive experience across the financial services industry. She joined RBS in January 2015 from MasterCard where she was the President of the UK & Ireland markets. There she was responsible for growing the business and creating a world beyond cash through an innovative approach to everyday Payments, including emerging technologies such as contactless and mobile. Marion worked closely with both the European Council and the European Payments Council throughout her time at MasterCard. Prior to joining MasterCard, Marion was the CEO of VocaLink and held international and global leadership roles in Reuters.
Non-Executive Director at Accourt, Caxton FX, Valitor
A veteran of the payments Industry with over 40 years’ experience Roger is now active as a serial NED and Advisor to a variety of businesses across the Payments Value Chain. Roger spent over 30 years at Barclays Bank initially in the IT department and subsequently in Barclaycard where he drove a significant amount of innovation including the introduction of pos terminals in the UK in the mid 1980s. Since leaving Barclaycard he was CEO of Switch Card Services (the UK’s original Debit Card) and President/CEO of Elavon Merchant Services in Europe.
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.
Managing Director for Payments and Innovation, UK Finance
Jana is an experienced executive with a particular focus on competition and regulatory policy, having worked across a number of public and private sectors in several markets. She influences payments regulation across the UK and Europe, leading discussions on strategic industry and regulatory policy initiatives and, has commercial credentials delivering and implementing these policies in practice. Jana is skilled at relationship building, holding several board positions and working with a number of charities.
Operations Director, Pollinate International
A leader in the payments industry, Ian is currently Operations Director at Pollinate, a software business focused on payments and financial services. He joined from Optomany where he was Group CCO. Prior to Optomany, Ian was CEO of leading mPoS solution provider MiuraSystems and 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. He is an expert in innovation within payments, including the latest developments in omnichannel solutions, contactless and emerging payments.
General Manager Enterprise for EMEA, Worldpay from FIS
In his role as General Manager Enterprise for EMEA, Pete is responsible for leading Worldpay from FIS’ work with some of the world’s largest and best known brands, enabling them to take reliable and secure payments in store and online, whilst also helping them grow by entering new markets and innovate to serve their customers in new ways. Pete joined Worldpay in 2011 and has deep knowledge of the global payments landscape, with over 20 years of commercial experience within the finance and payments industry, having also held senior roles at Lloyds Cardnet and Barclaycard. He is committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse team, and is a valued coach and mentor in the industry, sitting on a number of Boards within the FIS group of companies.