Technology Conference

Futureproofing the board


ICSA Technology Conference took place on 28 September at Hallam Conference Centre.

At this event we discussed why boards should not only emphasise embracing technological change, but also acquire the expertise to lead it to achieve a long-term success in an increasingly digital environment. The topics covered included impact of automation on the governance profession, role of the board in achieving cyber resilience, benefits and challenges of electronic reporting via XBRL technology and more.

We welcomed speakers from major accounting firms such as ACCA, KPMG, Deloitte or the CGI Group and Financial Reporting Lab, information hub for companies and investors.

Duncan Smith, the foundar of iCompli delivered a closing keynote address, focusing on thought-provoking and challenging issues of privacy, identity and compliance.

We would like to thank to all expert speakers and attendees who joined us at this event and contributed with their insights and views on this aspect of governance.

We hope to see you again next year!


09.30 Registration, tea and coffee

Chair’s opening remarks

Mark Child, Executive Managing Director, Xcina Consulting


Business agility: challenging the traditional

Originally designed for software development, agility is now high on the list of many business executives as a method for addressing the realities of fast-moving markets. As more companies adopt some of the hallmarks of the agile methodology, such as collaborative cross-team effort, adaptive planning, and rapid and flexible responses to change, what do we need to consider in terms of governance and oversight? Through the lenses of success stories and failures, we'll examine this new trend and what it takes to make it work at scale.

Cerys Hearsey, Managing Director, Post*Shift Consulting


XBRL: the future of reporting

Coming into force on 1 January 2020, The European Single Electronic Format aims to make financial reports easier to collate and analyse for humans and computers alike. The electronic reporting format is a continuation of the global shift to digital reporting. Here we will discuss XBRL technology and the benefits and challenges it poses for those who prepare company reports.

Thomas Toomse-Smith, Project Director, The Financial Reporting Lab


Networking tea and coffee break


Blockchain: what’s all the fuss about?

Whether it’s being lauded as an incorruptible digital ledger or derided for its complexity, there seems to be no escape from talk of blockchain. Here we will look to unpick how it works and the risks and benefits associated with it. We will also consider the regulatory and compliance issues the technology poses, and how to secure buy-in from the board.

Anton Ruddenklau, Head of Digital & Innovation, Financial Services & Partner, KPMG


The role of the board in cyber security

Cyber-attacks are now a question of when rather than if, and the greater use of technology in all aspects of business increases this risk exponentially. As the job of keeping a business secure increasingly becomes the job of everyone, we will use this session to look at the role of the board in embedding an appropriate cyber security culture within an organisation.

Dean Adams, Cyber Security Lead UK, CGI Group


Networking lunch


Tech expertise in the boardroom

Technology is reshaping sectors and transforming how businesses operate. It is the role of the board to ensure that they are shaping their organisations to be fit for the future. It is vital therefore, that the board are orientated to make informed decisions in a fast-moving landscape. Here, we will consider whether it’s time that all organisations have a technology expert at board level

Maggie McGhee, Director of Professional Insights, ACCA


Automation and the workplace

The Bank of England’s Chief Economist has warned that 15million jobs are at risk from automation, and research suggests that City jobs in the professional and financial services sectors will be amongst the first to go. So what does this mean for the future of those employed in an automated working environment? Here we will look at the changing skillset required to not only compete, but thrive in the face of automation as we consider both the threats and opportunities it brings.

Peter Saunders, Partner, Deloitte LLP


Closing keynote

Duncan Smith, Director, iCompli

15.30 Close of conference

*This is a draft programme and may be subject to change.


Dean Adams, Cyber Security Lead UK, CGI Group

Dean is a Principal Enterprise Security Architect at CGI in the UK. The group provides a balanced portfolio of services across a broad range of sectors from Defence and Intelligence, Energy and Utilities, as well as the commercial sector. Engagements include the design and delivery of major transformational programmes, consultative assignments, and the provision of a range of operational security managed services.

Prior to his roles in CGI, Dean was a founding partner at Trustis, (now part of Entrust), where he was responsible for the design of the Trustis service model and the deployment of a wide range of live PKI deployments with Local Governments, Banks, Law Firms and others and for advising clients in their strategies.

In the past, Dean has been an active contributing member of the American Bar Association’s Information Security Committee, the European Certification Authority Forum, the UK Scheme accreditation profiles and the European Electronic Signature Standardisation Initiative. He has been a regular speaker at both national and international conferences, and has written articles for various journals.

Mark Child, Executive Managing Director, Xcina Consulting

Mark co-founded Xcina Consulting. He has industry-recognised expertise in Technology Risk Management, Data Privacy, Internal Audit and Quality Management, and frequently chairs conferences, hosts roundtables and contributes to articles. He has also developed and directed global audit and risk functions in a range of sectors including financial services, retail and manufacturing.

Cerys Hearsey, Managing Director, Post*Shift Consulting

Cerys is Post*Shift’s lead consultant on technology-enabled organisation design. She currently teaches executives and change agents at large enterprises on the methods of enabling agile, distributed change. In her fifteen years working with enterprise clients, Cerys has supported organisations through the strategy, selection, implementation and embedding of social platforms, including IBM Connections, Jive, Yammer, SharePoint, and Confluence. She has enabled organisations to grow mature social business platforms using adoption tactics and organisational health measure frameworks.

