Vanessa Audi Rhys O’Brien

Business Development Executive
Successful business executive noted for accomplishments in global financial services.


An enthusiastic, decisive and driven leader with a proven track record delivering business results in partnership with C-suite management. Savvy international business traveler to 73 countries with experience living and working abroad. Demonstrable ability to build and direct diverse top-notch multi-cultural teams focused on the delivery of commercial objectives.

Achieved two world records in mountaineering proving success can be reached outside of one’s area of expertise by being focused, passionate, determined, courageous, willing to work hard and refusing to give up. These include a Guinness World Record for climbing the highest peak on every continent in the shortest timeframe of 295 days (The Seven Summits) and skiing the last degree to the North and South Poles in 11 months (Explorers Grand Slam).

Highlights of Experience

  • Board & Committee Leadership
  • Deal Origination & Business Development
  • Growth Strategies & Mergers / Acquisitions
  • Strategic Partnerships & Account Management
  • Operational Efficiency & Scalability
  • P & L Accountability / Profit Maximization
  • Financial Analysis & Competitive Advantage
  • Mentoring, Development & Teamwork

Advisory, Board & Research Roles


  • Registered speaker on leadership, teamwork and taking calculated risks with the American Program Bureau, Inc.
  • Global Affairs’ Ambassador for Sports.
  • Board Member, American Pakistan Foundation.
  • Honorary Ambassador for U.S. Nepal Climbers Association, Inc.
  • Member of the American Alpine Club and Co-chair of the 2015 Annual Dinner with 600+ attendees.
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.
  • Advisory Board Member for Thomson Safaris.
  • Participated in scientific research on nocturnal hypoxic exposure, sampled the Godwin-Austen glacier to test thinning glaciers using radiogenic isotopes, investigated glacier recession for COP21’s Project 25Zero.
  • Member of The Explorers Club and Co-Chair of the 2015 Explorers Club 111th Annual Dinner with 1,000+ attendees.

Career Summary

INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURES LTD, Hong Kong, Jun 2007 to Dec 2009
Established and managed a credit card consultancy business to advise commercial banks on portfolio acquisitions, revenue-enhancement strategies, consumer-account acquisitions, and partnerships and alliances. 

Managing Director
Established relationships and interacted with C-suite management and key client decision makers. Pursued and managed major client accounts including:

  • Provident Financial plc,London, UK
    Served as key consultant to a UK FTSE 250 firm specializing in providing banking and other financial services to non-standard credit-market consumers.

    • Conceived and executed several major commercial agreements for key clients, generating 10% of all new account acquisitions in 2008 via a range of distribution channels; partnerships generated up to 50% of all new account acquisition activity by 2010.
    • Orchestrated acquisition of multiple UK credit card portfolios to expedite receivable growth through deal origination, valuation, due diligence and contract negotiations; opportunities represented 14% to 130% in receivables growth over Provident’s existing book.
  • CompuCredit Corporation, London, UK
    Served as key consultant to US based CompuCredit providing due diligence on the acquisition of the Monument credit card portfolio with over 500,000 accounts and £490m of credit card receivables from Barclays Bank.

Led marketing programs for strategic business partners in the lifestyle, retail and financial services sectors.

Commercial Director, European Card Services, Mar 2006 to Jun 2007

  • Played key role in securing more than 50% of BAC Europe Card Services’ new accounts across its 850 core endorsed affinity relationships.
  • Championed re-evaluation and negotiation of all core affinity partnership contracts and compensation models, leading to significant improvement in shareholder value.
  • Triggered healthy, profitable growth trajectories amongst key groups through skilled management of all advances and guarantees.
  • Triggered significant increase in bench strength by recruiting 50% of all 2006 relationship associates.
  • Honored with Bank of America Spirit Award for exhibiting Behaviors of Excellence and for demonstrating Core Values in serving customers, communities and shareholders.

BARCLAYS, PLC,London, UK, Nov 2002 to Dec 2005
Acted as member of the Group Finance Executive and as Finance Director, Group Business Performance for UK-based financial services group operating in 60+ countries with market capitalization of £38B.

Finance Director

  • Fully accountable for short-term planning process, enabling delivery of acceptable budget over a 2-year commitment period.
  • Integral in driving Barclays to rank in top place within its TSR peer group by end of 2004, with TSR of 23%, nearly double the average for peer group and FTSE 100 index.
  • As Barclaycard Operating Committee chair, implemented Investment Appraisal Center of Excellence for all strategic projects, increasing return on investments (ROI).
  • Vital in delivering 15% economic profit growth by enhancing Barclaycard Merchant Services’ customer value proposition and operational efficiency.

MORGAN STANLEY, London, UK, Sep 1999 to Oct 2002
Served on the Consumer Banking Group International management committee with mandate of launching an international credit card on behalf of Discover Financial Services. 

Vice President, Franchise Management

  • Instrumental in fast-tracking launch of UK credit card within 12 months, capturing 8% market share of total receivables growth and 9% market share of total account growth year over year (YoY).
  • Conducted in-depth assessments of new markets in order to tailor market-entry strategies based on earnings potential, presence, regulatory climate and investment horizon. Prioritized investment decisions based on net present value (NPV) models to ensure investments achieved risk-adjusted rates of return.

Additional Experience

  • Capital One, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis | Falls Church, VA | 1998-1999
  • Chancellor LGT Asset Management, Vice President, Finance | New York, NY | 1997-1998
  • GE Capital Services, Manager, Financial Planning & Analysis | Stamford, CT | 1992-1997
  • U.S. Department of Commerce, Intern | New York, NY | 1991-1991
  • Harold D. Baker & Co., Inc., Real Estate Administration | New York, NY | 1989-1992
  • Altman & Manley, Gallagher Advertising, Accountant | Boston, MA | 1985-1989
  • Johnstone & Johnstone, Inc., Real Estate Administration | Grosse Pointe, MI | 1983-1985

Education & Awards


  • Executive MBA in Finance
    Stern School of Business, New York University
    New York, NY 1995-1997
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics
    New York University
    New York, NY 1989-1991


  • Bank of America Spirit Award
  • GE Pinnacle Award for Outstanding Achievement