British Credit Awards
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What are these awards all about?
The British Credit Awards recognise the stand out achievements of the most deserving individuals, teams and organisations in the international credit industry. This year we have hosted our very first virtual ceremony, as we celebrate your achievements and recognise all the hard work you have achieved in this challenging and sometimes crazy year.
As our profession navigates through the challenges of Covid-19, many individuals and organisations faced unique and unprecedented challenges, whilst continuing to make a great contribution to their businesses and the industry. Here is their opportunity to be rewarded as what is recognised as the highest accolade you can receive in your profession.
Brendan Clarkson FCICM
Gail Armstrong MCICM
Hays Accountancy & Finance
American Express (AMEX)
Nigel Fields FCICM
NBC Universal International
Sean Feast FCICM
BAE Systems Shared Services
Brendan joined CVR Global in January 2019 (acquired by Begbies Traynor Group in 2021) with more than 20 years’ experience of working with trade creditors, government bodies and lenders.
He spent eight years as Head of Creditor Services at a top ten accountancy firm, taking on around 60 insolvency appointments a year across an eight-year period.
His focus split over several core initiatives. These include CVR Global's Asset Based Lending (ABL) brokerage service, Cavalry, which supports the ABL market with potential opportunities. Further target markets include debt advisory, direct debtor marketing and creditor services.
Brendan has extensive know-how to help creditors maximise their returns when faced with bad debts; using the skills acquired during his time as a board member of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.
He also applies his expertise to businesses facing financial distress and in need of practical insolvency advice, including assisting on business turnarounds.
Brendan hosts regular seminars on credit management having written several thought leadership pieces for national publications, and has been nominated for credit management industry awards.
Brendan is a Group Treasurer of the City branch of Barnardo’s charity and is passionate about charity work.
My name is Gail Armstrong and I am the Head of Invoice 2 Cash for Siemens Plc.
I have been in the credit industry for over 30 years, 25 of those with Siemens, specializing in B2B collections and commercial litigation.
Continual improvement and automation are my key focus areas as well as ongoing learning and development for myself and my team.
In recent years we have designed and built our own bespoke collections suite which is going from strength to strength; removing admin burden from the team allowing them to focus on core collections and customer service.
Its not all about work though, Badminton and Cycling are my favourite past times. We all need a release from the grind of every day life.
Karen is a Director and recruiting expert at Hays Accountancy & Finance. She provides strategic leadership to a team of over 250 accountancy and finance recruitment professionals across over 90 UK offices, including a team of dedicated credit management recruitment experts. With 24 years of finance recruitment experience, Karen has a track record of recruiting top finance talent for businesses across a range of industry sectors, and is a trusted industry voice on recruitment, career planning and market insights.
Prior to retiring in June 2017 Liz was a Senior Partner at Big 4 firm EY. Liz held a number of important positions in the firm latterly as a member of the UK and Ireland Board as Managing Partner with responsibility for developing and delivering the firm’s highly successful strategy for employer brand, talent development and Diversity and Inclusion.
Liz is also 30+ year experienced commercial Restructuring professional having led the UK firm’s Restructuring business of £100m with 500 people through the global financial crisis. This required strong inclusive leadership skills in order to manage demand and resource through a period of exponential growth whilst also enhancing profit margins. Throughout her career, Liz has had prolific success in building client relationships and securing new restructuring projects as well as coaching teams and other Partners to be successful in winning new accounts, projects and relationships.
In 2013, Liz was elected by her industry peers to be President of R3 the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, representing the interests of restructuring firms large and small all over the UK.
In the last 5 years of her career at EY, Liz sat on the UK&I Board supporting Partners and staff across the firm in all aspects of the employee lifecycle and Partner admissions. Liz also enhanced the firm’s brand with clients and non-clients alike, helping them to achieve the best from their workforce and creating environments where it was possible for everyone to succeed regardless of background. This strategy not only enhanced EY’s reputation but also resulted in Liz being recognised by HM Queen with the honour of OBE for services to equality in the workplace.
In the period since retiring, Liz held the position of Interim CEO for the Insolvency Practitioners Association, a regulator for the profession. Following her success in this role, in March 2020, Liz was appointed as interim CEO of R3 – the trade body for restructuring professionals in the UK.
American Express (AMEX) is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.
AMEX’s Business Payment Solutions provides businesses, of any size, an innovative way to access alternative sources of funding by helping companies improve their working capital and payment processes. As a traditional provider of corporate and purchasing card solutions, we’re now able to offer lending solutions for a wider range of B2B spending categories that are disrupting the marketplace by using unsecured credit lines and risk management.
