Veriteam is managed by Grace Lawless, MD, and is lucky to benefit from the advice provided to Veriteam by the Board of Advisers. The team consists of associates with experience gained in FTSE500 companies.

Grace Lawless – Managing Director

Grace Lawless

Grace is the Founder and Managing Director of Veriteam, and is known for translating her expertise gained in Fortune 500 companies to the benefit of SME’s, delivering change that successfully transforms businesses.

After spending nearly two decades leading corporate projects for companies including American Express, Aviva and General Electric, Grace now helps smaller organisations tap into those best practices to increase their success – consistently.

Grace believes it is possible to reduce costs and increase profitability by simplifying businesses.

Veriteam Board of Advisers

We are very lucky to have a number of highly respected industry leaders guiding and advising the leadership team. Their extensive experience covers a range of industry sectors and backgrounds.

Jeremy Simmonds, Head of Global Brand & Sponsorship, Aimia

Jeremy SimmondsJeremy has spent over 20 years working in a variety of marketing, branding and sponsorship roles.

Currently, Jeremy is responsible for the development and execution of Aimia’s brand and sponsorship strategies globally.

Prior to joining Aimia, Jeremy spent 10 years at American Express, including running an international marketing team focused on building strategic marketing campaigns for Amex’s largest merchant partners.

Earlier in his career Jeremy spent over 6 years at Virgin Atlantic, including heading the global loyalty team.

Karen Penney, Vice President & General Manager – Commercial Payments and Small Business Services UK, American Express

Karen PenneyKaren Penney is the General Manager & Vice President of American Express Commercial Payments and Small Business Services in the UK. Within this role Karen is responsible for the UK business, overseeing Sales and Account Management, Partnerships, Finance, Product Development, Marketing and Strategy, together with Account Management and Strategy for 27,000 mid-sized companies in Europe.

Karen joined American Express in 2002 from AIR MILES Travel Promotions Ltd where she was Director of Sales and Account Development and has also held positions at Citibank, Diners Club and Bankers Trust.

When not at work Karen enjoys the ballet, theatre and Zumba classes and spending time with her family at her London home.

Chris Banwell – Director, RED IT

Chris BanwellChris Banwell brings extensive experience of starting and running a small business. Chris created RED IT with her business partner in 1999, supplying high-end accounting solutions to companies.

Over the past seventeen years RED IT has evolved into a company that provides an Excel to Sage product portfolio, hosting options and most recently an iPad2Sage app.

Chris’ experience of being on the road/rail/air for ten years taught her that a work/life balance is very important and starting RED IT was part of the plan to address this.  Chris also preferred the dynamism of SMEs and their appetite to embrace change and take risks. Chris remains highly motivated and enjoys every aspect of being part of a small, professional, competitive and passionate business.

James Russell, Programme Director at Aviva

James RussellJames has a diverse background spanning Insurance, Consultancy and Automotive sectors.  Currently a Programme Director at Aviva, James was previously Managing Director of a £70m turnover Internet business and has held leadership roles in business transformation, sales and procurement.

Current and previous roles include:

  • Programme Director for Insurance transformation programme including IT system development and implementation
  • Managing Director of, an online auction company specialising in the handling and disposal of Total Loss vehicles with responsibility for a £70m P&L
  • Supply Chain and Procurement roles in Industry and as a Management Consultant
    Key Account Manager for automotive parts supply to vehicle manufacturers