Alan Armitage

Founder and MD,

Alan is the founder and managing director of He established to assist organisations to think about the solutions they need to compete in tomorrow’s ever-increasingly competitive and demanding marketplace. This is done through a combination of consulting assignments, advisory roles, short-medium term executive appointments and board directorships.

Alan has over 35 years’ industry experience in the UK, Bermuda, Canada, Mainland China and Hong Kong, specialising in executive management, strategy development, new markets & business development, transformation & change management, innovation, M&A execution and board leadership. Alan’s experience forms the basis for the business consultancy, advisory and board leadership services provided by

Alan has further developed this skill set as an alumnus of Wharton Business School and a graduate from the Financial Times Non-Executive Diploma programme.

Entry tip: What I am looking for regarding best practice is demonstrable evidence that investment is being made in ensuring the business is focused on meeting customer’s needs over the long term. This will manifest itself through investment in refining business models, adoption of technology and people development.

Keith Richards

Managing director of engagement, CII and chief executive, Personal Finance Society

Keith has over 30 years’ experience within financial services operating at executive level across both manufacturing and distribution.

He established a strong media profile while representing Tenet Group as group distribution and development director. Actively engaged in the promotion of financial services within the UK, he has contributed to the boards of AIFA (now APFA) and AMI. He is chairman of TISA Exco for adviser protocol and has represented the intermediary sector over many years on panels and strategic leadership forums. 

Keith was appointed chief executive of the Personal Finance Society in May 2013. In addition to guiding the strategic evolution of the society, he has evolved a greater government and regulatory engagement and brought about enhancements to membership benefits and its national CPD programme. He has also introduced key consumer facing initiatives – the Consumer Confidence and United Profession Campaigns – that have been embraced by the majority across the advice profession.

Karen Graves

Chair, Independent Women in Insurance network

Karen is currently a senior independent non-executive director in the insurance sector.

She has worked in the Lloyd’s and London market for over 25 years, starting her career in the compliance arena, moving on to a COO and then a CEO role within the Lloyd’s market for an established Lloyd’s managing agency. She has managed the formation of a new Lloyd’s syndicate from the ground up from the hiring of teams to the approval by the regulators.

Karen is a Freeman of the City of London and a court member of the Worshipful Company of Insurers.

Karen is the current chair of the Independent Women in Insurance Committee (iWIN), a founder member of the European Council for the Advancement of Women in Leadership and, in addition to this, a supporter of the Lloyd’s Military Network for senior officers transitioning from the Armed Forces.

Entry tip: Entries for the Diversity award should be able to demonstrate how inclusion programmes and initiatives have had a positive impact in increasing diversity. It’s the tangible examples of success that can be shared regarding inclusion that demonstrate how important it is that we continue to make progress in developing diverse workplaces.

Nigel Sillitoe

Chief executive officer, Insight Discovery

Nigel is founder and CEO of Insight Discovery, a UAE-based consultancy business which supports financial services companies with market intelligence and strategic communications. Nigel is also behind the groundbreaking website

Nigel moved to the Middle East in 2001, initially to establish a joint venture for Bank of New York Mellon. Seventeen years later, Nigel is still living and working in the region.

He is also on the advisory board of CISI Middle East and a director of Peregrine Communications. He is a high profile executive within the financial services sector and a regular chairperson, moderator and speaker on the conference circuit.

During 2018, Nigel was voted one of the most influential executives in the offshore financial services industry, courtesy of the International Adviser IA 100 list.

Entry tips: A good entry needs:

  • Lots of data, for example, if applying for best social media adviser this needs to be backed up with numbers
  • Image(s) from the campaign
  • Professionally designed look and feel to the submission
  • To avoid spelling mistakes and other grammatical errors
  • If possible a section on why the applicant is different from other advisory firms

Andrew Tjaardstra

Editor, InsuranceAsia News

Andrew is currently editor of InsuranceAsia News. Previously, he was 
the Asia editor of Insurance Post based in Hong Kong, where he headed up the Asia editorial team and launched events for Insurance Post across the Asia-Pacific region, including several successful awards programmes.

