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Leadership team

* denotes executive committee

  • Image of Paul Drechsler CBE

    Paul Drechsler CBE

    President

    Image of Paul Drechsler CBE

    Paul Drechsler CBE

    Paul is CBI President

    Paul is currently Chairman of Bibby Line Group which is headquartered in Liverpool. Before that he was Chairman and Chief Executive of Wates Group (2006-2014), the privately-owned construction firm he joined in 2004.

    Prior to joining Wates, Paul worked for ICI, spending the first 10 years of his career on Teesside. That was followed by 14 years holding various senior positions and living in Brazil, the USA and the Netherlands. His time there concluded with five years as Chief Executive of one of ICI’s principal international businesses and a main board director (1998-2003).

    Paul is also Chairman of the board of the charity Teach First and a board member of Business in the Community and Chairman of its Education Leadership Team. He was also the Chairman of the National Skills Funding Agency until September 2015. 

    Paul has been recognised for his outstanding leadership, winning KPMG Chief Executive of the Year for the construction industry and PwC ‘Private Company, Chief Executive of the Year’. During his tenure at the helm, Wates Group won the Business in the Community Company of the Year and the J.P. Morgan Best UK Family Business Award.

    Paul has been a member of the CBI Board since 2012 and was Chairman of the CBI Energy Policy Committee between 2007 and 2012 and a member of the Chairmen’s Committee.

    In February 2015, he was honoured by Her Majesty The Queen with an Honorary CBE for services to the construction industry.

    Paul graduated from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, with an (Honours) degree in Engineering Science. He is married with three children. 

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  • Image of Carolyn Fairbairn

    Carolyn Fairbairn

    Director-general *

    Image of Carolyn Fairbairn

    Carolyn Fairbairn

    Carolyn is CBI Director-General 

    Carolyn is an experienced business leader whose responsibilities and achievements span a range of operational and board roles in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, media and banking.

    As a McKinsey consultant and partner, she advised companies across the UK on issues of competitiveness and growth and as Director of Strategy and Distribution at the BBC she created and launched Freeview. She also has policy and government experience, and is a strong advocate for UK businesses of all sizes and sectors.

    Carolyn has extensive boardroom experience, including as a non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group, The Vitec Group (a medium-sized photographic and broadcast equipment supplier), global outsourcer Capita, the Competition and Markets Authority and UK Statistics Authority. Between 2008 and 2011, Carolyn was a non-executive director of the Financial Services Authority.

    Carolyn was Director of Group Development and Strategy at ITV from 2007-2010. She joined the company at a time of crisis as the advertising market collapsed following the financial crash. She was put in charge of ITV’s emergency cost-reduction programme to cut the company’s cost base by 25%. This enabled ITV to weather the storm and subsequently return to growth.

    And as Director of Strategy and Distribution at the BBC, Carolyn ran the BBC’s transmission arm responsible for delivery of the BBC’s services to viewers, including on cable and satellite. She managed a budget of £150 million and negotiated the BBC’s major distribution deals with Sky, Virgin and BT. In 2002/3, she created and launched Freeview, a joint venture between the BBC, Sky and Arqiva, which became one of the UK’s most successful new television services.

    Carolyn has spent eight years at as a consultant and then partner at McKinsey & Company where she worked with companies in sectors as diverse as brewing, DIY retailing, computer services, investment management and newspapers, advising on mergers, business expansion, cost control and global competitiveness. Carolyn later became one of the leaders of McKinsey’s UK’s media practice, specialising in digital strategy.

    Carolyn also has a strong understanding of Whitehall and Westminster. From 1995-97, she was seconded from McKinsey as a Special Adviser in Number 10’s Policy Unit, where she advised on health and social services.  

    She began her career as an economist at the World Bank, before joining the Economist magazine as a business and financial journalist.

    She read Economics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, graduating with a double-First (1983). She holds an MBA from the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) and MA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Carolyn is married with three children and lives in Hampshire.  She is a Trustee of Marie Curie Cancer Care. 

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  • Image of Josh Hardie

    Josh Hardie

    Deputy director-general, policy & campaigns *

    Image of Josh Hardie

    Josh Hardie

    Josh is CBI Deputy Director-General for Policy and Campaigns

    An experienced corporate affairs specialist, Josh joined the CBI from Tesco where he was Group Director for Corporate Responsibility. This role focused on leading on the integration of social and reputational issues into the international retailer’s business strategy and developing a new approach to campaigning with customers, the Government, stakeholders and the media on issues including health, employability and sustainability.

