Rt Hon.Baroness Verma of Leicester
Member of The House of Lords
Baroness Verma joined the House of Lords in June 2006 as a Conservative member, and has held several key Ministerial positions since, having an active advisory role in U.K. Government policy formation and development.
A Party Whip, from 2006 to 2012, firstly in Opposition and then in Government from 2010, the Baroness was also The Lords’ Spokesperson for the Development of Education, Health and Welfare & Pensions, whilst in Opposition, and subsequently, when in Government, the Lords’ Spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, International Development and the Government Equalities Office.
More recently, from 2012 to 2015 Baroness Verma has sat as the Minister for the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and from 2015 to 2016 as the Minister for the Department of International Development.
Currently, she is the Chair of the Lords European External Affairs Committee and a Member of the Lords EU Select Committee.
Acknowledged globally as an advocate of diversity and inclusion, Baroness Verma is involved in numerous influential international initiatives to create more inclusive working environments and societies at large. One such initiative was her appointment, by former Prime Minster David Cameron, as the U.K. Government’s Global Champion to tackle violence against women and girls overseas, working alongside foreign Governments and NGOs. Another, was her creation of the POWERful Women movement, in 2013, to address the imbalance of gender representation across the U.K. energy sector in middle and senior management positions.
Co-Head Emerging Markets
International Markets Unit
London Stock Exchange
Ibukun is responsible for London Stock Exchange Group’s growth strategy in emerging markets with a key focus on India and Africa. Prior to this Ibukun ran the listings business for London Stock Exchange covering key markets in South Asia, Middle East and Africa. Managing relationships with companies, international advisors and regulators; in this capacity Ibukun was involved in over 200 London IPO’s by issuers from these regions. He was also the Exchange’s regional contact for companies listed on London’s Main Market Professional Securities Market, Specialist Fund Market and AIM.
Educated in Bath, United Kingdom Ibukun holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and started his career as a foreign exchange trader for NatWest Markets in London in 1995. He went on to set up and run a successful business specialising in managing foreign exchange risk for African and Asian companies and managed a Forex fund investing in the dollar major currency pairs.
Immediately prior to joining the London Stock Exchange Ibukun worked in the financial communications division of United Business Media there he ran an operation dedicated to blue chip clients from across the globe in the capacity of financial communications adviser and was one time adviser to the Lakhsmi Mittal family and their companies.
Hugo van Vredenburch
Chairman of Interactive Investor
Former Partner and Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
Hugo is Chairman of Interactive Investor as well as Non-Executive Director of TMF Group.
Hugo is the former CEO of TMF Group. A position he has held since September 2010. Hugo began his career in 1989, working for Tokyo Pacific Holdings in Japan as an analyst and subsequently as General Manager and CIO. He joined Goldman Sachs & Co in 1992, holding a variety of roles over a 13-year period - including heading up the Equities Division in Japan, as COO of the Global Equities Division and taking co-leadership of the Pan-European Equities Franchise. Prior to leaving Goldman Sachs in 2005, he was a Partner and Managing Director. Hugo joined Equity Trust in 2005 as CEO, serving in this position until August 2009, prior to the merger of Equity Trust and TMF Group in 2010.
Dr. David Landsman OBE
Executive Director (MD) of Tata Limited, the UK registered subsidiary of Tata sons
Dr David Landsman OBE is Executive Director (MD) of Tata Limited, the UK-registered subsidiary of Tata Sons, the Tata group promoter company. Tata Limited represents the group in Europe and is responsible for Business Development, Corporate Affairs and a range of commercial and corporate services for the group.
David joined Tata Limited from a career mostly in the British Diplomatic Service. He served in a number of positions in London and overseas, including as Charge d’Affaires in Yugoslavia and Ambassador to both Albania and Greece. He has also worked in international government relations and marketing at De La Rue plc.
David is also a Non-Executive Director of the UK India Business Council. He has an MA from Oxford and a PhD in Linguistics from Cambridge, and is a Chartered Director.
Global Head of Sales at ELITE, London Stock Exchange Group
Tom is the Global Head of Sales for the ELITE Platform. Prior to joining ELITE, Tom was Global Head of Corporate and Investor Access business at Bloomberg. He has worked extensively with public and private corporates as well Government agencies and other third parties across the globe in advising and executing engagement with the investment community. Prior to joining Bloomberg Tom spent 12 years as a pan-European & mid-small cap specialist where he was consistently ranked Top 3 broker across mid-small cap sales in Europe. He ran research and sales teams at ING, Commerzbank after starting his as an analyst at HSBC. Tom has also worked at the World Bank and graduated from University of Edinburgh (MA Hons) U.S History & Politics.
