Meet the Speakers!

Offering the latest industry updates and insights throughout the event.

Nicky Pattinson

Conference Speaker

Nicky Pattinson is an unusual woman. Having previously turned over £2,000,000 a year as a market trader she… let’s say… “made the best of the big demise that came afterwards’’. Losing her eldest son at nursery, then both her parents, her home, her business and then getting a divorce, all in the space of three years. It was something that many would have not come back from.

She took what she learned on the markets – which was very little to do with selling the stock – and everything to do with directing the way customers felt in the “unique presence’’ of the staff.  Using that same ADVANCED CONNECTION formula – she then went on to a global agency and did the same generating £1,000,000 a year from cold – but bringing in brands such as Nike, Diageo and Rolls Royce. Again, from scratch.

At 45, she set up her own company teaching people how to do the same, quickly creating a reputation for being hilarious, down to earth – and talking more sense in 2 minutes than most people hear in a lifetime.

These days she speaks to thousands of people every year performing very unique keynotes and still takes on in-house projects for many professional service companies. Teaching the kind of advanced multi-dimensional ’communication’ that creates the kind of elevated presence and charisma that has you and your firm chosen over any competition.

Her unique and instantly actionable ‘new take’ on professional service companies is changing the way the industry sees itself and is guaranteed to elevate any ambitious player in the service sector.


Ellis Watson

Conference Speaker

In a varied executive career Ellis Watson has turned-around, rebranded, overhauled, reinvigorated and expanded businesses from entertainment to transport.

Ellis’s first break came as Marketing Director at The Sun, later reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch. He then became CEO of Celador International, taking Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? to over 100 countries. He was lured back to Fleet Street as MD of Mirror Group Newspapers. Ellis joined the board of FirstGroup to turn-around the legendary Greyhound Bus operation in the US.  He was previously the global CEO of Simon Cowell’s Syco Corporation and later CEO of Scottish media group DC Thomson.

Ellis challenges, motivates and advises with an original insight, enthusiasm and humour that is rare amongst senior business figures. Whether it’s the wrecking-ball nature of the digital revolution or shifts in the economic environment, he argues that external shocks and disruption can be a springboard for positive change. He shows you how to inspire passion when under pressure, and how to progress from mission statements to true company culture, embracing quality, integrity and diversity.


Sharon Cooke FCA CTA

Conference Speaker

Sharon is Technical Director at 2020 Innovation and is passionate about translating technical changes into practical actions and growth strategies for accountants. She is a well-known speaker and consultant within the accountancy profession, appearing at Accountex, CIOT residential conferences, the UK Tax Summit and, of course, our own 2020 Innovation CPD programme.


Michael Roberts

Conference Speaker and Host

Michael joined 2020 as CEO two years ago. He is a chartered accountant by background and has worked in auditing, corporate finance and private equity.  Prior to starting with 2020 he also completed an MBA degree from London Business School.


Billie Mcloughlin ACCA

Conference Speaker

Billie brings a wealth of experience of helping accountancy practices grow and develop. She helps 2020 members implement the best tools, techniques and technologies to drive their practice forward.

Billie also works with 2020 members on accelerating the development of their trainees and students. She will be creating and delivering training that helps new entrants to our profession really understand the purpose of the numbers and other data that they are entering into software packages. Developing this commercial acumen early on in their careers is a must for any trainee in a high-performing firm.


Ian Fletcher

Conference Speaker and Host

Ian is a well known lecturer and business consultant and has gained a reputation for his entertaining style and practical approach to practice management. Ian majors in management issues, specifically dealing with the systemisation of accounting practices. He is the co-author of books on business consulting and adding value.


Gordon Gilchrist

Conference Speaker and Host

Gordon Gilchrist is recognised as a global leading consultant to accountancy firms in the areas of marketing, strategic planning, practice management, and increasingly, succession issues including buying, selling and merging of accountancy practices.

He trained as an accountant in the UK and later worked with Grant Thornton. He has been consulting with firms in the UK, Ireland and South Africa since 1989 and has worked with three of the Top 4 firms, 75% of the Top 20, and over 2,000 independent firms.

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