The judges

Winners' judges

Jawad Mahmood – Group Chief Auditor, Small World Financial Services


Jawad is currently the Group Chief Auditor at Small World Financial Services, a London headquartered global money transfer firm with operations in over 90 countries. He has more than twenty years’ experience working with big four and top tier FS firms. Jawad has led award winning IA teams and has a proven track record of transforming internal audit functions, driving productivity through use of innovative technology with a key focus on value addition. 

Prior to joining Small World, Jawad was Head of Audit for England for the European Commission programmes and Group Chief Internal Auditor for the Department for Levelling Up. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and is a member of ICAEW and CIPFA. He also holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Finance. Jawad is passionate about children's education and supports a number of charities that help underprivileged kids achieve their full potential. 


Peter Elam - Group Head of Risk Management and Business Assurance, Anglo American


Peter Elam, CIA, QIAL, CRMA is Group Head of Risk and Assurance at Anglo American plc, a position he assumed on joining the company on 1 June 2019.  He is responsible for enterprise risk management, internal audit, ethical business conduct, investigations and insurance globally.

Peter was previously Head of Internal Audit at Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, from 2010.

Peter began his career with Shell, where he spent 15 years in positions of increasing responsibility in various countries, latterly as Shell’s CFO in China.

Peter graduated from Oxford University and also studied at McGill University in Montreal and Eötvös Lóránd University in Budapest.  He is a member of the International Internal Audit Standards Board, Council member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (UK and Ireland) and a Fellow of the UK Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.  


Natalie Butler - Global Internal Audit Director and Regional Compliance Director at Edelman


Natalie possesses 20 years of experience in the audit and assurance space – covering both external and internal audit.

Natalie serves as the Global Internal Audit Director and Regional Compliance Director at Edelman, an independent global communications company with over 60 offices worldwide. Her leadership extends beyond technical expertise, as she fosters a collaborative environment and empowers teams to deliver impactful solutions.  Natalie is also Six Sigma certified, further demonstrating her commitment to continuous improvement and data-driven decision-making.

Driven by a sense of community service, Natalie also actively contributes beyond her corporate role.  Her past position on the CIIA's Audit Committee and ongoing leadership at St. Luke's Hospice exemplify her dedication to advancing the industry while serving causes.


Kate O’Neill - Director of Stakeholder Engagement & Corporate Affairs, Financial Reporting Council


Kate joined the FRC as the Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Corporate Affairs in May 2020. Previously she was the Head of Corporate Development at Jupiter Asset Management where she was responsible for corporate strategy, investor relations and communications. Kate was the Managing Director of Investor Relations at Lloyds Banking Group during the financial crisis before becoming a Partner at Brunswick and then at Maitland advising global clients on capital markets and communications issues.

After qualifying as a lawyer, Kate spent most of her career in the financial services sector in the UK, Europe and Australasia in senior leadership roles in distribution and alternative assets at AMP Asset Management, Henderson Global Investors and RBS Asset Management.


Holly Sykes - Head of Audit and Electoral Services, Cornwall Council


Holly oversees and delivers the Internal Audit Service for Cornwall Council as the Chief Internal Auditor. In addition she is the lead for the Internal Audit Service for Council Group of Companies – ‘Corserv’ which includes Cornwall Airport Limited, Corserv Facilities Limited and Cormac; Council of the Isles of Scilly; Cornwall Housing Limited  as well as for a number of Multi Academy Trusts.

Holly previously oversaw part of the audit service for the Ministry of Defence, with over 15 years’ experience in central Government from Internal Audit, transformation to working behind the scenes of Typhoon and Tornado fast jet projects.

Previous experience includes auditing Housing Associations, local authorities, the NHS and education sectors as well as delivering external audit in the private sector. She specialises in Audit, Risk Management, fraud, electoral services, transformation and leadership development.


Shortlist Judges

Sara Yorke – Head of Audit – Strategy, Governance and Operations, Vodafone


Sara has over 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry. As a qualified ACMA she has held multiple roles in Finance including finance transformation, governance, and strategy, with the last 10 years specialising in risk, compliance and internal audit – across geographies spanning Asia, Africa and Europe. She has a proven record in transforming both audit and assurance functions into highly relevant and effective capabilities using the power of data and automation technologies. Along the way she has contributed to building a strong culture of risk and control across all functions in the organisation – while building and leading high performing teams


Veesh Sharma – Chief Assurance Officer, Save the Children


Veesh is a qualified Chartered Internal Auditor with a background in not-for-profit organisations, the public sector, and INGOs. He has significant experience of working national and international charities, higher education institutions, NDPBs, and regulators.

Veesh joined Save the Children in 2015 to lead a transformation programme in its global assurance function. In 2018, he led the facilitation of a second transformation programme – this time in the organisation’s internal controls and compliance function. Since 2020, Veesh has led the expansion of global assurance’s remit to Save the Children Member organisations.

David Hill – Chief Executive Officer, SWAP Internal Audit Services

David Hill is Chief Executive Officer of SWAP Internal Audit Services, commonly known as SWAP. It is the biggest UK Public Sector Audit Partnership and continues to grow. David is passionate about our profession and is constantly looking for new ways to continually improve SWAP and the service it delivers to it partners and clients. 

David is in his 40th year in Internal Audit, formerly served on the Global IIA Guidance Development Committee, former Chair of the UK Local Authority Chief Auditors Network (LACAN) and currently chair of the UK Chief Auditor Network (CAN). He is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (CMIIA). He was voted a Beacon Award winner for 2022 and a top 25 Thought Leader in our profession for 2023.


Gavin Faloona – Head of Internal Audit, Goodbody Stockbrokers


Gavin Faloona profile picture

Gavin is Head of Internal Audit for Goodbody Stockbrokers which is part of the AIB Group. He has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry with a focus on governance, internal controls, regulatory compliance, and risk management.

Gavin joined Goodbody in January 2013, during this time Gavin had built the team and led professionals providing subject matter expertise audit coverage across Corporate Advisory, Wealth Management, Capital Markets, Compliance, Market/Counterparty Risk, Operational Risk, and Strategic & Enterprise Risk Management.

Prior to joining Goodbody, Gavin was Head of Performance Management at Aviva Europe, Technical Specialist at the Financial Conduct Authority. He has also served as Head of Risk and Quantitative Research in Asset Management.

Roza Watson - Senior Audit Manager, Willis Towers Watson


Roza is a Senior Audit Manager at Willis Towers Watson. Prior to that Roza has held various senior roles including the UK Group Audit Country Lead at Zurich Insurance and a Head of Audit role at a small Lloyd’s Syndicate firm.  Roza has worked both in professional practice firms and in industry. Roza has 19 years of experience in Internal Audit with 16 of these in managerial positions. Roza's specialism is in the insurance sector which she has been in since 2009. Roza is a Chartered Internal Auditor and has a bachelors degree in mathematics and computer science.