Prof George Holmes, Chair
When appointed to the post of Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the university in 2005, George became the youngest university head in the UK. He has been at the university now for over thirteen years. He holds a Doctorate in the field of Education, a Masters in Business Administration and a BSc in Economics. Professor Holmes is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. He previously edited two International Journals for almost ten years, specialising in Quality Assurance in Education. In 2002 he was appointed by the then Secretary of State for Education and Skills as advisor to the Department, becoming, along with Sir Ron Cooke, one of only two Sector representatives for the Department’s HE Policy Delivery Steering Group – which was assisting in the preparation of the HE White Paper. George was, for six years until 2014, on the Board of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, and is now on the Board of the Bolton Lads and Girls Club. He was previously a Governor of Bolton School, the ESSA Academy Trust and Bury College. He is a founding Trustee of the Bolton University Technical College, and a Governor at Bolton College. Prior to joining the university, Dr Holmes was Principal of Doncaster College where he also established the Doncaster Education City Project, of which he became Chief Executive. In this post he secured the largest capital grant in the history of the FE sector at the time and had responsibility for building a new £75m College on the Waterfront. At Doncaster he was a Governor of both the College and Hayfield School. George was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of North London (now the London Metropolitan University). In 1996 he played a central role, within the Vice Chancellor’s Office, in the founding of the Lincoln University Campus, opened by HM The Queen. Latterly in 2015, Professor Holmes was appointed by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of the County of Greater Manchester as one of his Deputy Lieutenants.
Mr Simon Blagden, CBE
Simon Blagden, CBE has 30 years business experience in the IT and Telecoms industry, initially at GEC where he was an International Commercial Manager.
In 1991, he joined Quante AG as UK Managing Director and then joined the Main Board in 1995 as CEO of International Operations. In 2000 he joined Spescom in Johannesburg to head up its international telecoms and IT business. In 2005, he was appointed as Non Executive Chairman of Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe, a post he held for 14 years.
Simon was appointed MBE in 1997 for services to export and was appointed CBE in 2016 for services to the economy.
Prof Nadey Hakim
President’s Envoy, Imperial College . Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur 2016. Vice President of the International Medical Sciences Academy. Surgical Director of the Transplant Unit at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust London 1995-2015. Max Thorek Professor of Surgery. Adjunct Professor of Transplantation Surgery. Particular interest in kidney and pancreas transplantation and bariatric surgery. Surgical training Guy’s Hospital. PhD in small bowel transplantation from University College London. Completed a Gastrointestinal Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and a multiorgan transplant fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Editor in Chief of International Surgery. Member of the Kidney-Pancreas Committee of the American Society of Transplantation (AST). Past President of the International College of Surgeons (ICS) and Past-President of the Transplantation Section of the Royal Society Medicine. Member of Council RSM. London School of Surgery Transplant Tutor. Past Honorary Secretary Royal Society of Medicine. Assessor Royal College of Surgeons of England. Past Vice President Royal Society of Medicine. Governor American College of Surgeons.
Mr Ian Baker
Ian holds the position of Partner (Finance) and a member of the Executive Committee at Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP (Rockspring). His primary responsibilities are the strategic planning aspects as they pertain to finance, including the planning and implementation of the corporate, financial, tax and debt structures for all client funds, asset acquisitions and disposals. Ian is also the Rockspring Compliance Officer. Ian commenced his professional career in the London office of international chartered accountants Peat Marwick. In 1987 Ian joined INVESCO MIM and part of his responsibilities was the financial control and tax planning of the PanEuropean Property Unit Trust. In 1990 Ian became a full time member of MIM Property Services Limited (MIMPS) with responsibility for all accounting, fund structuring, debt finance and tax planning. In 1993 MIMPS was acquired by the Prudential Insurance Company of America and changed its name to PRICOA Property Investment Management Limited (PPIM). Ian was responsible for the fund structuring, debt financing and tax planning of client funds. Ian has structured acquisitions in 14 countries in Europe. In 2004 PPIM was subject to a management buy-out, and changed its name to Rockspring. Ian is among the Founder Shareholders. Ian holds a BA in Accountancy from the University of Kent at Canterbury and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales since 1985. Ian also serves as the safeguarding independent board member.
Dr Maurizio Bragagni
Dr Maurizio Bragagni Chairman and CEO, Tratos UK Ltd. Tratos is an innovative international cable producer with factories in the UK and Italy, offices in five continents and customers worldwide, servicing the power, transport, shipping, communications and oil and gas industries. With turnover in excess of €350 million, it is one of the world’s largest independent cable manufacturers and is involved in many high-profile and technologically- advanced projects across the globe. In April 2019, Tratos UK won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its innovative work.
