Women in Business conference 2017

London England

Mar 10, 2017

The Women in Business Conference is an annual flagship event at London Business School. The conference showcases inspiring leaders and their diverse success stories, and is a unique opportunity to learn from, connect with and inspire one another. 

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Andrea Sommer

Co-Founder & CEO, Hiver

Bio: Andrea Sommer is the co-founder and CEO of Hiver, an early stage start-up that uses data and geo-location technology to fundamentally transform the networking experience during events. She is an experienced strategist with background in disruptive technology and innovation, corporate development, digital, data science, and marketing. Andrea also consults for Avanade, a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft, where she spearheads growth and strategic initiatives for their European operations. Andrea is a Brazil-born German who spent 10 years in the US and now lives and works in London. She has a BA from Reed College in Portland, OR and holds an executive MBA from London Business School.

Bea Vo

Bea’s of Bloomsbury and Stax Carnaby, Pastry Chef and Founder

Bio: Bea Vo is the former director and founder of Bea's of Bloomsbury and founder and current managing director of Soul Food Enterprises Ltd. Born in the Washington D.C. area, Bea graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Biomedical Ethics. Later she was apprenticed to a French patisserie, trained at Le Cordon Bleu and did stints at Asia de Cuba and Nobu before opening Bea's of Bloomsbury in 2008, with branches in Bloomsbury, One New Change in the City, and Farringdon. Bea left Bea's and moved onto restaurants and founded Stax Diner in June 2014, a classic American burger and fried chicken joint, with its second location Boondocks September 2016. Famous Flames has opened in February 2017 and Butterscotch Bakery will open online March 2017 with its first location opening in White City.

Carole Machin

Personal Impact and Media Training Specialist, UK Body Talk

Bio: Carole worked in Television for over 15 years, as a Live Presenter on prime time shows such as GMTV and The National Lottery. She also worked as an Assistant Director and hosted celebrity interviews on the red carpet at international film premieres. As a live event host, her experience includes presenting at London Fashion Weekend, brand launches for EA Games, Always and being the Brand Ambassador for Vichy Skincare. This experience allowed Carole to devise practical strategies for communicating effectively under pressure and connecting with a range of different audiences. Carole has been coaching clients since 2007, specialising in communication, media training and peak performance. As a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Carole focuses on the psychology that allows you to attain your goals, increase your confidence and develop strategies for consistently high results. Carole coaches companies and individuals in all aspects of presenting – from speaking to camera for in-house material, to a live client pitch or for conference presentations.

Clare Twelvetrees

Interim CEO, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

Bio: Clare Twelvetrees is the CEO of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. She has over ten years’ experience in international development in a variety of strategy, planning and programme management roles across the charity and public sectors. She previously led on strategic planning at the Fairtrade Foundation. Clare holds an MSc in Information Systems from Brighton and a BA Hons in International Relations and French from Sussex University.

Crystal Eisinger

Analytical Consultant for DoubleClick, DoubleClick by Google

Bio: Crystal is the UK Strategy Lead for DoubleClick by Google. DoubleClick connects brands to the right people, in the right moments, to make their digital advertising work more effectively. Her role relies on story-telling, analytics and operational excellence to convey the transformative power of technology for Marketers and Agencies. Previously she was a Strategy Consultant at Monitor Deloitte working mainly with Consumer Business & Retail clients wanting to pivot toward data driven decision making. Crystal has a first class degree from Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge in Social & Political Sciences. Crystal then went on to complete an MPhil writing her dissertation on the Origins of Neoliberalism. Over her career Crystal has devised and delivered Employability Workshops to college students from challenged backgrounds covering CV writing, interview skills and presentation skills. Crystal is passionate about mentoring young women and helping them to succeed in the workplace.

Hela Dammak

Senior Advisor, Single Family Office

Bio: Hela Dammak is a recognised leader in the Single Family Office space. She has been working with Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) families for the last 23 years. Hela is currently a Senior Advisor to a number of UHNW families, providing holistic and independent advice with respect to all investment matters including current and future investment activities of their Single Family Office, including their Impact Investing strategy. She was until recently Managing Director of the BlackRock Family Office Partners business in EMEA, with senior responsibility of relationships with Ultra High Net Worth families in the UK, Scandinavia & Switzerland. She joined BlackRock Family Office business in 2014, having previously run her own UHNW Advisory & Investment Firm for 3 years. Prior to founding her firm, Hela held senior leadership positions at Citigroup (14 years) and SocGen (3 years), working with UHNW individuals and Single Family Offices across EMEA, sourcing and executing investment ideas across asset classes for her client base. Hela is passionate about working with families and one of a few people who have been able to build a reputation as a trusted advisor at the highest levels with a significant number of global UHNW families. Hela has a Masters in Engineering, Computer Science & Automation from Supélec (French Grande Ecole) as well as a Masters in Finance (Distinction) from London Business School.

