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About

Innovation Environment

We deliver huge benefits to society and drive innovation by safely unlocking the power of financial data. ​

We bring together Financial Services organisations, Regulators, Fintechs, Academics and Government with a common goal – to use data in a safe way people can trust to inspire new innovation and deliver economic, social and environmental benefits for everyone.​

Our Board

The Smart Data Foundry board is drawn from government, industry and academia, bringing significant expertise across data and financial services.

  • Dame Julia Unwin

    Chair, Smart Data Foundry

    Dame Julia Unwin is the Inaugural Chair of the Smart Data Foundry based at Edinburgh University.

    She was the Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation from 2007 until 2016. Previously, she ran a consultancy business for 15 years and has served as a Charity Commissioner, member of the Board of the Housing Corporation, Chair of the Refugee Council and Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency. She was a member of the Council of the University of York and pro-Chancellor until 2017.

    READ MORE ABOUT DAME JULIA UNWIN

  • Frank Gauld

    Chief Executive Officer, Smart Data Foundry

    Frank is a University of Edinburgh graduate and has held high-profile positions at NCR, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank. He has extensive international banking and technology experience at executive levels in IT, Product Development and Professional Services.

    Bringing a wealth of global Financial Services and FinTech experience, Frank will drive the organisation’s strategic direction, spearheading safe data sharing to tackle societal, economic, and environmental challenges.

  • Zachary Anderson

    Chief Data & Analytics Officer, NatWest Group

    Zachery is the Chief Data and Analytics Officer at the NatWest Group. He is the former Senior Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer at Electronic Arts (EA), the world’s largest video game company. He was responsible for leading consumer insights, UX research, data science, studio analytics, and marketing analytics for EA. His team used in-game behavioural data, traditional consumer research, lab work, and online advertising data to provoke and inspire EA’s development and marketing teams to think and act “Player First.”

    Prior to joining EA in 2007, Zachery was head of consulting and modelling for J.D. Power and Associates’ PIN group, corporate economist for Nissan North America, and economist for the private investment company Fremont Group.

    Zachery’s work has been highlighted in the Harvard Business Review and the MIT Sloan Management Review. His work has won many awards, including the INFORMS Marketing Science Practice Prize, and while at Nissan he was recognized by the U.S. Federal Reserve for the Best Industry Forecast. He is a member of the University of California Master of Science in Business Analytics Industry Advisory Board.

    Zachery’s undergraduate degree in political science and communications is from Southern Illinois University. His graduate work was at UCLA, in economics and political science, where he studied game theory with Nobel Prize winner Lloyd Shapley.

  • Professor Kim Graham

    Provost, The University of Edinburgh

    Professor Kim Graham was appointed as the first Provost of the University of Edinburgh in June 2022, having previously held the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Enterprise at Cardiff University. Prior to her move to Cardiff, Kim was a Programme Leader at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. She has held numerous Chair and Deputy Chair roles for funders, and was a panel member for REF 2014.  While in Wales, Kim was Chair of the GW4 Alliance Board, and a member of the Wales Science and Innovation Advisory Council and HEFCW Research Committee. She is currently a member of the UKRI MRC Council, and a trustee and Non-Executive Director for the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE).

    Kim gained her PhD at St John’s College, Cambridge University in 1995, and is an internationally-renowned Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience. She is co-author of an award-winning book ‘The Evolution of Memory Systems’. Her research builds on this evolutionary perspective, asking how inter-individual variation in the structure and function of distinct brain networks is linked to differences in human memory performance, and how damage to these networks influences risk and resilience to dementia across the lifespan.

  • Stephen Ingledew OBE

    Chair, FinTech Scotland

    Stephen is the Chairman of FinTech Scotland, the cluster leadership body focused on financial innovation. He led the formation and growth of FinTech Scotland since 2018, initially as Chief Executive, to be recognised as one of the top fintech cluster management organisations in the UK and Europe.

    The cluster leadership has included the ground-breaking Research and Innovation Roadmap and being of one of the founders of the UK FinTech National Network to facilitate collaboration across all regional fintech clusters.

    He was awarded an OBE in the 2023 New Year Honours List for services to the UK financial technology (fintech) sector.

    In addition to fintech roles, Stephen sits on the UK Government’s Business Innovation Forum and Scottish Government’s Innovation Steering Group. He is also Deputy Convenor of the University of Strathclyde Court and non-executive director of Smart Data Foundry.

    Stephen is an influential advocate of making the financial world more open, creative and inclusive through innovative digital and data initiatives, encouraging progressive ways of working and collaboration across diverse organisations.

    His career over four decades has earned a track record and reputation for leading customer focused, technology enabled initiatives in executive leadership roles with large institutions Standard Life and Barclays as well as early-stage innovative enterprises.

    He is passionate about the role of financial innovation shaping the future economy and breaking down barriers and division across the UK, especially with new initiatives such Innovation Accelerators”

  • Fiona Duncan

    Independant Strategic Advisor, The Promise

    Fiona stepped back as Corra’s Chief Executive in September 2022 and became Strategic Director, part-time. Her focus now is on how innovation in funding approaches can support Corra’s bold ten-year strategy.

