National Member Group Directors
Sonia holds a Managing Director position at Standard Chartered Bank based in London as Regional Head for Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Europe and Americas. Responsible for the external brand positioning, sponsorships, communications, PR, client marketing and engagement, delivery of the sustainability and CSR agenda across the region.
Prior to this role she held several global and regional management positions in Transaction Banking. Leading the Product organisation in over 45 markets globally managing and delivering Transaction Banking working capital capabilities and solutions across cash management and trade finance for corporate clients, securities services and correspondent banking for financial institution clients.
She joined Standard Chartered in 2010 and brings over 25 years of experience in global institutions including ABN AMRO and RBS. She has held leadership positions in Relationship Management, Sales, Product Management and Operations. Over this period, she has led major infrastructure developments, integration and divestment of businesses in many geographies and regulatory engagement globally.
Sonia currently serves as Chair of SWIFT National Member Group and SWIFT UK board Chair. She is an active member of the Standard Chartered regional D&I council, as co-sponsor of the Gender Equality and Generations networks. She is on the Senior Leadership Forum of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, Power of Diversity and active in several external forums. She serves as a Governor at a local Academy school and has held Advisory roles in several Fintech start-ups in Asia and Europe
John joined NatWest in 1985 and has extensive experience of operations management at executive level covering payments, transaction banking and retail banking. He is currently Director of Shared Services with senior executive responsibility for a range of activities across the bank including compliance services, property and operations globally.
John is SWIFT SC Board Director for the UK.
Karen Braithwaite is Managing Director, Global Head – Transaction Banking within Barclays International, based in London. Her responsibilities cover global payments, digital channels, liquidity products, foreign exchange, trade finance and working capital across product management, sales management and client management. She leads teams that serve clients globally, including corporates, financial institutions, non-bank financial institutions and governments. Karen is a member of the Corporate Banking Executive Forum.
Karen has over 30 years’ banking experience, including 21 years with BNY Mellon, where she was most recently the Global Head of Product Management, Treasury Services. Other roles have included global leadership of client onboarding, servicing and quality programs across custody, markets, and operations.
Prior to BNY Mellon, Karen worked for Williams & Glyn's Bank and S.G Warburg & Co. She joined Barclays in 2018.
Karen is passionate about inclusivity and has a proven track record of identifying, hiring and nurturing talent.
Katie Gillingham is the EMEA Head of Shared Services Operations at Nomura. She is responsible for the following; Settlements (all asset classes), Asset Servicing, New Issues, Confirmations, Cash Management, Futures and Options and Reconciliations. She has over 18 years Operations experience in a variety of management roles including Reference Data and Equities Middle Office.
Prior to Nomura Katie worked at Lehman Brothers managing EMEA Security Settlements. Katie has a BA hons degree in Business Studies.
Samantha joined LBG in 2021 and is responsible for leading the strategic direction on payments, including driving the Group’s payments strategy and managing the Group’s external relationships across the payments industry and regulators. Samantha supports enterprise-wide services including payments settlement and liquidity, EU payments branch activity and payments policy.
Previously, Samantha held roles at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) where she focused on both payments and innovation. She was part of the Payments leadership team which designed and delivered the first strategy and supervisory model for PSR/EMR firms, later returning to deliver on critical Covid-19 response work. She also spent time leading FCA’s fintech agenda; driving domestic and international engagement across industry, policymakers and other ecosystem players; developing policy on key innovation themes; and delivering innovation enablement services to market such as the Regulatory Sandbox.
Before the FCA, Samantha held several senior positions at RBS. In the early part of her time with the bank she held various roles in Global Transaction Services (GTS) leading on digital innovation, strategy design, transformation, and regulatory change. Latterly she was a Director in non-core delivering key parts of the GTS wind-down across product, region and assets.
Marco is the Managing Director and Europe Head of Payments Product for its Global Liquidity and Cash Management business based in London, meeting the needs of HSBC corporate and financial service clients to make and better manage payments and receive collections both domestic and international across 21 markets. This covers a wide remit of electronic and paper based solutions, and so it covers payments from the most traditional to the latest innovation. His 25-year career in banking has taken him around the world, from Mumbai to Chennai, Chicago to Prague and Rome to Edinburgh. A former British Royal Navy officer, Marco holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a degree in Electronic and Communication Engineering from the University of Bristol. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (MCISI), and a Freeman of the City of London.