Helen Watson

CEO, Rothschild Wealth Management UK

Bio: Helen has spent her entire career working with private clients, charities, foundations and endowments. Before joining Rothschild, Helen worked with Morgan Stanley’s UK Private Wealth Management business. Having joined them in 1991, she was appointed a Managing Director in 2005. Helen has an unusually deep understanding of private clients’ investment needs having been both a private client portfolio manager, and since 2003, a senior client advisor. Helen has been shortlisted ‘Private Banker of the Year’ in three of the last four years, and won in 2011 and 2015.

Ilana Taub

Co-founder, Snact

Bio: Ilana Taub is the co-founder of Snact, a startup that takes surplus food and converts it into healthy snacks, achieving positive environmental and social outcomes. Ilana graduated with an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London and then worked at ICAEW, lobbying for nance to play a bigger role in sustainable development. She was also part of the team that launched The Food Assembly in the UK. Ilana's many accolades include being selected as a London Leader by the GLA & the Mayor of London, being voted as one of the top 10 female entrepreneurs to watch in the UK and being selected as part of the Ellen McArthur Foundation Circular Economy 100 SME programme.

Joanna Cound

Managing Director, BlackRock

Bio: Joanna Cound, Managing Director, heads up BlackRock's Government Affairs & Public Policy team in EMEA. She is a member of BlackRock's Global Government Affairs Steering Committee, BlackRock's European Operating Committee and BlackRock's Leadership Council in Europe. She is also a board member of the European Capital Markets Institute (ECMI), the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), and the International Capital Market Association (ICMA). Prior to moving to this role, Ms. Cound was International COO for BlackRock's Cash Management Group. Ms. Cound's service with the firm dates to 1996, including her years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), which merged with BlackRock in 2006. Prior to joining MLIM in 1996, Ms. Cound worked for Fidelity as head of European product development and as a marketing manager for Citibank retail bank in Germany. Ms. Cound earned a BA degree in European studies from Loughborough University and a masters in European studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. She also has an MBA from the London Business School.

Karalee Close

Regional Practice Area Leader - Technology Advantage, The Boston Consulting Group

Bio: Karalee Close is BCG's global leader of digital, Big Data and Advanced Analytics in Healthcare and a core member of the Healthcare and Technology Advantage Practices. She concentrates on the biopharmaceutical sector and the field of digital health. Karalee has deep experience in technology-enabled strategy, organization, governance, and portfolio management. She has played a leading role in BCG's efforts in cloud computing as well as in BCG’s investment in the Innovation Value Institute, which defines leading frameworks for managing IT for business value. Before joining BCG in 2000, Karalee held senior management positions in corporate planning and information systems in hospitals. She also worked across specific sectors of government and public health. Along with her many writings for the firm and her popular TED@BCG talk, Karalee has worked on many projects across topics that include technology strategy in health care; IT transformation and capability improvement in health care, media, and other industries; and postmerger integration, organization, and change management.

Karen Winton

Managing Partner | UK, NEST.vc

Bio: Karen Winton is managing partner of Hong Kong VC firm Nest, and is responsible for building out its UK presence and expanding the deal flow pipeline from London and nationally. She is passionate about equality for women and keen to effect change to that end. Before joining Nest, she was Chief Marketing Officer of InvestHK, the Hong Kong government department for foreign direct investment, where she spearheaded the creation and launch of its successful StartmeupHK initiative to attract overseas startups to set up in Hong Kong. Her previous roles included co-founding and running a successful outsourced content platform for corporate and membership clients in Hong Kong, and multiple editing and writing positions in a variety of traditional media including the Economist Group, Fairfax Business Media and the South China Morning Post.

Katya Zubareva

Principal, Healthcare Services, L.E.K. Consulting

Bio: Katya Zubareva is a Principal in the Healthcare Services practice of L.E.K.’s London office. Her healthcare experiences include leading projects in dentistry, acute care, primary care, diagnostic imaging, fertility clinics, mental health and care home markets in a variety of countries. Katya joined L.E.K. in 2007 after attaining an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. Her previous experience includes purchasing, project management and finance roles with one of the largest global FMCG companies. Katya founded and co-chairs L.E.K.’s Women’s Network, assisting women throughout the firm with a forum for advice, support and inspiration. She champions equality and diversity in the workplace and is highly committed to ensuring L.E.K’s recruitment practices evolve to reflect this.