British Olympic Champion
Vice Chairman-Financial Services
David led the Global Banking team at KPMG for eight years until October 2015. The team provides audit, tax and advisory services to a very wide range of clients from Global Banks to small savings and loan providers.
David has over thirty years experience of working with Banks both as an advisor and as an executive across strategy, corporate lending, payments, risk management, cost management and process design. He has been involved in major mergers and restructuring and has worked with clients across Europe, The United States and Asia Pacific.
David joined KPMG in 2005 having been a partner for ten years in PWC Consulting and then IBM after the sale of the business in 2002. He spent twelve years on a Senior Executive development programme with Lloyds Bank having qualified with PwC. He was elected to the Board of KPMG in the UK in 2012 - 2017. He now leads our relationships across the strategic trade corridors with China, Asia Pacific and Africa / Latam.
David led the teams working separately with the Post Office and the UK Government to design and implement the transformation of benefit payments to 15 million people creating the Post Office Card Account (POCA). He was involved in the creation of Sainsbury’s Bank and advised on product mix and choice of banking partner. He pulled together the teams responsible for the introduction of Chip & PIN technology and the UK Faster Payments programme.
He worked with one of the UK Banks to set up a major offshore processing and collections centre in Bangalore.
With the Callcredit credit reference agency he developed the Overindebtedness initiative for the UK Banks to share data and identify the most overindebted customers.
David has built teams in KPMG Globally focusing on Payments, Mobile and the use of Social media. He recently led a research study looking at mobile payments and the future mobile banking landscape.
Founder and Chairman
The Arora Group (Hotelier)
Surinder Arora is the Founder and Chairman of the Arora Group. Having arrived in the UK as a teenager from India, Surinder founded the business in 1999, running a luxurious four-star hotel at Heathrow for airline staff. From there, he built a business based on strong principles of enterprise, including the purchase of the Renaissance London Heathrow hotel in 2012, where he had worked as a waiter in the 1970s.
Today, the Arora Group is a successful private group of UK-focused companies, with specialist property, construction and hotel development and management divisions. The Group owns and manages a diverse portfolio of assets across Britain’s key business locations, with a particular presence in airport regions.
Surinder and his wife Sunita are also co-founders of the Arora Charitable Foundation, supporting social responsibility initiatives in the UK and overseas. The Foundation’s charitable balls have raised a combined total of over £1.8million to date.
Surinder has been honoured with success in a number of recent awards, including the “Corporate Responsibility” category at the London and South East Institute of Director Awards 2016; “CEO of the Year” at the UK Private Business Awards in 2016; and earlier this year, the Group was awarded ‘Business of the Year’ at the Asian Business Awards.
William Asprey, Chairman of William & Son
William Asprey, Chairman of William & Son, is the 7th generation of the Asprey family to specialise in the sale of luxury goods. For over two hundred years the Asprey name has been synonymous with craftsmanship and elegant gift giving of a superior quality the world over.
William’s immersion in the family firm started at an early age, as a porter and salesman in the school holidays. After leaving school, and following four years with the Royal Green Jackets, an avid horologist, William Asprey worked at both Watches of Switzerland and Mappin & Webb before returning to the family firm.
In 1999 William to set up his own company, William & Son, a veritable cornucopia of predominantly British-made luxury merchandise with an eclectic mix of items from exclusive watch brands, handcrafted jewellery, infinitely useful small leather goods and luggage to luxurious leather clad board games and sterling silver ornaments.
William & Son have longstanding relationships with many of their suppliers and as a result offers a world renowned bespoke service. Working with master craftsmen, William & Son can produce an unrivalled selection of custom-designed jewellery, leather goods, intricate ornaments and trinkets. Each bespoke order is designed by an in-house team of craftsmen, from the drawing board to the finished product. With service from experienced and informed staff, shopping at William & Son carries on the traditions of quality, service and luxury synonymous with his past heritage.
During the last decade, it became apparent that the way forward for William & Son was vertical integration and thus William formed the WRA Group of companies.
These comprise a luxury leather goods manufacturer, Simpson London; a luxury cashmere knitwear company Scott & Charters; and the renowned country clothing manufacturer, Chrysalis Clothing.
Each of these companies not only supports the product for William & Son, but are stand-alone businesses in their own right and each one manufactures for other luxury brands producing designs for their individual clients, and thus secures a solid and profitable base for the whole WRA Group.
