Latest Event:
IIA Annual Conference "06 March 2020 at 0900 - 16:00 London / United Kingdom"

Guest Speakers

His Excellency the Honourable George Brandis QC.

High Commissioner of Australia to the United Kingdom

Mr Brandis has had a distinguished political career in Australia as a member of the Federal Parliament. His appointments have included Attorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council, Leader of the Government in the Senate, Federal Minister for the Arts, and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Mr Brandis holds a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford, a Bachelor of Laws (First-Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (First-Class Honours) from the University of Queensland.

Chris Galway


Chris is one of the co-founders of the IIA and has worked in the Immigration Industry for over 12 years. Chris has been involved in the Migration Industry for the past 11 years in numerous roles. These have ranged from Education Assessments, through to the invention of specific Insurance Products for Visa Holders and Expats from around the world. As an innovator in the industry, Chris has been a guest speaker at many international events specialising in the subject of global education and mobilisation.

John Marcarian


John Marcarian is a chartered accountant with over 25 years experience. He is the founder of Expatland and CST Tax Advisors. At CST, he provides tax consultancy to clients in more than 50 countries, including global expatriates and businesses moving across borders.

In 2018 John founded the Expatland Global Network which is a professional business network aimed at helping global expats and global founders move overseas to work or establish businesses.

To date, John has expanded Expatland to over 30 global cities around the world. In 2019, John won the Expatpreneur Award for Longevity for his commitment to helping expatriates in Singapore and around the globe.

John Freeme

Head of Relationship Management, Xe

John has worked in the Foreign Exchange world for over 15 years. After managing a portfolio of institutional / multi-national businesses in South Africa, John joined Xe in 2006. John regularly comments and presents on currency risk management and the FX market while managing corporate and institutional currency flows on behalf of Xe’s largest corporate clients. His specialities include International Macroeconomics, Financial Markets, G10 FX Strategy, Risk Hedging, Options Structuring and Media Commentary. He has a Commerce Degree specialising in Risk Management and Derivatives and is CF30 Regulated.

Mona Shah, Esq

Founder/Director – Mona Shah & Associates Global

U.K. born, Mona Shah is a dual-licensed attorney and former British Crown Prosecutor. 

Highly proficient and recognized as an industry leader in US EB-5 investments, Mona has received many accolades for her work, including voted top 25 EB-5 attorneys in the US multiple years; Top Lawyer (Who’s Who International) etc. Mona hosts the first podcast series on EB-5 investments (90+ episodes); Mona is a part-time adjunct professor at Baruch College, City of New York University.

Mona has authored numerous articles; is both a published author and a Lexis Nexis Editor.  She regularly speaks worldwide, has been interviewed by mainstream news channels, including Fox Business News and Al Jazeera; featured in international magazines and quoted in major newspapers, including the New York Times.

Headquartered in Manhattan, MSA Global is a Law Firm with an advanced global corporate Immigration practice, instrumental in the success of numerous projects, raising millions in investor capital.

Tracey Barrett

Head of Communications at The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo)

The trade body for the professional recruitment sector.  She is also one of the founding Directors of BlueSky PR, the specialist boutique communications consultancy which has a varied portfolio of recruitment firms, talent management consultancies and international business schools including APSCo where Tracey leads a team which delivers an integrated marketing and communications service to APSCo. She is a regular speaker and commentator on the recruitment market and has been involved with the sector for over thirty years.

Sasan Lohrasb - Chartered MCSI

Dual-Licensed Associate Partner (UK | China) | St. James’s Place Wealth Management

Sasan Lohrasb, provides a wealth of experience in financial services. He holds a MSc from the University of Nottingham in Management in Contemporary China and studied Mandarin Chinese to fluency at Fudan University in Shanghai. Sasan started his career in China in 2012 as an Independent Financial Adviser and was invited to join the St. James’s Place Shanghai office as an Associate Partner in 2016. Sasan returned to the UK in early 2018 where he now operates a Dual-Licensed St. James’s Place Practice between the UK and China.

The Practice has a wide network and clients in both the UK and China. Its core specialisation is in the provision of wealth management services for global, mobile executives, entrepreneurs, their families and their companies around repatriation, expatriation, immigration and emigration.

Jessie Kelly

Global Talent with the Australian Department of Home Affairs

Jessie works across Europe and Israel seeking the best and the brightest minds to help solve Australia’s future challenges. She specialises in strategic planning for organisational change and sector development.


Originally an arts graduate she has led government and commercial change projects at KPMG, Australia’s national science agency and in the University sector. Her success is in leading people through complexity to realise long term Triple-Bottom-Line goals. She has professional interests in impact investing and sustainable financing. Her current fascinating is with the potential for ESG frameworks to create better ways of doing business.

Jessie received her MBA from the University of Sydney in 2011 winning the Commonwealth HECS scholarship.

Gael Panhelleux

Executive Director – FOCUS

Originally from Paris with over 25 years experience in Education, Marketing and Sales in 6 different countries, I had the opportunity to live the expat life with my husband and my 3 children in countries such as USA, China, Indonesia and Brazil. We all moved from Paris to London 9 years ago. We fell in love with the city and I feel really fortunate to be able to support new comers to settle in the UK and enjoy the British life.

