Our first Women in Finance ranking in 2018 spotlighted influential women across various sectors, including government, business, finance and accountancy, who are all leaders, trailblazers and transforming their respective fields.

This year, we had so much interest we decided to extend the list from 20 to 35 women.

Last month, we put forward a longlist of female leaders to an audience vote. This week and next, we’ll be announcing the results of the vote – listing five women each day ahead of the full ranking release of the Top 35 Women in Finance on 30 April.

Today we present the next five women who have been named in positions 11-15 – based entirely on your votes.

11. Theresa May, Prime Minister, United Kingdom

Forget Brexit. From Oxford university to the Bank of England and then the Association of Payment Clearing Services, May’s pre-political background was rooted in finance.

As the UK’s prime minister, May (née Brasier) holds the title of First Lord of the Treasury, which comes with 10 Downing Street as its official residency. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is only Second Lord.

May was the longest-serving home secretary for more than a century and opposed Brexit during the 2016 referendum. She became prime minister without even a vote in the Conservative party as rivals dropped out.

She then miscalculated when calling a general election and lost her majority, forcing her to commit £1bn to Northern Ireland to secure DUP support.

12. Caroline Le Jeune, Head of Personal Tax, Blick Rothenberg

Le Jeune specialises in tax for high net worth individuals, with a focus on non-UK domiciled private clients.

Le Jeune had previously been a private client tax partner at BDO LLP. She qualified as a solicitor with a regional firm of solicitors and then as a chartered tax advisor whilst at PwC.

She deals with UK and international families with complex tax problems including residency and domicile issues, use of onshore and offshore trusts, divorce complications, succession planning and wealth preservation. She also helps with tax investigations.

“When I joined the Private Client team in 2014 there were just 14 people; now there are 120. It’s been an amazing journey,” she says.

13. Helen Brennan, LSCA president, KPMG Audit Director and ICAEW Council Member

Brennan is president of the London Society of Chartered Accountants, representing 37,000 members of the ICAEW living and working in London. She’s also an elected member of ICAEW Council, and sits on ICAEW’s diversity advisory group.

Brennan works 21 hours a week, flexibly, in KPMG’s audit quality & risk management department. Topically, she has to work with regulators over the possible post-Brexit audit environment.

She was previously an auditor at Shipleys and joined KPMG in 1999. She is chair of the audit committee of Apostleship of the Sea, a maritime welfare charity.

14. Victoria Todd, Head of Low Income Tax Reform Group (CIOT)

Todd is a Chartered Institute of Taxation fellow and became head of the LITRG in 2018. She joined the Department for Work and Pensions’ Social Security Advisory Committee in 2016.

Her rise started in 2005 when she joined LITRG as a welfare rights technical officer, becoming a technical officer in 2011 after completing the Association of Tax Technician (ATT) exams. In 2015, she became one of LITRG’s senior technical managers.

Todd is often quoted on tax and related benefit issues affecting those on low incomes and has given evidence before various parliamentary committees.

Todd is co-editor of www.revenuebenefits.org.uk website, a partnership between LITRG and social welfare law charity Lasa.

15. Emma Walmsley, CEO, GlaxoSmithKline

Walmsley became the first woman to run a major pharmaceutical company and is one of only six female CEOs of major UK companies, with the number of women execs across the FT 250 falling.

In January 2018, she replaced 50 of the company’s top managers and created a number of new roles. She has also said she aims to split the company into the consumer health products and medical drugs businesses. She entered into a partnership with US rival Pfizer in late 2018.

Walmsley famously queried whether she had what it took for the big roles, asking on leanin.org: “How could a mum and wife take on something so big?”



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