    He was also Head of Corporate Responsibility for four years during his time at Tesco, and has held director-level roles at EdComs Ltd - a leading communications and CSR agency - creating strategies and campaigns for clients including Sky, Google, the Army, the NSPCC as well as many Government departments. He started his career at an educational charity, Education Extra, campaigning with schools and working with the Government on educational issues.

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  • Image of Henrietta Jowitt

    Henrietta Jowitt

    Deputy director-general, commercial *

    Image of Henrietta Jowitt

    Henrietta Jowitt

    Henrietta is CBI Deputy Director-General, Commercial

    Henrietta works with Carolyn and the senior team to develop and implement the CBI’s commercial business strategy. In particular, she is responsible for developing the group’s membership proposition, leading the CBI’s regional teams across the country, the organisation’s digital strategy, and creating new member services with a focus on supporting and enabling businesses to grow.

    Henrietta has 30 years’ experience in developing and implementing business, marketing and general management strategies.

    Henrietta has held a range of senior roles, including Group Head of Marketing, Strategy, Business Development and Investor Relations at an executive level within a FTSE 100 financial services business, Schroders Plc; a major private equity firm, Advent International; a professional services firm, Cushman & Wakefield; and within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry (FMCG).

    FMCG was where Henrietta first started her career at HJ Heinz as a graduate trainee, followed by Nestle and United Biscuits, where she developed her overall approach to business. She has operated globally for many years and has experience in most major markets.

    For the past 3 years, Henrietta has run her own small consultancy business, coaching management teams for major financial transactions and senior individuals required to communicate and lead more effectively. She has also focussed on a number of projects providing strategic advice to Boards and Partnerships looking to develop, grow and change their businesses.

    Henrietta has an MA in Natural Sciences from Oxford University and also completed the Oxford University Business School Advanced Management Program for Senior Executives. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is an FCA approved Non- Executive Director.

    Henrietta is married with 4 children and is based in both Yorkshire and London.

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  • Image of Matthew Fell

    Matthew Fell

    Chief of staff *

    Image of Matthew Fell

    Matthew Fell

    Matthew Fell is CBI Chief of Staff 

    As Chief of Staff, Matthew is responsible for developing the CBI's strategy and ensuring it is delivered effectively.

    He is responsible for the governance and risk functions of the CBI, ensuring the executive team is responsible to the Board and the organisation to its members.

    Matthew is currently co-sponsoring the CBI's high profile regional growth project, to understand the drivers of growth and actions required to increase it across all UK regions.

    Matthew joined the CBI in 1999 and has held roles responsible for a broad range of business sectors including manufacturing, small business, the digital and creative industries and financial services.

    Immediately prior to becoming Chief of Staff, Matthew was director for competitive markets with responsibility for competition, regulation and corporate governance. During this time he also ran the CBI's campaigns to champion the UK's mittelstand and the "Great Business Debate" to build public confidence in business.

    Matthew is a member of the CBI's management board and a trustee of the CBI's pension scheme.

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  • Image of Nigel Hopkins

    Nigel Hopkins

    Director of resources *

    Image of Nigel Hopkins

    Nigel Hopkins

    Nigel Hopkins is CBI Director of Resources 

    Nigel is Resource Director at the CBI, responsible for People, Finance, IT and facilities. Previously he has operated as Finance and Strategy Director with experience in large blue chip multinationals in the Automotive (Fiat), Manufacturing (United Technologies) and Chemical (Laporte / Burmah Castrol) sectors and has also worked in the Welfare to Work sector (Remploy) working for the UK's largest provider of jobs for people with disabilities.

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  • Image of Rain Newton-Smith

    Rain Newton-Smith

    Chief economist

    Image of Rain Newton-Smith

    Rain Newton-Smith

    Rain is CBI Chief Economist

    She leads the team which provides economic analysis and our prestigous surveys.

    Rain was most recently head of Emerging Markets at Oxford Economics where she managed a large team of economists and was the lead expert on China. 

    She provided macroeconomic forecasts and analysis on China's role in the global economy and the development of Asia, helping a range of companies and international financial institutions to expand into new markets and grow their business.

