The Haggie Partners team

Haggie Partners comprises individuals with diverse and successful backgrounds ranging from in-house and agency communications to journalism, broking, academia, design, project management, accountancy, and recruitment. We are at once youthful and extensively experienced. We are creative and incisive. With broad experience across multiple sectors, no communications firm is better connected to the financial services sector than Haggie Partners.

Ben Abbotts
Account director

Richard Adams
Director

Emma Brian
HR manager

Finlay Gardner
PR assistant

Laura Gillespie
Finance manager

David Haggie
Partner

Edward Hewes
Account Executive

Emma McCarthy
PA and office manager

Melissa Phillipson
PR assistant

Peter Rigby
Partner

Bec Seaton
Account executive

Mazin Shammas
Social Media director

Hannah Stewart
Senior account manager

Cressida Tarver
PR assistant

Olivia Thomson
Account manager

Gavin Warren
Design director

Richard Adams

Richard has more than 20 years of experience in journalism and public relations in the insurance and reinsurance markets. His editorial background as an award-winning journalist and editor helps clients foster a mutually beneficial working relationship with the media as an important tool in managing their reputations. Before joining Haggie Partners, Richard worked for Incisive Media and in financial services PR consulting.

Ben Abbotts

Ben has more than 20 years’ experience in PR consultancy specialising in financial services, corporate communications and public affairs/ issues management. He has previously headed media relations working for general insurer Canada Life. Before joining Haggie Partners he worked for a City based professional & financial services consultancy. He has previously stood for Parliament.

Damian Beeley

Damian has 25 years’ experience in PR consultancy, with a focus on financial services. Before PR, Damian’s career began with a four-year spell as a Lloyd’s insurance broker followed by three years in Asia as a financial journalist. He has extensive experience in financial PR, corporate positioning and issues management, helping small and large companies and their senior management to stay on or off the financial pages. Damian is also a trustee of Walking With The Wounded.

Johanna Bernhard

Johanna joined Haggie Partners following a five year stretch studying and working in the United States. With a degree in Journalism and Spanish, Johanna worked as a journalist in the Pacific Northwest covering an array of social justice and human rights issues, as well as education, health care and agriculture. Following her return to the UK and before joining Haggie Partners, she transitioned into PR and communications working for a creative communications firm in London.

Hannah Clift

Having graduated from Queen Mary University with a BA in English Literature in 2018, Hannah went to teach in Southern China. She developed a keen interest in communications and working with international businesses, particularly creating content and building professional relationships. Hannah joins Haggie with an eagerness to pursue a career in financial and corporate PR.

Olivia Fatkin-Kane

Since joining Haggie Partners in October 2019, Olivia has worked with a range of clients across the insurance sector, including risk modellers, carriers, brokers, and technology companies. She has experience in writing and editing thought leadership pieces, developing and maintaining relationships with the media, and helping clients formulate their communications strategies. Her interest in the role financial services plays in the transition to a sustainable world has led to her obtaining the Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR) offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) and a certificate in Green and Sustainable Finance from the Chartered Banker Institute.

David Haggie

A chartered accountant and former plc finance director, David founded Haggie Partners in 1986. During his many years in communications David has been involved with companies in virtually every quoted sector from property, technology and engineering through to financial services. He has been at the forefront of insurance sector communications since the early 1990s when corporate capital came into the Lloyd’s market.

Cordelia Hawkings

Cordelia joined Haggie Partners as a public relations assistant in 2021. Despite the considerable challenges of doing so during lockdown, she swiftly acclimatised and less than a year later was promoted to account executive. Cordelia plays a key role in supporting a broad range of clients across the London and international insurance markets. She previously completed various communications internships and work experience at Morgan Stanley.

Megan Jay

Megan graduated in 2020 from the University of Liverpool with an LLB in Law, followed by a Master’s degree in Law with Medicine and Healthcare in 2021. During her undergraduate degree Megan volunteered in numerous legal services, interviewing clients and assisting in representation at tribunal level. Throughout placements and her degree, she developed an interest in the importance of communications and furthered this by exploring the different methods. After six months working in healthcare to alleviate the pandemic pressure, she joined Haggie in early 2022 as a PR assistant with the goal of pursuing a career in financial PR.

