Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles is Senior Adviser to the Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive of HSBC Holdings. Before HSBC Sherard worked as Business Development Director, International, at BAE Systems plc. Earlier he spent over 30 years in the British Diplomatic Service, serving in Cairo, Washington and Paris. He was also Principal Private Secretary to the UK Foreign Secretary, the late Robin Cook, and was Head of the Foreign Office Hong Kong Department from 1994 until the handover to China in 1997. Sherard was the UK Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (2009 – 2010), Ambassador to Afghanistan (2007 - 2009), Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2003 – 2007) and Ambassador to Israel (2001 – 2003).
Sherard is a Board Member of the China Britain Business Council; UK Chairman of the Omani-British Friendship Association (business council); and Chairman of the Saudi-British Society and of Pitzhanger Manor Trust.
Sir Brian Pomeroy CBE
Sir Brian Pomeroy CBE was formerly Chairman of the Treasury's Financial Inclusion Taskforce. He is a non-executive member of the board of the Financial Conduct Authority, a non-executive director of QBE Insurance Group Ltd., Chairman of the government's Action Group on Cross-Border Remittances and a Board Member of The Social Market Foundation. He serves as President of the Financial Inclusion Commission in a personal capacity.
He was formerly chairman of the Gambling Commission, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, the Independent Commission on Equitable Life Payments, the Payments Council, the National Lottery Commission, Centrepoint, Homeless Link and The Photographers' Gallery; a member of the Financial Reporting Review Panel, the Audit Commission and the Disability Rights Taskforce; and a Nominated Member of the Council of Lloyd's. He was formerly a trustee of Money Advice Trust, for which he now acts as an Ambassador. He was the Senior Partner of Deloitte Consulting until 1999.
Chris Pond, Head of UK Public Affairs with Kreab Gavin Anderson, was formerly a Member of Parliament, serving in the Treasury Ministerial team and as Work and Pensions Minister. After leaving Westminster, Chris chaired a Cabinet Office Public Body, held a non-executive role with HMRC and was Director at the Financial Services Authority. He is currently Chair of the Money Charity and the Equity Release Council Standards Board. He has been Honorary Visiting Professor at two universities and is author and contributor to several books on taxation, social policy and inequality.
Professor Sharon Collard
Sharon Collard’s background is social policy. She has conducted extensive research on financial inclusion, consumer credit use and problem debt, and financial capability. She is Research Director and Professor of Personal Finance at the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre. The Centre’s recent work includes a study to update the Poverty Premium faced by low-income households; a programme of work on how lenders and debt collection firms identify and treat consumers in vulnerable circumstances; and work with the Money Advice Service on improving the debt solutions landscape.
Sharon is also a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, an independent statutory body that represents the interests of consumers in the development of policy for the regulation of financial services.
Martin is an independent member of the Commission, acting in personal capacity. Previous to this Martin created the Financial Conduct Authority’s model for engaging with consumer and special interest groups as well as its consumer vulnerability and financial inclusion programmes. He has also held a number of other policy, development and external affairs roles centred around representing and engaging with consumers, often in partnership with civil society organisations. Whilst at the Big Lottery Fund he led the creation of its £31.7 million financial capability and inclusion programme, Increasing Financial Confidence. He started his career teaching consumer and life skills to adults with learning difficulties and disabilities. He currently leads stakeholder engagement and strategy for the Banking Standards Board.
Martin is currently a trustee of the Nationwide Foundation and adviser to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute and Young Scot. Previously he has been a Board member of the Association of Charitable Foundations and the Institute of Consumer Affairs, as well as a Commissioner for Scope’s Commission on Extra Costs for Disabled People.
