Mr Alisdair Barr

CEO and Founder

Alisdair Barr is the Founder and Managing Director of Grad Mentor who’s sole purpose is to raise awareness of Financial Planning in small to medium firms as an exciting and rewarding career path to ensure the future of the profession. Grad Mentor only works with new entrants to the profession and in the process interviews hundreds of university graduates a year. Most of the graduates end up working in small to medium Financial Planning and Accounting businesses so through this process and experience many lessons have been learnt.

This has all ended up in the development of a digital platform called Striver which will support Australian business even further with the attraction, engagement and retention of graduate talent.

Ms Claire Bibby

Principal Lawyer & Life Coach
Claire Bibby Pty Ltd

Claire is COO & General Counsel of Immediation, a non-executive director of Marist180, My Property Circles, and the University of Technology Sydney Law Advisory Board, an accredited mediator, arbitrator, professional coach and mentor.

In addition, Claire is an honorary member of the NSW executive of the Australian Association of Corporate Counsel, an Entrepreneur Ambassador for Opportunity International, and a committee member of the New South Wales Law Society Futures Committee and the Resolution Institute. Claire is also a Foundation Speaker with The Prominenti Society Speakers Agency.
Claire has been recognised as one of Australia’s best lawyers and female executives, including having been awarded the “Excellence Award for Women in Law”, “General Counsel of the Year”, “Female Executive of the Year in Asia, Australia & New Zealand”, “Mentor of the Year” and was featured in SmartCompany's International Women's Day Showcase.

Part and parcel with her passion for the law and advancing the interests of women, Claire is an active philanthropist and public speaker on issues of innovation, diversity and inclusion, psychological wellness, developing high performing teams and women’s leadership. Claire is also a mentor for 7 x World Surfing Champion Layne Beachley AO's "Aim for the Stars" Foundation.


Ms Dina Ward

Chief Psychology Officer

I work in leadership positions across a number of areas, with experience in strategic and operational business, and people management.

I am a registered psychologist with a Masters Degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology. My areas of interest and passion include education and awareness-raising of gender diversity barriers in the business world and the wider community.

With more than 10 years of industry experience, some of my key work includes facilitating fair and unbiased recruitment, promotion and development practices for many ASX listed companies (eg. National Australia Bank, Coles, Crown Resorts, DuluxGroup), as well as federal and local government (eg. Department of Finance, NSW Health, Taxation Office).

Fariborz Moshirian

Institute of Global Finance, UNSW Business School

Professor Fariborz Moshirian is the Director of the Institute of Global Finance (IGF) at the UNSW Business School, Sydney. The IGF does collaborative research on Systemic risk, financial innovation and global financial stability with NYU, UCLA and has done joint work with the Asian Development Bank, the IMF, the World Bank, PwC and a number of world-class research centres. Fariborz was the Bertil Danielsson Professor of Finance at the Stockholm School of Economics. He is a consultant to the Asian Development Bank. He served as the Head of the School of Banking and Finance at UNSW for over four years. 

Fariborz has published a number of influential research works in leading international journals including the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and the Journal of Banking and Finance. These research works cover subjects such as global governance, global financial stability and prosperity, interconnectedness, world order, systemic risk and the financial and social challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. 

He has been the editor of several publications on global financial, economic and social issues published by Elsevier. He has also been a co-editor of a number of  policy works with senior researchers from the World Bank, the IMF, the Bank for International Settlements, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Bank of England and the Reserve Bank of Australia including the following publications:  “Globalization and Financial Services in Emerging Countries”;  “Global Financial Crisis, Risk Analysis and Risk Management”; “Systemic Risk, Basel III, Governance and Financial Stability”  and “Systemic Risk: Liquidity Risk, Governance and Global Financial Stability”

Mr Guy Pearson

CEO/Chairman/Angel Investor

Guy Pearson is a Chartered Accountant, a Tax agent with 15 years experience in public practice (8 as a Director) and a self confessed geek as a lover of numbers and technology. 

His mantra is “Utilitarianism” - the greatest good for the greatest number, or in short, to get the right information to the right people to make the right decision. His journey from cloud accounting firm founder to tech company CEO follows this path. 

A multi award winning entrepreneur, a keynote speaker and accounting industry stalwart (especially in the cloud discussion).  Guy shares knowledge to help step change the industry and wants to help his fellow men and women get better advice to their clients, faster. Lastly, putting the gains where his mouth is, Guy has made numerous investments in startup fintech + business tech platforms around the globe and sits on a 12+ advisory boards. 