    Fiona joined the foundation in 2013 with almost 20 years’ voluntary sector experience in Scotland and overseas and became Chief Executive a year later. At Corra she has driven a new strategy for the organisation that includes supporting communities to drive lasting change in systems, practice and culture. Prior to joining Corra Foundation, Fiona spent seven years at THINK Consulting Solutions, a leading international consultancy dedicated to not for profits where she was responsible for strategic planning assignments, working mainly overseas.

    In 2017, Scotland’s First Minister asked Fiona to Chair the Independent Care Review and since 2020 she has been involved in its implementation. Fiona stepped back from being Corra’s Chief Executive in order to take on a Ministerial Appointment of Independent Strategic Advisor to #KeepThePromise, which is responsible for driving the change demanded by the findings of the Independent Care Review.

  • Professor Chris Speed

    Director, Edinburgh Futures Institute

    Chris is Director for the Edinburgh Futures Institute, involving the transformation of the 22,000m2 Old Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, a Florence Nightingale hospital in the centre of Edinburgh, into a world leading centre for interdisciplinary teaching, research and innovation.

    Chris led the development and leadership of the Institute for Design Informatics that is home to a combination of researchers working across the fields of design, social science, and data science, as well as the PhD, MA/MFA and MSc and Advanced MSc programmes.

    Chris is currently Director of the £7.4m Creative Informatics R&D Partnership, one of the nine AHRC funded Creative Industries Clusters in the UK. Chris maintains research projects with partners across the UK and Europe including being a Co-I to the Next Stage Digital Economy Centre DECaDE led by Surrey with the Digital Catapult, and a Co-I to the DCODE European network and PhD program for training the next generation of researchers and designers to guide society’s digital transformation towards inclusive, sustainable futures. Chris was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2020.

Our Management Team

  • Dame Julia Unwin

    Chair of the Board

    Dame Julia Unwin is the Inaugural Chair of the Smart Data Foundry based at Edinburgh University.

    She was the Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation from 2007 until 2016. Previously, she ran a consultancy business for 15 years and has served as a Charity Commissioner, member of the Board of the Housing Corporation, Chair of the Refugee Council and Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency. She was a member of the Council of the University of York and pro-Chancellor until 2017.

    READ MORE ABOUT DAME JULIA UNWIN

  • Frank Gauld

    Chief Executive Officer

    Frank is a University of Edinburgh graduate and has held high-profile positions at NCR, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank. He has extensive international banking and technology experience at executive levels in IT, Product Development and Professional Services.

    Bringing a wealth of global Financial Services and FinTech experience, Frank will drive the organisation’s strategic direction, spearheading safe data sharing to tackle societal, economic, and environmental challenges.

  • Dougie Robb

    Chief Operating Officer

    Dougie Robb is the Chief Operating Officer at Smart Data Foundry. Dougie is a qualified chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience in practice and industry, including early-stage business experience and CFO positions.

    He has gained extensive financial services experience across a range of relevant sub-sectors, including corporate and personal banking, asset management and investment banking, including through positions and assignments with Lloyds Bank, Northern Rock and Lehman Brothers. In addition, Dougie has previously held CF1 and CF10 FCA control functions.

  • Martin Nel

    Chief Research Officer

    Martin is the Chief Research Officer at Smart Data Foundry. His role is to build partnerships with the private, public and third sectors and leverage our expertise and capabilities to harness financial data for social and economic benefit.

    Martin spent a decade as a senior executive at a Big 5 Canadian bank, where his last role was Head of Personal and Small Business Banking. In this role, Martin focused on growing the franchise through customer experience and leveraging analytics to create value for customers and shareholders. Prior to that, he spent seven years with McKinsey & Co in Europe, working primarily with Financial Institutions.

  • Bryn Coulthard

    Chief Product and Technology Officer

    Bryn is the Chief Product and Technology Officer at Smart Data Foundry. He joined Smart Data Foundry in 2022, bringing over 20 years of Financial Services experience in product and technology leadership. Bryn has a background in Banking technology and product, most recently from NCR, where he led their Fintech team covering partnerships and acquisitions for their US Digital Banking business. Previously, he led their International Digital Banking and Open Banking product strategy.

    Prior to NCR, Bryn spent over ten years at Clydesdale Bank/National Australia Bank (now Virgin Bank), where he held various technology leadership roles across change, development and architecture, building a wealth of experience in driving business, product and IT strategy from needs identification through to execution with a strong commercial focus.

  • Fiona Grieve

    Head of Human Resources

    Fiona is the Head of Human Resources at Smart Data Foundry and is responsible for leading the HR and Recruitment functions and delivering the SDF People Strategy.

    Fiona brings over 20 years of HR, Strategic Resource Management and Recruitment experience to Smart Data Foundry and has worked across Financial Services and Telecommunications industries.

     

  • Richard Seabrook

    Head of Marketing and Communications

    Richard Seabrook is the Head of Marketing and Communications for Smart Data Foundry. He is a proven business leader with over 25 years experience of leading large product and marketing teams and strategic consultancy in blue-chip Financial Services organisations.

    He has extensive experience in all marketing disciplines from brand development, new proposition development, product management through to marketing strategy and through-the-line execution in multi-channel environments. With experience as head of marketing roles with major UK banks and many years’ of consultancy engagements worldwide, Richard offers extensive experience in developing and implementing marketing strategies.