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About us

WiAS was created by Kate Webber, who has worked in the asset servicing sector for over 25 years.  This was a direct result of her experience in the industry and the lack of women in more senior positions.  Supported by her colleagues from Calastone and its CEO, Kate started talking with other women in the industry to identify what could be done to help increase the number of women in the asset servicing sector.  Her first event was in October 2018, sponsored by Calastone.

During this meeting 4 key themes were established to form the basis of future events:

  • Recruiting and retaining women
  • Nurturing talent
  • Increasing female visibility in the industry
  • Attracting the next generation

WiAS was established to grow female representation across all levels of the financial services industry, including senior positions, an area of historic under-representation. It seeks to attract women to the sector, retain them within it, nurture their talent, increase their visibility within the industry and provide them with guidance and support to help achieve their career goals. In particular, we need to work with women and men to encourage them to be brave, to recognise and properly self-assess their talent and importantly to network.  These softer skills are so vital throughout our careers, including early on and after often undervalued.


WiAS is a professional networking group empowering women to achieve success by facilitating relationships and discussing topics that improve career opportunities for its members with an aim to optimise the gender balance across the industry.


To help shape the future of asset servicing and make it a career of choice for all, by providing opportunities for development and valuable connections to facilitate member success through business and career growth.

Partnership with Embark

In March 2021, WiAS was excited to announce its partnership with Embark which will involve practical day to day support and gives us an opportunity to raise our profile across the financial services sector and benefit from Embark’s scale and distribution network. Embark will also help us in attracting speakers for events and promotion for WiAS through its social channels and newsletters.

Embark Group Logo

WiAS have agreed, in turn, to support Embark’s graduate programme in which members will play a mentoring role. This will help to ensure that Embark’s graduates are exposed to a diverse range of mentors, ideas, and best practice from as wide a pool of people as possible. We hope together we can achieve real change in diversity across the sector.

“It is a factual reality that we have a gender imbalance across the senior levels across all parts of financial services. It is also a factual reality that the female of the species has been proven to be as intelligent, as resilient, as creative and as capable of leadership, as the male of the species.

So why the imbalance? It’s a lack of investment in the time and money for training and development at one level, but moreover a lack of support for mentoring, knowledge transfer and capability building. This doesn’t happen, in the main, by osmosis! It takes energy, belief and commitment. Embark, and I as its Chief Executive, want to walk this talk by putting our energy, skills, resources and time behind the Women in Asset Servicing network. I believe many others will do the same if we lead by example.

If I am right, the network will then ‘spring eternal’ a wide cadre of high potential, and highly capable talent that can, over time, redress the gender imbalance. More importantly, it will ensure good firms always have the right person for the job regardless of gender, race, creed, sexual orientation or religion. Operating this way is simply commercial common sense to me.”

Phil Smith, CEO, Embark Group

Advisory Board and partnership team members

Kate Webber

Founder of WiAS & Lead Product Manager, Global Fund Services at Northern Trust

Kate is the founder of Women in Asset Servicing and has worked in the industry for over 25 years in a variety of roles including consulting and more recently strategy and product management.
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Gillian Hepburn

UK Intermediary Solutions Director, Schroders & Member of the Advisory Board

Gillian has over 30 years’ experience in financial services. Prior to joining Schroders, she had an extensive career at Standard Life followed by consultancy positions with a range of platform providers.
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Alexis Goldfarb

Senior Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant – EMEA, Northern Trust

As part of the Global Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Alexis leads the design and delivery of key DE&I programmes related to recruitment, retention and development across the region.

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Laura Mann

Product Manager at Calastone, focussing on the DMI Fund Services offering

Prior to joining Calastone in February 2018, she spent over 12 years on the buy side participating in and leading a number of business transformation initiatives. Passionate about Diversity and Inclusion.
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Ann Roughead

Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Customer Focus committee at Columbia Threadneedle Investment

Ann is a Non- Executive Director and Chair of Remco at CCLA, Awaiting approval as Chair of Handelsbanken ACD and on the board of the Rock Trust, a youth Homeless Charity. She is also an advisor to the Saphira Group.
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Paul Chapman

Managing Director of Hornby Chapman, specialists in post-trade recruitment

Prior to founding HornbyChapman Ltd. with Victoria Hornby in 2006, Paul Chapman spent almost eighteen years in the asset servicing industry.
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Phil Smith

CEO, Embark Group and supporter of WiAS

With special expertise in business transformation, Phil is Chief Executive Officer of Embark Group. He has 25 years of global experience across wealth management, asset management, brokerage, insurance and management consulting.
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Lisa Worley

Group Head of Marketing, Embark, WiAS Member

Lisa has more than 20 years of global experience leading marketing, customer engagement, business development and digital transformation across banking, wealth and investment management, consulting and professional services.
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Sarah Sandle

Marketing Executive, Embark, WiAS Member

Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications roles, both agency and client side across the charity, education, financial services and IT sectors.
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Georgina Spampinato

Marketing Analyst, Embark, WiAS Member

Gina has over 5 years experience working in marketing roles in the professional services sector, specifically in the legal and financial services sectors.
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More from WiAS

Become a member

Join us and discover more about yourself and the benefits and opportunities available in financial services.

Hear from our members

Take a look at our blog, featuring our very own WiAS members. Everyone has a story to tell, each with a unique perspective.

Events and useful resources

Check out our latest events and take a look at previous events we have held along with some useful event handouts.