News story

Prime Minister appoints four new trustees to the Board of the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Theresa May has appointed Benjamin Elliot, Steven Murphy, Professor Lynda Nead and Nigel Webb as Trustees at the V&A, for four years, from 1 January 2017.


Benjamin Elliot is the Co-Founder of Quintessentially, the global luxury lifestyle company started in December 2000. Quintessentially now has 60 offices around the world, with over 3,000 employees. Ben is the Chairman of the Quintessentially Foundation for which he organises and participates in a number of events annually. Since 2008, the Foundation has raised over £9m from corporate and private contributions. Ben is also non-executive director of YouGov Plc and Partner in Hawthorn, a successful corporate communications business. He regularly contributes to the Financial Times, New York Times and other publications. Ben acts as a Trustee for The Eranda Rothschild Foundation and has sat on the Development Board of the V&A Museum since 2015. Ben is also a Patron of Elephant Family; the charity founded by his uncle, Mark Shand.

Steven Murphy founded Murphy and Partners in 2015. The firm offers highly specialised business consultancy services and bespoke art advisory, with offices in London, New York and Hong Kong. Steven has held senior executive positions in the fields of publishing, music and art. Prior to Murphy and Partners, Steven was CEO of Christie’s for 5 years from 2010. He strengthened Christie’s global brand reach, enhanced client services and drove new business through digital initiatives and geographic expansion including the development of Christie’s Asia, most significantly by launching Christie’s in Mainland China. During his tenure, Christie’s achieved sales and profits at their highest ever levels. While leading Christie’s through this period of change, he was vigilant at maintaining the fundamental values of the brand and the company culture. Prior to joining Christie’s, Steven was CEO of Rodale, the US publishing company. Steven has wide experience leading global businesses including: Disney Publishing Worldwide, EMI Music/Angel Records and Simon & Schuster. Steven also served on the Ralph Lauren’s Board of Directors from 2005 until 2015, when he assumed a consulting role for the company, advising senior management on strategic initiatives.

Professor Lynda Nead is Pevsner Professor of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London. Trained in the history of decorative arts at the University of Leeds, she completed her PhD at University College London. She has published widely on the history of British art, including books on Victorian London, the relationship of art and early film and, most recently, art and culture in post-war Britain. She has continuing interests in the histories of design, dress, photography and film and was a founding director of the Photography Research Centre at Birkbeck. She has served on Advisory Boards at the Museum of London, Tate, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Foundling Museum and has been a member of the Leverhulme Trust Research Awards Advisory Council. She is currently also a member of English Heritage Blue Plaques Panel and an elected member of the Academia Europaea.

Nigel Webb is a Chartered Surveyor and Head of Development and a member of the Group Executive Committee at The British Land Company Plc. British Land is one of Europe’s largest Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) and one of the country’s leading property developers. Nigel has over 30 years of experience in property investment and development and has been responsible for over 11m sq ft of development including some of London’s landmark buildings. His experience includes developing projects such as The Leadenhall Building (“Cheesegrater”), The Broadgate Tower, The Willis Building, the UBS headquarters at 5 Broadgate, Ropemaker Place and development of the Regents’ Place campus.

V&A Trustees are not remunerated. The appointments have been made in accordance with the OCPA Code of Practice. It is a requirement of the Code that political activity by those appointed is declared. Steven Murphy, Lynda Nead and Nigel Webb have declared no political activity. Ben Elliot has declared undertaking activity for the Conservative Party; he was appointed as Treasurer for the 2016 London Mayoral Campaign and also canvassed in support of the Conservative Party candidate prior to the election.

Published 1 December 2016