The original concept of FOCUS has grown into the vibrant community that FOCUS is today with the team offering practical and well timed advice to the newly arrived, exclusive networking and community connect and career support to spouses and partners.

Operating as non-profit organisation and located in Central London, FOCUS is the go-to place for your relocation to the UK!
We provide a comprehensive service that helps expats and their families to quickly adapt to their new location. This enhances employee productivity and wellbeing, while alleviating the burden on global mobility and relocation companies.

Victoria Rennoldson

Founder & Director- Perfect Cuppa English

Victoria Rennoldson founded Perfect Cuppa English in 2015 to offer bespoke English language & British culture training for international professionals, teams & individuals, who have relocated to London or are working regularly with British contacts.

She is a regular speaker & writer on British English & Culture for London’s international professional & community groups, including FOCUS international community, UK Israel Business network, Londres Accueil & Himemama, the Japanese community group.

Perfect Cuppa English’s training supports individuals & teams who want to speak English more confidently, communicate naturally plus understand British culture. The Perfect Cuppa English team of trainers work with clients in private courses or bespoke team training workshops, at a time & place which is convenient.

This enables our clients to meet & connect more effectively with people in everyday or work situations, whether the communication objective is focused on career, social or study.

Patti McCarthy

Founder – Cultural Chemistry

Patti McCarthy is the director of Cultural Chemistry and assists international professionals – including expatriates and their families – to thrive in multi-cultural situations.  She suggests that while nobody would attempt to play competitive sport without first learning the rules of the game, this is precisely what happens both when employers move talent to or from overseas and fail to give them a cultural induction, or when businesses try to establish relations with a business from another culture without paying due attention to cultural issues.

Knowledge of appropriate business etiquette can make or break the client relationship at the initial stages and expensive overseas hires can create costly mistakes without cultural training. This lack of cultural awareness, combined with a lack of support for accompanying partners, often leads to an unacceptably high failure rate amongst expatriates.

Cultural Chemistry was started in 2008 and offers a range of training, consulting and coaching services.  Patti is a published author, frequent media commentator and regular speaker at international conferences.

Suresh Vaghjiani

Suresh’s former roles include President at GPS, Head of Issuing at Paysafe Group and Kalixa Payments Group. Suresh has represented the fintech sector and the UK Government on a number of trade missions including Mexico, Canada, China and on an historic delegation with the R.H Lord Mayor of London to the southern hemisphere. He has hosted meetings with senior ministers including the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Suresh was voted first in the Payments Power 10 and in 2017 Suresh became the first non-American in its 11 year history to be awarded the prestigious Industry achievement award by PAY magazine

Lloyd Gofton


Liberate Media

Lloyd is an experienced communications professional with 20 years of knowledge built in the agency sector.

He has worked with a variety of brands including Greenpeace, Pizza Express, O2, WWF, Mail Online, Virgin Atlantic and Honda as well as a wide range of expat and immigration organisations.

Lloyd launched Liberate Media in 2006 to offer combined PR, social media and content marketing services that drive engagement and sales for brands.

In addition, Lloyd has extensive experience of running international communications campaigns across Europe, The Middle East, Africa, North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Ian Wright

Barrister – Five Paper

Ian is a specialist Employment, Regulatory and Business Immigration practitioner with more than twenty five years of experience of practice at the Bar. With Satinder Gill he is Head of the ‘Business Immigration and Regulatory Team’ in Chambers.

His regulatory work covers issues arising from enforcement notices under the HSWA and financial services both in the UK and Dubai. He was described by the Financial Markets Tribunal in Dubai as a ‘lawyer of great experience and ability’ (Judgment-12 March 2018)
His regulatory health and safety work is recognised by his listing in Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 for 2020. The directories have described him as ‘an informed strategist and tenacious advocate with a personable court manner.’

He was instructed in the Supreme Court case of HM Inspector of Health and Safety v Chevron North Sea Ltd concerning appeals under section 24 HSWA heard at the end of 2017. He is on List A of the Government’s Specialist Regulatory Panel.

Over recent years Ian has developed his business immigration work by delivering seminars concentrating in particular on the Points Based System of entry routes, Routes outside the PBS, Right to work and EU Settled Status/Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules.

Phil Oakey

Business Development Manager


Phil started with Michael Gerson’s in 1982 and is an experienced account manager, having managed some of our full global relocation management contracts. This includes managing sophisticated programmes involving coordination with outsourced assignment cost estimate and data partners and global expense management services.

Phil originally started in the shop floor, leading one of our best performing packing crews and developing his leadership and front-line customer service skills.

His grass roots operational experience, account management skills and his ability to grasp complex Global Mobility thinking, means that he is able to provide practical solutions that work in the real world.

Alexander Janssens

Head of Cloud – Damavo

Cloud evangelist. Combining the skills and insights of a tech geek and engineer with those of a business strategist, academic and entrepreneur, driving innovation and business transformation with tangible results.

