Keeping our capital working for the UK

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London First bolsters its Board with senior execs from Starbucks, Virgin Group, Deloitte and Legal & General

London First has appointed Martin Brok, president, Starbucks EMEA; Peter Norris, Chairman, Virgin Group; David Sproul, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK and Deloitte North West Europe; and Dr Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive, Legal & General, to its Board.

The influential business organisation represents over 200 of London’s leading employers, including BT, Lloyds Banking Group, Airbnb, J Sainsbury and Canary Wharf Group. It campaigns to keep London the best city in the world to do business, with continued access to the talented people that help grow our capital and finding ways to build the homes and transport links they need.

John Allan CBE, Chairman of London First, said: “London’s an amazing place but Brexit has brought the challenges this growing city faces into sharp focus. We’ll have to work hard to keep London globally competitive, investing in the people, homes and infrastructure we need. London First’s strengthened Board brings a wealth of experience and insight to the table, adding an invaluable voice at this critical time.”

Martin Brok, president, Starbucks EMEA, said: “The capital is home to around 200 Starbucks stores plus our EMEA support centre, and has a thriving coffee culture. With over 2,500 partners working in London, we recognise how important this city is for our business. Last year we partnered with London First to bring companies together and discuss how we can help alleviate the costs and challenges of moving home, and make a real difference to peoples’ lives, with initiatives like our pioneering rental deposit loan scheme – Home Sweet Loan. I am delighted to expand our partnership by joining the London First Board and continue the work on supporting business growth in this fantastic city.”

Peter Norris, Virgin Group Chairman, said: “Brexit has caused a great deal of uncertainty and it’s now more critical than ever for us to ensure London remains a powerful engine of global growth. As the world’s leading financial centre, London is a city like no other. It brings together the world’s brightest and most diverse talent, with entrepreneurial spirit and innovation at its core. I’m delighted to join the Board of London First and play a part in ensuring London can remain globally competitive post-Brexit and for many years to come.”

David Sproul, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK and Deloitte North West Europe: “I’m looking forward to helping London First maintain the capital’s status as an open, innovative and thriving city. I believe championing London’s entrepreneurial spirit and competitiveness will benefit the whole country, contributing to growth and productivity. One of London’s great strengths is its diversity of people and skills and I want to support London First in ensuring the capital’s workforce has the skills employers need amid rapid advances in digital and technology.”

Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive, Legal & General, said: “London is a great global city, where three Mayors have each made a positive difference.  London First has been key to shaping and delivering that difference and creating London’s successful economic and social agenda.

“There is however, much still to do to improve London’s physical and social infrastructure, by bringing in new investment, above all in housing. I look forward to working with the Board both to help London flourish, and also to ensure that the lessons of London’s success are shared across the other towns and cities of the UK.”

London First’s Board is made up of influential business leaders with a passion for London. Its full line-up is available here.

Notes to editors

Martin Brok, president, Starbucks EMEA

Martin is president of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), responsible for bringing the Starbucks experience to 41 countries in 3000 stores. Since assuming the role in August 2016, Martin is repositioning the brand to deliver accelerated growth. Prior to joining Starbucks, Martin spent eight years at Nike where he served as Vice President of Global Product and Merchandising Operations and was responsible for re-engineering the global product and merchandising operations and analytics organisation. Martin also served as Chief Operating Officer for Nike’s direct-to-consumer business and as General Manager of the Western European and Asia Pacific direct-to-consumer business.

Peter Norris, Chairman, Virgin Group

Peter is the Chairman of the Virgin Group a position he took up in 2009. Peter is also Chairman of Virgin Atlantic Airways, a position he took up in 2012. Prior to this he acted as an adviser to the Group from 1996 and had chaired Virgin Active from 2002 to 2007. When he took up this position, Peter had over 35 years’ experience in investment banking and business management having worked at both Barings and Goldman Sachs, before establishing a corporate finance business which in 2007 he merged with AIM listed merchant bank Quayle Munro Holdings plc and remains a senior adviser.

David Sproul, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK and Deloitte North West Europe

David is the Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK and Deloitte North West Europe. His career has spanned over 30 years and he has led some of Deloitte’s key areas, including Tax, Consulting and Advisory Services. David also spent two years as Managing Partner for Talent, an area that continues to be an important focus for him, and a business priority for Deloitte.

Through the creation of Deloitte North West Europe, David is responsible for bringing together over 30,000 people across nine countries to help respond to the needs and challenges of Deloitte’s clients and society. In the UK, David leads Deloitte’s One Million Futures (OMF) strategy, which seeks to help one million people get to where they want to be; whether that’s in the classroom, the workplace or the boardroom.

Dr Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive, Legal & General

Nigel was appointed Group Chief Executive in 2012 having joined as Group Chief Financial Officer in 2009.

Nigel was Senior Independent Director (SID) of The Capita Group plc. from 2009 until 2012, and was SID / Chairman of Halfords Group Plc. from 2006 until 2011.

Previous appointments include, McKinsey & Co (where clients included BP, Citibank, Cadbury’s, Santander, Kingfisher, Courtaulds, Whitbread and Globe Investment Trust). Group Commercial Director of Dixons Group Plc, Managing Director of Stanhope Properties Plc, Chief Executive, Corporate, Guinness Peat Aviation (G.P.A.), Managing Director, Viridian Capital. Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer UBM.

Nigel was a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group from 2015-2016.

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