Speaker Profiles

The Think Tank speakers are a gathering of collections professionals with extensive experience across multiple collections sectors. Confirmed speakers are listed below with more to be confirmed soon:

Steven Preston


Co-Owner, Elanev

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Steven Preston has experience in working in the collections and recoveries industries, having worked in the industry, consulted as a data vendor and being an advisor to the industry.

Steven is Co-Owner of Elanev an automating real-time cloud-based scoring to the ARM / financial industries. He was Awarded in the top 200 most influential collections professionals in the US Collections Technology Advisor magazine. Steven is also the Credit Services Association (CSA) technical advisor on technology, analytics and change.

Preston has a belief that we are working within a technological revolution, businesses need to adapt and embrace some of this technology if they are to remain competitive.

Vanessa Northam


Head of Strategic Relationships, StepChange

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Vanessa Northam is Head of Strategic Relationships at StepChange, having joined from Open Banking pioneers the OpenWrks Group.

She has an extensive background in developing solutions between organisations and vulnerable customers. At OpenWrks she was Head of External Affairs for Tully, the UK’s first digital debt advice organisation to utilise open banking, and led on ensuring the service and solution worked for the needs of vulnerable customers. Prior to this she lead E.ON’s UK vulnerable customer programme, as well as roles within EDF Energy, Capital One Bank, and a year in consultancy advising organisations across the financial services and utility sectors on the needs of vulnerable customers.

She’s a firm believer in the role technology can place in helping all consumers access services and help, earlier and easier when faced with difficult financial situations.

Owen Edwards

Collections Lead, JN Bank

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Owen Edwards is the Collections Lead for JN Bank Limited; a new digital challenger bank launching in the UK. He  began my career as a debt recovery telephone agent and have extensive experience in debt recovery, litigation, credit card and bank collections.  In Edwards previous role he was a business leader and head of debt management transformation at Leeds Building. Owen has also worked at NewDay.


Eleanor Demuth

Head of Model and Credit Risk Governance, Metro Bank

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Eleanor Demuth (Ned) is currently Head of Model and Credit Risk governance at Metro Bank. She has previously worked for Deloitte, NewDay, and Cabot Financial.

Eleanor specialises in Credit Risk but enjoys all aspects of mathematical modelling and associated disciplines. She is also an authority on neurodiversity in the workplace.
Eleanor is passionate about the application of analytics and technology in credit and collections. She feels that, while there will always be a place for human intervention and personalisation, the choice of that intervention, consistency of service, and the capacity for rapid and continuous improvement are dramatically enhanced by smart use of technological solutions.

Neil Costello

UK Marketing Director, Lowell

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Neil Costello is Lowell’s UK Marketing Director. Costello is a Financial services marketing leader from FTSE25 to start-up. Awarded Marketing Academy’s inaugural scholarship for the 20 fastest rising UK marketing leaders, client & agency-side.


Rachel Duffey

Chief Executive Officer, PayPlan

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Rachel Duffey began her profession in the family business in 2000 as a newly-graduated Law student from the University of Leicester. Starting in the Helpline team, in the heart of the operation, Rachel gained first-hand knowledge of the clients that PayPlan helps with free debt advice. With experience under her belt, Rachel went on to lead the department as Head of Advice and Support, where she gained invaluable insight into the world of debt management.

In 2007, Rachel sought a new challenge as PayPlan’s Partnerships Director. While excelling in her new role, Rachel enhanced her skillset even further by completing her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Nottingham University Business School in 2008.

After a further six years as Partnerships Director, Rachel was appointed into her current role as PayPlan’s CEO in 2014. Rachel now uses her wealth of knowledge and expertise to cement PayPlan’s position as one of the UK’s leading free debt advice providers.

Jonathan Hodge

Chief Operating Officer, RateSetter

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Jonathon Hodge oversees the RateSetter platform including its Technology, Product, Collections, Customer Service and Marketing teams and supports the wider quality initiatives of the business, such as customer experience, operating efficiency and business continuity. Jon is a Chartered Accountant and before RateSetter worked in the Financial Services & Corporate Finance teams at PwC, having begun his career in the British Army.

Norman Lockie

Head of Income Operations, Southwark Council

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Norman Lockie has worked as the Head of Income Operations since 2016, having previously worked with the council from 2010 where he supported the programme to transition the revenues and benefits services back in house. In his current role with the council, he has operational responsibility for council tax, business rates, housing rents, Business Improvement Districts, sundry debt and Housing Benefit overpayment collection and enforcement. 

Norman has over 25 years experience in income collection having started his career in local government at East Hampshire District Council in 1989. During his career he has held various roles within income collection both in the private and public sector and worked for a number of years as a consultant helping clients to improve services and increase collection.

John Storrie

Director of Strategy and Transformation, Arvato Financial Solutions

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John Storrie is Arvato’s Transformation and Strategy Director, responsible for developing market leading technical innovations, driving continuous improvement via digital transformation and the proactive challenges of existing processes and technical infrastructure.  He is the inventor of Arvato’s interactive messaging solution, RISE.

John is an original BCW member of the team and has been with the Company for 15 years, during which time he has also been responsible for the Operational delivery of the Call Centre and Field Services teams.

Dave Perkins

CEO & Co-Founder, Sonex Financial, CEO & Co-Founder

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Dave Perkins has over 30 years’ experience in the Financial Services sector and has previously worked with the Lombard Group, First National, GE Capital, Link Financial, ECL and Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions.

Sonex Financial specialise in providing vulnerable customer management services to the Utilities, Telecoms and Financial Services sectors. Dave is determined that Sonex lead the way in the management of vulnerable customers and deliver a service that enables clients make the cultural shift necessary to deliver an exceptional service. He believes that the effective use of technology and data can be a catalyst for rapid change, but also believes that the best results cannot be delivered without targeted personalisation.

Mark Porter

Head of Collections, MotoNovo Finance

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Profile to be provided soon.

Erik Porter

Member FCA Financial Services Consumer Panel and CEO of Cheddr

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Erik is the Founder and CEO of Cheddr, a training and consultancy business dedicated to promoting positive financial wellbeing for individuals through workshops, webinars, and consultancy.  Prior to founding Cheddr, Erik was the Interim CEO and Head of Workplace & Community Programmes at The Money Charity. 

Before shifting his focus to financial wellbeing, Erik spent over 20 years in financial services with firms such as Citi and Barclays. The majority of this time was spent working in collection & recoveries as well as fraud and credit operations.

Originally from the US, Erik has lived in Germany, the UAE, Russia and now the UK; he has had the opportunity to work in over 40 countries during his career.

In addition to his work, Erik is Chair of Fair Money Advice, an East London debt advice charity and is a member of the FCA Financial Services Consumer Panel.  He has also previously worked with Southwark Citizen’s Advice as a Financial Capability Coach.