Joy Adams

Joy Adams | Deutsche Bank

Joy works across the Compliance and Legal divisions of DB and focuses on issues related to culture, communication, and conduct. Prior to this, she worked in the Government and Regulatory Affairs Department as well as the Group Finance Communications and Engagement team, where she was responsible for the global launch of a Group Finance culture change project. This began the strategic communications campaign for the Group Financial culture initiative.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS) where she focused on political and economic development. During this time she was also the recipient of a Cultural Bridge Fellowship, which saw her travel to Sudan for research, and participated in the Harvard Square to Oval Office program to train future political leaders. Prior to her role at Deutsche Bank, Joy was based in a local council economic development office in San Francisco where she was responsible for a multimillion dollar grant fund and launched a local Green Job Corps project. Joy is the co-chair of the HKS Alumni Club in London and has volunteered with the club for three years. She also cares deeply about the arts and is a young patron for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, a charity that provides arts programmes in low income schools and for children who are in hospice care.



Nicola Ruane | EY

Nicola firmly believes that the finance sector has a responsibility to create a more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable world. From 2007 whilst working on a trading floor, Nicola began to question the negative impact of complex financial products on the wider economy. Following a career break in 2010 to work on a sustainability project in Peru, she studied part time for a Masters in CSR focusing on corporate governance, ethics, sustainability and human rights, achieving first class honours. Since 2012 she has been pioneering the EMEA CSR programme of MUFG, a major Japanese bank, developing a regional community investment programme leading to the bank’s shortlisting for a prestigious Lord Mayor of London Dragon award. At a global level, she initiated a materiality analysis to identify the bank’s most important social and environmental issues in order deliver value to the business and stakeholders. Ready for a new challenge, she has recently joined EY’s EMEIA financial services office as Corporate Sustainability Operations Lead.

A change agent, Nicola is passionate about inspiring, educating and learning with and from others to move the dial in a collaborative way; through mentor and mentee relationships, as a co-founder of the women’s network at MUFG, as an active One Young World ambassador and with a blog on the Huffington Post. Consequently, she has been invited to speak in New York at the B Team forum, a collection of business and world leaders led by Richard Branson, who have come together to advance the wellbeing of people and the planet through business. Committed to be part of changing the sector for the better - Nicola advocates for more women in senior roles, more long-term and ethical decision making and a financial services sector that responds to the needs of our society.


Layla Mullins | HSBC

layla mullinsUsing my skills in organisation and Global Event Management gained from a 14 year career as a PA, I was promoted to a business analyst role in January 2014. In my current role, I have identified and networked together 1,200 people globally to standardise tools and methods used within their roles - and launched a solid community to promote working together as a team, career development and mobility across business areas. I keep in touch with the 1,200 employees with regular comms and monthly global networking events in APAC, NY, Dubai and the UK where ideas are shared and taken back to the central team with the aim to make improvements to the way we work at HSBC.

Alongside my ‘day job’, I volunteered as an Events Organiser for the HSBC Gender Diversity employee resource group called Balance at the mid-2013. In November 2014 I was elected as the UK Chair. I am passionate about gender diversity and have driven a committee of volunteers to increase UK membership by over 500 to 2,500. I have spent a lot of time networking with senior leaders to get Balance more recognised as a key part of the HR process, improving transparency of initiatives to benefit gender diversity. I am not afraid to challenge when I believe the business is not considering the impact of decisions and have driven events for the members which genuinely engage across the business, linking senior leaders to women with aspirations. During my tenure, Balance has launched a global committee to add some governance around the 25 (and growing) branches that we have worldwide. Specifically in the UK, I have appointed committees to run Balance North (incorporating 8 branches) and Balance Scotland (3 branches) to bring he organization closer together and open opportunities for all. Together, we deliver country-wide events and work towards impacting change on the organization.

Lucy Brooker - RBS - Rising Star 2015

Lucy Brooker | RBS

Lucy has specialised in change management over her 13 year career at RBS, leading industry wide strategic programmes. With a passion for talent management, Lucy has recently turned her attention to driving Cultural Change, and is developing creative and inspiring training solutions for the Investment Banking business (Corporate and Institutional Banking) and generating an environment for continual professional development across all global regions (UK, US, EMEA and APAC).

Lucy is a passionate champion of Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, and holds the voluntary role of Global Personal Development Manager for the RBS Focused Women’s Network (c.8k members globally), responsible for the attraction, development and retention of the female talent pipeline. She has been invited to speak as an expert on Employee Led Networks at Parliament, assisting in the creation of their gender network and has also supported other organisations including Santander, Equiniti and Societe General.

Lucy established the partnership with everywoman to launch the everywomanNetwork to the UK Focused Women member to provide online flexible development, and also designed and delivered a Personal Brand- Image and Impact lecture to Senior Investment Bankers.

Lucy was nominated for the 30 Brummell Ones to Watch 2015

In her spare time she continues her passion to develop others, through being mentor within work, through the Princes Trust and also teaching Maths GCSE in her spare time.


Emma Couper | Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Emma Couper is the EMEA Risk Regional Business Manager, within the Chief Risk Officers, Chief Operating Officer’s team. She is based in London.

Emma joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in May 2010 as part of the Business Management team supporting the Head of EMEA Technology Infrastructure. She moved into her current role in August 2011 and was promoted to Director in December 2014. Emma has won two Global Diversity and Inclusion Awards (2012 and 2013) and was nominated again in 2014.

Prior to joining the firm, Emma was a Commissioned Officer in the British Army, where she reached the rank of Major. Emma was a logistician by trade but during her last few years became a humanitarian specialist and led on the interface between the military and civilian communities. During her service she was posted in Germany, UK and Canada and deployed on operations to Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

"My time at Bank of America Merrill Lynch is where I have transitioned from a Military Officer to a civilian and I have been very privileged to undertake this in such a supportive environment - it has been truly intellectually demanding and ultimately rewarding. For me our people/team mates/ employees are all important so I am very grateful that I have been able to create, drive and empower a number of initiatives within EMEA Risk and the wider firm to support their personal & professional growth.

I am a great believer in the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone both in and out of work, simply to remind myself that ‘to succeed, you have to try'.  As such I did my first ever triathlon at Windsor in early June over the Olympic distance. I was the only one of my friends who had not done a triathlon before and was utterly terrified - but I got round and actually rather enjoyed it.

I am now ready for the next challenge which will see me becoming business manager to the Chief Executive Officer at Aviva Investors in September 2015. I feel that my career in the financial sector is just beginning and as such am very grateful for this nomination."