    Prior to that, Rain worked in monetary policy and international forecast to the MPC at the Bank of England where she led a team with responsibility for developing a risk assessment framework for the UK financial system. 

    While at the Bank, she also went on secondment to the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. where she was adviser to the UK executive director. In 2010, Rain was selected as one of Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35.

    Rain was honoured by the World Economic Forum in 2012 as a Young Global Leader.

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  • Image of Neil Carberry

    Neil Carberry

    Director of people & skills

    Image of Neil Carberry

    Neil Carberry

    Neil is CBI Director for People and Skills

    Neil's role is to set out a framework to make the UK a great place to invest and create jobs.

    His team campaigns on behalf of CBI members on labour market and skills issues, including employment law, employee relations, equality and diversity, pay, pensions, education, skills and in-work learning, immigration, health and safety, and human rights.

    Neil is a member of the council of ACAS and of the Low Pay Commission, which makes recommendations about the level of the National Minimum Wage. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.

    Before becoming director, Neil spent four years as Head of Employment and Pensions Policy and he has previously worked in the CBI's public services team as Head of Public Procurement.

    Neil joined the CBI in 2004, after completing a postgraduate degree at the London School of Economics in industrial relations. Before this, he worked as an HR consultant for a number of major financial institutions.

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  • Image of Rhian Kelly

    Rhian Kelly

    Director of infrastructure

    Image of Rhian Kelly

    Rhian Kelly

    Rhian is CBI Director for Infrastructure 

    She spearheads our campaigns to boost investment in infrastructure, the low-carbon economy and the construction industry.

    After joining the CBI in 2006, Rhian delivered the CBI's ground breaking report on climate change in 2007, which helped shift the perception of the role business can play in moving to a low-carbon economy. Rhian became head of Climate Change in 2008.

    Prior to joining the CBI, Rhian studied politics, social and economic history at Edinburgh University. She spent a year in Taipei, Taiwan before moving to Beijing for five years where she worked at the European Union Chamber of Commerce, providing a bridge between Europe and the Chinese government.

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  • Image of Tom Thackray

    Tom Thackray

    Director of innovation

    Image of Tom Thackray

    Tom Thackray

    Tom is CBI Director for Innovation

    Prior to taking his current role, he was Acting Director for Competitive Markets, heading up the CBI’s policy work on financial services, corporate governance and enterprise. He also held responsibility for our campaign to build public trust in business.

    Prior to taking on the role he led our Enterprise team, covering policy issues relevant to small and medium sized businesses and the digital and creative industries.

    He co-authored the CBI’s Future Champions report in 2011, which identified opportunities and barriers to growth for the UK’s medium sized businesses.  

    In his five years at the CBI Tom has held a number of positions, including in its infrastructure team and Brussels office.

  • Image of Ben Digby

    Ben Digby

    International director

    Image of Ben Digby

    Ben Digby

    Ben is CBI International Director

    Ben is responsible for the CBI’s work on trade outside of Europe, managing our offices in China, India and the United States and our relationships in the UK with the Department for International Trade (DIT) and Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). 

    Prior to this role Ben worked for 3 years as our Deputy Director, International and has previously led high profile campaigns on issues as diverse as executive pay, employment relations and migration policy. He also spent 3 years working as a senior relationship manager in our Commercial Division.

    Outside of the CBI Ben is a member of the patient advisory committee of Kidney Research UK.

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  • Image of Sean McGuire

    Sean McGuire

    Director of Brussels

    Image of Sean McGuire

    Sean McGuire

    Sean is CBI Director for Brussels

    In his role at the CBI, he is responsible for all CBI’s EU affairs and lobbying activities vis-à-vis the European institutions on key issues of interest for the CBI membership such as environmental policy, employment and social affairs, e-commerce, telecommunications, financial services, consumer policy and transport policy.

    He is also responsible the CBI’s work on international trade and investment, including business links with the G8 and G20.

    As CBI Brussels Director he runs an in-house consultancy, the British Business Bureau (BBB), for UK trade associations as well as the CBI’s Business House in Brussels which houses ten CBI member companies and organisations.

    Sean has been with the CBI since 2001 during which time he held a number of positions within the CBI. Sean is also Vice Chairman of BUSINESSEUROPE’s International Relations Committee.

    Prior to joining the CBI, Sean was European Affairs Adviser for the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) in the UK.