Natalie’s career with American Express has resulted in a career path across a number of disciplines and geographies., including a move from Australia to London, where mentors and advocates, both inside and outside of the business continue to play a critical role in her success. 16 years on with Amex and now heading up the Strategic Sales Corporate business for Global Corporate Services focusing on executing the B2B supplier payments strategy.
Growing into Senior Leadership, Natalie draws on experiences and learning curves, mentorship, and ambition to support teams in a challenging, but ultimately fun and successful environment. Constantly inspired by people within the business, paving the way for the future generation of young leaders by smashing the “glass ceiling” and challenging conventional wisdom.
It’s this type of environment that allows Amex to develop our competitive and evolutionary payment solutions. Tailored for corporations turning over $50 million+, requiring alternatives to traditional financing.
nigel fields FCICM
Nigel is a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Credit Management and has a long career leading Order to Cash (O2C) processes and finance transformations. Most recently working as a consultant with a new start-up “TheBossCat.com” following many years working for Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. Nigel has excellent organisation acumen and his work objectives have always been simply to focus on using better processes, removing complexities and accelerating value for the organisations profitable growth. Nigel has been very focused with assisting business to successfully adopt digital innovations across their O2C processes that deliver various automations that improves working capital . He is also credited with making multi-million pound recoveries from business insolvencies and is very knowledgeable on payment securities.
Sean Feast FCICM MCIPR is a PR Professional and Journalist with more than 35 years’ experience across the defence, high-tech and financial services sectors. A founder and owner of Gravity Global, Sean specifically leads the Gravity PR team to deploy international and award-winning reactive and proactive campaigns, including challenging briefs in a range of different areas, from the dangers of pressure ulcers through to the lethality of air launched weapons systems. He retains a foothold in journalism, editing the monthly Credit Management magazine for the CICM. He is also a regular contributor to a broad range of consumer titles and author of more than 20 books on the RAF in the second world war.
I am the Sales & Debtors service manager within BAE Systems Shared Services and manage a team of 28 professionals across the end to end Accounts Receivable function. We recently achieved our CICMQ accreditation and this has demonstrated the great passion and drive we have for achieving best practice credit management. I am a qualified accountant with a background in various finance disciplines including project management and system implementation. I have a big appetite for change, process improvement and tackling challenges head on. I love nothing more than trying to “boil the ocean.” What seems unachievable to most is an ambition for my team and I.
Paula heads Shoosmiths’ national business to business debt recovery team, a 40 strong team across the UK (including Scotland and Northern Ireland). As a commercial litigator, Paula regularly advises creditor companies on their finance and business disputes, and is accustomed to handling disputes around guarantees and indemnities, complex asset recoveries, breach of warranty and fraud claims. Paula sits on the CICM’s Technical committee, and has written and presented for CICM members through the magazine, and at various events and webinars.
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Philip Roberts FCICM
Clarke Willmott LLP
Phil is a partner in law firm Clarke Willmott LLP and head of the firm’s Debt Recovery team. The team is one of the largest in the UK with a client base that includes government departments, local authorities, utility companies, insurance companies, commercial businesses and FCA regulated companies. Phil has over 20 years experience in the industry and is recognised as an expert in the field of debt recovery litigation. He specialises in volume, defended, high profile and complex debt litigation and insolvency actions.
Michelle qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2005 with Ernst & Young LLP, Manchester where she worked in the Audit Practice for six years. Michelle joined United Utilities PLC in 2008 and has been with the company for over 11 years. She has held a number of roles within the Finance Department before joining the Domestic Retail business area in 2014 and subsequently progressing to become the Financial Controller for Domestic Retail, joining the Senior Leadership team. During her early years supporting the Domestic Retail business area Michelle developed a keen interest in the Sales and Debt operation and this drove her desire to extend her credentials beyond Finance. Michelle became the Head of Income, Domestic Retail in May 2017 and in this role has become an industry expert. As Head of Income Michelle is responsible for the end to end household meter to cash process; household revenue and bad debt sit within her area of accountability. Michelle has been instrumental in the step change in performance of United Utilities’ Billing, Credit and Collections performance over the last few years and led her team to become the first and only water company to be achieve the CICMQ accreditation in February 2019.
Philip King FCICM
Dept for Business,
Energy & Industrial Strategy
Dept for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
In a career spanning over 40 years, Philip has held senior credit management roles in the high-tech and communication sector and in distribution and retail, which included spells at Olivetti and Vodafone. He was appointed Director General of the ICM in 2005, and later Chief Executive. Philip was behind the Institute’s drive to become a Chartered body (becoming the CICM in 2015). He was appointed to the post of interim Small Business Commissioner in January 2020.
