Our first Women in Finance ranking in 2018 spotlighted influential women across various sectors, including government, business, finance and accountancy, who are all leaders, trailblazers and transforming their respective fields.
This year, we had so much interest we decided to extend the list from 20 to 35 women.
Last month, we put forward a longlist of female leaders to an audience vote. This week and next, we’ll be announcing the results of the vote – listing five women each day ahead of the full ranking release of the Top 35 Women in Finance on 30 April.
Today we present the next five women who have been named in positions 26-30 – based entirely on your votes.
26. Anne Richards, CEO, Fidelity International
Superstar investment manager Richards was poached by Fidelity from M&G, part of Prudential, at the back end of 2018. She had turned around the fortunes of M&G in less than two years but been overlooked for the top job when it was merged with Prudential’s UK insurance business.
It is said that the very traditional and family-founded Fidelity needs a rocket up it to modernise. Richards comes perfectly qualified, having started as an electronics engineer and worked at CERN, the nuclear research centre.
She has 26 years’ experience in investment management.
Richards is one of few women CEOs in a male-dominated sector.
27. Liv Garfield, CEO, Severn Trent
Champagne corks literally popped when Garfield was named Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year.
A sense of humour and perspective helps. She claimed to hate hot weather, telling the FT ‘the best weather for water companies is 17 degrees and drizzling’.
She moved to the water industry from a different set of pipes, having previously run Openreach, the infrastructure division of BT that provides the lines and cables to competitor firms too.
She joined the executive committee at BT aged 31 and ran Openreach from the age of 34 at what she described as: ‘a very busy time in my home life, with a young family’.
Before that, the avowed Everton fan had been at Accenture.
28. Rita de la Feria, Professor of Tax, Leeds
A law degree in Lisbon and a PhD in Dublin, plus spells in both cities working for Arthur Andersen, kicked off a career in academia that has seen de la Feria arguing in support of governments around the world.
She joined School of Law at the University of Leeds in January 2016 as chair in Tax Law. She remains an international research fellow at the Centre for Business Taxation at Oxford University and visiting professor at the University of Lisbon.
Her research focuses on tax law and policy, including the intersection between tax law and EU law, between tax law and public economics, and more recently between tax law and criminology.
29. Kathryn Cearns OBE, Chair of Office of Tax Simplification
Cearns started at the OTS in March 2019. She provides advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system.
She was chair of the Financial Reporting Advisory Board to HM Treasury from 2010 to 2016 and chair of ICAEW financial reporting committee from 2008 to 2017.
She is on the external audit committee for the International Monetary Fund and is a non-executive director for the UK Supreme Court, Companies House and the Property Ombudsman.
Cearns has been non-executive director of Highways England and a member of the audit and risk committee at the Department for Transport.
She worked at the UK Accounting Standards Board (now the Financial Reporting Council) and for Herbert Smith Freehills.
30. Gilly Lord, Head of London Top Tier Assurance, PwC
Lord leads a group of 38 partners and 800 assurance professionals working for PwC’s largest listed clients. This includes statutory audit and non-statutory assurance work covering many types of risk. She also leads on issues of assurance regulation and public policy.
A chartered accountant, Lord is a practising audit partner and is chair of the ICAEW’s Audit and Assurance Faculty as well as a council member at the ICAEW.
She is a member of the audit committee of University College, Oxford, where she got an MA in mathematics.
In October 2015 Lord was awarded a Women in the City Women of Achievement award for professional services.