Finance Watch boosts team with seasoned finance industry expert

Brussels, 7 January 2021 – Finance Watch, the independent organisation that defends the public interest in financial reform, announced today that it has recruited Julia Symon as a Senior Research and Advocacy Officer, and James Pieper as Senior Editorial and Press Officer. Julia Symon will report to Head of Research and Advocacy Thierry Philipponnat, and James Pieper to Head of Communications and Networks Charlotte Geiger.

Finance Watch Finance Watch boosts team with seasoned finance industry expert

Julia Symon

Trained as an economist and with more than ten years of financial industry experience, Julia Symon brings a deep knowledge of financial regulation, banking, credit risk and lending processes, financial markets and asset management. At Finance Watch, she will be responsible for, among others, the Capital Markets Union and the MiFID/MiFIR files, and she will also bring her skills in economic analysis to the growing involvement of the organisation in the field of fiscal policy.

Ms. Symon previously worked at State Street Bank International in Munich as a vice president for audit. Before then, she was a senior internal auditor in Commerzbank in Frankfurt in the German bank’s international internal audit credit processes and products area.

Finance Watch Secretary General Benoît Lallemand commented:

“2021 is a year of major opportunities to make finance serve society, with key files being reviewed across sectors – banking, insurance, markets, consumer credit and more – and fundamental debates about the future of sustainable finance and fiscal policy. Julia’s first hand financial industry experience, deep knowledge of financial regulation and skills as an economist will prove instrumental in boosting our impact.”

Communications strengthened

Finance Watch Finance Watch boosts team with seasoned finance industry expert

James Pieper

James Pieper jumps over from the European Savings and Retail Banking Group, where he led media relations, editorial projects and other outreach. As Senior Editorial and Press Officer, he will take charge of press relations for Finance Watch.

Pieper first arrived in Brussels a decade ago as a media relations manager at chemicals lobby Cefic. Before that, he had careers in public affairs at London-based global banking giant HSBC and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, part of the U.S. central bank.

Finance Watch attracting finance industry experts

The two hires follow a trend within the Brussels-based NGO to strengthen further its experienced team. In September 2020, Finance Watch announced hiring a pair of well-weathered experts in senior research and advocacy roles: Aleksandra Palinska from Asset Management association EFAMA as well as Peter Norwood from the German Insurance Association. They hold expertise in insurance, capital markets, financial inclusion, retail finance, asset management and sustainable finance – hot-button policy areas in 2021.


For further information or interview requests, please contact James Pieper, Senior Editorial and Press Officer, at or at 0032/(0) 496 51 72 70.


Finance Watch is a European, not-for-profit association of civil society Members, dedicated to making finance work for the good of society. It works for a financial system that allocates capital to productive use through fair and open markets, in a transparent and sustainable manner, in line with society’s needs and without exploiting or endangering society at large.

Finance Watch Members are supported by a professional full-time secretariat recruited mainly from the financial and policy sectors, with strong communications and stakeholder engagement capacities, to conduct advocacy and provide technical know-how and coordination for our civil society network. The secretariat grew from 10 full-time employees in 2016 to 15 in 2021, supported by about four long-term external consultants.

For more information about the Finance Watch’s latest activities, governance and funding, please refer to the 2019 Annual report which was published in July 2020.

As acknowledged by the European Commission’s Evaluation report published on 17 December 2020, “there are currently no alternative organisations at EU level covering a similar range of topics in financial services and in the same depth” besides Finance Watch and BETTER FINANCE.

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