Meet the Team!

Andy Agathangelou,

Founder,

Transparency Task Force

 

Andy formed the Transparency Task Force after a meeting he led at Senate House, University of London on 6th May 2015.

 

The meeting was about the need for the financial services industry to behave in a more trustworthy way and how harnessing the transformational power of transparency can drive the change needed.

 

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andy-agathangelou-02953113/

 

CV and bio available on request. 

 

Telephone: +44 (0)7501 460308

 

Email: andy.agathangelou@transparencytaskforce.org

Tina Kenyon,

Head of Operations and Fundraising,

Transparency Task Force

 

I am very proud to be a part of the Transparency Task Force because I wholeheartedly believe in what we are doing. Consumers of financial services products and services are often confused by all the jargon and they rarely get the information they need to make well-informed decisions. I know that more transparency can help.

 

I work part-time and my role is to put in place processes and procedures so that we can continue to grow and expand our activities. I particularly enjoy using technology to replace labour-intensive administrative tasks and I can honestly say no two days are the same.

 

I oversee our events management, take care of the production of the Transparency Times, provide support to the running of our many Special Interest Groups, update the website, am responsible for our social media activity, I run the office and manage all our software and IT. 

 

A crucial part of my role now includes reaching out to individuals and organisations whose objectives align with the overall aims of the Transparency Task Force and therefore might wish to provide us with much-needed financial support.

 

Telephone: +44 (0)7494991773

 

Email: tina.kenyon@transparencytaskforce.org

Briony Crook,

Head of Outreach,

Transparency Task Force

 

We are a small team here there is a very strong belief in what we are doing and why we are doing it. People right around the world deserve to be dealt with by financial companies that operate in a transparent and trustworthy way, making sure their clients and customers are always treated fairly.

 

I’ve got an important part-time job managing our extensive outreach activities. I schedule Andy’s many meetings and telephone appointments, I oversee the continuous expansion of our ever-growing contacts database and I am always being asked to take on more and more responsibility for helping Tina once a process has become a “business as usual” activity. There’s a lot of variety in my work and we’re always looking to do things more efficiently and effectively. 

 

Email: briony.crook@transparencytaskforce.org

Annemarie Borg,

Volunteer Event Photographer,

Transparency Task Force

 

I am delighted to be part of the Transparency Task Force team on a voluntary basis, as an event photographer, helping to create records of the TTF symposia so that people who were unable to attend can get the feel for what was said and who was present.

 

I am a performance coach, visual artist and photographer, composer, musician, singer, writer, active environmentalist and ocean preservation speaker.

 

I am also Founder and Director of the Antara Project which focuses on creativity, ecology, communication and education.

 

https://www.antara-project.com

 

I am an Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force and my interest in the Transparency Task Force stems from my belief that the finance sector as the backbone of our economy and our society has a great responsibility in incorporating into its activity the essential idea of caring for the life and protection of our planet. This means also emphasising information, transparent communication and education.

 

Telephone: +44 (0)7802717213

 

Email: antara05@gmail.com

 

Rohanna Wise,

Head of Government Liaison, Massachusetts,

Transparency Task Force

 

Rohanna is the founder and CEO of Wise Trading Technologies, and the creator of WiseRisk, a software platform that automates the implementation of currency hedging strategies.

 

She is also the author of Hedging Wisely: A Non-expert’s Guide to Expertly Hedging Currency Risk.

 

Email: rohanna.wise@transparencytaskforce.org

Helen Scott,

Regulatory Liaison, FX Special Interest Group,

Transparency Task Force

 

Helen is CEO at Eris FX, an international payments firm based in Leeds promoting transparency, technical innovation, competition and good governance.

 

Email: helen.scott@transparencytaskforce.org

The Great Divide

You can read the speech by  Andrew G. Haldane, FAcSS (the Bank of England's Chief Economist and Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics) that he gave on 18th May 2016 at the New City Agenda Annual dinner.

 

The speech is entitled The Great Divide and it is a first class explanation of why the trust deficit really matters and why it makes sense to try to do something about it.

 

Please click on the green button to access it; if you're not convinced of its relevance to our initiative, here's part of it:

 

..."The most important and compelling message the Bank received at the Open Forum came in the first session. The Bank had conducted some polling of perceptions of the financial sector – for example, by asking people what one word best described the future of financial markets. Among the Bank’s usual contacts, including those in the financial sector, the most used word was “regulated”. Many of us will have heard that message from financial insiders concerned about the perils of over-zealous regulators.

 

For me, the more revealing responses came from the general public, from the customers, rather than the producers, of financial services. The word most used by them when describing financial markets was a rather different one: it was “corrupt”. Not far behind were words like “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy”. I am sure many of you have heard those messages too. They are certainly ones I have encountered frequently on my visits around the country."...

 

Please click the green button  below to access the full speech. If you need to read another piece first, here it is:

 

..."At least until recently many economists like me, when faced with this evidence, might have shrugged our shoulders. Social capital had no real role in our models of economic growth, unlike physical capital and human capital. Trust did not butter our parsnips and nor did it enter our production functions.

 

Recently, however, that orthodoxy has changed and the importance of trust has become clearer.

 

Evidence has emerged, both micro and macro, to suggest trust may play a crucial role in value creation. At the micro level, there is now ample evidence the degree of trust or social capital within a company contributes positively to its value creation capacity. 

 

At the macro level, there is now a strong body of evidence, looking across a large range of countries and over long periods of time, that high levels of trust and co-operation are associated with higher economic growth.

 

Put differently, a lack of trust jeopardises one of finance’s key societal functions – higher growth.

 

Those social capital effects appear to be particularly potent when it comes to financial decisions. Evidence suggests that a lack of trust leads people to retreat from the stock market and banks and to move towards cash holdings and informal sources of credit, such as payday lenders and loan sharks. That jeopardises the second key benefit of finance to society – improved risk-sharing by households and companies.

 

So a lack of trust in finance potentially hobbles both economic growth and financial stability.

 

That lack of trust is the mirror-image of the perception gap between the financial sector and wider society, the Great Divide.

 

The Great Divide matters because it signals a pronounced and protracted erosion of social capital. It puts finance on notice for losing its social licence. And, unaddressed, that jeopardises future wealth and well-being."...

 

Please click on the green button to access the full speech. If you're not yet convinced you should, here's a final snippet:

 

..." As a survey in 2013 of financial professionals found, rather remarkably, that over half believed their competitors engaged in illegal or unethical behaviour.  A smaller, but still high, fraction of 24% believed their own company engaged in such practices. Similar percentages believed their industry did not fulfil its fiduciary function of putting clients’ interests first.

The significance of these findings is not the precise percentages, as striking as these are.

 

More fundamentally, it is because of what they reveal about finance’s perception of itself, the mirror it holds to the social identity of finance."...

 

Click onto the button below to access the full speech; you'll be glad you did, it's profoundly thought-provoking for anybody interested in the future of the financial services industry:

If you are not already on the right page and want to read about our major international project to help rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services, click on the orange button below:

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