Before joining Post*Shift, Cerys was an independent consultant for ten years implementing knowledge and information systems. Cerys is happiest at work when armed with sticky notes and a kanban board. Outside of work, she enjoys diving sunken WWII vessels in the Thames Estuary.

Maggie McGhee, Director of Professional Insights, ACCA

Maggie McGhee is the Director of Professional Insights and Brand and Corporate Reputation within ACCA. She leads a team of technical and policy experts to support our global thought leadership agenda. This seeks to demonstrate the value that professional accountants bring to society by creating successful businesses and sustainable economies. Professional Insights comments on the key issues relating to range of policy and technical areas and works to influence other technical and policy experts in governments, regulators, professional bodies and employers across the globe.

Prior to joining ACCA, Maggie worked for PwC in the Advanced Regulatory and Compliance Analytics area applying specialist analytics tool to clients in the banking and capital markets sector. A chartered accountant with a degree in law, Maggie trained with National Audit Office UK where she was the Director General of audit

Anton Ruddenklau, Head of Digital & Innovation, Financial Services & Partner, KPMG

Anton Ruddenklau is Head of Digital and Innovation, Financial Services and a Partner at KPMG. He advises banks on strategy, growth and innovation, and specialises in business, corporate, institutional banking and market infrastructure providers. Anton has led or worked on over 150 growth projects across corporate and financial institutions, focusing on sales transformation, digital and innovation, strategy development and regulation. Prior to working in financial services, Anton worked on growth projects with corporates.

Peter Saunders, Partner, Deloitte LLP

Peter is an audit partner at Deloitte. He joined in August 1990 and has been a partner since 2001. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales having qualified in September 1993. He qualified as a US CPA in California in 1995. Peter is the head of Deloitte’s market leading Professional Practices Group and has worked on with the major law firms throughout his 28 years with Deloitte.
He was a founder member of and subsequently served as Treasurer and then Chairman of the 400 member Association of Partnership Practitioners. He is also Chairman of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies LLP SORP Steering Group and was previously chairman of the Working Party. He is the only remaining member of the original group established at the time that UK LLPs were established. Peter is responsible for a considerable portfolio of audit clients, the majority of which are significant law firms as well as acting as expert witness in cases involving solicitors and advising on mergers, acquisitions and commercial matters.

Duncan Smith, Director, iCompli

Duncan Smith is the founder and CEO of specialist compliance consultancy iCompli®, advising clients across Europe and the US.

As an industry expert in information law and privacy, he has been ensuring organisations have the skill, knowledge and foresight to build compliance strategies since 2004. Being the ‘go to’ person for developing many of the UK’s industry lead-body training courses, he has guided SMEs, PLCs and multi-nationals on both the strategic and tactical requirements for GDPR, ePrivacy, Financial Services and consumer protection compliance.

A recent panellist and speaker in Riga with the Latvian Government, Duncan is an engaging and forward-thinking orator who will help us to look ‘over the horizon’ at the risks and opportunities ahead.

Thomas Toomse-Smith, Project Director, The Financial Reporting Lab

Thomas joined the Financial Reporting Lab in late 2013. He led the Lab’s ‘Towards Clear and Concise Reporting’ project and is now leading the ‘Corporate Reporting in a Digital World’ project looking at how the use of digital reporting might be optimised in the future. Before joining the Lab, Thomas worked in the Corporate Reporting team at a FTSE 100 company for two years. Before this, he worked in insurance audit for ten years both in the UK and the US. Thomas is also a UK ACA.


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Founded in 2000, Brainloop is the fastest growing UK provider of highly secure Corporate Governance and Collaboration Solutions. Brainloop’s Next Generation Board Portal is a platform for boards, committees, executive and administrative teams to manage the full 360 degree meeting cycle securely, from creating, distributing and consuming meeting materials to running meetings in the portal, creating minutes and assigning actions and follow-ups.

Thousands of companies worldwide, including 70% of the DAX30, rely on Brainloop. They achieve greater productivity without the need to worry about security – annotations are never lost, Microsoft and Android tablets are no problem, working directly from MS Office is key, document versioning is automated and PDF conversion guarantees beautiful content.

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Computershare Governance Services offers corporate governance and compliance solutions to help companies transform their business practices and stay ahead of ever-changing market dynamics. We address today's global compliance challenges through entity management, insider management, board governance, registered agent services and regulatory filing solutions. Clients use our software to assist them with the administration, governance and compliance of over 250,000 legal entities across more than 160 jurisdictions. Leading companies from all market segments look to our team of governance specialists for proactive ways to stay compliant and minimize risk in an ever increasing regulatory environment.

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Diligent is a leading provider of secure corporate governance and collaboration solutions for boards and senior executives. Over 4,700 customers in more than 75 countries and on all seven continents rely on Diligent to provide secure, intuitive access to their most time-sensitive and confidential information, ultimately helping them make better decisions. The Diligent Boards (formerly Diligent Boardbooks) solution speeds and simplifies how board materials are produced, delivered and collaborated on via any device, removing the security concerns of doing this by courier, email and file sharing.

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