SPEAKERS

Meet our inspiring keynote speakers

Major Tim Peake CMG

Astronaut and best-selling author

Tim Peake was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station, where his work during mission Principia captured the hearts and minds of millions. He has a background as a test pilot and a British Army Air Corps officer and he is also a STEM ambassador and best-selling author.

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Major Tim Peake CMG

Priya Lakhani OBE

Founder CEO at CENTURY Tech

Priya Lakhani is an entrepreneur who has founded a food business, a social enterprise, and now leads a company developing the latest artificial intelligence and big data technology to understand how the brain learns. CENTURY Tech’s aim is to measure and simulate brain responses to tuition, analyze what works for whom and how, and ultimately produce personalized learning. A regular contributor to BBC News’ and BBC World News’ review of global headlines, Priya  has also advised a number of education and skills organizations, being named as an Entrepreneur of the Year and in Management Today’s ’35 Women Under 35’ list. Join Priya as she discusses the cutting-edge work her company is carrying out, her lessons for training and education, and how companies seeking to innovate and emulate the startup ethos can do just that.

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Priya Lakhani OBE

Brad Burton

Founder of 4Networking

Brad Burton, Founder of 4Networking - the largest joined up business network in the UK - is the master of teaching people how they can not only make better decisions... but a whole lot faster. 
This energetic entrepreneur not only helps just small growing companies, but regularly motivates and speaks to global organizations such as Bentley, JCB, COSTA & NHS, Snap-On. It’s no wonder that he holds the title of UK’s #1 Motivational Business Speaker. An author of 4 business books, he is also the UK’s highest-rated 5star business author on Amazon.

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Brad Burton

Nigel Mead

MC

As an entertainer, Nigel Mead’s list of credits are significant, with performances for everyone from Steven Spielberg, Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks and Robert DeNiro to over 40 Kings & Queens around the world, including Queen Elizabeth II. He’s appeared on stages across the globe as well as having over 100 television appearances to his name, with shows for Channel 4, the BBC and ITV all on his CV. As a writer and producer, Nigel co-created three series of ITV's award winning magic show TRICKED (both in the UK and Canada), as well as producing content for The Royal Variety Performance, Britain’s Got Talent, and Mad Magicians in the USA. Nigel is also a member of the Inner Magic Circle – one of only 250 magicians worldwide to have attained that honor – working regularly with Google, YouTube and American Express to create surprising and memorable live experiences at their events year after year.


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Nigel	Mead

Steve Vamos

Chief Executive Officer, Xero

Steve Vamos, Chief Executive Officer of Xero leads the global growth and performance of the business. With more than 30 years’ experience in global technology and digital media, Steve has worked in leading international businesses, including Apple, IBM and Microsoft. Steve also led the growth of ninemsn, an online media business, from start-up to industry leader as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Steve holds a degree in Civil Engineering (with Honors) from the University of New South Wales, Australia.


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Steve Vamos

Gary Turner

Managing Director, Xero UK & EMEA

Gary Turner is co-founder and managing director at Xero UK and is responsible for Xero's business operations across Europe, Middle East & Africa. Xero is the multi-award-winning global leader in online accounting software with 1.4 million paying subscribers in 180 countries. Under Gary's leadership, Xero UK has scaled from a three-person startup with annual revenues of £50k to more than £40M in the year to 31 March 2018. A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Gary previously held senior positions at Microsoft, Systems Union and Pegasus Software. He's an engaging speaker, writer and thought-leader on start-ups, digital transformation and leadership inside hyper-growth organizations. Gary has also served as a mentor to early stage Fintech startups at TechStars London.

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Gary Turner

Anna Curzon

Chief Product Officer, Xero

Anna leads Xero’s product teams, spearheading product management, development, design, and product marketing to bring more exciting Xero features to partners and small businesses. Anna has a wealth of experience in online financial services and operations. Before joining Xero as managing director for New Zealand in 2016, Anna led internet banking at ASB and the digital first strategy at Spark. Anna has a bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate diploma in commerce from the University of Auckland.


