Current Speakers

Security Transformation in Finance Summit

Vahid Saiyad

Deputy Head of Payments Department

Vahid Saiyad

Ibukun Emmanuel

Senior Cyber & IT Risk Mgmt. VP

Ibukun Emmanuel

Meredith Beeston

Financial Crime Compliance Director

Meredith Beeston

Paul Dongha

Group Head of Data and AI Ethics

Paul Dongha

Paul Staples

Group Head of Embedded Banking

Paul Staples

Paul Staples, based in London, UK, is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur specializing in FinTech and Embedded Finance. Currently serving as the Group Head of Embedded Banking at ClearBank, he is dedicated to transforming banking operations from the outside in, crafting future client connectivity and business models that create value for all stakeholders.

Paul’s extensive experience includes leadership roles at renowned institutions such as JP Morgan, HSBC, and Goldman Sachs. With a focus on BaaS (Banking as a Service) and Embedded Finance, he has led multi-functional teams, run start-up P&Ls, and provided executive advisory services to private equity and venture capital firms.

A practitioner and thought leader in Embedded Finance, Paul is also actively involved in mentoring and coaching. He co-founded Graduates Anonymous, a platform aimed at helping graduates bridge the gap between education and the corporate world.

With a robust background in strategic advisory, business model design, and operational execution, Paul is a key player in shaping the future of finance. His expertise encompasses areas such as payments, embedded finance, and banking as a service, making him a valuable asset in the dynamic landscape of financial innovation.

 

Paul Sweeney

Senior Solution Architect

Paul Sweeney

Paul Sweeney, based in Dublin, Ireland, is a seasoned senior digital leader with a remarkable track record in Financial Services and Manufacturing. Currently serving as a key contributor to Starling Bank’s success, he brings over 20 years of expertise in digital transformation, architectural modernization, and leadership of high-performing teams.

In his role at Starling Bank’s Engine, Paul is actively involved in steering digital initiatives and strategies. With a passion for technology and innovation, he specializes in harnessing emerging technologies such as DLT/Blockchain, Digital Automation, AI, NLP, and VR/AR. Paul has a proven ability to drive significant business benefits, including cost reduction, improved customer experiences, and increased revenue opportunities.

His career journey includes impactful roles at KBC Bank Ireland, Aptiv, and AIB, where he held positions like Head of Enterprise Architecture and Head of IT Strategy, Innovation, and Transition. Colleagues commend Paul for his creative, innovative, and inspiring leadership style, emphasizing collaboration and the pursuit of excellence.

Paul Sweeney’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements makes him a valuable asset in the dynamic landscape of digital leadership, where he continues to shape and drive innovation at Starling Bank.

Ronelle Arbib

Chief Operating Officer

Ronelle Arbib

Ronelle Arbib serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Recognise Bank, a relatively recent entrant that obtained its banking licence in 2021. The bank now provides a variety of business savings accounts and specialised lending services. In her role as C.O.O, Ronelle oversees the bank’s operations, which include responsibilities in Customer Experience, Savings, Marketing, Product, and Operational Resilience. Ronelle has worked in several senior management and operational roles across the investment, real estate, and financial services sectors, both in the UK and overseas and has led complex financing of over £500m in debt. Ronelle volunteers as a Senior Project Manager for The Parasol Foundation Trust, a charity helping disadvantaged women succeed in the business world, and she also leads the Bank in its partnership with Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF). Prior to this, Ronelle spent five years in operational roles within the Air Force – managing large teams, projects, and operations.

Peter Smith

CISO (tbc)

Peter Smith

Tanja Imamovic

Digital Transformation & Technology Strategist

Tanja Imamovic

With over 15 years of expertise in digital transformation and product management, Tanja is at the forefront of shaping the future of the banking industry. Her journey began in
Digital banking, and after pioneering the first Digital Banking Competence Center in Bosnia & Herzegovina, she is joining Raiffeisen Bank International leading the
transformation of the PSD2 regulations into a thriving Open API ecosystem. Tanja’s passion lies in exploring cutting-edge technologies and foreseeing the future impact on
the banking industry. In her roles as a Digital Transformation Strategist and Strategic Partnerships and Ecosystem Manager, Tanja is committed to navigating the evolving
landscape of banking with holistic and pragmatic approach.

