Expert Details

Expert in UK Business and Economic Policy

Expert ID: 736440 United Kingdom

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Managing Director of a UK public policy consultancy. A leading expert on the UK business policy environment. Two decades professional experience across the government affairs and local economic development and research sectors.

Prior to Expert's current role, he was Director of Policy and Director of Research and Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce. In this role, he ran the UK’s largest private poll of business sentiment on the economy (the Quarterly Economic Survey). As an economist working across local economic development, he has overseen impact evaluations and appraisals of multi-million-dollar projects and programmes.

• Extensive record of achievement within public policy, local economic development and consultancy
• Confident public speaker and media spokesperson with a track record of performing to the highest standards in challenging environments such as parliamentary committee hearings and leading current affairs shows including Radio 4 Today and BBC2 Newsnight
• Proven abilities to influence decisions, develop positive relationships with stakeholders and manage complex consultation and strategy review exercises

Expert's areas of policy expertise include business growth, infrastructure, area-based investment and regeneration.

Accomplishments under employment of BCC:

Policy Advocacy and Partnership Working:
• Led a major national campaign of business support for delivering all phases of the HS2 high-speed rail project
• Co-led BCC’s People and Infrastructure campaign programmes
• Worked closely with media and parliamentary affairs teams, achieved growth in national media coverage for BCC as a lead spokesperson with sign-off responsibility for press releases, proactive and reactive outputs and policy consultation responses. Track record of quality advocacy in the highest-profile settings, including Parliamentary Committees, BBC Radio 4 Today, BBC2 Newsnight, R5L Wake-up To Money and many others.
• Business community representative for senior advisory bodies to government, including the SME Advisory Board (BEIS); European Structural & Investment Funds SME Subcommittee; EU Exit Employers’ Representative Group (Home Office); in addition to regular meetings with Ministers.
• Led development of BCC’s Business Manifestos – the statement of campaigning priorities for the 2015, 2017 and 2019 general elections.
• Achieved major policy wins in areas including local business taxation, infrastructure, Brexit readiness, planning reform, SME access to finance, local growth, devolution and public funding commitments.
• Greatly expanded BCC’s joint working with universities which now includes Capstone (policy assignments for LSE Masters students); Open World Research Initiative (foreign languages strand – MEITS – led by University of Cambridge); Middlesex University on labour market research.

Programme Management:
• Made successful bid for government funding to establish the national body for Local Enterprise Partnerships (The LEP Network) and acted as its project director until it became financially and operationally independent of BCC.
• Founded Fellows Programme which gave a formal structure and recognition to Chamber policy staff taking on national leadership roles – thereby increasing advocacy capacity and network buy-in without significant additional costs
• Co-founded a comparison website for businesses testing the market for banking services, and which assisted thousands of SMEs each month while it was live.

Service Transformation:
• Overhauled the UK’s largest, and longest-running private-sector survey of business sentiment (QES), taking it from a freely-provided service to a monetised one with growing revenues, while maintaining survey participation, its profile in the media and with policymakers.
• Successfully implemented new forecasting model, reducing costs and supplier risk while positioning BCC as the leading business voice on the economy.
• With the business development team, delivered integration of Chamber brand campaign and materials generated alongside research/ policy outputs
• Identified revenue opportunities for policy outputs and work with the business development team to convert into sponsorships and commercial opportunities

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: London

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Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2002 Degree: MSc Subject: Economics Institution: University of Warwick, UK
Year: 2001 Degree: BSc (Hons) Subject: Economics Institution: University of Bath, UK

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2020 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Managing Director Department: Responsibilities: Public policy consulting for stronger business communities. Advising civic-minded organisations that promote, work and invest in economic development.
Founded the company as a fresh new agency providing services across three core areas – Research & Analysis; Strategy & Stakeholder Management; and Advocacy.
Clients include major membership associations
Projects since launch include consulting on COVID-19 impact measurement and recovery planning (BCC, weekly Business Impact Tracker and economic recovery plan, Dorset LEP, Surrey County Council, Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority); contributions to support briefings (BCC Coronavirus Support Hub) executive policy staff onboarding; peer review and audit of policy research.
Years: 2011 to 2020 Employer: British Chambers of Commerce Title: Director of Policy Department: Responsibilities: Director of Policy (2019-2020)
Director Research and Economics (2014-2019)
Head of Research (2013)
Senior Policy Adviser (2011-2012)

