Water UK EventsInnovation Hub 2014
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Session Leaders


Richard Bienfait, Chief Executive, Affinity Water

Richard Bienfait BA ACA AMCT is Chief Executive Officer of Affinity Water. He was previously Managing Director of Veolia Water Central (which was renamed Affinity Water in 2012) and Chief Financial Officer of Veolia Water UK between 2004 and 2010. Richard started his career with the accountants Ernst & Young, before working for PepsiCo in the UK. Richard is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and an Associate Member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. He is a graduate in Economics from Exeter University.


Chris Loughlin, Chief Executive, South West Water

Chris started his career as a Consulting Engineer, working in North America, Africa and the UK. Following a period in engineering contracting, he moved on to work in the regulated utilities industry. At British Nuclear Fuels, he held a variety of roles including Executive Vice Chairman of Pacific Nuclear Transport. He was a main Board Director of BNFL plc and became Executive Chairman of Magnox Electric, which at the time generated about 10% of the country’s electricity. Earlier in his career he was a senior Diplomat in the British Embassy in Tokyo.

Prior to being appointed as Chief Executive of South West Water in August 2006, he was Chief Operating Officer of Lloyds Register, the world leading quality and safety assurance organisation.

Chris is a Board member of WaterAid.


Peter Farrer, Chief Operating Officer, Scottish Water

Peter joined the Water Industry in Scotland 30 years ago after graduating from Heriot Watt University as a Civil Engineer. In the early years, he worked on design and construction of major water and wastewater projects and became a Chartered Civil Engineer in 1990, before moving into Operational Management. He gained an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School in 2001 and when Scottish Water was formed in 2002 he held various General Management roles. In 2008, he was appointed to the Board of Scottish Water as Customer Service Delivery Director and in 2013 became Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer.


Speaker and Panel Participants


Jan Bowen, Executive Partner, IBM Global Business Services

Jan has over 20 years' experience of working within supply chain management and operations, focusing on realising improvement of performance across both geographic and organisational boundaries. She has worked in a variety of industries spanning automotive, aerospace and defence, utilities and more recently chemicals and petroleum. She has led significant improvement projects that help transform businesses through strategic, process and organisation changes. In particular, Jan has led the business design in major transfomation programmes involving the implementation of SAP within equipment manufacture, CPG, utilities and pharmaceuticals.

Jan is a Chartered Engineer with the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and is currently leading IBM's solution and market development of the Smart Water proposition for the UK water industry.


Andrew Bryan, Associate Director, Henley Centre for Customer Management

Andrew Bryan is an experienced management consultant who has had senior roles with a range of blue chip companies. Andrew is Associate Director of the Henley Centre for Customer Management, undertaking research into customer experience topics on behalf of the members as well as consultancy assignments for private and public sector clients, including the UK water industry and UKWIR.

With a background in the application of technology, Andrew has expanded his expertise to encompass customer management, change management and digital commerce. He currently focuses on customer experience and the emerging area of “Customer Effort”. He has been responsible for designing and implementing customer-focused change programmes with several companies both as an internal change agent and external consultant through Stewart and Clark Associates.


Dhruv Chowdhary, Senior Manager - Customer Strategy, Accenture

Dhruv Chowdhary is an experienced Senior Manager within Accenture’s Customer Strategy practice. He has been with a few top consulting firms in his consulting career and has led several customer transformation programmes across Utilities, Life Sciences and Technology sectors in UK and Ireland. These programmes include customer service improvement, customer operating model transformation, customer channel management, driving customer culture and front and back office optimisation. Dhruv joined Management Consulting from capital machinery manufacturing industry where he had various customer management roles. He has an MBA and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering.


Joanna Elson, Chief Executive, Money Advice Trust

Joanna started her career as a primary school teacher, and then became a researcher for a number of different MPs. She moved to the British Bankers’ Association in 1997, where she ran their policy department relating to personal and small business customers. Joanna is a member of the Centre for Social Justice’s Serious Personal Debt working party, H M Treasury’s Home Finance Forum, poverty alleviation charity Turn 2 Us’s Strategic Development Group, the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board Advisory Panel, and the British Bankers’ Association’s Consumer Panel. She is also a school governor.

In 2010, Joanna was awarded an OBE for services to people in debt, and achieved the Institute of Directors’ Chartered Director Status.


Laura Jamieson, Head of Customer Experience Improvement, Barclays

Laura has over 22 years’ experience of strategic transformation, operational, functional, portfolio/programme management and leadership roles across market leading organisations and entrepreneurial start-ups within Retail Financial Services. Viewed as an operational specialist who passionately advocates customer centricity and who strives to deliver E2E process transformation which sets the industry standard and creates ‘world class operations’ which deliver a consistent ‘world class’ customer experience. Previously she was Director - Head of Operational Excellence at Barclays and prior to that Director of Operations at Ivobank.


Diane McCrea, Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Wales Committee, COnsumer Council for Water

Diane McCrea was appointed Chair - Wales Committee and Vice Chair of the Board from 1 October 2005 (re-appointment from 1 October 2013). Diane has run her own consultancy business since 1997 focusing on consumer affairs and consumer policy, mainly on the regulatory aspects of consumer food issues in the UK, EU and internationally. She has been a member of several Government Advisory Committees on food and is currently the Board Member for Wales on Passenger Focus. In her earlier career she was Head of Food and Health Research at Which?, and previously was in academia at Middlesex University. She is a Trustee of the All Saints Educational Trust, and is Chair of Shelter Cymru and of the Soil Association Certification Ltd's Certification Scrutiny Committee.


Scott Morrison, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Money Advice Service

Scott has spent 20 years working in various areas of financial services from retail banking through to sub-prime lending, arrears management, debt management and advice. Scott is a Partnership Delivery Manager for the Money Advice Service responsible for partnership working and engagement across Central and Local Government, Education, Third Sector, Not for profit and Utilities.


Helen Phillips, Director of Customer Service and Networks, Yorkshire Water

Helen was appointed Director of Customer Service & Networks at Yorkshire Water, and Chairman of Loop Customer Management Ltd in March 2012, after 6 years as Chief Executive of Natural England. She also has 15 years’ experience in the environment sector gained at the Environment Agency and the National Rivers Authority. Helen has a degree in zoology and a Ph.D. in freshwater biology from University College Dublin. She is an alumnus of the Cambridge industry programme, the Oxford Finance Programme and a Fellow of the Society of Biology.

Helen is a Board Member of the European Centre for Nature Conservation based in the Netherlands and an Advisor to Sheffield Business School.


Angela Smith MP, Shadow Minister for Water

Angela Smith joined the DEFRA team as a Shadow Environment Minister with responsibility for Water, Animal Welfare, the Marine Environment and Fisheries in April 2014. Previously she has been PPS to Yvette Cooper, a member of the Transport Select Committee, an Assistant Opposition Whip and between October 2011 and April 2014 was the Shadow Deputy Leader of the House. She is MP for the Sheffield constituency of Penistone & Stocksbridge and has been an MP since 2005.


Tom Standring, Director - Development, MWH Treatment

Tom Standring is a Director for MWH Treatment Ltd and heads up Solution Development within MWH Treatment, repositioning the business for AMP6 including direct responsibility for MWH’s “Think Customer” and “Drive for 5” customer initiatives. A Chartered Structural Engineer with over 20 years' experience in the water sector, his passion for customer engagement and wider stakeholder engagement is grounded in his early programme management experience in delivering Scottish Water’s Coastal Towns and Coastal Communities programme in the West of Scotland. Tom is currently MWH’s Partner Head within Anglian Water’s @One Alliance.

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Location

76 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PZ

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