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Anna Curzon

Nick Houldsworth

Executive General Manager, Ecosystem

Nick Houldsworth is Executive General Manager, Ecosystem & Xero Learn. A self-described “app-a-holic” and co-host of the Xero Developer Podcast, Nick leads the team responsible for Xero’s Developer API and app marketplace. Before joining Xero, Nick was the first employee and CMO at Vend, a Xero partner, where he helped scale the business, and also led partnerships with companies including Apple, PayPal and Shopify. He holds a bachelor of Science from Auckland University of Technology, has owned several small businesses, and briefly played guitar in Scotland’s 2nd most popular folk band.


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Nick Houldsworth

Rachael Powell

Chief Customer and People Officer, Xero

Rachael Powell is the Chief Customer, People and Marketing Officer at Xero. She is responsible for customer success, brand and the people experience globally. Rachael believes a world class customer experience is delivered from the inside out - by supporting and investing in people so they can do the best work of their lives and subsequently delight and deliver to our customers and partners. Throughout her career, Rachael has held senior leadership roles in strategy, business development, talent management, marketing and is a strong advocate for positive engagement programs to effectively mobilise the business strategy. She has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelor in Business (Accounting and Marketing) and a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology.


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Anna Curzon

These are our inspirational speakers for Xerocon London 2019

Keep checking back to see new speakers as we add them!

About Craig

As Managing Director for New Zealand, Craig is a key member of the global sales leadership team, responsible for driving relationships with government, financial institutions, enterprise, and promoting the small business economy. Craig has been with Xero for several years, and returns to New Zealand from the United Kingdom, where he led Xero's entrance into Europe, the Middle East and South Africa markets.Craig is a father of four and a successful former rugby player who spent more than eight years playing professionally in New Zealand, France, England, and Wales.

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About Bronwyn

Bronwyn Hudson is a Personalised Nutrition and Wellbeing Strategist in private clinical practice. She also lectures on BSc and MSc programs at the Center for Nutrition Education and Lifestyle Management. Bronwyn is motivated by the desire to make a real difference in the health and wellbeing of others, using the latest in scientific knowledge and current best practice. Personally, she has supported her husband on his mental health journey and together they are raising four pretty awesome kids in Orewa, Auckland. Bronwyn has a Bachelor of Teaching from Waikato University and a Masters of Science (Personalised Nutrition) from Middlesex University.

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About Damon

Damon is an international leader in fintech with over 15 years of experience delivering cutting-edge digital marketing and payments technology. As Director of Partner at Xero, Damon understands the ins and outs of accounting and bookkeeping. With extensive fintech experience, he understands how regulatory challenges like Making Tax Digital can become opportunities for partners.

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About Marieke

As part of NatWest’s portfolio of growing standalone digital ventures, Mettle is a new kind of business current account, created with small and medium-sized businesses in mind. Mettle is on a mission to build a product that makes running a business easier, by helping owners get paid, control costs and stay compliant. With a strategy background and extensive tech and fintech experience, Marieke joined as Mettle CEO with an established track record in leading a variety of disruptive and innovative businesses across the globe.

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About Suw

Suw Charman-Anderson is the founder of Ada Lovelace Day, a global celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and math. Each year, ALD hosts a flagship ‘science cabaret’ in London, and independent groups put on their own events around the world. She has also produced a podcast, resources database, free education pack, posters and more. Her latest project is the Finding Ada Network, a mentorship and knowledge sharing platform for women in STEM and advocates for gender equality. Previously, she has worked as a social technologist and freelance journalist, and in 2005 she co-founded the Open Rights Group, a digital rights campaigning group. 

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About Andy

Following an early career in technology and consulting, Andy has led a variety of business strategy teams across the banking industry. Over the last three years he has been central to NatWest’s proactive approach to the tech disruption in financial services by establishing a portfolio of SME focused standalone digital businesses. Under his leadership, Andy has ensured that NatWest are trailblazers in best serving SME needs.