Russell has over 30 years’ experience in retail and commercial banking, is a member of the SWIFT SC Board and Non-Executive to BFC Bank Ltd and Senior Independent Director Designate. Russell is a member of the Bank of England’s RTGS advisory board and Chair of the BoE’s Industry Forum considering the Future.
Nicholas Hamilton is an Executive Director in JP Morgan’s Digital & Platform Services team. He manages the European Production operations in the Markets business for Bonds. This covers the Primary & Secondary market activity and associated financing flows (Repo), regulatory reporting and change the bank programmes.
Nicholas is also an active industry participant leading the Operations Committee for the ICMA European Repo & Collateral Council, JPMorgan & the ICMA representative on the ECB Advisory Group on Securities & Collateral in addition to chairing the SWIFT UK Securities Advisory Forum & sits on the SWIFT UK national user group. He has been more recently focused on the development of machine learning tools, collateral products & market liquidity & efficiency in T2S.
Ad van der Poel is the head of Product Management, Global Transaction Services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In this role he is responsible for the development and deployment of payments, receivables, FX, liquidity, channels and information services for both corporate and FI clients across the region. Van der Poel is also a member of the GTS EMEA executive team.
Prior to re-joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2017, van der Poel was managing director for Basware Financial Services, a global purchase-to-pay SAAS (software-as-a-service) provider for multinational companies. As part of this position, he was responsible for setting up a fintech business unit which developed payments, cash management, supply chain finance and working capital services.
During his 20 years in the payments industry, van der Poel has led BofAML’s GTS EMEA corporate product team and worked at ING as executive director of Payments Innovation. He also has experience in strategy, product management, programme management, operations and IT, and is one of the founders of iDEAL, a successful online payments method in the Netherlands.
Van der Poel has held positions in a variety of interbank communities and working groups on both a national and European level including CHAPS, the European Banking Association and the European Payment Council.
Van der Poel has a degree in International Marketing and Business.
Paul is the Regional Product Management Executive for Europe for Treasury Services at BNY Mellon. Paul is also responsible for the Bank’s FX and Multicurrency Products delivering cross border payment solutions to BNY Mellon clients. He has worked in the Financial Services Industry for over 20 years, with broad experience in Payments and Product Management.
Prior to joining BNY Mellon, Paul had a number of roles in other Financial Institutions including Network Management, Regional and Global Payment Product Management as well as managing payment products in Europe and the US.
Paul has an Executive MBA from City University in London and a degree in Law and is a former Board Member of the Chaps Company in the UK.
Rhys joined Deutsche Bank in June 2012. In his current role, Rhys is the Global Head of Digital Service Products and Client Connectivity Business Architecture. Rhys is responsible for delivering digital service management solutions globally in collaboration with clients and fintechs, and for defining Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Bank client connectivity future state business architecture and strategy.
Rhys has worked in the financial services industry for over 25 years with extensive experience in cash management and securities services. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, he held various consultancy roles at NatWest/RBS, HBOS, HSBC, Santander, Barclays and other large corporates covering a range of responsibilities in e-Commerce, client services, transaction banking, digital strategy, programme management, product management, and new product development.
Rhys graduated from the University of Oxford and has an Executive MBA from Imperial College London.
User Group Chair
Chris joined the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2005 with over 20 years’ experience within investment banking managing the development, deployment and support of payment and SWIFT systems/solutions.
He is currently responsible for industry engagement within the high value payments area of NatWest, mainly focused on developments (infrastructure, regulatory, market practices) in relation to liquidity, collateral and settlements. Chris was previously responsible for strategic planning for the technology SWIFT platforms at RBS (UK and EMEA), with oversight globally.
Chris represents NatWest at a number of payment industry working groups including CHAPS, Pay.UK Industry Standards Coordination Committee, ESA BPWG and various SWIFT UK working groups. Chris is also the SWIFT UK User Group Chair.
Claire is the senior manager of the Payment Systems and Communications team which operates the RTGS system, delivering the CHAPS service and providing settlement in central bank money to a number of retail payment systems and the CREST settlement system. She joined the Bank in 1990 and has worked in a variety of operational, analytical and project roles. She is a member of the SWIFT UK Board as an observer. Previous roles include that of business manager during the Bank’s Collateral Operations Review project, which automated collateral management, custody and asset servicing processes and introduced collateral pooling for its Sterling Monetary Framework operations.