  • Image of Sarah Green

    Sarah Green

    Director of member relations & regions & nations

    Image of Sarah Green

    Sarah Green

    Sarah is CBI Director for Member Relations & Regions & Nations

    Sarah is CBI’s champion for growing regions and is responsible for CBI’s members in the North, Midlands, East and South West and the devolved nations. In 2016, CBI’s focus is on growing regional prosperity and competitiveness to ensure a stronger UK economy – a project which Sarah is leading. Sarah also leads on CBI’s support for Business North, a network set up to strengthen business engagement at a pan northern level.

    Sarah has a strong regional background having worked for the Regional Development Agency, One North East and completed a MSC in Urban Policy and Regeneration. Sarah was previously CBI’s director in the North East, directly representing northern businesses to ensure they have a strong voice in regional, national and international policy making.

    Sarah qualified as a solicitor at Clifford Chance in 1999 and worked internationally in their Shanghai and Hong Kong offices before leaving the law and joining Arthur Andersen Consulting working in London and Chicago.

  • Image of Simon Moore

    Simon Moore

    Director of London and South

    Image of Simon Moore

    Simon Moore

    Simon is CBI Director for London and the South

    Simon was previously the International director for the CBI, and CBI Director for the South West of England. Simon was formerly the regional chairman for Barclays Corporate in the south west and south Wales. He is a graduate of Exeter University and served in The Gloucestershire Regiment before a 20-year career in corporate banking. He has worked in London, New York and, for the past nine years, Bristol.

    Simon recently acted as a consultant to Grant Thornton in Bristol and is a governor at the University of the West of England. He is also a non-executive director of Cambridge and Counties Bank and former board member of the Government Office of the South West.

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  • Image of Hugh Aitken CBE

    Hugh Aitken CBE

    Director of Scotland

    Image of Hugh Aitken CBE

    Hugh Aitken CBE

    Hugh is CBI Director for Scotland

    Hugh joined the CBI after a broad national and international business career spanning three decades, including as General Manager of Microsoft Nevada and Vice-President of Worldwide Manufacturing at Oracle.

    Most recently, Hugh worked for ASCC, Aitken’s supply chain consultancy. He was the company’s President in California and led work on business process simplification and supply chain optimisation for leading companies, like Hewlett Packard. Prior to ASCC, he was General Manager of Microsoft Nevada where he led the company’s operating centres for North and Latin America and its manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico. From 2010-2011, he was Vice-President of Worldwide-Manufacturing at Oracle.

    From 1989 to 2010, Hugh worked at Sun Microsystems in various senior roles. In 2005, he was awarded a CBE for services to the technology industry and charity.

    Between 2000 and 2006, Hugh was Chairman of the Electronics Scotland lobbying group. Hugh is based in Ayr, Scotland.

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  • Image of Emma Watkins

    Emma Watkins

    Director of Wales

    Image of Emma Watkins

    Emma Watkins

    Emma is CBI Wales Director

    Emma is responsible for the CBI’s work driving forward the Welsh economy, ensuring Wales is a great place to start and grow a business.  She leads the CBI’s engagement with UK and Welsh Government Ministers, officials and stakeholders, on issues including infrastructure, skills and further devolution.  Emma is responsible for member engagement on Welsh issues as well as the commercial events programme.

    Emma is a member of the Secretary of State for Wales’ Economic Advisory Board, the Welsh Government’s Council for Economic Renewal and the Wales Employment and Skills Board.  She is also a member of the Business in the Community Advisory Board for Wales, Chair of the St David Award, Director of the Wales Social Partners Unit and a trustee of the Barry Memo Arts Centre. She is a business columnist for the Western Mail and a regular media contributor.   

    Emma is currently leading the CBI’s flagship project Unlocking Regional Growth, aimed at ensuring economic growth is at the heart of any further devolution across the UK.   

    Emma joined the CBI in 2003 and has held a number of positions including Head of Public Services Policy, and Principal Policy Adviser in the CBI’s Brussels office.  Prior to this she spent four years working in the National Assembly for Wales, after completing an MSc Econ in European Policy at Cardiff University.

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CBI board

  • Image of Paul Drechsler CBE

    Paul Drechsler CBE

    President

    Image of Paul Drechsler CBE

    Paul Drechsler CBE

    Paul is CBI President

    Mr Drechsler is currently Chairman of Bibby Line Group which is headquartered in Liverpool. Before that he was Chief Executive of the privately-owned construction firm Wates Group.