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About Imran

Mr. Gulamhuseinwala was appointed Implementation Trustee for the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) on 13 April 2017. In his role as Trustee, he has oversight and responsibility for Open Banking’s development and delivery of the common technical standards underpinning the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) Open Banking initiative. Prior to joining Open Banking, he was involved with the Entity’s work through its stakeholder working groups and has been active in financial technology as both an investor and a start-up founder.

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About Edward

Edward’s team works with Xero’s 700+ app partners, leading banks and fintech organizations to reduce the friction points that hold back small businesses. His role covers banking and fintech engagement, leveraging Open Banking and PSD2 to realize the next generation of services for Xero customers. As a speaker, Edward has a talent for making these deeply technical subjects more accessible, simplifying the theory and demonstrating the practical implications. Edward is passionate about enabling success for small businesses and brings first-hand experience of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs. He is a co-founder of two cloud businesses; a VC-backed challenger in IT security subsequently acquired by Websense, and a business applications vendor for SMEs. Previously, Edward held leadership roles with a number of software and cloud organizations, including Microsoft, where he led UK sales for the Microsoft Dynamics ERP & CRM product division.

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About David

After David’s dream of becoming a sportsperson was crushed, along with the ligaments in his knee, he had to get a proper job. Since then he’s worked across the financial services industry, never losing his competitive desire to win. Having pitched, established and run billion-pound transformations for some of the biggest FS companies on the planet, the realisation that digital banking is only 1% finished spurred his desire to establish an organization that can make it happen. David is CEO of 11:FS, a challenger consultancy building out new propositions and ventures for some of the biggest brands on the planet. 11:FS also build in-house products from competitor benchmarking tools to core banking systems. Most recently, David led the creation and market establishment of the challenger business bank Mettle for NatWest in the UK as it’s CEO. He is also host of business podcasts, Fintech Insider and Insurtech Insider.

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About Kat

As Head of Field Sales at Xero Kat leads a team of field based account managers. Kat has extensive experience of the tax and accounting industry and uses this to help shape and define the Xero partner strategy in the UK.
Kat is passionate about developing others and guiding accounting partners through their digital transformation journey.

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About Ian

 Ian heads up a team of field based account managers at Xero, helping to shape the UK growth strategy. He has focused his career on business development and sales, specializing in software and the professional services sector.

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About Duncan

Duncan is VP Product at GoCardless, the global recurring payments specialist. Since the early days of GoCardless, Duncan has been at the forefront of the company’s mission to take the pain out of getting paid for its customers. Passionate about the vital role small businesses play in our economy, Duncan is an expert in the world of payments and the impact they have on business prosperity. Before joining GoCardless, Duncan worked in management consultancy, advising investors on Fintech and financial services M&A at Oliver Wyman.

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About Darren

Darren is responsible for growing Soldo’s small business division across Europe.
He has extensive experience scaling hypergrowth SaaS and Fintech companies that have defined their respective categories, including Xero and NetSuite. Darren is now establishing Soldo as Europe’s leading spend management solution, helping small businesses and accountants to banish the inefficiency of spending and expense management, and enabling business owners to focus on what they do best.

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About Andrew

Andrew has worked in a range of industries from being a buyer for a furniture factory, setting up his own product design company and also business development for an accounting firm. Studying for an MBA was instrumental in helping him decide to develop a career in software that helps small businesses. He has worked at Xero for nearly 6 years and now supports his National Accounts team as they strive to digitize the largest firms in the UK. 

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About Gayle

Gayle is a Campaign Manager at Xero and has been a member of the Partner Marketing team for four years. She enjoys creating tools and resources to help Xero partners reach their practice goals and use technology like Xero to make their day easier but most importantly more enjoyable. Gayle is a lover of all four legged furry animals and is the proud owner of a Swedish Vallhund dog who she loves taking for long country walks. 

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About Mark

Mark Thompson has lead and built some of the largest invoice finance, ABL and client management sales businesses and teams in the U.K. and Europe. He has spent over a decade working for some of the world's most established investment banks. Mark has moved into the private equity and Fintech space and is now the Head of Growth and Strategic Partnerships here at MarketInvoice.

