Sir Bryan Nicholson GBE, former CBI President, company chairman and director, and chairman of the Financial Reporting Council.

Sir John Bourn KCB, former Comptroller & Auditor General of the United Kingdom. He is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics.

Board of Directors

Professor John Mellor Ph.D, MBA (Chairman)

John Mellor‘s wide experience combines banking and finance, governance management consulting, work in the public sector, and academia, all contributing to his focus on board leadership in the financial sector. Whilst the NatWest Visiting Senior Fellow in Corporate Leadership at the University of Exeter, he pioneered professional development and education for non-executive directors as director and chief executive of the Non Executive Director Forum sponsored by NatWest. He was the first holder of the Chair in Governance in Banking and Finance at the University of Leicester Business School before stepping down in 2017. He has wide understanding of boards and financial institutions, and of governance from a director’s perspective.

Banking & finance

In 1974 John Mellor began a 20 year career in banking and finance with Citibank, where he was a Vice President in the World Corporation Group (WCG) and head of a global team, later being appointed as Chief of Staff to Citibank’s EMEA head of multinational corporate banking before becoming a regional director of business banking in the UK. After Citibank, John was for 3 years an executive director of Unibank plc and head of corporate finance specializing in Scandinavian-UK cross border mergers and acquisitions and structured financing.

Management consulting

Following Cadbury’s seminal report in 1992, he switched his focus and interest to corporate governance, board structure and leadership, and chairmen and non-executive director appointments, becoming a director of the UK Partnership of International Independent Consultants. He was head of the board governance practice, advising corporates and not-for-profit organisations.

Public Sector

In 2001 John was appointed advisor to the DTI Director General, Competition and Markets on Building Effective (public sector) Boards, and devised and chaired the first seminar on ‘Effective Steering Boards’ for a number of DTI Agencies. He was also an NED of the Insolvency Service board for two years. He was a co-founder and policy advisor to the APPG on Corporate Governance and, at the invitation of the DTI, a major contributor to the Higgs Review on Non-Executive Directors. Several recommendations on the development of non-executives were reflected in the Higgs Review.

Visiting Professorships and Publications

Complimenting his business career, John held a Visiting Professorship in Corporate Governance at Bristol Business School from 2003 to 2012, and then Visiting Professor at Leicester University prior to his being appointed to the Chair in Governance in Banking and Finance. His many publications on governance and the role of non-executives include his book “Practical Corporate Governance for Smaller Quoted Companies”, released by Jordans in its second edition in 2013; as well as book chapters published by Sweet & Maxwell and articles in professional journals.

John Mellor graduated from the University of Exeter with a B.Sc. in Chemistry and went on to complete a Ministry of Defence funded Ph.D in physical chemistry at the University of Bristol, successfully discovering a reaction to nullify poisoning by cyanide gas. Before embarking on his banking career he took a 3 year short service commission as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and served as a MetOc (Meteorology and Oceanography) Officer in the Fleet Air Arm. He then completed the one-year MBA at Cranfield, specializing in corporate finance, returning as a guest lecturer on the Eurobond market.

Chris Leslie

Chris Leslie spent the first 18 years of his career in banking with Citicorp/Citibank in London, Dublin, and New York. His last position at the bank was heading up its corporate and specialised financing businesses in the UK. For the last 25 years, Chris has been in executive search, working initially on senior executive appointments in banking and financial services, where he was part of a small team that built Whitehead Mann into the leading executive search firm in the UK. For the last 10 years, both at Whitehead Mann and latterly The Zygos Partnership, he has focused almost exclusively on chairman and non-executive director appointments in financial services. He holds an MA in French and Economics from St Andrews University and has attended the Programme for Management Development at Harvard Business School.

Ian Donald Cormack

Ian spent 30 years with Citibank/Citigroup where he held a number of senior positions, including UK Country Head, Head of European Training, and Co-Head of the Global Financial Institutions Business. He has extensive boardroom experience, and is currently a non-executive director of Just Group plc and Hasting Holdings plc, and Chairman of Maven Income and Growth VCT4 plc. He has previously been the senior independent director of Phoenix Group Holdings plc, Xchanging Ltd and Partnership Assurance Group Ltd (both formerly plc’s), and Bloomsbury Publishing plc. In May 2018 he was appointed a non-executive director on the board of NatWest Holdings Ltd, the RBS ‘ring-fenced’ bank, which includes NatWest Bank plc and other entities. Ian has a PPE degree from Oxford where he chairs the alumni advisory panel of Pembroke College.

Advisory Board

Key to the focus on practice, FGRE’s Advisory Board is composed of experienced practitioners, and others with relevant backgrounds and knowledge. The Board’s role is to provide input to content of programmes, oversee their development, and provide advice on suitable case studies. Its current membership (to be increased) is:

Professor John Mellor (Chairman)

Chris Leslie

Ian Cormack

Stephen Jones, CEO UK Finance

Mark Sismey-Durrant, former Master Worshipful Company of International Bankers (WCIB)

Alan Brown, former Chief Investment Officer and director of Schroders plc

Sir Anthony Salz, former Senior Partner of Freshfields, Vice Chairman of Rothschild & Co, and author of the Salz Review of Barclays Business Practices

Secretary – Kieran Jones (seconded part-time from UK Finance)

© 2019 Foundation for Governance Research & Education