Dr. Helen Spiropoulos

Assistant Associate Dean (Learning Innovation)
University of Technology, Sydney

With a commercial background in marketing and communication, Helen has spent the last twelve years specialising in strategy development and operational management for not-for-profits in the areas of organisational change management, marketing, communications, fundraising and people & culture.

Currently Helen is the Campaign Director of Include a Charity, a campaign of the Fundraising Institute of Australia, working with over 100 charities to increase the awareness of charitable gifts in wills. She also works as a leadership coach for The NonProfit Alliance, is an accredited practitioner of the Strengths Profile program and consults to a number of other not for profits throughout Australia.

Ms Kim Payne

Managing Director

Kim works with professional advisers to unlock the hidden value in their business. Because most know how valuable they are, but struggle when it comes to communicating it.

Kim helps them to clarify, explain and demonstrate the value of their advice so they can get more clients, get paid what they’re worth and build a business that makes them proud.

Having spent 20 years in the corporate world, been a financial adviser and running two of her own businesses, she gets a kick out helping others through keynote presentations, commenting in the media, delivering group workshops and coaching her clients.

Ms Liz Stamford

General Manager, Australian Regions
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Liz trained as a Chartered Accountant in the UK which led her to audit and corporate recovery roles before moving onto PwC where she became the Director of Assurance Risk & Quality based in New York. She made the big move to Australia in 2000 and is now the General Manager for Australian Regions at CA ANZ. In addition to this, Liz is also an independent non-executive director at AIDF.

With over 30 years’ experience in senior management roles, Liz is known for her warm and welcoming personality with a passion for member experience, building team culture and diversity in the workplace.

Dr Maryam Safari

Lecturer of Accounting
School of Accounting - RMIT University

Dr Maryam Safari is a lecturer in Accounting in the School of Accounting at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Maryam's PhD research focused on the Australian corporate governance, and financial reporting quality. Maryam’s current research focuses on corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and social and human capital. She has a particular interest in these issues in corporate governance contexts. Maryam's teaching experience spans a range of subjects in financial accounting at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.   

Ms Melody Gao

Senior Lawyer
Sophie Grace

Melody is a lawyer at Sophie Grace Legal and Compliance. She specialises in financial services law and advises on licensing applications, financial services compliance, product disclosure documents, contractual documents and acquisition of financial firms. Melody’s clients include financial planners, FX and derivative traders, fund managers, payment providers, digital currency providers, remittance providers and credit providers.

Melody has a double degree in Actuarial Studies and Law from the Australian National University (ANU) and is admitted as a lawyer in New South Wales.

Ms Nicole Hatherly

Executive Consultant
Happiness Concierge

As a leading Brand and Leadership Strategist, international keynote speaker, facilitator, published writer, Nicole Hatherly offers 26 years’ experience delivering cutting edge leadership strategies for international organisations.

Nicole works with financial services leaders and teams, academics, actuaries, government departments, organisations, and business leaders to create effective processes and influence for impact.

Trusted by the Department of Health, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, The University of Sydney, Mirvac Nicole also coaches Executive Management and C-Suite clients across Australia.

With first-hand experience as an Executive Manager at CommBank for a decade, and ASIC RG146 compliant in Securities and Managed Investments, Nicole understands leadership within Financial Services.

Leading and training a number of remote working teams across many years, presenting in a virtual environment is second nature for Nicole.

Trained by LinkedIn for LinkedIn Social Selling, Nicole co-led a strategic team to implement the successful CommBank Social Selling Program for 500 Business Bankers over 5 years - and is consistently ranked in the top 1% for her industry and network across LinkedIn.

With a flair and passion for entrepreneurial business, Nicole uses her training in Design Thinking Methodology to focus on the problem solving with an authentic customer lens to strategically position and align teams to drive performance with their customers at the heart of success.

Mr Paul Kofman

Sidney Myer Chair of Commerce / Dean
The University of Melbourne

Professor Paul Kofman holds a PhD in Economics (1991) from Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He came to Australia in 1994 as a Lecturer in Econometrics at Monash University. After subsequent positions at UNSW and UTS, he was appointed as Professor of Finance at The University of Melbourne in 2001. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics in May 2012. Professor Kofman currently holds the Sidney Myer Chair of Commerce. His main research interest is in quantitative finance and the ethics of finance, but he has also published papers in international trade, econometrics, and actuarial journals. He has received numerous research grants and has consulted for various financial institutions and financial markets.  

