Co-founder & Director
Ben has over 25 years’ experience as a senior corporate affairs, branding and reputation adviser and is used to working within an international environment, advising senior management on a broad range of strategic and operational issues. He has built up a broad range of industry experience, including power, mining, transport, drinks, financial services and development, and has lived and worked in South Africa, United Arab Emirates and Denmark.
During the 1990s, Ben helped to establish a leading communications and reputation practice in South Africa. He then returned to the UK to sit on the management committee and establish a professional corporate and public affairs function within UK Government-owned Commonwealth Development Corporation at a time when it was going through a period of transformative change.
As Communications Director at Heathrow Airport, Ben supervised a 30-strong team tasked with looking after the day-to-day communication issues, as well as overseeing the communications strategy for the expansion of the airport.During this time, Ben managed a number of crises and reputational issues, culminating in the opening of Terminal 5. As Vice President, Communications at Carlsberg Group, Ben was co-responsible for the global repositioning of the Carlsberg brand and for embedding reputation as a core driver within the company’s strategic agenda.
Ben has a BSC from London University and is a trustee of the Children’s Red Cross Hospital, South Africa.
Co-founder & Director
Fergus Wylie has spent over two decades advising senior management and the Board of organisations on their corporate reputation management and corporate affairs. He initially advised on communication issues impacting the capital markets, in particular related to performance and M&A, before examining the integration of stakeholder communications and issues management and how these relate to corporate value. His industry experience ranges from the consumer and retail sectors to banking, financial services, utilities and mining, advising organisations in Europe, Asia, Australasia, Africa and North America. He has lived and worked in the UK, Africa and France.
Fergus has worked predominantly in the consulting world. After 10 years in London, he moved to South Africa to build a corporate communications and capital markets business for Citigate in the height of the post - apartheid era. He returned to the UK to jointly found his own consultancy before becoming President of Kreab Gavin Anderson, a global communications consultancy and then Director of International Development for Porta Communications plc. During this time he has worked on major reputation management programmes, embedding communications into corporate strategy and planning, as well as on significant crises and capital markets events.
Fergus has a BSc from Edinburgh University.
Madeleine has over nine years’ experience working within international communications consultancies, advising private and listed clients in the UK and internationally, across a broad range of issues. During her career in consulting, Madeleine has worked across multiple industries including retail and consumer, support services, professional services, financial services and engineering. Madeleine joined the SIFA Strategy team in early 2017.
Madeleine advises senior management and Boards on stakeholder engagement, reputation management, and corporate narrative, and provides strategic advisory on communications issues including capital markets activity and crisis work. Madeleine’s experience includes in-depth stakeholder measurement programmes, stakeholder mapping, corporate profile raising, financial calendar management and transaction communications support across M&A, IPOs and fundraisings.
Madeleine, a Swedish national, has an International Business degree from the European Business School.
Russell is currently Non-Executive Chairman, Hummingbird Resources, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, Interserve and Spectris and Independent Non-Executive Director of BDO LLP. He has previously held numerous senior advisory and non-executive directorship positions, including Aggreko, Heidrick & Struggles and numerous mining and mining-related businesses.
Russell spent over 20 years at ICI in various senior management roles before joining Anglo American where he became Chief Strategy Officer and a member of the Executive Committee. He has broad international experience in business/strategy development, human resources, government relations and sustainable development.
Russell holds a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Durham.
Paul is the Founder and CEO of Intrinsicx, provider of an innovative new application for real-time sentiment, behaviour, engagement and culture monitoring across stakeholder communities.
Prior to founding Intrinsicx, Paul spent 10 years working with multiple start-up and growth businesses, in a mix of investor, advisor and operating roles. Before that he spent 6 years with SmartForce, an acknowledged disruptor and innovator in the e-Learning industry. At SmartForce Paul was credited with building their International (ex-North America) business, growing it to almost $100m revenues in five years, before moving to their Silicon Valley-based HQ as EVP of Marketing and Business Development. There he was tasked with accelerating SmartForce's bold transition to an internet-based, integrated e-Learning services company, across all internal and external stakeholder groups, prior to its ultimate sale to Skillsoft in a $1bn+ transaction.
He began his technology career with IBM in Ireland, having started his working life in the Market Research profession.
Edward has held senior roles across diverse sectors including mining, oil and gas, communications, government and media. He specialises in reputation management and strategic communications; public policy and political risk; license to operate; strategy and governance and international economic development issues. He has extensive experience of working with governments, companies and civil society on the development of international best practices.
Among other responsibilities, Edward is currently Chairman of the Institute of Business Ethics; Principal Senior Adviser at Critical Resource Ltd; Board Member and Chair of the Programme Committee of Care International UK; and a Visiting Fellow, Cranfield School of Management.
Edward was previously Senior Adviser to the World Gold Council and Executive Vice President, Anglo American, where he was responsible for communications, political risk, social development and the creation of and compliance with the Anglo American 'Good Citizenship' Business Principles. He was formerly Special Adviser to Rt Hon Douglas Hurd as Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary; Managing Director, Hill & Knowlton; and Executive Director, Corporate Communications for British Satellite Broadcasting
Edward graduated in Law at Oxford University.
As a senior adviser and a Director of Reputation Research at YouGov, Oliver has collaborated with members of the SIFA team for over five years. Oliver set up and continues to run YouGov's Reputation Research practice, providing international studies for governments, blue chips, and agencies, focusing on measuring and developing organisational reputation.
Previously Oliver set up a dotcom media business, and was a client-side researcher working with major media organisations including Channel 4, GCAP, mediaedge and The Guardian/Observer. Oliver has a Business Studies degree from Sheffield University and a post-graduate diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.