    He joined Wates in September 2004 and became Chairman and Chief Executive in April 2006 until 2014.

    Prior to joining Wates, Mr Drechsler worked for ICI PLC, spending the first ten years of his career on Teesside. That was followed by 14 years holding various senior positions and living in Brazil, the USA and the Netherlands, which concluded with five years as Chief Executive of one of ICI’s principal international businesses and as a Main Board Director (1998-2003).

    He is also Chairman of the board of the charity Teach First and a board member of Business in the Community and Chairman of its Education Leadership Team. Paul was also the Chairman of the National Skills Funding Agency until September 2015. 

    Mr Drechsler has also been recognised for his outstanding leadership, winning KPMG Chief Executive of the Year for the construction industry and PwC ‘Private Company, Chief Executive of the Year’. During his tenure at the helm, Wates Group won the Business in the Community Company of the Year and the J.P. Morgan Best UK Family Business Award.

    Mr Drechsler has been a member of the CBI Board since 2012 and was Chairman of the CBI Energy Policy Committee between 2007 and 2012 and a member of the Chairmen’s Committee.

    In February 2015, he was honoured by Her Majesty, The Queen with an Honorary CBE for services to the construction industry.

    Mr Drechsler graduated from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, with an (Honours) degree in Engineering Science. He is married with three children.

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  • Image of Carolyn Fairbairn

    Carolyn Fairbairn

    Director-general *

    Image of Carolyn Fairbairn

    Carolyn Fairbairn

    Carolyn is CBI Director-General

    Carolyn is an experienced business leader whose responsibilities and achievements span a range of operational and board roles in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, media and banking.

    As a McKinsey consultant and partner, she advised companies across the UK on issues of competitiveness and growth and as Director of Strategy and Distribution at the BBC she created and launched Freeview. She also has policy and government experience, and is a strong advocate for UK businesses of all sizes and sectors.

    Carolyn has extensive boardroom experience, including as a non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group, The Vitec Group (a medium-sized photographic and broadcast equipment supplier), global outsourcer Capita, the Competition and Markets Authority and UK Statistics Authority. Between 2008 and 2011, Carolyn was a Non-Executive Director of the Financial Services Authority.

    Carolyn was Director of Group Development and Strategy at ITV from 2007-2010. She joined the company at a time of crisis as the advertising market collapsed following the financial crash.  She was put in charge of ITV’s emergency cost-reduction programme to cut the company’s cost base by 25%. This enabled ITV to weather the storm and subsequently return to growth.

    And as Director of Strategy and Distribution at the BBC, Carolyn ran the BBC’s transmission arm responsible for delivery of the BBC’s services to viewers, including on cable and satellite. She managed a budget of £150 million and negotiated the BBC’s major distribution deals with Sky, Virgin and BT.  In 2002/3, she created and launched Freeview, a joint venture between the BBC, Sky and Arqiva, which became one of the UK’s most successful new television services.

    Carolyn has spent eight years at as a consultant and then partner at McKinsey & Company where she worked with companies in sectors as diverse as brewing, DIY retailing, computer services, investment management and newspapers, advising on mergers, business expansion, cost control and global competitiveness. Carolyn later became one of the leaders of McKinsey’s UK’s media practice, specialising in digital strategy.

    Carolyn also has a strong understanding of Whitehall and Westminster. From 1995-97, she was seconded from McKinsey as a Special Adviser in Number 10’s Policy Unit, where she advised on health and social services.  

    She began her career as an economist at the World Bank, before joining the Economist magazine as a business and financial journalist.

    She read Economics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, graduating with a double-First (1983).  She holds an MBA from the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) and MA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Carolyn is married with three children and lives in Hampshire.  She is a Trustee of Marie Curie Cancer Care. 

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  • Image of Nigel Hopkins

    Nigel Hopkins

    Director of resources *

    Image of Nigel Hopkins

    Nigel Hopkins

    Nigel Hopkins is CBI Director of Resources

    Nigel is Resource Director at the CBI, responsible for People, Finance, IT and facilities. Previously he has operated as Finance and Strategy Director with experience in large blue chip multinationals in the Automotive (Fiat), Manufacturing (United Technologies) and Chemical (Laporte / Burmah Castrol) sectors and has also worked in the Welfare to Work sector (Remploy) working for the UK's largest provider of jobs for people with disabilities.

