Our Commissioners

The Commissioners represent businesses operating in all nations and regions of the UK and across the major sectors of the economy. The Commissioners meet monthly to discuss the ongoing research and policy development, as well as contributing their own research and analysis via the Deputies group. The final recommendations of the Commission, will be made by the Commissioners alone.

Click on the Commissioners photos to read their biographies.

John Allan CBE

Chairman of Tesco plc, Barratt Developments plc and Chairman of the Council at Imperial College.

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Manoj Badale

Co-founder and Joint Managing Partner at Blenheim Chalcot.

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Ruth Cairnie

Chair of Babcock International Group.

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Annette Court

Chair of Admiral Insurance Group and a NED at Sage Group

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Ahmed Essam

CEO, Vodafone UK

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Ian Funnell

CEO, UK and Ireland Hitachi ABB, Power Grids.

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Chris Grigg CBE

Senior Advisor to HMT

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John Holland-Kaye

CEO, Heathrow Airport.

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Tom Keith-Roach

UK President, AstraZeneca

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Sinead Lynch

Chair, Shell UK

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Virginia Simmons

Managing Partner – United Kingdom and Ireland, McKinsey & Company

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John Allan CBE

In addition to his roles at Tesco, Barratt and Imperial, John is Chairman and Co-Founder of J&A Mentoring Partners Ltd. He is also Vice President of the CBI where he was previously President June 2018 – June 2020. He has held a range of other senior management and non-executive positions including at Worldpay, where he was formerly Chairman. He was Chairman of Dixons Retail and later Co-Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director of Dixons Carphone. He was Chief Financial Officer and a Board Member of Deutsche Post DHL, and Chief Executive of Exel, the global supply chain company. He was also previously Chairman of Care UK Health & Social Care. He has been a non-executive director at Royal Mail, PHS Group, the Home Office Supervisory Board, National Grid, Wolseley, Hamleys, 3i and Connell.

His early career was spent with Lever Brothers, Bristol-Myers Company and Fine Fare. John is a graduate and now a Regent of the University of Edinburgh.

Manoj Badale

Blenheim Chalcot is the UK’s leading digital venture builder. Manoj is on the boards of a cross section of BC digital ventures across FinTech, EdTech, Govtech and in the Media sector. He is also the Chairman of the British Asian Trust, and the former Chairman of Operation Smile UK for over ten years, and a founding Trustee of the Technology Trust. He was formerly a Partner at Monitor Strategy Consulting and has spent his career in the UK, Germany and India. He has an MA in Economics from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University.

Ruth Cairnie

Ruth was appointed to the Board in April 2019 and as Chair in July 2019. Previously she was a Non-Executive Director of Rolls Royce Holdings plc, ContourGlobal plc and Keller Group PLC and a member of the finance committee of the University of Cambridge. Ruth is also the Senior Independent Director of Associated British Foods plc. She is Patron of the Women in Defence Charter, the Chair of POWERful Women, an initiative to advance gender diversity within the energy sector and a trustee of Windsor Leadership.

Annette Court

Annette is Chair of Admiral Insurance Group and a NED at Sage Group. She has been a NED of various public companies and private equity backed Boards.

She was the CEO of European General Insurance of Zurich Financial Services from 2007 until July 2010 and served as a member of its Group Executive Committee. She joined Zurich from RBS Insurance/ Direct Line Group where she was CEO and a
member of the RBS Group Executive Management Committee from 2001.

Annette has a degree in engineering from Oxford University and subsequently worked at IBM in the banking and insurance sectors for 11 years. She also sits on the advisory board of Streetgames, a charity that helps disadvantaged young people and is a business mentor for Merryck & Co.

Ahmed Essam

Ahmed was appointed CEO of Vodafone UK in February 2021, and prior to this was the Vodafone Group’s Chief Commercial Operations and Strategy Officer since October 2018, following holding the role of CEO of the Group’s Europe Cluster, which comprises Albania, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Malta, Portugal and Romania.

Ahmed held the position of  CEO, Vodafone Egypt from July 2014 to September 2016. He joined Vodafone Egypt in 1999 and held a variety of roles including Customer Care Director and Consumer Business Unit Director.  Previously he was the Group Commercial Management Director for the Africa Middle East and Asia Pacific region and has held a number of senior roles within Vodafone’s Group Commercial functions.

Ahmed graduated from Cairo University with an Honours Degree in Systems and Biomedical Engineering and also holds an MBA and Management Diploma from Henley Management College, UK.

