Neil Ward, Skype

Neil Ward A commercial and experienced c grade consultant operating in digital media, Fund management, payments and telecommunications sectors drawing on 20 + years of experience within strategic marketing, operations and product management. Established NWA in 2016 after a spell as CPMO at Vocalink who became our first client and sold to MasterCard in 2016 for c£1bn. Other clients include EY and The Royal Mint. Our associate team is drawn from my personal DR base and network and we provide scalable digital growth and transformation strategy and delivery. Chief Commercial Officer at Paysafe Group towards trade sale completed in April 2015 for £1.2bn  by CVC capital. Global GM Business Operations for Skype, a division of Microsoft. Neil joined Skype in June 2009 after Silverlake acquired the business and oversaw the delivery of core User Experience and Operational transformation in to the worlds leading VOIP service and brand in 120+ countries. His portfolio included Product development and readiness, Carrier Relations, end to end digital Customer experience to a base of +1bn users, Revenue Assurance and Payments. Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5bn in 2012. Neil transitioned Skype to the new owners and left in 2014. Prior to Skype, Neil was GM for BtoB Service at BT Group plc. where he transformed the Global Business service experience in technical support and account management. Neil was COO at a start-up payments business in 2006 after a successful 5 year period at Virgin Media where as Director of Integration he led the integration of NTL and Telewest operations under the new Virgin Media brand. Other roles include Sales and Marketing Director at Adidas UK, Operations Director at Bank of Scotland Group and Sales and Marketing MD at Havas Group where he ran Sales forces for clients like BSkyB, BT and Amex Europe. He was also COO of a start up in pre paid cards which sold in 2007. Neil now leads the digital strategy and transformation at KNEIP bringing innovation and disruptive thinking to the investment fund industry.

Roundtable discussion


Challenges and opportunities for the continued success story of EU funds

An international perspective on UCITS by ICI Global


Fintech for Distribution - exploring a challenging lansdcape for funds

Robo-advisers, exchange traded funds, direct to consumer models-the distribution landscape is changing. Just as the music and publishing industries were disrupted by a digital revolution, so is the funds business undergoing a technological shift, we all know that by now…but how far are we really in this shift?
Can we truly predict the ‘digital’ future of global fund distribution?

Setting the scene with Digital Disruption in Asset Management, learning from Skype’s approach, followed by a debate with leading distribution disrupters


  • Bob Kneip

    Bob Kneip Founder and Chairman of the board of Directors KNEIP Communication S.A.

  • Neil Ward

    Neil Ward Founder and former General Manager Skype


Distribution perspective between the Giants and the Gems

Distribution perspective between the Giants and the Gems – Distribution is not a winner takes all game

  • Does scale matter? Does brand recognition matter?
  • Is it really easier cutting distribution deals if you are a giant of the industry? Are (smaller) boutiques getting a raw deal from distributors?
  • What difference does this make to the end investor simply seeking the best funds?


The Yang: Innovation in distribution

A roundtable discussion to assess the new frontiers of distribution with Distribution Innovators

  • Direct-to-consumer or stick with intermediaries – which way will asset managers swing?
  • Is regulation closing or opening distribution architecture?
  • Distribution digitalisation: will robo-advisers be the dominant distributors of the future?