Maurizio has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bolton, a degree in Law from the University of Pisa and an MBA from London’s Cass Business School and has been responsible for exponential growth at the company, winning government funding and investing heavily in facilities, employee development and technology.
In addition to his successful business career, Maurizio is also an active supporter of the Conservative Party in the UK and in 2018 ran for a Senate position in the Italian national elections, with a remit to represent Italians living and working abroad. Maurizio is the Honorary Consul of the Republic of San Marino in the UK & Northern Ireland. This significant role in representing the state has official relations at the diplomatic level with Britain, across political and economic relations and social and cultural affairs internationally. Maurizio is also a member of the IEC Market Strategy Board offering his vision for innovation and willingness to contribute to the mission of the MSB and IEC.
He is passionate about technological innovation and has campaigned passionately for higher minimum standards to govern the materials that are used in offices, homes and public buildings. Maurizio launched the Safer Structures Campaign in 2017, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, to demand regulatory intervention to improve cable standards and monitor materials used in construction.
A devoted patron of the arts and charitable works, Maurizio founded the Esharelife Foundation in 2016 to help some of the most disadvantaged people in the world, using an online platform for artists to generate revenues for charity. Maurizio was appointed in the New Year’s Honours List a Cavaliere of Italian Republic OMRI, for services to Italy. He is Chairman and co-Founder of British Italian Conservatives and Vice Chairman of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is an active member of the British Cables Association, the Approved Cables Initiative, the Institute of Directors and Oil & Gas UK.
Maurizio was previously recognised with the Keynes Sraffa Award from the Italian Chamber of Commerce. He has won numerous other industry awards, including The IOD North West & Isle of Man Director of the Year Award 2019; the EEF Regional Innovation Award 2018; Best Business Awards 2018 for Best Innovation; The Big Ben Award from China’s business community in 2017; and The IOD National Director of the Year in Innovation Highly Recommended 2019.
Lord Rami Ranger CBE
Lord Rami Ranger CBE, FRSA is a successful businessman who has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen on Eight occasions. Six times for Business and twice personally for community services and was made a Member of British Empire in 2005 and Commander of British Empire in 2016. Rami is married to Renu and has three daughters.
Rami set up his first business in 1987 with a mere 2 pounds capital from a rented room in Hayes and through his sheer dedication and commitment, he now runs two of Britain’s fastest growing companies with an annual turnover in excess of £200 million. He sustains thousands of British jobs by exporting British supermarket products to over 130 countries.
His company, Sun Mark Ltd, has received from Her Majesty the Queen, the Queens Award for Enterprise for an unprecedented 5 consecutive years in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and in the process made British business history as no other company has received this accolade before. Sun Mark has been added to the Sunday Times most profitable 100 companies in Britain in their “Profit Track 100” league table for the past three years running.
Rami won the prestigious Institute of Director’s the Director of the Year Award for 2013 and European Export Champion in 2014.
Rami also devotes his time to benefitting society by launching ground breaking initiatives designed to strengthen social cohesion in Britain.
He Co-Founded of the British Asian Conservative Link and served the organisation for over a decade as its General Secretary. He works hard to make British Asians more politically and publically spirited. Due to the work done by the BACL, there are now 5 Conservative Members of Parliament of Asian origin where there were none before.
The Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP in January 2018 appointed him the Co Chairman of the Conservative Friends of India to champion bilateral relationship between Britain and India.
He is a Fellow of the Princes Trust and works tirelessly to enable The Prince’s Trust to reach even more of our youth to pass on his experience and expertise in inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. His message is that one does not need a rich family or an elite education to succeed in life. However, one needs self-respect, good work ethics, commitment and empathy for others.
Rami believes in supporting education and helping to provide better facilities for students. He has a clear message on this and says that if it had not been for his mother being an educated woman, he would not be where he is today. To support this he donated £250,000 to London South Bank University to set up a fund for Enterprise Excellence and to establish the Lord Rami Ranger CBE Centre for Graduate Entrepreneurship which provides a hub and workspace for students and graduates on enterprise programmes. The centre was opened by The Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Please click on the link to view video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qziYI5dcuDA He has donated £200,000 to the University of West London towards a new group pavilion in the campus library and for student hostel to enhance the facilities for the university students.
Rami donated £100,000 to the Gandhi Memorial Foundation Trust which is raising funds to erect a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square, London. Rami was quoted as saying “The world owes Gandhi Ji a huge debt of gratitude for liberating one fifth of mankind through non-violence thereby creating a better world”.