Ian Funnell

Ian rejoined ABB in 2012 in France as Group Vice President in the global utility sector and latterly as CEO and President of ABB SA (France). Ian was appointed CEO of ABB UK in January 2015 and Chief Executive Officer of Hitachi ABB Power Grids in the UK and Ireland on 1 July 2020. Ian is Chair of CBI North West Region, a member of the CBI President’s Committee, and a member of the Advisory Boards of Innovate UK (Energy Revolution) and Imperial College London (Energy Futures Laboratory). He has also been a member of the Government’s Made Smarter Commission.

Chris Grigg CBE

Chris Grigg is a Senior Advisor to the Treasury, where he was appointed this year. Between 2009-2020 he was CEO of British Land. He has put placemaking, wellbeing, sustainability and design excellence at the heart of British Land’s approach to real estate. This is summed up in the company’s strategic focus on creating “Places People Prefer”. Chris has also focused on balancing diversity at all levels within British Land and actively championed diversity across the property sector. Previously Chris was Chief Executive of Barclays Commercial Bank and he also spent over 20 years at Goldman Sachs. Chris is a Non-Executive Director of BAE Systems plc and is on the Executive Board of the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA).

John Holland-Kaye

Prior to joining Heathrow, John worked in housebuilding with Taylor Wimpey, in brewing and leisure retail with Bass plc and as a strategy consultant with LEK. He is chair of the Business in the Community Employment and Skills Leadership Team, a member of DEFRA’s Council for Sustainable Business, a member of HRH the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Council, and a Commissioner with the Energy Transitions Commission. John is also a Non-Executive Director at Thames Tideway.

Tom Keith-Roach

He was appointed this year having recently served as Senior Vice President of the company’s global respiratory and immunology franchise. He has also worked as president of AZ’s Korea business, and also as AZ’s strategy and business development director of the Asia Pacific region. Prior to joining AZ, Keith-Roach worked in technology venture capital and strategy consulting for ten years.

Sinead Lynch

Sinead has held the role of Chair She since September 2016 and is also Chair of the Board of the Shell UK Pension Trust, a Trustee of the Shell Foundation and a Trustee of the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund. In 2018 she became a Fellow of the Energy Institute. Prior to her appointment to Shell, Sinead worked at BG Group as EVP Safety and Sustainability and was a member of the Executive Committee. Sinead joined BG in 1993 as a Geophysicist before moving from the technical field to senior roles in Economics, Commercial, Business Development and Asset Management. She has led businesses in the UK and internationally.

Virginia Simmons

Virginia is the managing partner for the United Kingdom and Ireland offices for McKinsey & Company and is a senior partner of the firm.

Virginia previously led the offices in the Midwest United States, which include the Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh locations. Originally from Manchester in the U.K., she joined the London office in 1997, before moving to Chicago in 2005. She returned to London in 2020, bringing nearly 20 years’ experience serving a broad variety of clients on topics ranging from strategy to corporate finance to marketing and sales. Her particular focus today is on helping retailers and financial services companies drive growth and transform operations.

Examples of Virginia’s client work include supporting a major retailer through a multiyear transformation program to turn around its performance. This included a complete overhaul of the company’s strategy, pricing, and merchandising as well as harnessing new technology to modernize operations. She has also helped several clients rethink their business models and reconfigure their organizations in response to technology-driven shifts in the retail landscape.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Virginia worked with PepsiCo as a brand manager and Shell International Petroleum Company in Canada and the United Kingdom as a marketing and retail operations manager.

The Commissioners are supported by a Deputies group, made of corporate affairs directors or similar from their organisations. The Deputies are

Ben Andersen-Tuffnell

Group Government Relations Director at Tesco

Michael Meadows

Head of Planning at British Land

James Fitzpatrick

Senior Director of UK Government Affairs and Policy at AstraZeneca

John Gardner

UK Group Head of Government Relations at Babcock

Nigel Milton

Director of External Affairs at Heathrow Airport

Paul Morris

Head of Government Affairs at Vodafone

Dai Richards

UK Government Relations Lead at Hitachi ABB Power Grids Ltd

Tristan Slater

Investment Associate at Blenheim Chalcot

Matt Stone

Partner at McKinsey & Company

Madeline Whitaker

Head of Government Relations at Shell UK

Natasha Thomas

Director of Government Relations at Sage

Marisja Kocznur

Head Of Investor Relations at Admiral Group Plc

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The Commission's Secretariat is provided by WPI Strategy and the analysis conducted by WPI Economics. We are keen to hear from a diverse range of stakeholders. If you would like to contribute, please use the contact us form.