EISA Presents: Ready, Steady, Grow! Breakfast Seminar – Tuesday 9th October 2018

Innovation Birmingham – Faraday Wharf, Innovation Birmingham Campus, Holt Street, Birmingham Science Park Aston, Birmingham, B7 4BB.

We are organising these events in association with The Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) under their “Growing Financial Futures seminars series.

Keynote Address by John Barrass, Deputy Chief Executive, PIMFA:

Brexit: “The Implications of the Outcome of the Final Withdrawal Agreement on Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs and Advisers”

There will be two breakout session taking place within this seminar. Each stream will come together for an opening presentation before breaking into separate, focused streams to hear relevant speakers from each sector. Delegates will come together for a final closing keynote presentation.

  1. PIMFA will be approach the subject of ‘The New Retirement’, what is the role of financial advice in light of freedom and choice. What challenges and opportunities present themselves for financial advisers?
  2. EISA presenting their Ready, Steady, Grow seminar giving the opportunity to meet investors, funders, entrepreneurs and business advisers to find out about the various funding options all in one place at one time!

More speakers to be confirmed.


John Barrass joined PIMFA (then known as the Wealth Management Association) as Deputy Chief Executive in July 2007. As part of his work he runs PIMFA interests in Public Policy and Government Relations, including Brexit, EU related business and anti-financial crime activity.

Prior to joining PIMFA, John was Head of CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity in EMEA which followed over 12 years running international regulatory policy for the UK Government, the Securities and Investments Board, and the Financial Services Authority.He spent the first 12 years of his career in HM Diplomatic Service immersed in Soviet and East European Affairs but with the fall of the Berlin Wall felt that it was time to move on. John was educated at Cambridge University, England, and has a Masters degree from the University of Essex.

Alex Cochand joined Downing in 2016 and now heads up the Origination and Partnership functions for the investment team. His core focuses are on sourcing investment opportunities for the funds and growing their network to support the portfolio. Prior to joining Downing, he worked at Bluebox Corporate Finance where he advised a range of businesses on both fundraising and sale mandates.

Simon Cunnington joined the British Business Bank in January 2017 to help launch and promote the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), specifically covering the West Midlands area of the fund. The MEIF aims to transform the finance landscape for smaller businesses in the Midlands and to realise the region’s potential to achieve economic growth through enterprise. It will provide over £250m of commercially focussed finance to boost small and medium business (SME) growth in the Midlands through Small Business Loans, Debt Finance, Proof of concept and Equity Finance funds.

Simon qualified as an accountant with Nottinghamshire County Council where he spent 11 years overseeing the Council’s pension fund and treasury investments. He has extensive experience of managing and monitoring investments within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in Nottinghamshire including a portfolio of private equity, venture capital and infrastructure fund investments.Simon has a law degree (LLB) from the University of Nottingham.

Simon Harrington joined PIMFA in November 2017 as a Senior Policy Adviser with a focus on public policy and long term savings. He has previously worked at the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) and the Treasury in a variety of roles working on a number of issues including automatic enrolment, pension freedoms and the UK’s response to the financial crisis.

Simon has a strong interest in long term savings issues with a particular focus on overcoming behavioural barriers and the support structures that can be put in place in order to help and encourage a thriving savings culture in the UK.

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