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Inspiring Future Leaders 2024

Connecting aspiring younger members with senior finance leaders of large organisations


In 2021, ICAEW piloted the Future Leaders programme to connect FTSE100 senior finance leaders with younger members, to share experiences and insight through group discussions.

Following the success and positive feedback from Inspiring Future Leaders 2023, we are now taking applications for our first cohort of 2024 which will take place from April to June.


Our senior finance leaders will each host four, free, one-hour virtual roundtables over a three-month period. They will share their experiences, stories and insights with a small group of future leaders. 

The first session will begin with introductions followed by the senior leader sharing their career journey with Q&A after. The second, third and fourth sessions will focus on particular themes and will be in an informal, confidential environment where members can discuss challenges and ask questions.

Previous topics covered include:
- building a career, career transitions, career choices and taking risks
- personal branding and influencing
- work/life balance
- the role of sponsors, coaches and mentors
- resilience 
- moving from manager to leader
- inspiring teams

At the end of the year, we will bring together the senior finance leaders and future leaders for a celebratory dinner at Chartered Accountants' Hall, London.

Why apply?


A unique opportunity to gain insight from a CFO of a large organisation in a confidential environment.


Ask questions and benefit from invaluable practical advice.


Four, one-hour virtual roundtables on key topics to support and progress your career.


Meet your peers and share challenges in confidence.

Thank you very much to both the ICAEW and the CFOs involved to make this opportunity available. It was very inspiring to hear about Andy’s “road to CFO” and have the opportunity to learn from his experience in an intimate environment. There was some great challenge and conversation from the other Future Leaders in our group and I certainly went away with a much clearer understanding of what it takes to do the top job in such a large organisation, how to get there and how to balance the demands of such a role against everyday life.

Younger member - Feedback from 2023 Inspiring Future Leaders

Who can apply?

ICAEW members who are:

  • Five-to-ten years post qualified
  • Working in business in a large organisation or aspiring to work in a large organisation
  • Ambitious and keen to progress their career

Our senior finance leaders


Cohort Two (September to November 2023)

Karen Witts
Karen Witts CFO, Dunelm plc

Karen joined Dunelm plc as Chief Financial Officer in June 2022. She was Chief Financial Officer of Compass Group plc from 2019 to 2021 and CFO of Kingfisher Group plc from 2012 to 2019. Before that, she held various senior finance, strategic and operational roles with Vodafone Group plc (2010 to 2012), and at BT Group plc (1999 to 2010). Karen qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Whinney. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Ipsen Pharma, SA.

Mike Rainer
Mike Rainer CFO, FatFace

Mike has worked with FatFace for 1.5 years. He has previously held the role as Chief Financial Officer for a number of companies including Theo Paphitis Retail Group, Eat, Jaeger and Blue Inc. He has also held senior finance roles at Mothercare and Selfridges. With Mike’s experience in multi-site and multi-channel retailing, he has been able to hit the ground running. He is passionate about people and developing organisational culture that enhances business success. He is a bigger picture thinker who is not afraid to challenge the status quo or get to the root of an issue.

Mike Clark
Mike Clark VP Finance Strategy and Transformation, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.

Mike started his career in sales for American Express before training as a Chartered Accountant. He has spent the last 24 years in the consumer goods sector, in a number of senior finance roles. Mike spent 10 years with The Tetley Group/Tata Global Beverages including as Group FC, CFO for Tetley USA and Operations FD. He joined Coca-Cola Enterprises in 2011 initially as Commercial FD and VP Finance Strategic Initiatives and from 2016, he was CFO for Great Britain within Coca-Cola European Partners. Mike now leads Finance Strategy & Transformation for Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, looking to the future for Finance and also bringing together the European and Australia, Pacific & Indonesian Finance functions.

Cohort One (April to July 2023)

Headshot of Andy Agg
Andy Agg Group CFO, National Grid

Andy became the Group Chief Financial Officer of National Grid plc in December 2018. Prior to that he has held a number or senior finance leadership roles across the group including Group Financial Controller, UK CFO and, most recently, Group Tax and Treasury Director. Andy trained as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and spent several years working in different roles there before joining National Grid in 2008.

Headshot of Sonia Magris
Sonia Magris FD Media & Entertainment, ITV

Sonia has had over 20 years’ experience working within the media industry. She qualified at KPMG and took her first step into industry working for the BBC. Following a period working as FD at WhatIf, a Creative Innovation Consultancy, Sonia returned to the BBC. She has since held a number of senior executive roles, from FD of the production and content businesses through to CFO of BBC Studios. Most recently Sonia had been in a Commercial Director role, where her focus was on business transformation, leading initiatives to grow the business globally.

Headshot of Mike Scott
Mike Scott Group CFO, Barratt Developments

Mike joined the Board as an Executive Director and Group Chief Financial Officer on 6 December 2021. Mike has extensive experience in the housebuilding sector, having spent seven years at Countryside Properties plc, serving as Group CFO since 2018. Prior to joining Countryside, Mike held a number of senior finance roles from 2010 until 2014 at J. Sainsbury Plc, including latterly as Head of Investor Relations. Mike is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, having qualified with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in 2002.

Becky Taylor
Becky Taylor CFO, DHL Supply Chain UK&I

Becky is the first female CFO for DHL Supply Chain UK&I. She leads a finance team of over 650, in a £4bn organisation, employing over 40,000 employees in the UK&I. She was part of the leadership team leading the business through Brexit and Covid and then stepped into the CFO role 2 years ago, managing through the more recent macro economic events. Becky has spent 21 years in DHL working across multiple divisions, sectors and roles, primarily across finance and commercial roles. Prior to DHL, she worked for EY London completing her ICAEW Chartered Accountancy qualification.

Connecting with the finance leaders was a fantastic opportunity to openly reflect, share and engage on development topics relevant for now and the future. The sessions had a good balance of pre-selected themes, and time for open and honest discussions to share my personal and professional experiences. It was rewarding to see the level of engagement and enthusiasm across the ICAEW members, and I am confident they will achieve their career goals in the very near future.

Group CFO, National Grid - Feedback from 2023 Inspiring Future Leaders

I thoroughly enjoyed being part of this programme, an informal, fun and open forum, sharing stories and learning from each other. Great to step back from the day to day and to get the opportunity to reflect and share insights.

FD, ITV – Feedback from 2023 Inspiring Future Leaders

Apply now

Places are strictly limited and subject to a successful application

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