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Jo Valentine to stand down at end of the year

Jo Valentine

The voice of London’s business community, London First, has announced that its chief executive, Baroness Jo Valentine, will stand down at the end of 2016, after 13 years as chief executive and several more before that as managing director.

John Allan CBE, chairman of London First, said:

“Jo is a force of nature harnessed on London’s behalf. Her leadership has seen huge campaigns such as the successful fights for Crossrail and Crossrail 2, for the role of mayor itself, and for social entrepreneurship in a grand scale in TeachFirst and Skills London.

“Under her leadership, London First has proven that business leadership is a vital part of the governance and a key driver of improvement of a thriving city.

“Jo has also built up an organisation that retains some of the best policy talent in London and is financially secure. I have really enjoyed working with her over the last year and half.”

Jo Valentine said:

“London is about to get a new mayor. It is a good time to plan a changing of the guard at London First.

“The city’s extraordinary growth and renaissance over the last decade is down to many factors. Business leadership is clearly one of them. I am delighted to have worked with the visionary business leaders who set up London First and their successors who have sustained it. They were determined from the start that London shouldn’t accept decline but could be a world city again – and they continue to bring a practical and business-like approach to challenges that were once deemed unsurmountable.”

John Allan CBE said:

”London First’s work will continue as before: preparing for the new mayor and making sure that the capital remains open for business. Jo will be staying until the end of the year and there will be a planned transition to a new chief executive in due course.”

About London First:

London First is an independent business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business.  Its 200+ members include the capital’s leading employers in key sectors such as financial and business services, property, transport, ICT, education, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Established in 1991, its work encompasses a wide range of issues under the umbrella of maintaining London’s competitiveness in an increasingly challenging environment.

About Jo Valentine:

Baroness Valentine joined London First in 1997 as Managing Director, becoming Chief Executive in 2003. Her role centres on representing to national and local government the most pressing issues affecting London’s leading businesses.

Since beginning her career in corporate finance at Barings, Jo Valentine has worked in industry, and in regeneration and public policy roles. She is a Non-Executive Director of Peabody and High Speed 2 and a Council member of UCL.

Jo became a Crossbench Peer in October 2005.

She is an Honorary Fellow of St Hugh’s College, Oxford and Birkbeck, and holds honorary degrees from Roehampton University and the University of London.

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