Dr. Amin Jaffer
Senior Curator of Al Thani Collection
Former Curator at The Victoria and Albert Museum
Former International Director of Asian Art at Christie's
Dr Amin Jaffer is Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection, an encyclopaedic holding of works of art that spans from the ancient world to the present-day. For thirteen years a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and for ten years International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s, Jaffer authored Furniture from British India and Ceylon (V&A, 2001), Luxury Goods from India (V&A, 2002) and Made for Maharajas: a design diary of Princely India (2006). Jaffer was co-curator of the V&A's blockbuster 2004 exhibition Encounters: the meeting of Asia and Europe, 1500-1800, which explored the artistic and cultural encounter between Europe and Asia following the discovery of a sea route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and Maharaja: the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, which opened at the V&A in 2009. He has edited Beyond Extravagance: A Royal Collection of Gems and Jewels (2013), co-curated the exhibition From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from The Al Thani Collection at the Grand Palais, Paris (2017) and curated the exhibition Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajas: The Al Thani Collection at the Doge’s Palace, Venice (2017). Jaffer is currently working on exhibitions from The Al Thani Collection at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.
Chairman- HDFC Ltd.
Denise Lewis OBE is an accomplished broadcaster, former athlete and President of Commonwealth Games England. The former gold medal winner, who holds the second highest number of points scored by a British Heptathlete, has gone on to have a hugely successful broadcast career and is a highly regarded member of the BBC Athletics commentary team.
Denise is one of the golden girls of British athletics, winning gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and subsequently being inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.
Denise has twice been runner-up in the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards (in 1998 and 2000) and was also honoured with an OBE in the 2000 New Year Honours.
In addition to delivering BBC Athletics coverage, Denise has been involved in presenting a range of successful shows and documentaries. This has ranged from four successful series fronting BBC One’s consumer show ‘Right On The Money’, BBC Two’s ‘Secret Britain’ and also Seven Wonders of the Commonwealth, in which she travelled to Zambia to report on the spectacular sight of the Victoria Falls.
Throughout her career, Denise has used her platform to take part in projects discussing and promoting diversity and in 2012, she anchored the Woman of the Year Awards for ITV1’s Lorraine. In 2016, Denise presented Winners for BBC Two, which saw her uncover the incredible stories of six female athletes from around the world and the challenges they face simply because they are female. She has also worked to promote Women in Work for International Women’s Day. Furthermore, Denise joined other exceptional figures in politics, business, sport and science to share her insights into being ‘Black and British’ in the BBC Two Series Black is the New Black in 2016.
Denise is an ambassador for multiple charities, including Breast Cancer Care and Sparks.
Mr. Deepak Parekh spearheads India’s premier housing finance company HDFC Ltd., which has turned the dream of owning a home into a reality for millions across the country. Mr. Parekh’s astute business acumen and farsightedness has not only made HDFC the leader in mortgages, but has also transformed it into India’s leading financial services conglomerate with presence in banking, asset management, life insurance, general insurance, real estate venture fund, education loans and education. Mr Parekh is also the chairman of HDFC Asset Management, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co and HDFC Ergo General Insurance Co.
The Government of India honoured Mr. Parekh with one of the highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan in 2006.
Mr. Parekh is on the board of several leading corporations across diverse sectors. He is the non-executive chairman in India of Siemens Ltd, Glaxo Smithkline Pharmaceuticals Ltd and BAE Systems India (Services) Pvt Ltd. He is also on the boards of Indian Hotels Company Ltd and Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL).
Mr Parekh is on the international boards of DP World – UAE, Vedanta Resources plc and Fairfax Financial Holdings Corporation - Canada.
He is on the Indian advisory boards of Coca Cola India, Boston Consultancy Group and Accenture India.He is also on the international advisory boards of Standard Life Asia, Nomura Holdings Inc, Lafarge International, Warburg Pincus LLC.Some of the international organizations which Mr. Parekh is associated with in an advisory capacity, include Indo US CEO Forum, City of London - Finance Committee, Indo - German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), India-UK Financial Partnership(IUKFP).The Mayor of London in 2017 named Mr Deepak Parekh as first of a network of international ambassadors for championing London across the globe.In addition to being known for his vociferous views seeking standardization and transparency in the real estate sector, Mr. Parekh played a key role as Special Director on the Satyam Board in 2009 to revive the company and a crucial role during the restructuring of UTI in the late 90’s, which helped regain investors’ confidence. Mr. Parekh has always been willing to share his ideas and experiences to formulate reform policies across sectors. Mr. Parekh has been a member of various high-powered economic groups, advisory committees and task forces which include infrastructure, housing, financial services and capital markets. A man with a mission, Mr. Parekh’s philosophy on Corporate Social Responsibility is simple yet profound. He believes that if a company earns, it must also return to society and that companies owe a responsibility not just to shareholders, but to all stakeholders.Government and Industry impressed by Mr. Parekh’s performance and sobriety, have honored him with several awards. Some of the most important ones are; ‘Bundesverdienstkreuz’ Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit one of the highest distinction by the Federal Republic of Germany in 2014, “Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honour” one of the highest distinctions by the French Republic in 2010, First international recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award by Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, in 2010 .