First Women Awards: tonight’s the night

FINANCE

Dr Ana Armstrong, chairman, Distinction Asset Management

Ana is a top-performing fund manager with two firsts to her name in 2011 alone: in January, her fund was top performer in her sector (out of 174), returning nearly 18 per cent; then in June, she was a key member of the team launching the new business, Distinction Asset Management. The next target is expansion into continental Europe.

Liz Bingham, partner, Ernst & Young

Liz is a partner at Ernst & Young where she leads a thriving restructuring practice of 29 partners and 450 staff in offices around the UK and Ireland. In a profession notoriously short of senior women, she founded Women in Restructuring in 2004.

India Gary-Martin, managing director, JP Morgan

India is managing director at JP Morgan. Her career spans 20 years and three continents. She has worked for some of the world’s leading banks. As president of the City Women’s Network, she campaigns for all FTSE companies to build “an internal pipeline of board-ready women”.

Vin Murria, CEO, Advanced Computer Software

Vin’s early experiences as an 18-year-old fighting to save her family’s business focused her on the fundamentals of business. Today she is one of the shining lights of UK software, a sector in which all too few women thrive. She has been involved in around 40 mergers, acquisitions or sizeable equity investments. As CEO of Advanced Computer Software, she has taken less than two-and-a-half years to grow the firm’s market value to £170m.

Sam Smith, CEO, FinnCap

The youngest and the only female chief executive in the City of London’s investment community, Sam is ambitious, outspoken and driven to succeed. She founded and leads FinnCap, one of the fastest growing and most successful new City advisor/brokers.

Janette Wilkinson, partner, KPMG

Janette is one of the most senior women at KPMG. Now COO for the £350m tax practice, she became partner in 1987 at the age of just 32. As well as retaining a number of major clients, Janette also devotes significant time to mentoring other women, through initiatives such as KPMG’s Emerging Leaders programme.

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