Our People

David Etherington Picture

David Etherington


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.

Paul Downing Picture

Paul Downing

Managing Director

Paul has extensive operational experience within financial services having held senior positions in pension administration, wealth management, stockbroking, and asset management. He also has experience in regulatory consultancy where he specialised in operational issues and undertook a number of skilled person reviews for the FSA. He brings a wealth of relevant experience to EBS having led platform operations at both Novia and Skandia where he led the operational integration with Selestia.

Phil Smith Picture

Phil Smith


Phil has more than 20 years of global experience across wealth management, asset management, brokerage, insurance and consulting. Phil was Managing Director and Global Management Committee member at Barclays Wealth, where he played a major role in the inception and development of the global infrastructure of this business line for Barclays Plc. His previous roles include that of Global Chief Financial Officer of Fortis Investments and 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.

Vincent Cambonie Picture

Vincent Cambonie


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 activities.