The CFO executive Dialogue is designed by and for the senior finance community. This is a learning environment that focuses on finance leaders sharing their day-to-day strategies on how to adapt to continued economic uncertainty. Through the expertise of our speakers and the collective wisdom of your peers, solutions will be found to your mutual problems. It’s a community where the foundations for the future of finance will be laid.
Philip Hammond was a UK Cabinet Minister and key member of the British Government for almost a decade. Leading four departments over nine years, and rising to the second most powerful job in government, he was one of only three people to serve continuously in the UK cabinet from 2010 to 2019 throughout the tenures of Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May.
Taking on the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer shortly after the 2016 Brexit Referendum, Hammond took charge of the UK economy at a time of unprecedented uncertainty. Firm in his belief that nobody voted for Brexit with a view to becoming poorer or less secure, he fought strongly for a negotiated outcome with the European Union that would allow a continued close economic partnership between Britain and the EU.
He was part of the “E3+3” team that negotiated the JCPOA nuclear arms control deal with Iran in 2015. During his tenure as Defence and then Foreign Secretary, Hammond built strong links with the US and other allied counterparts, both civilian and military, and was a frequent visitor to Afghanistan during the ISAF mission there.
As Chancellor and as Foreign Secretary, Hammond played a major role in managing the UK’s evolving relationship with China and has clear views about the importance of effectively integrating China into the global system as a major economic and strategic power. He also has strong connections in the Gulf region.
As Chancellor, Hammond focussed on the key strategic challenges facing the UK and other developed economies: the technological revolution and how it is already transforming the way we work and live our lives; climate change and how to harness the market economy to deliver decarbonisation; demographic shifts and the challenges of an ageing population, and particularly in the UK, the challenge of raising productivity. He believes these challenges – none of which have been diminished by the Covid-19 pandemic – will shape the next decade.
Philip Hammond grew up in Essex, and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, Oxford. Before entering Parliament in 1997, he had a wide-ranging business career across a number of sectors including healthcare, oil and gas and property, in the UK and in Europe. He stepped down as the Member of Parliament for Runnymede and Weybridge in November 2019 after nearly 23 years serving the Surrey constituency. He was awarded a life peerage by HM The Queen in July 2020.
Sonali Punhani is the Chief UK Economist and a Director in the European Economics team in Credit Suisse, London. In her role, she produces insightful and investible research on the UK economy and politics as well as delivers this analysis to clients, sales and trading teams.
Prior to this, she was a member of the Global Demographics and Pensions Research team. Sonali joined Credit Suisse in 2009 after being awarded an MSc (Finance and Economics) with Distinction from the London School of Economics. She also has a BA (Honours) degree in Economics from the University of Delhi and is a CFA Charter holder.
In his role as Chief Financial Officer for IKEA UK and Ireland, Constantinos is a Company Director and an active member of the Country Management Team, responsible for steering long-term and sustainable profitability and securing operational excellence and compliance with internal and external rules and regulations. Constantinos first joined IKEA in 2005 in IKEA Greece and since then has also worked as Store Manager in IKEA Cyprus, as Deputy Finance Manager in IKEA UK&IE and in Sweden as Commercial Plan Leader for INGKA Group. Prior to his current role, he was the Chief Financial Officer for IKEA Netherlands.
Mike started his career in sales before training as a Chartered Accountant. He has spent the last 22 years in the FMCG/CPG sector, in a number of senior finance roles, initially for Kerry Foods and then spending 10 years with The Tetley Group / Tata Global Beverages including as Group Financial Controller and CFO for Tetley USA.
Mike joined Coca-Cola Enterprises in 2011 as Commercial Finance Director. In 2014 he took on the role of VP Finance Strategic Initiatives, then from 2016 to 2019 he was CFO for Great Britain within the newly combined Coca-Cola European Partners. In 2022, Mike took on the role of VP Finance Strategy & Transformation.
Mike lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and two daughters.