Linda Yueh

Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School

Bio: Linda Yueh is Adjunct Professor of Economics at the London Business School; Fellow in Economics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University; and Visiting Professor of Economics at Peking University. Professor Yueh serves on the supervisory Policy Committee of the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), and an associate of the IDEAS research centre, both at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She sits on the Board of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) and is a trustee of the Coutts Foundation as well as the Royal Commonwealth Society. She is also the Co-Chair of the Global Cities Business Alliance (GCBA). She has been an advisor to the World Bank, the European Commission, the Asian Development Bank, the World Economic Forum at Davos, and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), among others. She has served as a Non-Executive Director of the FTSE-listed companies: JPMorgan Asian Investment Trust and Bailie Gifford's Scottish Mortgage. She was also a Board member of London & Partners – the official promotion agency for London. She was Chief Business Correspondent for the BBC and hosted ‘Talking Business with Linda Yueh’, as well as the former Economics Editor at Bloomberg TV. Dr Yueh is the author of several books, including: China's Growth: The Making of an Economic Superpower and Enterprising China: Business, Economic, and Legal Development since 1979. Her textbook, Macroeconomics, written with Graeme Chamberlin, is a recommended text of the UK Government Economic Service. She is also the Editor of the Routledge Economic Growth and Development book series.

Marine Tanguy


Bio: An advocate for artists since a young age, Marine managed her first gallery at age 21, opened her first art gallery in Los Angeles at age 23 and finally created her current business, MTArt (www.mtart.co.uk), to promote the artists she believed in across the globe. MTArt is the first artist agency promoting influential visual artists and specialising in talent management: building, growing and accelerating their careers. Marine is a thought leader, writer and frequent speaker on contemporary art. She is a member of The Thousand Network, the Creative Industries Federation, the Association of Women Art Dealers and a fellow of the RSA. Marine was listed on the Future of Women and is the London art ambassador of Oh So Arty, Cool Cousin and Haute Living Magazine.

Maya Gura

Cofounder and CEO, Missbeez, The Gifts Project

Bio: Maya, a serial entrepreneur, is the co-founder and CEO of Missbeez, a mobile marketplace for beauty services matching busy women with self-employed professionals. Maya is an expert in leading media and Internet companies and specializes in creating new revenue generation opportunities through partnerships and up-sale projects. Prior to Missbeez, Maya was a founding team member at PicScout and co-founder of The Gifts Project (a social ecommerce platform acquired by eBay).

Natalie Reynolds

CEO and Founder, advantageSPRING

Bio: Natalie Reynolds is the Founder and CEO of advantageSPRING and is a recognised thought leader on effective negotiation and the benefits it can deliver for individuals and organisations. Natalie and the advantageSPRING team work with a range of global companies to develop internal negotiation and influencing capability through coaching and training, often generating huge savings, increased revenue or efficiencies for their clients. Natalie also coaches on the topic of salary negotiation, writes regularly in the national press on the role that negotiation can play in tackling the gender pay gap and delivers keynote speeches at conferences worldwide on effective negotiation. Natalie was recently described by the Guardian newspaper as a ‘leading expert in effective negotiation’ and contributes articles on negotiation skills to sites including the Huffington Post, the Independent, the Financial Times and Forbes. Prior to founding advantageSPRING, Natalie qualified as Barrister, worked in a number of strategic management and legal advisory roles in both central and local government (including as an advisor to the Mayor of London on tackling domestic violence and sexual assault) and worked as a Commercial Director for both a large national charity and a FTSE 100 company. Natalie has a passionate interest in the role that gender can play at the negotiation table and has spent a number of years researching the issue, providing coaching for women to boost confidence and challenge stereotypes and delivering challenging, provocative and practical master classes for women’s networks (including the BBC, Oracle, Tesco, DLA Piper and Mayer Brown LLP) and at conferences across Europe the US and Asia. Natalie and the advantageSPRING team volunteer their time to support various charities with developing their commercial awareness and negotiation capability and are currently working with the NSPCC, Human Rights Watch, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and UN Women.

Nikki Ruklic

Partner, Bain & Company

Bio: Nikki Ruklic is a leader in Bain & Company’s Private Equity, Retail, and Digital practices. She specializes in advising Private Equity funds on their investments in Retail and Digital businesses, and supporting the management teams in their acquired companies to significantly outgrow their markets. Nikki has deep experience in omnichannel and digital strategy, performance improvement, and change management. She spent the past decade with Bain in San Francisco, before moving to London earlier this year. Prior to joining Bain, Nikki was an Associate at Blum Capital Partners in San Francisco, and an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York. She holds a BA in Economics from Macalester College, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Outside of work, Nikki likes to kiteboard, hike, ski, travel, and binge-watch good TV shows. She is passionate about environmental issues.

