Meet the team
Peter Phillips, CEO
Peter Phillips is an economics graduate of the London School of Economics and a qualified accountant. He began his career in the UK energy industry, where he became the youngest ever British Coal Chief Accountant, and subsequently Director of Studies of the industry management college.
In 1988, he launched Unicorn Training. Unicorn grew to become one of the UK’s leading digital learning companies for the UK Financial sector before it was acquired by the Access Group in March 2019. From 2002 to 2006, Peter was Chairman of AFC Bournemouth Football Club. In 2009 he was recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to e-learning at the UK industry awards.
He is a great advocate for the power of experiential learning, and has been responsible for researching, developing and facilitating several financial services simulations including CII accredited insurance simulations and the framework behind highly acclaimed Icarus airport simulation.
Peter is a graduate in mathematics and physics and a qualified accountant. His rich and varied business career has included four years as CEO of the Tetley Group and subsequently of Tata Global Beverages.
In 2011 he became CFO of Whitworth, responsible for preparing the business for sale, which was achieved in 2016, creating equity growth of £40m.
Peter is currently Executive Chair of Keith Spicer Ltd and Chairman of Wholebake Ltd and a mentor to young entrepreneurs.
Professor Alan Parkinson
Alan is a qualified accountant (FCCA and ACMA) with a Doctorate in Education (Institute of Education-IOE, University of London), a Masters Degree in Business (City University Business School, London), a Masters Degree in Early Modern History (University of London), and a Higher Education Teaching Certificate (Institute of Education-IOE, University of London).
Alan is Director of Studies in the Department of Management Science and Innovation at University College London (UCL) and Visiting Professor in Managerial Accounting on the SIMBA Programme at Tongji University, Shanghai. In the past he has been Director of the Masters Programmes in the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary, University of London, Head of Centre for Financial Management at The Open University Business School, Head of School of Accounting & Taxation at South Bank Polytechnic, and Director of Accounting Studies at Hatfield Polytechnic. Alan has a wealth of experience of real-world finance issues and solutions and communicating them to managers.
Professor Lynsie Chew
Lynsie is a Principal Teaching Fellow in Accounting within the School of Management at UCL. Lynsie is also the Programme Director of the MSc Professional Accountancy, providing the academic direction of the School’s pivotal role in a venture between ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the University of London. This award winning venture sees the first-ever Masters Programme integrated with a prestigious professional qualification delivered on-line.
Amongst other achievements, Lynsie won a UCL Education Award in 2018 for her passion and abilities in education and scholarship. She is also responsible for the success of award-winning business simulation, Icarus, which receives extensive national IT and learning related press and social media coverage.
Jacqueline joined Unicorn Training in 1998 and held a variety of roles, ahead of the 2019 acquisition by the Access Group, the majority of which were centered around the creation of Digital Learning, before becoming Unicorn's Chief Operating Office in 2012, responsible for managing and enhancing the internal organisation processes and infrastructure.
Jacqueline joined the Unicorn Simulations family, as the Managing Director, in 2021 to help drive the business forward. Her passion for lifelong learning, across professional qualifications CIPD L7 HR, and soft skills, mental health first aid, has led her to continue to study frequently throughout her career.
Charlotte graduated her BSc Physics with Astrophysics degree with honours in 2019 and has been with Unicorn Simulations ever since, managing partner relations and facilitating the business and insurance simulations. Since joining Unicorn Charlotte has presented the simulations at conferences and as part of training programmes around the country and beyond, facilitating remotely for delegates as far afield as Indonesia, Japan, and the US. She completed her CII Certificate in London Market Insurance in 2020 and is currently working towards her Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII).
Gabriel is a highly experienced global reinsurance broker, account executive and developer and deliverer of acclaimed training. He is the founder and director of inuRE insurance and training solutions, and delivers Unicorn Simulations accredited courses across the Far East.
For over 20 years Gabriel worked for Willis Re, primarily with clients throughout Asia and the ANZ region, gaining a market-leading reputation as a Reinsurance Broker and Account Executive and a Reinsurance & Business Trainer. During this time Gabriel:
managed and developed reinsurance solutions and placements for clients on a global basis, covering various classes of business;
personally developed and delivered reinsurance and sales & business learning support to over 1,000 (re)insurance professionals.
Samantha Ridgewell specialises in supporting insurance professionals develop their personal effectiveness and highlight their career potential. Starting her HR career in private banking, Samantha discovered the insurance industry as an HR professional at Liberty Syndicates in 2010. Samantha progressed to the Learning and Development Manager where she delivered training and coaching internally across the globe including Dubai, Brazil, Cologne and Dublin. Within the London Market, Samantha supported development through her voluntary position on the LMA Academy Committee and as Chair of the LMA Academy Sub-Training Group.
After identifying a need for high-quality training that was tailored to the unique needs of the insurance market Samantha launched Empower Development in 2017. Since then, Samantha has delivered training across the market and regularly speaks at industry events. Keen to continue to support development for industry professionals, Samantha has a voluntary role on the CII Education and Learning Committee.