Philip is the author of the Managing Cashflow Guides for government, and the architect of the Prompt Payment Code which the CICM administered on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) until it was transferred to the SBC’s office in March 2020. He has worked closely with successive governments in championing best-practice credit management and supporting small business.
In his time leading the CICM, Philip helped transform the Institute and elevate its profile, keeping professional credit managers in the minds of government and key influencers. He was a board member of the Start-Up Loans Company, the Red Tape Champion for Insolvency and the first ever lay Chair of the Joint Insolvency Committee.
Sue Chapple FCICM
Sue is Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), the largest recognised professional body in the world for the credit management community. Before taking up this role, Sue held the post of Director of Strategic Relationships with the CICM – working collaboratively with a number of organisations in the sector, increasing awareness and building partnerships.
With over 25 years’ experience in operational credit management across finance, utilities and public sector, Sue is passionate about good business practice, improving cash flow and raising the profile of this critical role within companies and government. She also sits on a number of industry and UK government-led bodies.
The Chartered Institute of Credit Management is advancing the profession by raising awareness, developing and promoting best practice and developing its members across all roles that sit within the credit management lifecycle. Providing ongoing support, qualifications and access to a wide range of resources. CICM was instrumental in developing and supporting the Prompt Payment Code for BEIS and continues to work closely with it.
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Steve Allinson MCICM
Stephen is a Solicitor and Licensed Insolvency Practitioner who has specialised in business law, credit, debt and insolvency work since 1987, and has extensive experience in dealing with the full range of these procedures. Prior to setting up his own consultancy in 2008, he was a Business Recovery and Insolvency partner at a major law firm. He currently undertakes consultancy for a number of legal firms as well as pursuing other projects in the legal, insolvency and credit fields.
Stephen is a popular and sought after lecturer on insolvency and debt related matters to accountants, solicitors, bankers, company officers and credit managers. He is very involved in legal education, chairing the Assessment board for CICM and sitting as a member of the Qualifications Committee of CILEX. He also previously acted as a Technical Consultant to both Credit and Insolvency Today magazines and chaired for several years the premier Insolvency and Rescue Awards scheme for the industry. He was a senior member and Chair of ACCA’s disciplinary processes for a number of years and is now one of the Chairmen of the Methodist Church Disciplinary Process. In 2012 he was appointed the Deputy Independent Examiner for the Actuarial Profession. In 2013 he became Chairman of the Joint Insolvency Examination Board which oversees the examination and appointment of new Insolvency Practitioners and in June 2015 he was appointed as a Non-Executive Board Member of The Insolvency Service
and the Chairman of the Board in January 2017. Thus, he is very involved
at the heart of policy and procedure for the insolvency profession.
This category is open to all individuals who are currently undertaking, or have just completed an apprenticeship. It reflects the continued importance of training schemes in the credit industry.
OF THE YEAR AWARD
THANK YOU! THE APPRECIATION AWARD
Open to any individual or team, this award recognises those who are committing time, energy and passion to help others over and above the ‘day job’.
SHOOTING STAR AWARD
Open to individuals who have been working in the Credit Industry for less than 2 years. This award recognises exceptional performance in the role.
DUCT TAPE AWARD
The person who is able to fix just about anything.
COOL UNDER PRESSURE AWARD
Most likely to stay level-headed no matter what's happening.
The British Credit Awards recognise the stand out achievements of the most deserving individuals, teams and organisations in the international credit industry.
Explore our 2021 Awards
Click on a category to reveal the winner
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION AWARD
Open to organisations that put diversity and inclusion at the heart of their business.
Find the winner
OF THE YEAR AWARD
This is the ultimate accolade and is awarded to an inspirational role model in recognition of outstanding professionalism in the Credit Industry.
CREDIT TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD
Open to teams who have delivered over and above business as usual, and achieved excellent outcomes in credit management delivery.
THE SIR ROGER CORK PRIZE
An annual award presented to the candidate who achieved the highest aggregate CICM examination pass-marks within the calendar year 2020.
This award is open to CICM Accredited organises and recognises high performance of the team that adapted to the changing circumstances of 2020 and continued to deliver significant business performance.
CICMQ HIGH PERFORMING TEAM AWARD
THE YEAR AWARD
Alicja has shown extraordinary resilience and maturity through an extremely difficult period , being furloughed, made redundant and then re-hired. Her professionalism and enthusiasm has shone through in spite of the turmoil. A real credit to her profession.
CLICK TO REVEAl
Who's the winner?
About this category
This category is open to all individuals who are currently undertaking, or have just completed an apprenticeship.
It reflects the continued importance of training schemes in the credit industry.
