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Sir Adrian Montague appointed as Chairman of London First

London First has announced today the appointment as Chairman of Sir Adrian Montague, Chairman of Friends Provident plc.

Sir Adrian takes over from Des Gunewardena, who has held the role on an interim basis since June 2008, when Harvey McGrath stepped down to become Chair of the London Development Agency.

Sir Adrian, who is also Chairman of Michael Page International plc and Anglian Water Group Limited, was Chairman of British Energy until January 2009 and of Cross London Rail Links Ltd (Crossrail) from 2004 to 2005. He advised the Government on the use of private capital for investment in public infrastructure, as Deputy Chairman of UK Partnerships UK plc and previously as Chief Executive of the Treasury Taskforce on the same issue.

Earlier in his career he was Global Head of Project Finance at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and a partner with Linklaters & Paines.

Sir Adrian Montague said:

“London First has a unique vantage point and an important role in helping to secure the resilience of the UK and London to the global downturn and readiness for the recovery when it arrives.

“When the economy was booming, London First provided a distinctive voice for business in the capital. Now in harder times, we must help the policymakers take the right decisions. There is obviously a need to learn from the causes of the credit crunch which sparked this recession, but Government must not strangle London and the UK’s recovery before it takes hold, with badly designed or excessive regulation.

“London also has the opportunity to build on its strengths as a world centre for trade, for financial and professional services beyond banking and for the creative sectors, as well as in its role in technology transfer, incubating new high-tech UK manufacturing.  London’s success affords UK business a seat at the international top table.

“Never has representing business in the capital been more important, both to London and the whole UK. I look forward to working with Jo and her team to build on the excellent impact already achieved by London First.”

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“As a London First board member, Sir Adrian has already brought a formidable blend of leadership experience, in several industry sectors, and a deep insight into the business/government interface. London First’s mission – to keep London as best city in the world in which to do business – is achievable only with the involvement of business leaders like Sir Adrian.  I am delighted he has agreed to take on the Chairman role.

“I would also like to thank Des Gunewardena for stepping into the breach for the last 10 months as interim Chair. He has provided inspired leadership and excellent counsel. He remains a valued member of our Board under Sir Adrian’s Chairmanship.”


Notes to Editors

1. Chairman of London First is a non-remunerated post.

2. London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

3. London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s universities as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

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