Besides my role as Head of Cloud at Damovo I run a Non-Profit (HutSharity) and founded FairCloud (introducing the fair trade principle to Cloud services supply chains).

Digital transformation “intrapreneur”: founding and leading the global cloud division, transforming Damovo from a traditional hardware reseller to a digital subscription service provider. Cloud services grew from under 1 to over 30 million euro in the first 3 years, making up almost a third of total company revenue, outperforming market and targets.  Customers include Procter and Gamble, The European Union, the Belgian national bank.

Satinder Gill

Barrister – Five Paper

Satinder is joint head of the Business Immigration and Regulatory Team with Ian Wright. He is described in the Legal 500 as a business immigration expert and works closely with his solicitors on significant inward investment and migration projects.

Satinder works closely with his solicitors for employers and education providers on all aspects of business immigration, including global corporate immigration planning, sponsor licensing, applications under the Points Based System and employer’s liability in the prevention of illegal working. His employer clients range from blue chip companies, professional sports clubs and universities to start ups new to the UK.

Eleri Howe



Eleri has worked for XE since the summer of 2011. Having started in client facing roles as both a consultant then a dealer she now manages business partnerships for the European office and works with key partners to help their customers achieve something meaningful.

She works with businesses across a number of sectors, supporting them to identify new ways that XE can help their customers to solve their money transfer and currency information challenges.

When not championing the world of XE and Money Transfers, she likes to spend time with her bulldog Watson, or just simply talking about him.

Hugh Viney


Minerva Tutors

Tutor-turned-entrepreneur, Hugh Viney established Minerva Tutors in 2014. Over the last six years, Hugh has led his organisation to become the pre-eminent provider of tutors and education advisors to international families seeking a British education for their children, or relocating to the UK.

Hugh’s first-hand tutoring experience, dedication to clients, and innovative approach to education have helped transform the private tuition industry in the UK, an achievement recognised more than once by the Education Investor Awards and The National Business Awards.

Minerva works closely with the ex-pat community in London, providing professional advice on schools and universities. Their tutors and mentors support children with language, culture and adapting to the UK education system, and their specialist homeschooling team provides bespoke homeschooling services to newly immigrated families while they are looking for a permanent school.

Shane Brophy

Regional Manager United Kingdom & Europe

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

Shane grew up in County Kildare just west of Dublin. As an alumni of National University of Ireland, Galway and Uppsala University, Sweden he holds an undergraduate degree in International Economics and Global Sustainable Development and a Masters of Natural Resource Economics and Policy. After a quick stint working as an economist he moved into the financial services industry, where he has held various roles in consumer and business banking at a variety of global institutions including Bank of Ireland in Dublin, Westpac Group in Sydney and most recently at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, representing the retail business as EMEA Regional Manager. Outside of work he enjoys travel, hiking and cooking.

Alice Tranter

Senior Education and Skills Policy Advisor – MAKE UK

Working alongside the Director of Labour Market and Skills, Alice is responsible for developing Make UK’s skills and education policy. She responds to government consultations and inquiries on skills and education issues.

She is the co-author of Make UK’s upcoming third report on the apprenticeship levy.

Prior to joining Make UK, Alice worked for a Member of Parliament where she worked extensively for the APPGs on plastic waste, Bangladesh and the Rohingya.  During her time in Parliament, she built a strong rapport with the media and has appeared on BBC 2’s Newsnight, BBC Radio 5live and BBC Kent. Before Alice left Parliament earlier this year, she led on her MP’s campaign to secure additional funding for secondary schools in England. Prior to Parliament, she was a Governess, tutoring and raising children from birth until 13 years of age.

Charlotte Hobrough

Global Mobility Senior Tax Manager
James Cowper Kreston

Charlotte started her career in expatriate tax in the Big Four where she gained experience working on global financial services companies and pharmaceutical companies.

Since joining James Cowper Kreston in 2016 she has worked with companies from various sectors including pharmaceuticals, digital marketing and international development. She works together with overseas tax professionals to advise companies on a broad and complex range of tax issues including structuring of assignment policies and compensation packages. Charlotte is also a committee member of Women in Tax Thames Valley and is responsible for their marketing and events.

Clive Williams


PSG International Ltd (PSG)

Clive is Director of PSG, a specialist boutique consultancy focusing on the Payments Sector. PSG specialises in Project and ‘Interim Management’ solutions solving for International, European and UK businesses seeking payments knowledge and resource in key development markets.

Having worked in the Payment sector since 1997, Clive formed PSG in 2011. PSG initially serviced the Prepaid verticals, but, has evolved and today works broadly across FinTech with Card Payments, Alternative Payments, Open Banking and Digital Payment solutions globally.

PSG has a small team of experts and our client list includes all business types from larger retails, established B2B organisations and also Start-ups.

Some clients include; SVS, ASOS, Limonetik, Center Parcs, Carlton Group, Insurance Comapnies, Qniqr and many more. Retailer clients in Clive’s previous portfolio include; Media-Markt, Saturn, Charles Voegele, Gamestop, Tesco, WHSmith, Kingfisher Group, Primark, Etam, Lego, Esprit, Harrods.