Priyanka Agarwal

Founder and CEO, Connect2Teach

Bio: Priyanka is the founder of Connect2Teach, a unique online network that is helping increase innovation and employability by connecting experts from industry and academia to opportunities at universities, corporates, digital learning platforms and conferences around the world. These opportunities include teaching, speaking, mentoring, research and developing case studies among others. Priyanka completed her MBA from Judge Business School, University of Cambridge in the UK and BA from Northwestern University in the US. She has previously worked with corporates such as Tata Group, KPMG Boxwood and Towers Perrin in India, UK and the US, covering sectors from power, steel, education, retail to not-for-profit. She also served on the Executive Board of a 32 year old not-for-profit in India. Her operational expertise is in helping companies adapt to new ways of working, managing turnarounds, and working with family businesses. She was presented the Women of the Future (category: MBA Star) award in the UK in 2015 by HRH Princess Aga Khan. She is passionate about ensuring equal opportunity to quality education across all demographics, gender and geographies.

Rachel Barton

Managing Director at Accenture for Customer Strategy, Accenture

Bio: Working with the UK’s largest companies, Rachel advises today’s business leaders on how they can truly acquire and retain profitable customers in order to grow market share. She leads Accenture’s Customer Strategy and Digital Strategy and Ventures businesses across the UK, Europe and Latin America and is passionate about how disruption is shaping today’s business landscape. With a strong interest in social responsibility, Rachel represents the UK in Accenture’s Corporate Citizenship Council and is the Client Account Lead for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. She also sits on the grant body for UnLtd and is a business mentor to SAFE, a social enterprise which aims to eradicate female trafficking. Rachel was listed in Management Today’s “35 Women under 35” to watch, the “Women of the Future” awards, Red Magazine’s “Women of the Year” awards and the “First Women’s Awards” and has been voted “Most Inspirational Leader” for Accenture UK. She is a regular contributor to the media, with appearances on BBC News 24 and CNN and press contributions through The Times, The Guardian, Critical Eye and the conference speaker circuit.

Rhiannon Thomas

Principal, A.T. Kearney

Bio: Rhiannon Thomas is a Principal in AT Kearney's London office. Rhiannon has ten years of consulting experience advising leading consumer goods players in over 25 countries. Her retail expertise includes customer strategy, organisation design and governance, go-to-market strategy and execution. Before joining AT Kearney, Rhiannon was a project manager at Mars & Co.

Sheila Oparaocha

ENERGIA International Coordinator, ETC Foundation

Bio: Sheila Oparaocha has seventeen years of working experience in the gender and energy sector, a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine and a Master’s Degree in Gender and Development Planning. She is currently a leads the International Secretariat (IS) based at Hivos, an international organisation based in the Netherlands with 50 years of experience in the development sector that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. Sheila holds the position of International Coordinator of the ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy. Established in 1996 with the objective of mainstreaming gender in energy sector policies and programs in developing countries, ENERGIA has emerged as a leading international network and having played a key role in establishing “gender and energy” as a credible issue. Under her leadership, the IS manages a multi-country and multi-partner progamme portfolio spanning 22 countries in Asia and Africa. In keeping with Hivos’s Quality Control Management, she has the overall and primary responsibility for managing ENERGIA’s international programmes, coordinating the networks activities, planning, monitoring, reporting and liaising with ENERGIA’s donors. Sheila also provides technical support to the network’s activities on women entrepreneurship development, international policy advocacy, gender audits of energy policies, gender mainstreaming in energy programmes, training of trainers and practitioners, research and case study development, network building and knowledge management. Sheila is a member of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

Suzanne Biegel

Chief Catalyst, Catalyst At Large

Bio: Suzanne Biegel is an active impact investor, and industry adviser on gender lens investing. She is passionate about using the spectrum of investment to philanthropic resources to achieve social change and equity for all. She is the Founder of Women Effect, an initiative that has just moved to Wharton Social Impact Initiative at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is now Senior Gender Lens Investing Adviser. Suzanne was a successful entrepreneur in the edtech space before selling to a multinational in 1998. She is an alumnus of Wharton and the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a native New Yorker, based in London.