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  • Image of Linda Urquhart

    Linda Urquhart

    Non-executive director

    Image of Linda Urquhart

    Linda Urquhart

    First attended CBI Board March 2011

    A former Chairman of CBI Scotland, Linda Urquhart has been a Board member of CBI since 2011.

    Linda has led one of Scotland's leading law firms, Morton Fraser, for over 15 years, first as Chief Executive, and now as Chairman. She is a board member of Scottish Enterprise, Chairman of Investors in People Scotland, co-Chair of the Scottish Government's Fair Work Convention, a non-executive director of Adam & Company, the Scottish private bank, and Edinburgh Airport Limited, and a member of the Edinburgh Business Forum. She is a Trustee of Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Royal Scottish Academy Foundation and an Ambassador for Girlguiding UK.

    Linda received an OBE for services to business in Scotland, and was named Action for Children Scotland's Woman of Influence 2015.

  • Image of David Gavaghan

    David Gavaghan

    Non-executive director

    Image of David Gavaghan

    David Gavaghan

    David Gavaghan became Chair of CBI Northern Ireland on 1 January 2016.

    After serving as vice chair for one year. He will hold the post of Chair for two years. In June 2016 the CBI AGM voted to appoint David to the CBI Board as a non-executive director.

    David established Aurora Prime Real Estate Limited to focus on a new dawn emerging in Belfast and is seeking to raise £50m locally and internationally to invest in Grade A office space in Belfast.

    He believes that the ingredients are in place for a transformation in Northern Ireland’s capital city returning it in a modern day context to what it was a century ago – a hive of industry, creativity and wealth formation.
    Aurora has combined forces with Crescent Capital - Crescent has been investing in Northern Ireland since 1995 and is the region’s largest independent fund manager.

    Until April 2015, he was Chief Executive of Titanic Quarter Limited - a strategic site that has the potential to become one of the most exciting developments across the islands of Ireland and Britain.

    Previously he was the Executive Director of Quintain Estates and Development plc responsible for the specialist fund management business which focussed on residential healthcare, student accommodation, science parks and niche secondary property in the UK.

    Prior to that, David was Chief Executive of Strategic Investment Board Limited for six years, advising Ministers in Northern Ireland on the infrastructure programme across the region.  He has extensive experience in project and tax based finance and was a Director of Hambros Bank in the City of London.

    David is currently Chair of Visit Belfast and Sports Changes Life as well as the environmental arm of Business in the Community in NI, Arena Network. He is also Vice Chair of the Washington Ireland Program. He is both a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institution of Civil Engineers

    David has a degree in Economics and Social Studies from Trinity College Dublin having had his secondary education at Blackrock College, Co Dublin. 

  • Image of Heidi Mottram

    Heidi Mottram

    Non-executive director

    Image of Heidi Mottram

    Heidi Mottram

    First attended CBI Board December 2014

    Heidi Mottram was appointed to the Northumbrian Water Group and Northumbrian Water Limited Boards as Chief Executive Officer on 1 April 2010.  Heidi began her career with British Rail in the mid-1980s.  She held a number of roles in GNER, before joining Midland Mainline in 1999 as Operations Director.  She was Commercial Director for Arriva Trains Northern from January 2004, before becoming Managing Director of Northern Rail Limited, the UK’s largest rail franchise.  Heidi was named Rail Business Manager of the Year in 2009 for being an “inspirational leader”, and was awarded an OBE in the New Year honours list 2010, for services to the rail industry.  She is also a Board member of Eurostar International Limited and a Council member of Newcastle University.

  • Image of Sharon Thorne

    Sharon Thorne

    Non-executive director

    Image of Sharon Thorne

    Sharon Thorne

    First attended CBI Board June 2012

    Sharon Thorne is a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the CBI.

    Sharon is the Managing Partner Global for Deloitte UK. This is a role which recognises the importance of international trade and investment to the Deloitte network, clients and stakeholders. Sharon is a member of Deloitte UK’s Executive and also on the Global Board of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Sharon is a senior audit partner with over 28 years’ experience of auditing and advising clients across a broad range of sectors with particular focus on retail, consumer, manufacturing and TMT.  She has led on many FTSE audits and has substantial experience of working with complex global groups, co-ordinating the global firm’s services to these clients.