Caroline Klein

Caroline has worked in communications, public relations and marketing in the financial services sector for nearly 20 years. Before joining Haggie Partners in 2019, she held roles at Canopius, Miller, PPL and Japanese investment bank Daiwa Securities. She has wide ranging experience across external and internal communications, with a particular recent focus on change and M&A, and currently looks after a broad range of clients, including underwriters, brokers and technology providers. Caroline holds an MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Cambridge and lived and worked in Japan for a number of years. She also speaks French and German.

Ewelina Kudla

Ewelina joined Haggie Partners from Argo Group where she led broker relations, communications and marketing for the international team.  Prior to joining Argo, Ewelina worked for Chaucer and Antares (now QIC Global) in London and Bermuda. Ewelina has a Master’s degree in Marketing and Management and is originally from Poland.

Dr. Adrian Leonard

Adrian’s career straddles PR, journalism, and academia. Most of his 25+ years writing have been focussed on insurance. He has advised companies from Amlin to Zurich Re. He was News Editor of Insurance Day and Press Officer at the International Underwriting Association. Meanwhile he is Associate Director of the Centre for Financial History, University of Cambridge, and is probably the world’s leading historian of marine insurance.

Michael Mattinson

Michael heads the design side of our business and has over 35 years experience of managing design projects for financial institutions, understanding the unique requirements of City establishments, particular insurers and reinsurers. His work includes corporate identity and company launches, financial and corporate marketing literature, annual reports and corporate websites.

Emma McCarthy

As a highly experienced senior personal assistant with several years’ experience already under her belt, Emma’s organisational and communication skills ensures efficient first-line support to the Partners and the team. Prior to Haggie Emma spent seven years at Nordea Bank where she supported the General Manager and the Investment Management team. Previous companies also include Barclays Bank. Emma is a keen runner and has run for many charities.

Rowena Nelson

Rowena is responsible for Haggie’s internal operations including finance, administration and the human resource function. Having joined Haggie in 2005 and with over 20 years experience across various sectors including marketing, IT consultancy, property and retail, she has long since accumulated the necessary skills and expertise to ensure that Haggie’s day-to-day processes run smoothly.

Peter Rigby

As a broker with Aon for 14 years, Peter has first-hand knowledge of the insurance and reinsurance markets in London, New York and Singapore and the issues the sector faces. Since moving into the communications sector in 1999 he has advised companies on all aspects of financial PR and corporate communications with expertise in corporate activity including M&A and stock market flotations.

Emma Brian

Emma joined Haggie Partners in January 2023. She has 20 years’ experience as a lead HR Professional, coach and mentor. Emma has multi-sector senior management experience, facing challenges with a solution focus. Prior to her career in HR, Emma worked for leading specialist insurance operating through Lloyd’s, the London market and internationally. In addition to her HR career, she practices as a Therapeutic Counsellor for Children & Young People for a few hours per week.

A keen scuba diver Instructor and has dived in beautiful overseas locations, and in the cooler UK waters; she cannot resist a wreck dive. She is an active volunteer with a local youth club teaching children and young people to dive. However, what she finds the most rewarding is enabling adults to overcome their anxieties and difficulties to take their first breath underwater.

In both her professional and personal life, Emma enjoys supporting others to overcome their challenges; empowering others

Jack Sandbach

Jack graduated from the University of Durham in 2021, with both an MSC in Defence, Development and Diplomacy and a BA in Politics. His degree’s focus on current affairs, and requirement to always be up to date with the news helps in his day-to-day duties as a PR assistant. Previously Jack taught GCSE and A Level English for students from primary school to A Level.

Mazin Shammas

After forging a successful music career using social media to gain a huge following online, Mazin now uses his talents to help a broad range of insurance businesses to build their reputations and manage their profiles online. Mazin is skilled, creative and attuned to social media innovations meaning his work is highly effective. This is borne out by impressive increases in follower numbers and engagement across the client accounts that he manages.