Highly Commended: Olivia Round, The Very Group
Valor Hospitality Europe Limited
A kind heart is definitely something the team should be thankful for. Sounds as though Emma has been a real lynch pin during these challenging times
About the category sponsor
Data Interconnect is one of Europe’s most reliable and trusted privately-owned SaaS Invoice-to-Cash Automation vendors. Founded in 1996, to provide real-world solutions to help Credit Management teams collect cash faster. Globally renowned customers from all business sectors depend on Data Interconnect’s ‘Corrivo’ consolidated Billing, Collection and Dispute modules for efficient cash flow, real-time budget control and the acceleration of financial closing. Data Interconnect headquartered in Watchfield, Wiltshire, has an experienced team of over fifty credit professionals, who are committed to creating and delivering world-class solutions which help Credit Management teams collect cash faster.
Chris Sanders FCICM,
Sanders Consulting Associates
The Adecco Group UK & Ireland
npower Business Solutions
The Adecco Group UK & Ireland
Who made the shortlist?
Judges Praises: Haylie Heather, npower Business Solutions
The Adecco Group UK & Ireland
Lisa-Marie's entry really demonstrates what can be achieved in early stage careers with the right support and development. Really enabling her to shine!
Portfolio Credit Control is the UK’s leading recruitment consultancy that focuses solely on the Credit Control market. Specialising in the placement of permanent, temporary and contract credit professionals at all levels from Credit Administrators through to Senior Credit Controllers, Credit Managers and Heads of Credit. Our industry expertise and market knowledge makes us proud to be recruitment partners with a range of FTSE 100 clients through to household names and SME’s.
Portfolio Credit Control is an award winning recruiter, with places on the Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to work for, The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and most recently, The Recruiter Hot 100 this year.
The Very Group
Open to individuals who have been working in the Credit Industry for less than 2 years.
This award recognises exceptional performance in the role.
Always impressed by anyone that sets their own personal targets as well as company imposed ones. What an amazing year to have an unprecedented result! Very Impressive.
Aurangzaib Chawla, Lanop Accountants
Kieran Reid, The Adecco Group UK & Ireland
Judges Praises: Virginija Tesarcik, RS Components
Marstons are very focused in moving with current times and expectations of good working practices. The goals/expectations are of a excellent standard and I am very impressed.
with Haylie Heather, npower Business Solution highly commended
Claire showed lots of varied demonstration of fixes from personnel support and small continuous business improvement initiatives through to larger demonstrated financial benefits - this entry demonstrates well the Mrs fixit in Claire
Chris Williams, Royal Mail
Claire Rigby, Wex Europe (Services) Ltd
The Adecco Group UK & Ireland
The person who is able to fix just about anything.
Wex Euroupe (Services) Ltd
OF THE YEAR
Arvato Financial Solutions
Imperial College London
London School of Economics
Scottish Water Business Stream
Tarmac Trading Ltd
Tenth Revolution Group
The Adecco Group UK & Ireland
Open to teams who have delivered over and above business as usual, and achieved excellent outcomes
in credit management delivery.
Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the order to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.
Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and offer overview and control of the payment process, as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship. In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully used for successful credit management.
This entry recognised the benefit of transparency, customer segmentation, flexibility within a framework, knowledge sharing, financial counselling - shows a real deep understanding of debt resolution - clearly a team that shows forward thinking and growth.
Tarmac Trading Ltd
A standout performance with transformative change and strong results - Such a complex sector, particularly during the pandemic restrictions and Brexit impact. The team have clearly done a great job in 2020
Debbie Matthews MCICM
Wex Europe (Services) Ltd
Debbie Matthews MCICM (Grad), The Adecco Group UK & Ireland
Gillian Johnston MCICM,
Wex Europe (Services) Ltd
Natalie Tate, Just
University of Central Lancashire
Nicos Ioannou FCICM,
Infocredit Group Limited
Dudley Building Society
Vinod Kerai ACICM,
Chesterton Global Limited
Debbie's impact goes far beyond her day job and has positively impacted her direct reports, their direct reports as well as clients struggling through Covid 19 restrictions - A real leader and role model showing exceptional commitment to team and business
Hays Credit Management is a national specialist division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of credit management and receivables professionals, at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As the CICM’s only premium corporate partner, we are best placed to help all clients and candidates recruitment needs as well providing guidance on CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking, marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign led recruitment, competency based interviewing, career and recruitment trends.
For more information, visit www.hays.co.uk
Judges Praises: Vinod Kerai ACICM, Chesterton Global Limited
Tarmac have all of the attributes of a high performing team, extremely motivated and engaged people, that work closely with stakeholders throughout the business and have a very clear idea of what they want to achieve, whilst sharing their experiences in credit management to help other organisations in the CICM Best Practice Network.
THE SIR ROGER
Ben Holdsworth ACICM
Energy Saving Trust