Timo Boldt

CEO & Founder, Gousto

Bio: Timo is the CEO and Founder of Gousto, the UK’s leading recipe kit company. After attending high school and university in Germany and the US, Timo started his career in investment banking at Rothschild London. At the age of 26, Timo went on to become VP at a hedge fund (spun off from Goldman Sachs), focusing on activist trading across European markets. In 2012, Timo followed his passion for food and founded Gousto, delivering ingredients in exact portions across the UK. Just 4 years later the company has 200 employees, prevents over 1 million tonnes of food waste and Timo has raised over £30m in capital. Championing equality and diversity in the workforce, Timo’s commitment to employing people of all genders, ethnicities and backgrounds, has seen him bring together the UK’s best talent to successfully disrupt the recipe kit industry at scale. Women in business a passion point for Timo, he has actively used his role as a professional leader to bring the equality conversation to the forefront, drive awareness around biases and encourage people to re-think all elements of women in business – not least, the hiring process. Recognised by Debrett’s 500 as an inspiring game changer in the food and drink industry, Timo also sits on the Unilever Digital Advisory Board and is a guest lecturer in Cambridge.

Vivian Hunt

Managing Partner, UK & Ireland, McKinsey & Company

Bio: Vivian Hunt is the Managing Partner for McKinsey & Company’s United Kingdom and Ireland offices and is a Director of the firm. Vivian previously led the firm’s Pharmaceutical & Medical Products practice in EMEA, and continues to advise leading companies on a broad range of strategy topics, with a particular focus on performance transformation and organizational development. She also provides strategic advice to leading British firms in the private, public and third sectors. She serves on the firm’s global Board of Directors, its Values Committee, and on several personnel committees. In addition to her client responsibilities, Vivian is a leader within the firm on leadership and diversity. She frequently speaks on McKinsey & Company’s flagship research and co-authored publications such as: Women Matter, Diversity Matters and The Power of Parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth. She was previously named ‘the most influential black woman in Britain’ by the Powerlist Foundation and The Financial Times identified her as one of the ‘European Women to Watch’ and most recently as the 30 most influential people in the City of London. Vivian is a trustee of The Henry Smith Charity and Action on Addiction. She is on the board of several important business groups in the UK, including BritishAmerican Business and the CBI London Council. In addition, Vivian is chair of HRH Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community's ‘Seeing is Believing’ programme; a reader for the Queen’s Anniversary Prize; and sits on the Advisory Council of the Tate Modern, as well as Teach First’s Business Leaders Council. Vivian is an alumna of Harvard College and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Warwick University. Vivian holds both British and American citizenship, and is married with two children.

Pip Wilson

Entrepreneur and Angel Investor

Bio: A successful entrepreneur, director, angel investor and start-up mentor, Pip is passionate about empowering women in tech and disrupting traditional business models. Pip Wilson is co-founder and CEO of amicable apps: the faster, fairer, fixed-price way to an amicable divorce. In 2002 Pip co-founded Bluefin Solutions, a SAP consultancy and a full SAP Services Partner, which she exited last year to Mindtree. Pip is also a trustee and board member of The Girls’ Network, a foundation that matches girls from low socio-economic backgrounds with inspirational female mentors. She believes in the power of teams, the importance of diversity, and that the best businesses help employees balance life with work. In her view, successful start-ups of the future will combine a sustainable business model with a clear social purpose and diverse teams. This view drives her investment decisions.

Stephanie Horton


Bio: Stephanie Horton is the Chief Marketing Officer of Farfetch, and a member of its Executive Leadership team. She leads Farfetch's global marketing and communications strategy, with direct responsibility for corporate communications and public relations, brand and category marketing, strategic partnerships, as well Media, advertising, and marketing operations including Editorial, VIP and social media. A 20-year veteran of the luxury fashion and marketing communities, Stephanie has developed and executed creative marketing solutions for both domestic and international brands. She started her career in the fashion office of Dayton Hudson/Marshall Fields in Chicago in various merchandising capacities for designer/ couture clothing and sportswear. She later moved into marketing and promotions, and served as Account Director at Draft Worldwide in Chicago and then as Marketing Director at The New York Times Co. where she specialised in marketing luxury brands and creating new revenue streams for the newspaper. Following this she joined Vogue where she was the Executive Director of Creative Services and Communications, overseeing a team that developed and executed marketing and launch strategies as well as promotions and events for Vogue and all clients advertising in Vogue. Prior to Farfetch Stephanie was the Head of Global Communications at Shopbop.com, responsible for developing and executing Shopbop’s global communications and PR strategy for the US, China, Australia, Russia, Japan and Western Europe. Stephanie currently serves on the Ailey Ambassadors Committee, for Alvin Ailey, the benefit committee for The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Advisory Board of the Moyer Foundation and The Art of Elysium Gala Committee. Stephanie holds an M.B.A in marketing from DePaul University, Chicago, and a B.B.A. in finance from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and resides between London and New York.

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