Directed BCC’s policy and economics research function and coordinated initiatives across 53 accredited Chambers of Commerce in the UK, including Britain’s largest private-sector survey of business sentiment.
Lead advocate and spokesperson for BCC on a range of policy issues, including economic development, infrastructure, local growth and devolution.
Represented BCC in the national media, parliamentary committees, senior stakeholder and ministerial meetings.
Delivered BCC’s financial plan and multi-year transformation programme for the function, meeting stretching income targets.
Years: 2005 to 2011 Employer: East of England Development Agency Title: Senior Executive - Strategy & Intelligence Department: Responsibilities: Senior Executive - Strategy & Intelligence (2007-2011)
Economic Analyst (2005-2007)

Managed the development, monitoring and review of the region’s economic strategy.
Built effective stakeholder relations and achieved alignment with national policy, local strategy and investment plans.
Led EEDA’s analytical contributions to cross-regional working and projects through the RDA network, including ministerial briefings and Budget consultation submissions.

Strategic Leadership and Stakeholder Management:
• Delivered the East of England’s regional economic strategy review, achieving high levels of stakeholder involvement and buy-in.
• Played a leading role in securing ‘strong’ performance rating in a National Audit Office review that noted the high quality of economic intelligence, strategy and implementation planning at EEDA and the esteem in which it was held by external stakeholders.

Policy Research Management:
• Founded and chaired an economic assessment group that supported local authorities in coordinating and undertaking statutory economic assessments.
• Pioneered ‘joint-modelling’ approach to target setting for economic and spatial development strategies, commissioning and leading the delivery of the East of England Forecasting Model – used by local authorities throughout the region as an evidence tool underpinning local strategy, development documents and service planning.

Public-Funding Bid Management and Appraisal:
• Supported external partners develop the evidence base for programmes and policy areas, advising on EEDA project funding applications of up to £100k.
• Provided high-quality analytical support to EEDA’s delivery functions on procurement, project appraisals and programme evaluations, including multi-million pound projects with RDA and EU match funding.
Years: 2002 to 2005 Employer: Cambridge Econometrics Title: UK Regional Economist / Econometrician Department: Responsibilities: Managed the flow of UK economic data through CE’s forecasting models.
Delivered econometrics training service.
Contributed expert economic analysis and editorial input to project reports and UK, regional and European subscriber services.

Data Management and Service Transformation:
• Re-developed the economic data processing system to respond to a major re-structuring of official datasets in a way that greatly enhanced quality control of outputs, reduced processing times and contributed to ISO 9001 accreditation.
Years: 2001 to 2002 Employer: Jones Lang LaSalle Title: Intern Economist / Econometrician - European Research Department: Responsibilities: Advised senior management on performance of commercial real estate markets across Europe, with a focus on Paris and Central and Eastern Europe.

Additional Experience

Training / Seminars
Professional Training:
▪ SMK Foundation Campaign Training (2019)
▪ MRS refresher training in survey scripting and quantitative analysis (October 2017)
▪ Management Masterclasses (MindGym, Autumn 2015 – Spring 2016)
▪ Speech-writing Masterclass (Dods, November 2015)
▪ Media training (2011, 2012, 2014, 2017 with Coconut Communications and Janet Murray)
▪ Select Committee and hostile questions training
▪ PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner (Insight, 2010)
▪ Line management (Mills & Reeve, 2010)
▪ Technology and strategic road-mapping (Institute for Manufacturing, 2010
▪ Economic development professional development training (University of Glasgow, 2009)
▪ Project Management Driving Licence (Ernst & Young, 2007)
▪ Public-sector procurement training (EEDA, regular 2005-2010)
▪ Equality Impact Assessment (EEDA, 2008)
▪ ISO 270001 training (EEDA, 2009)
Other Relevant Experience
IT Proficiency: Microsoft Office 365, Apple iWork, survey software (including Questback, SurveyMonkey and Decipher), Canva.

Fields of Expertise

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