Our People

Our people are our core strength. The team at Embark Group consists of business leaders and experts from wealth management, investment, banking, insurance and pensions sectors.

David Etherington Picture

David Etherington

Group Chairman

David has had a highly distinguished career in Financial Services. He became Group Chairman of Embark Group in early 2018 and prior to that a Non-Executive Director. David is also the sole Non-Executive Director for the Group’s 5 primary operating subsidiaries and Group Board Director for The Simply Biz Group Plc, which recently listed on AIM. During his executive career he has held several Group Executive positions. Between 2003 and 2012 David spearheaded the corporate transformation of Zurich UK Life and delivered the Zurich’s retail and corporate platforms. He held multiple Zurich Board directorships and chaired several board sub committees including the Investment Committee. David’s career started with the NatWest Group plc where he held down numerous Senior Executive Roles across several sectors including: Global Treasury, International Trade and Banking Services, North American Financial Institutions Group, Retail and Corporate Banking and Group Risk. He was also a core team member in the building of NatWest Life. In 1998, he moved to help build CLS Bank. Thereafter, he held Senior Executive position with bolero.net and Unum. David has an Honours degree in Business Administration, in addition to a post graduate NatWest Group sponsored MBA with Distinction. He has also undertaken a Global Programme in Management Development with IESE/University Michigan as part of being on the NatWest Group’s GSED Programme. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Services, Fellow of the Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer, and Member of the Institute of Export. He has obtained his ACIB Banking Diploma. David is also affiliated to the Worshipful Company of World Traders.

Phil Smith Picture

Phil Smith

Director and Group Chief Executive

With special expertise in business transformation, Phil is our Chief Executive Officer. He brings with him 25years of global experience across wealth management, asset management, brokerage, insurance and management consulting. Before joining Embark Group in 2013, Phil was Managing Director and Global Management Committee member at Barclays Wealth where he played a key role in the inception and development of the global infrastructure of this business line for Barclays Plc. Phil’s previous roles include Managing Director (Finance, Strategy & HR) at Fortis Investments, the global asset manager of the Fortis Group. He has also held director-level roles at Arthur Andersen, Prudential M&G and Prudential Corporation Asia. During this time, he built up extensive experience of M&A, joint venture partnerships, and greenfield business development across Asia, EMEA and the Americas. Externally, Phil is Non-Executive Chairman of BE-IQ Limited, a leading digital behavioural finance business. Phil holds a first-class degree in Industrial & Business Systems and a post graduate Masters in Strategic Human Resource Management.

Richard Wohanka Picture

Richard Wohanka

Non-Executive Director

Richard is the largest shareholder of Embark Group and has more than 40 years’ experience in financial services, specifically asset management.  He previously held Chief Executive Officer roles at Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) Asset Management, Fortis Investments, West LB Asset Management, Baring Asset Management and Paribas Asset Management.  He is the Chairman of the Nuclear Liabilities Fund, as well as of Old Mutual Global Investors.  He sits on the boards of BTG, Pershing Square Holdings, Scottish Widows and UBP (Japan).  He is also a trustee of the James Neill pension fund.

David White Picture

David White

Director

With more than 25 years’ experience in financial services, David specialises in the retirement market, in particular self-administration schemes. He took the helm as Hornbuckle’s Managing Director in 2008 and has been responsible for the strategy and development that underpinned the company’s growth from a small regional player to a leading UK SIPP and SSAS provider.

Bob Adams Picture

Bob Adams

Chief Operating Officer

Bob is a specialist in infrastructure and large-scale technology and global operations environments. Over his 25-year career, he has worked across asset management and banking sectors and has particular expertise in the deployment of complex front-to-back technology solutions. Before joining in 2013, Bob was Managing Director & Global Chief Information Officer at UBS Global Asset Management.

Vincent Cambonie Picture

Vincent Cambonie

Chief Financial Officer

Vincent’s career spans 25 years’ working in global financial institutions, most recently as Managing Director and Group Chief Financial Officer at BNP Paribas Investment Partners. He has extensive international experience having held various senior finance positions at Merrill Lynch in their Paris, London and New York offices, Instinet Corporation and Fortis Investments before joining BNP Paribas Investment Partners. During his career Vincent has gained valuable skills in performance management and business strategy, including various M&A and partnership activities. Vincent holds a Master of Philosophy in Economics, Applied Mathematics and Econometrics.