Prime Minister's Business Ambassadors

The Business Ambassadors were business leaders who worked with the government to promote the UK’s excellence internationally, including highlighting trade and investment opportunities for UK businesses, and working to help secure inward investment to the UK.

The Prime Minister’s Business Ambassadors network closed on 3 January 2019.

The Prime Minister has formed 5 new Business Councils to advise on how to create the best business conditions in the UK after our exit from the European Union (EU).

The role of each Business Council will be to provide the Prime Minister and her ministerial team with regular, high-level advice and policy recommendations on critical issues in their sectors, enabling companies to invest, grow and succeed in the UK once it leaves the EU.

The government’s Export Strategy sets out how we will engage with businesses of all sizes to understand and help them overcome their trading concerns, as well as offering a strong package of export support for all businesses.

The Business Ambassador Network was established in 2008. The 43 strong membership consisted of Prime Minister appointed chief executive officers (CEOs) and senior business representatives, supported by a secretariat in the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Business Ambassadors acted as powerful advocates of the UK abroad, promoting the UK’s excellence, economy, business environment and its reputation as the international trade and inward investment partner of choice. Business Ambassadors had a sector focus, reflecting their particular skills, contacts and expertise.

Business Ambassadors undertook a wide variety of engagements, which included:

  • leading trade delegations
  • 1-2-1 meetings with senior government ministers
  • hosting high level incoming visitors
  • meeting key businesses in market
  • keynote speeches at business events

In December 2018 before the closure of the network, the Business Ambassadors were:

Sector Name Company
Creative Industries Sir John Sorrell CBE Sorrell Foundation
Creative Industries Anya Hindmarch CBE Anya Hindmarch
Creative Industries Lucian Grainge CBE Universal Music Group
Creative Industries Nick Allott OBE Cameron Mackintosh
Creative Industries Archie Norman Lazard (Ex ITV)
Creative Industries Dame Natalie Massenet DBE Chairman of the British Fashion Council / Ex Net-a-Porter
Creative Industries and Small Creative Businesses Holly Tucker MBE / Holly & Co
Energy Rt Hon Brian Wilson Havana Energy and Harris Tweed Hebrides (creative / retail)
Energy Baroness Brown  
Energy Ayman Asfari Petrofac
Energy Samir Brikho Ex Amec Foster Wheeler
Financial Services Douglas Flint CBE Ex HSBC
Technology / Media / Financial Services Tim Luke Barclays
Financial Services Alastair Lukies CBE Motive Partners
Financial Services Katherine Garrett-Cox CBE Gulf International Bank (UK)
Infrastructure / Construction / Transport Andrew McNaughton Systra Group
Infrastructure / Construction / Transport Rupert Soames OBE SERCO
Infrastructure Liv Garfield Severn Trent
Infrastructure / Construction / Transport Tim Wates Wates Construction
Manufacturing / Advanced Engineering Paul Kahn Cobham plc
Manufacturing / Advanced Engineering Sir Richard Olver KBE Ex BAE Systems
Manufacturing / Advanced Engineering Robin Southwell OBE Ex Aerospace Defence Security (ADS) Group Ltd
Manufacturing / Advanced Engineering Ron Dennis CBE Ex McLaren Technology Group
Pharmaceutical / Healthcare The Rt. Hon. Professor Lord Kakkar PC UCL
Pharmaceutical / Healthcare Sir Malcolm Grant CBE NHS England
Pharmaceutical / Healthcare Sir Andrew Witty Ex GSK
Pharmaceutical / Healthcare Harriet Fear MBE Formerly of MAP BioPharma
Professional and Business Services Caroline Plumb OBE Freshminds
Professional and Business Services Sir Alan Parker Brunswick Group
Professional and Business Services Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE Ex-MITIE
Professional and Business Services Steve Varley EY
Professional and Business Services Emma Jones MBE Enterprise Nation
Professional and Business Services Will Lawes Lazard
Retail / Food and Drink Paul Walsh Compass Group
Retail / Food and Drink Marc Bolland Blackstone Group (Ex M&S)
Retail / Food and Drink Paul Polman Unilever
Media / Cross Sectoral Karen Blackett OBE MediaCom
Technology Stephen Kelly SAGE
Technology Dr Mike Lynch OBE Invoke Capital
Technology Saul Klein OBE LocalGlobe
Technology Brent Hoberman CBE and Founders Forum
Non-specific sectoral Lord Powell  
Non-specific sectoral Lady Barbara Judge CBE