Ana-Maria Vasile

Chief Compliance Officer

Ana-Maria Vasile

Ana-Maria Vasile, CAMS-RM, IRMCert, has a broad expertise on Anti-Financial Crime and Enterprise Risk Management, with 15 years of practical experience in the financial services industry and bringing a specialized educational background in this respect. Currently, she is the Chief Compliance Officer at CEC Bank Romania, coordinating the overall Regulatory, Compliance Risk Management, AML/CTF and Sanctions Compliance activities within the bank.

As part of her experience, Ana was involved in the implementation of global policies and internal controls for the prevention of financial crime risks related to TBML, including the development of a one-of-its-kind in-house monitoring application for Trade Finance transaction monitoring within Commerzbank AG.

Prior to joining Commerzbank, Ana was a Manager in the forensic practice of Deloitte, her focus areas and responsibilities being related to delivering projects on the implementation of ML/TF risk management programs in financial institutions, targeted financial sanctions, FATCA implementation, fraud and money laundering investigations, fraud detection, transaction monitoring for various financial products, funds tracking, assessment of AML/CTF compliance activity within financial institutions and implementation and assessment of AFC/Sanctions/Ethics and Compliance programs.

Additionally, she also has extensive experience in the country risk assessment practice, as she was a subject matter expert in the ML/TF National Risk Assessments projects for Lithuania (2015) and Latvia (2016).

Alicja Hellak

Group Compliance Officer/ Compliance Reviews

Alicja Hellak

Alicja Hellak is a seasoned professional with a solid foundation in Financial Crime, specializing particularly in Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Sanctions regulations. With extensive experience, she possesses in-depth knowledge of the financial industry’s responsibilities concerning AML and Sanctions. Her career has been marked by successful leadership in financial crime and compliance teams, consistently delivering results against challenging objectives.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and Accounting, with a specialization in Investment Banking, underlining her academic prowess in the field. Complementing her educational background, she has acquired various certifications, including the ICA Diploma in Financial Crime Prevention.

Known for her well-organized and self-motivated approach, she is characterized by a hands-on attitude and a remarkable ability to rapidly grasp and excel in new tasks. She has built a track record of consistently meeting goals and delivering a high level of job performance throughout her professional journey.

Her strengths extend beyond her technical expertise; she has demonstrated a proven ability to communicate effectively and build strong relationships with business partners. Her commitment to excellence, combined with her knowledge and skills in financial crime prevention, makes Alicja a valuable asset in the dynamic landscape of finance and compliance.

Kirsty Kelly

Chief Information Security Officer

Kirsty Kelly

Kirsty has spent the last 15 years working across the public and private sector in various intelligence and security roles, ensuring businesses have the information they need to make intelligence driven decisions around security, impacting and improving wider business operations in the process.

Peter May

Global Head of Wholesale And Markets Fraud (tbc)

Peter May

Peter May is an accomplished Risk and Control professional with a wealth of experience in financial crime and fraud within the banking and markets industry. Currently serving as the Global Head of Wholesale and Markets Fraud at HSBC since April 2020, he oversees the second line of defense (2LOD) coverage for commercial and corporate banking as well as global markets.

Prior to this role, he held the position of Head of Governance and Controls at Barclays from November 2018 to April 2020, where he served as the UK Chief Controls Officer covering Cards and Payments. With a career spanning over several years at HSBC, Peter has held various significant positions, including Head of Oversight for HSBC’s International Businesses across continental Europe, South Africa, and Bermuda. He also led operational risk oversight for HSBC’s Ring-fencing Programme and the establishment of HSBC UK as Head of Risk Oversight – Structural Reform Programme.

Throughout his career, Peter has demonstrated expertise in financial crime risk transformation, operational risk oversight, and trade and receivables finance oversight. With a strong track record and a deep understanding of the industry.

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