Karen Bliss

Name Karen Bliss
Position Non-Executive Director and Chair of The Audit Committee
Qualifications FCA, BA (Hons) in Engineering, Cambridge
Key Skills and Achievements

PricewaterhouseCoopers Business Recovery July 2001- February 2003Managed the Manchester claims operation of Independent Insurance, which went into provisional liquidation in June 2001 adapting quickly to the demands of this complex and unique liquidation. Key achievements in this role:Project managed the development of a computerised system, which allowed only certain eligible claims to be paid out to policyholders;Worked closely with the senior management at the Government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme to interpret the practical implementation of the Policyholder’s Protection Act;Following the Liquidator’s decision to market the claims handing operations as a business, prepared a business plan for presentation to prospective purchasers. Was closely involved in the sale process, including presenting the business plan to senior executives of prospective purchasers. The business was acquired by Capita plc in February 2003.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Business Assurance September 1988 – June 2001

Joined PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1988 as a graduate trainee and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1991. Promoted to Manager in 1993, and then to Senior Manager in 1996. Experience and achievements in this role:

Successfully managed the audits of a diverse and prestigious client portfolio that has included HJ Heinz, Cape plc, Royal & Sun Alliance, Novartis, and British Nuclear Fuels.

Led a number of due diligence assignments for clients looking to acquire new businesses, most notably H J Heinz’s £190m acquisition of Ross Frozen Foods in 1999.

Karen was an Audit Group manager between 1996-1999, with responsibility for the financial performance of one of the four audit groups making up the West London practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Also responsible for the personal development and performance of the individuals in that group, ranging from secretarial staff, to graduate trainees and junior managers.

As a member of the in-house training team 1993-June 2001, gained significant experience in delivering both technical accounting courses and management skills courses to PricewaterhouseCoopers staff. This ranged from presenting to over 100 people in a lecture theatre format to facilitating workshops for small groups of around 10 participants

Experience Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1991.Over fourteen years experience with PricewaterhouseCoopers, working mainly in the Business Assurance Practice. During this period was responsible for the audit of a diverse client base, including HJ Heinz, Royal & Sun Alliance and Novartis.Following on from this, spent eighteen months in the Business Recovery Practice, running the claims operation of the largest ever UK insurance company liquidation.


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