Laurie Edmans CBE
Laurie Edmans CBE spent his executive career in the pensions and insurance sector, establishing and leading businesses, with a background of sales, strategic marketing and public/industry affairs. He is chairman of Marine and General Mutual Life Assurance, of the Trinity Mirror Pension Plan, of the Independent Governance Committee of Zurich UK pensions, and of B Different Ltd, a specialist market research agency. He left the board of NEST – the National Employment Savings Trust – in 2014. He is a member of the advisory board of the Equity Release Council, a Trustee of the Pensions Policy Institute and of the Quest School for Autistic Children. He was formerly a Board member at The Pensions Regulator and Deputy Chair of CPA Global. He is a non-executive director of the Money Advice Service.
Dr Omar Khan
Dr Omar Khan is Runnymede's Director. Prior to this he was Runnymede's Head of Policy and led the financial inclusion programme. Omar sits on the Department for Work and Pensions' Ethnic Minority Advisory Group and is a 2012 Clore Social Leadership Fellow. Omar's other advisory positions include chair of Olmec, chair of the Ethnicity Strand Advisory Group to Understanding Society, chair of the advisory group of the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester, and a member of the 2014 REF assessment, the 2011 Census, the Payments Council, and the UK representative on the European Commission’s Socio-economic network of experts.
Dame Mary Marsh
Dame Mary Marsh is Founding Director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme which she created in 2008 for aspiring social sector leaders. Previously she was chief executive of NSPCC and head teacher of two comprehensive schools. She is a non-executive director of HSBC Bank plc, a member of the Governing Body at London Business School and chair of INSSO, the International Skills Standards Organisation.
Sian Williams is Head of National Services at Toynbee Hall in London’s East End. Sian has been responsible for Toynbee Hall’s local and national financial inclusion programmes since October 2009, including Transact (the UK’s national forum for financial inclusion), financial inclusion training, research, evaluation and strategic consultancy.
Sian takes a whole systems approach to financial well-being, supporting organisations to develop policies and practice which make it easier for people to make the most of their money. She has co-led the Financially Inclusive Tower Hamlets programme, which adopts this environmental approach within one of the UK’s most deprived communities. Sian’s team have also created a ground-breaking needs and impact digital measurement tool for financial health, the MAP Tool, to fill the gaps around knowing “what works” in financial health interventions.
Sian provides advice on financial inclusion to financial services providers, and is a member of advisory groups for the Payments Council, the LINK Scheme, the BBA, DWP, HMT and the Big Lottery. Sian is also a member of the new PSR Panel, and a trustee for the Money Advice Trust.
Lord Archy Kirkwood
Lord Kirkwood was Liberal Democrat MP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire between 1983 - 2005 before entering the House of Lords as Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope. During his time in the Commons, he was Lib Dem Chief Whip from 1992-1997; Chair of the Select Committee on Social Security/DWP for 8 years and a Member of the House of Commons Commission for 6 years. Throughout his parliamentary career he has been interested in addressing poverty and assisting people to find meaningful work. Archy was formerly a Trustee of the Low Pay Unit , Chair of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and Director, Centre for Reform. He is the Chair of the Information Committee in the Lords and currently works as part of an FCO programme to assist parliamentary development in emerging democracies like Iraq.
Copyright House of Lords 2014 / Photography by Chris Moyse
Bim Afolami MP
Bim has been MP for Hitchen and Harpenden since 2017. Before this Bim spent ten years in the City advising some of the biggest companies in the world, both British and international – first as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, then as a Senior Executive at HSBC.
Bim studied at Eton College and Oxford University, where he was Vice President of the Oxford Union and played football for the University. These experiences changed his life, and consequently he is passionate about ensuring that everyone has access to a fantastic education and greater opportunities. He was a primary school governor for several years and has always supported (and volunteered for) charities that focus on helping people return to work.
Bim is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Ditchley Foundation. As a very keen sportsman, he supports Northampton Saints Rugby Union Club and Arsenal FC.
John is Corporate Affairs Director at Legal & General. Educated at Lochaber High School, and Oxford University, he has worked in the City of London for over thirty years, whilst also serving as Special Adviser to Douglas Hurd as Home Secretary and in 2016-17 as Head of the Prime Ministers’ Policy Unit. He is involved with a number of think tanks and other institutions active in domestic policy.