Ms Pauline Vamos

Non Executive Director
Mercer Superannuation Australia Limited

Pauline is a non-executive director of, the Mercer Superannuation Australia Limited, the Banking and Finance Oath (BFO), Interaction Disability Services as well as the Chairman of CIMA Society of Australia (formerly IMCA Australia) and Freedom Insurance Group.

She has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry.
During 2017 and 2108, she was the CEO of Regnan, a leading research and engagement provider focused on long term ESG risks of the ASX 200 for institutional investors. Prior to Regnan, Pauline was the CEO of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) for almost nine years.

In the three years prior to 2007 when she joined ASFA, Pauline consulted to the financial services industry and was on a number of boards. Pauline was also a senior executive with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for seven years and in that role, managed the implementation of the Managed Investment Act and the Financial Services Reform Act.

A qualified lawyer, Pauline has also been a corporate counsel, head of compliance, and strategic risk consultant. Previously, she has been a member of the peak advisory and consultative groups on pension and superannuation reform for government in Australia and the UK. Pauline was on the Advisory Council for the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR), an academic centre of excellence for research and education in the financial sector.

Pauline was voted ‘most influential in the financial services industry’ by Money Management as well as ‘most influential in the superannuation industry’ by Super Review. In 2013, Pauline was recognised as one of the ‘Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence’. Pauline was also awarded in October the Superannuation Executive of the Year in the Women In Financial Services Awards 2016. In November 2016, Pauline was elected an ASFA Life Member in recognition of long standing service to ASFA and the superannuation industry.

Mrs Rachel Staggs

Head of Marketing & Client Engagement

Rachel is recognised as one of the industry’s leading marketing experts with more than 20 years’ experience providing expert advice in all areas of financial services marketing. She has seen what works and what doesn’t and is well positioned to advise others.

A true believer in continued education Rachel stays ahead by engaging mentors and completing further study in all areas of marketing.

Rachel joined JBWere in December 2019 and is responsible for developing and leading all marketing strategies for this preeminent wealth brand.

Ms Sascha Moore

Create Design & Marketing

Sascha Moore is a marketing specialist, who focuses on providing highly strategic, creative solutions – predominantly to the financial services and legal industries. Sascha has extensive experience in Australia and the United States with developing effective integrated marketing programs, and directing their implementation. She is now the Director of Create Design & Marketing, a boutique marketing communications agency that fuses solid strategy and powerful designs that directly resonates with a clients’ end markets. This approach creates a true connection: and connection drives results, deepens brand equity and furthers relationships. In addition to her professional obligations, Sascha is actively committed to educating brokers on how to enhance their business through incorporating smart marketing practices.

Mr Steve Prendeville

Forte Asset Solutions

Is the founder and Managing Director of Forte Asset Solutions, Forte Licensing Solutions and Forte Consulting Solutions. Forte’s Asset Solutions core activity is selling financial services businesses. Forte Licensing Solutions assist practices to find the right Dealer group or become self- licenced. Forte Consulting Solutions assists business to grow.

Steve has enjoyed a successful 30 plus year career in financial services.

Steve was a Partner in Deloitte and CEO of DFS Financial Services a HNW Advisory Group. After selling DFS Steve created Australia’s first specialist financial services M&A group.

Steve is a member of the International Association of Consultants, Valuators and Analysts.

Ms Vicki Stylianou

Executive GM Advocacy & Technical
Institute of Public Accountants

Vicki is currently employed by the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), which is one of the professional accounting bodies in Australia, with over 35,000 members in 65 countries worldwide. The IPA has offices across Australia, in London, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Two-thirds of the IPA’s members work in or with small business or SMEs. Further information can be found at, www.publicaccountants.org.au.

Vicki came to the IPA in 2007 from the Australian Federal Treasury, where she worked in business tax policy, prudential regulation of the banking sector, financial literacy and in the Office of Best Practice Regulation. Prior to this, Vicki was a practicing lawyer specialising in commercial litigation, working in Australia and overseas. Vicki holds a BJuris, LLB, BA, MBA (international business) and DFP.

Vy Pham

Sales Strategy Manager
Zurich Financial Services

Vy Pham is a financial services professional with over 18 years’ experience in solving complex problems in wealth and banking with a unique breadth and depth of experience across multiple disciplines including program management, strategy, risk, marketing, communications and investment reporting. She has had experience running strategic projects and working with clients in Australia, Asia and the US. She is currently a Distribution Project Manager at Zurich, working on strategic projects across Adviser Sales, Customer Office, Marketing and Underwriting.

Vy is a passionate diversity advocate and serves as a Non-Executive Board Member on the boards of UN Women Australia and Australian Gender Equality Council.