National Member Group Directors
Sonia holds a Managing Director position in Standard Chartered’s Global Transaction Banking business based in London. She is responsible for capital and balance sheet management for Transaction Banking, having led product groups in over 45 markets globally across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Americas and Europe. She also manages and delivers Transaction Banking working capital capabilities and solutions across cash management and trade finance for corporate clients, and securities and clearing for financial institution clients.
Sonia joined Standard Chartered in October 2010 and has over 20 years’ experience in cash management, trade and securities services across sales, product management and operations. She has led major infrastructure changes in payment services and channels, integrations and divestment of businesses in a number of geographies and is involved in regulatory engagement globally.
Sonia is currently chair of the UK National Member Group and chairs the SWIFT UK Ltd Board.
Russell has been a SWIFT Director since 2016. Russell is a career banker with over 30 years’ experience, specialising in retail and commercial banking, payments, cash, operations, compliance, and strategic transformation. He is currently Managing Director of Payments Strategy for Lloyds Banking Group. Russell is a member of the Bank of England RTGS advisory board, and was a pioneering member of the PSR’s Payments Strategy Forum, leading the Financial Crime Working Group. Russell is also on the board of directors for Pay.UK; which is set up to transform the way retail payments are delivered in the UK.
John joined the Royal Bank of Scotland (previously 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 SCRL Board Director for the UK.
Leigh Cleasby is an Executive Director and EMEA Head of Shared Services Operations at Nomura with extensive operational experience across a wide range of middle and back office functions. His current responsibilities include management and oversight of all settlement functions, asset servicing, network management and reference data for EMEA with global responsibility for network management. In addition, Leigh is a member of the EMEA Operations Management team and the Global Shared Services leadership group.
Leigh started his banking career at Lehman Brothers where he spent seven years working in a variety of operational roles across the back and middle office functions. Post the acquisition by Nomura, Leigh was responsible for the build out of the equity financing function and subsequently moved to lead the asset servicing group globally including the project management of a new infrastructure build. Leigh moved into his current role in 2013.
Matthew joined Deutsche Bank in December 2016. In his current role, Matthew is the Global Head of Online Channel Products responsible for defining and executing Deutsche Bank’s online channel strategy, delivering institutional and corporate cash management solutions globally in collaboration with fintechs. Matthew has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years with extensive experience in cash management and securities services. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, he held various roles at HSBC, BNY Mellon and RBS covering a range of responsibilities in transaction banking, digital strategy, product management, e-Commerce and client technology services.
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.
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. He currently sits on the Board for SWIFT UK Ltd.
Van der Poel has a degree in International Marketing and Business.
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 group & 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.
User Group Chairman
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 RBS, 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 RBS at a number of payment industry working groups including CHAPS, EBA, TARGET2, Payments Council Standards Policy Group, ESA BPWG and various SWIFT UK working groups. Chris is also the SWIFT UK User Group Chairman.
Claire has been the senior manager responsible for the Payment Systems and Communications (PSC) team since May 2019, which operates the RTGS system, delivering the CHAPS service. She joined the Bank in 1990 and has worked in a variety of operational, analytical and project roles, most recently including a year working in the PRA’s Regulatory Operations.
Whilst previously working in MSD, Claire was business manager during the Collateral Operations Review project, which automated the Bank’s collateral management, custody and asset servicing processes by replacing several legacy systems with one new one, Megara, and introduced collateral pooling for SMF operations.