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About Jordan

Over the last 3 years, Jordan has worked on every area of the MarketInvoice business and launched two new products; he now finds himself focused on scaling company operations through risk automation. Jordan began his career in Mexico as an analyst at the investment bank Rothschild, before moving to a strategy role at HSBC. Jordan later transferred to London in 2013 and turned his focus to commercial banking strategy and to expanding HSBC's lending proposition to SMEs. Jordan read Spanish and Commerce at Georgetown College. He is a Fulbright Scholar, fluent in Spanish and a part-time rower.

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About Ben

Ben first found his way to Xero in 2014 in his native home of Australia, where he helped hundreds of accounting firms migrate their practice to Xero and the cloud. Ben then made the move to London where for the past four years his role (and passion) has been to bring fintechs onto the Xero platform to help customers gain a better view of their financial position, manage payments and access capital. Ben lives in London with his wife and spends his down time working on his golf game and supporting mediocre sports teams. 

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About Neil

Neil Shorney is the founder of Navanter, the London-based training consultancy which bridges the divide between sales and delivery. Starting his career as an Energy Broker at the start-up EnergyQuote JHA (now part of Accenture), Neil joined ESI International in 2001. As the world’s largest project management consultancy, ESI gave Neil a unique perspective on the problems which exist between sales and project management, as well as on the complementary skills each function of the business can bring to the task of creating delighted customers. At Navanter, Neil creates sustainable sales-focused cultures through a holistic view of the customer’s journey, with organizations ranging from start-ups to international blue-chips.

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About Ash

Ash joined Xero in London five years ago, having attended her first Xerocon in New Zealand a year prior. It was there that her blood turned blue and she decided Xero was the place for her, no matter the country she was based. Ash is a passionate communicator by nature, as well as a firm believer in using technology to improve the way we all live and work. As well as spending time getting to know the Xero partner community, Ash now leads a team of marketers focused on developing content and communications that highlight the right information and insights to help accounting and bookkeeping firms grow and better support their business clients.

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About Matt

Matt is an Account Manager at Xero, working closely with Xero Partners across East Anglia and the Midlands to successfully transition their firms into delivering higher client engagement through the adoption of practice wide cloud computing. He built his experience across retail, insurance and marketing industries before joining Xero in 2018. Whilst at Xero he also co-launched and now co-hosts the Matt & Shaheen Podcast which features prominent guests across accounting, finance and fintech sectors.

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About Guy

Guy is an entrepreneurial accountant that is passionate on removing bottlenecks from business processes in order to achieve scalability. I'm a big believer in technology over outsourcing where possible and suitable. Guy is the founder of Interactive Accounting, which was one of the first cloud-only Xero Practice's in the world in 2009 and has won multiple Xero partner of the year awards during that time. His firm scaled up to over A$4M in fees in just over a 4 year period and Guy’s story has been showcased by NAB, one of the major banks in Australia as well as the ACCA in the UK. He is currently 100% focused on turning Practice Ignition into the single point of collaboration for small business owners and their advisors. 

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About Shaheen

Shaheen is an Account Manager at Xero, looking after partners across Northern Ireland, Scotland and the North. Originally from Hong Kong, he cut his teeth out of university co-founding and running a craft beer distribution business. The business went on to win multiple awards and successfully acquired a major competitor in the industry, before Shaheen moved to the UK to join Xero. He also co-hosts The Matt & Shaheen Podcast, featuring guests from accounting and Fintech.

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About Dhan

With experience in multiple different technology industries, across operations, product development, I’ve developed a passion for harnessing the power of technology to solve complex challenges faced by businesses - in a simple way. I’m currently focused on leading Xero’s efforts to launch and market Xero's business products in UK/EMEA, whether used by the business themselves or their accountant/bookkeeper. 

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About Matt

Matt is a Partner Consultant at Xero, working closely with partners across the South and South West of the UK. Matt started his career as an accountant but always had a special focus on technology and process design. Since joining Xero in late 2016 Matt has built up many of our conversion tools and helped many partners achieve success in their Xero projects, including 2 Large Partner of the Year winners.

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