Press release

CMA announces appointment of new directors

The Competition and Markets Authority has announced the appointment of 12 directors to work across its Enforcement or Markets and Mergers Directorates.

There are 11 new project directors, who will lead the delivery of a range of market studies and investigations, consumer and competition law enforcement cases, regulatory appeals and mergers inquiries. They are:

  • Joanna Benison
  • Jennifer Dinmore
  • Helen Fleming
  • Erika Lewis
  • George Lusty
  • Simon Nichols
  • Susan Oxley
  • Cecilia Parker Aranha
  • Geoff Steadman
  • Lara Stoimenova
  • Simeon Thornton

In addition, Chris Jenkins has been appointed as an economics director to help ensure that the CMA’s cases and projects are founded on the very highest standards of economic analysis and advice.

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Executive Director Sonya Branch, said:

Each of the directors appointed has a track record of high calibre performance and will strengthen the CMA’s senior leadership structure and delivery capabilities. Together, they bring a considerable wealth of expertise and experience from previous roles ranging across industry, professional services firms and other regulatory bodies, and we look forward to working with them all in the future.

Notes for editors

  1. Media enquiries to be directed to Michael Rosen on 0203 738 6133 or

  2. Career details:
    • Joanna Benison: Joanna joins the CMA from the oil and gas industry where over the last ten years she has held senior positions in corporate strategy, strategic marketing, public affairs and finance. Previously, she worked at Deloitte management consulting practice advising financial services and public sector clients. Joanna also worked in the civil service in Poland, US and Belgium.
    • Jennifer Dinmore: Jen has been at the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) for over 7 years working on projects spanning the organisation’s economic functions. Prior to joining ORR, Jen worked as a consumer lawyer at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and prior to that she trained and practised as a solicitor in the city, specialising for 5 years in commercial litigation.
    • Helen Fleming: Helen Fleming has over 20 years’ experience in economic policy-making in the UK government. This included seven years in the Productivity and Growth Unit of HM Treasury where, among other things, Helen was responsible for promoting competitive markets including in the regulated utilities. Her most recent role was as Group Sustainability and Climate Change Director at Tesco Stores Ltd.
    • Chris Jenkins: Chris is currently Deputy Director for Consumer and Competition Policy at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He previously held a number of roles in the OFT, including working in the Chief Economist’s Office and in the Services, Infrastructure and Public Markets group. Before joining the OFT, Chris worked on competition policy and regulation at HM Treasury, and spent three years as an economic consultant at Oxera.
    • Erika Lewis: Erika has been an Interim Inquiry Director at the Competition Commission for the past 18 months where she led on two mergers, and most recently on the Private Motor Insurance Market investigation. She previously worked for 12 years in London government as Director of Corporate Strategy at the London Development Agency, where she led on the Economic Development Strategy for London, and Director of Transition at the Greater London Authority.
    • George Lusty: George Lusty is currently a Référendaire at the Competition Appeal Tribunal, where he has worked since 2009 on a wide range of competition and regulatory appeals and private actions. Previously, George worked as an associate in the EU, competition and regulatory department at Simmons & Simmons, where he specialised in civil and criminal cartel investigations and utilities regulation.
    • Simon Nichols: Simon joined the OFT in 2002 and has worked on a wide range of antitrust investigations and market studies. Prior to this he was a legal affairs consultant with a manufacturing company and head of competition law at Morgan Cole’s London office.
    • Sue Oxley: Sue joined the OFT in 1999 as an Economic Advisor, having spent two years as an Assistant Economist at the Department of Trade and Industry. She became an Assistant Director in 2005 and spent four years on secondment to the National School of Government from 2006 to 2010 as a Senior Economics Lecturer.
    • Cecilia Parker Aranha: Cecilia joins from Ofgem, where she is a Principal Legal Advisor on consumer protection and enforcement issues. She joined the civil service in 2001 and has worked for the Scottish Government, the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland and the Department for Work and Pensions.
    • Geoff Steadman: Geoff is currently with the Financial Conduct Authority, where he has worked as a Competition Investigations Manager. Geoff previously spent 13 years at the OFT, during which time he led a number of competition enforcement cases and market studies.
    • Lara Stoimenova: Dr Lara Stoimenova joins from Ofcom, where she is currently a programme director with expertise in European and UK telecommunications policy, including leading a number of price control and market reviews in this area. Prior to joining Ofcom in 2004, she spent four years in Arthur Andersen’s Economic and Financial Consulting team managing a number of litigation and valuation projects across different sectors.
    • Simeon Thornton: Simeon Thornton was the Chief Economist at the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), where he had overall responsibility for the provision of economic advice to inform DECC’s climate change and energy policies and for the leadership of over 100 analysts. Previously, Simeon held senior positions at Defra and the OFT, where he led an investigation into the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme. Before joining government, Simeon was a senior consultant at NERA, where he specialised in power sector regulation and restructuring.
  3. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law. From 1 April 2014 it took over the functions of the CC and the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading, as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. See the CMA homepage for more information, follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk or visit our Flickr account or LinkedIn page.