Hannah Stewart

Hannah joined Haggie Partners as a PR assistant in 2018 and quickly rose to account manager in 2020 and then senior account manager. She is an enthusiastic and gifted communicator able to guide clients through a range of communications challenges, which allows them to build valuable relationships with the media. Hannah gained communications experience in the heritage sector and publishing after obtaining her Masters’ Degree in Cultural Heritage Studies from UCL.

Olivia Thomson

Olivia (‘Liv’) joined Haggie Partners in September 2018. She has since worked with a range of clients within the global (re)insurance marketplace, handling writing and editing projects, maintaining relationships with media and managing social media accounts. She specialises in media and public relations and graduated from University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in equine studies. Previously she held multiple marketing and communications roles for technology and publishing companies owned by the publishing company, DC Thomson, and spent some time as a recruiter, working mainly with technology and financial services companies in San Francisco, California.

Gavin Warren

Gavin graduated from Kent Art College in 2002 and specialises in the design and implementation of both digital and graphic products. Whilst at Haggie, he has led the creation of client websites, apps and social media strategies, including content creation and monitoring. His graphic expertise include the creation of development of brands and all corporate literature ranging from annual reports to company brochures and promotional event materials. Gavin is also responsible for all digital design projects.

Jane Hermiston

Jane is a Certified Practising Accountant with over 15 years’ experience in finance and accounting. They have worked with businesses across the finance, energy and government sectors in the UK and Australia. They hold a Bachelors’ degree in accounting from LaTrobe University and a Masters’ degree in Economics from Melbourne University.

Bec Seaton

Bec graduated with a BA in Politics before pursuing an MA in Global Political Economy at City, University of London. She took particular interest in EU politics and economic diplomacy. A keen traveller, Bec went on to spend three years travelling the world as cabin crew. Whilst global travel shut down, she went to work for the NHS to ease the pressure caused by the pandemic. Having joined Haggie in 2022, she is now excited to pursue a career in financial PR.

Edward Hewes

Edward graduated in 2020 from the University of Sussex with a degree in History, followed by an MA in Intellectual History in 2021. Focusing on the History of Ideas and specifically the History of Political Thought, his studies culminated with a thesis that explored the idea of studying history with moral motivations. After spending some time as a labourer and gaining experience in communications at an indoor farming startup, Edward joined Haggie in 2023 eager to pursue a career in a new industry and formalise a specialism in communications.

Laura Gillespie

Laura joined Haggie Partners in 2023. A Chartered Accountant, Laura qualified with Pannell Kerr Forster whilst working in their City Group. During this time she audited various Lloyd’s syndicates and underwriting agencies. Post qualification, she worked for CMGL until she started a family and started her own accountancy practice based in Kent.

Cressida Tarver

Cressida graduated in 2022 with a degree in Politics and International Relations from Oxford Brookes University. Her dissertation focused on Japanese International Relations between the Meiji Restoration and the COVID-19 pandemic. After university, she gained experience in social media and recruitment within the events management sector. Cressida has joined Haggie in 2023 as a PR Assistant and is excited to explore the financial PR sector. Cressida enjoys sustainable fashion, spending time in history museums and art galleries, as well as following motorsports, particularly Formula 1.

Finlay Gardner

Finlay graduated in 2022 from the University of Glasgow with a degree in English Literature and Film, before pursuing a Master’s degree in Film Studies from King’s College London. As a result, Finlay loves to chat about films and books, and is always quick to ask others about their taste. Finlay is never happier than when he is socializing and loves being part of the team here at Haggie. Finlay joined Haggie Partners in the latter half of 2023 and is excited to turn his creative brain to the financial PR Sector. Finlay is a keen sports fan and when not in the office, can be found fervently cheering on his beloved rugby team, Edinburgh.

Melissa Phillipson

Melissa joined Haggie as a PR Assistant in January 2024. During the previous Autumn, she graduated from UEA with a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Her studies were a concoction of business, finance and literary elements, which she is excited to put to the test during the takeoff of her career. When she’s not in the office, you can find Melissa lifting weights in the gym, socialising or splurging on a fancy coffee. That being said, Melissa is very excited to start her career at Haggie and get to know the wonderful team!