Before that he worked across several London-based titles including Custody Risk, the premier title for the worldwide securities services industry, its sister title Risk and Professional Broking, a management magazine in the insurance broking industry. 

He was also a judge for the UK Broker Awards and the British Insurance Awards.

Entry tip: An entry should highlight the company’s greatest achievements without the marketing spiel. Be concise and make sure you don’t overwhelm the judges with too many statistics.

Bob Pain

Chief executive officer, Cadel Consulting

Bob is chief executive of Cadel Consulting which offers management consultancy services to the financial services industry. This includes non-executive directorships, working on projects involving research and mentoring. 

He is also the CEO of the Association of International Life Offices, the trade body that represents the international cross-border life insurance industry, having previously served for several years as its chairman.

He has over 35 years of experience within the financial services industry, having worked in numerous roles in sales, marketing, customer services and business process outsourcing at Target Group, Axa, Friends Life and Investors Trust Assurance.

Entry tip: I am looking for applications that go above and beyond the norm. Standards are being raised in every aspect of our business and therefore the applicant needs to demonstrate that they are on top of their game both today and preparing for the future. 

David Worsfold

Director, Worsfold Media Services

David is best known for his work as an award-winning financial journalist, in particular as a writer on the financial services, which he has covered for over 35 years.

As well as editing a range of leading insurance titles, including Insurance Post and Insurance Age, David wrote for The Guardian for several years and has contributed to most major national newspapers. He has appeared on radio and television as a commentator on insurance and financial issues and is an experienced conference speaker and facilitator.

Among his many achievements, David launched the British Insurance Awards in 1995 – now the most successful B2B awards scheme in the UK. He helped to launch the International Adviser Best Practice Awards three years ago and also helps to judge them, and the Global Financial Services Awards.

Entry tip: Entries should address the criteria and tell a story, one that can be backed up with solid evidence. Do not just cut and paste material from marketing brochures but instead take a little time to understand what the criteria is asking for because that will be the starting point for judges reviewing entries.

Michelle Hoskin

Founder and director, Standards International

Michelle is well known for her enthusiasm, energy and unique outlook on what she describes as a “magical industry”.

Michelle has over 20 years’ experience working with some of the leading and most successful financial services practices, and is internationally recognised as a leading expert in identifying best practice standards of operation.

Michelle is passionate about sharing her innovative insights and concepts, which will inspire you, help you find your purpose, ignite your passion and unleash your power.

She is a member of the Professional Speaking Association and regularly presents to financial services professionals all over the globe, inspiring her audiences with ideas and insights.

Achieving excellence is no easy task and it takes an extra-special group of people to achieve true professional best practice. There must be a focus on ‘best practice business’ rather than just ‘best advice’ with a clear vision that is centered at the heart of the business and is the foundation of everything the business is and does.

Garry Heath

Director general, Libertatem

Garry formed The IFA Association in 1989, which represented over 60% of UK IFA practices. It was instrumental in the reform of the Financial Intermediaries, Managers and Brokers Regulating Association, which was set-up after the passing of the original Financial Services Act in 1988. His campaigning with the IFA Association led to the creation of the Personal Investment Authority.

In 2015, Garry published The Heath Report, which looked at the effects of the Retail Distribution Review and its impact on the consumer and the industry. Following publication, Garry formed Libertatem, which has experienced rapid growth as the adviser community comes under increased scrutiny and financial pressure from the regulators.

Garry has been awarded ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Financial Services Industry’ eight times by Money Marketing. He also formed NFIFAtec, the UK’s first large scale CPD programme.

Phil Billingham

Director, Perceptive Planning

Phil is well qualified – ACII, CFP, FPFS, chartered wealth manager and a chartered financial planner – and has over 35 years of experience in financial services. He is a specialist in helping advisers cope with regulatory change, and has worked with planners from Australia to the US.

At Perceptive Planning, Phil mainly works with clients who find themselves with assets and lifestyles across different jurisdictions.

He has served for over 10 years on the boards of professional bodies in UK and worked with FPSB on its regulatory advice panel. Having worked with advisers and planners in 15 countries, he is a specialist in surviving regulatory change.