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FT Brexit and Beyond Summit I

London |
Speakers include:
Rt Hon Greg Hands MP

Rt Hon Greg Hands MP

Minister of State, Department for International Trade

Carolyn Fairbairn

Carolyn Fairbairn


Lord Blackwell

Lord Blackwell

Lloyds Banking Group


Scheduled to take place shortly after Article 50 is triggered, the FT Brexit and Beyond Summit will assess the opportunities and risks that have emerged from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Economic disruption, the perils of political negotiation, the potential for further EU fragmentation and much more will be covered in a full day of engaging sessions with speakers from business, politics and academia.

fallback Add to my Calendar 04/04/2017 08:00:0004/04/2017 19:00:00trueFT Brexit and Beyond Summit IScheduled to take place shortly after Article 50 is triggered, the FT Brexit and Beyond Summit will assess the opportunities and risks that have emerged from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Economic disruption, the perils of political negotiation, the potential for further EU fragmentation and much more will be covered in a full day of engaging sessions with speakers from business, politics and academia.FT-Brexit-and-Beyond-Summit-Idd48d65dd7325c77b3a18126801de0b6MM/DD/YYYY

Preview Video


Brexit video


Brexit briefing



Speakers (23)

Rt Hon Greg Hands MP

Rt Hon Greg Hands MP

Minister of State, Department for International Trade

Greg Hands was appointed as Minister of State in the Department for International Trade in July 2016. He was elected the Conservative MP for Hammersmith and Fulham in 2005, and for Chelsea and Fulham in 2010.

Mr Hands was educated at a variety of state schools in the UK and the USA, but principally at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Amersham, before going on to study Modern History at Cambridge University, including time spent in the Modern Languages and Oriental Studies faculties graduating with first class honours.

Mr Hands has been a Government Minister since October, 2011. He served first as the Treasury Whip, 2011-2013, and then as Government Deputy Chief Whip and Treasurer of Her Majesty’s Household, 2013-15. Following the May 2015 General Election, Mr Hands attended Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury under the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

Mr Hands served as a Local Councillor in Fulham, 1998-2006. Outside politics, he spent 8 years working on trading floors in London and New York, trading and marketing fixed income derivatives. 

Carolyn Fairbairn

Carolyn Fairbairn

Director General

Carolyn Fairbairn joined the Confederation of British Industry as Director-General in November 2015 following a 25 year career in British business. She spent her early career at McKinsey, before taking on a range of senior leadership roles in the media industry.

At McKinsey, Ms Fairbairn advised companies across the UK in a wide range of sectors. As BBC Director of Strategy, she led the BBC’s digital strategy and ran its transmission arm. In 2003, she created and launched Freeview, one of the UK’s most successful new TV services. From 2007-2010, she was Director of Group Development and Strategy at ITV. She has been a Non-Executive Director of Lloyds Banking Group, the Vitec Group, Capita plc, the Competition and Markets Authority, the UK Statistics Authority and, from 2008-11, the Financial Services Authority. From 1995 to 1997, she was a member of the Number 10 Policy Unit. She holds a first-class degree in Economics from Cambridge University, an MBA from INSEAD, and MA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lord Blackwell

Lord Blackwell

Lloyds Banking Group

Lord Norman Blackwell became Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group plc in April 2014, having joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in 2012. 

Lord Blackwell is a former Chairman of Interserve plc, a former Senior Independent Director of Standard Life plc and has also been a Non-Executive Director of Halma plc, SEGRO plc and Dixons Group, as well as a Non-Executive Board Member of the OFT and OFCOM. Before that he was a partner of McKinsey & Co and Director of Group Development at NatWest Group. He is a Governor of The Yehudi Menuhin School.

From 1995 to 1997, Lord Blackwell was Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit for John Major and he was appointed a Life Peer in 1997. He previously worked in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit for Margaret Thatcher in 1985-86. He is also past Chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies.

Lord Blackwell holds an MBA and a PhD in finance from the Wharton Business School, and an MA in natural sciences from Cambridge University. 

Robert MacLeod

Robert MacLeod

Chief Executive
Johnson Matthey

Robert J. MacLeod has been the Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey since June 2014. He joined Johnson Matthey in 2009 and served as its Group Finance Director until 2014.

Mr MacLeod has international experience in the engineering and chemicals sectors. He has been a Non-Executive Director of RELX Group plc since April 2016. Prior to joining Johnson Matthey, Mr MacLeod served as the Finance Director from 2004 to 2009 and as its Group Financial Controller from 2003 to 2009. He served as a Non-Executive Director of Aggreko plc from 2007 to 2016.He also held a variety of senior finance and M&A roles with Enterprise Oil plc in the UK and US from 1993 to 2002.

MacLeod is a Cambridge graduate and trained at KPMG as a Chartered Accountant.   

Karen Briggs

Karen Briggs

Head of Brexit
KPMG in the UK

Karen Briggs is the Head of Brexit and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board at KPMG in the UK. She has built a strong market reputation for working on large-scale international regulatory issues, involving complex legal negotiations, for some of KPMG’s most high profile clients making her well placed to work with organisations at home and abroad as they adapt to the post Brexit world.

In her current role, Ms Briggs leads a dedicated team of specialists to support clients in mitigating the risks and taking advantages of the opportunities that arise from Brexit. 

A Forensic partner by background, Ms Briggs was seconded for two years to the Bank of England's Special Investigations Unit, and became Head of Bank Investigations within the Enforcement Division of the FSA (now FCA) during this period. During this time she was also an advisor to the Board of Banking Supervision.

Ms Briggs’ experience ranges from leading money laundering and fraud investigations to the provision of financial crime advisory services covering fraud risk strategy and operational efficiency reviews.  She has been involved in a number of reports to the regulator concerning fraud investigation, money laundering and miss-selling. She has led large regulatory and fraud investigations for investment banks, insurers and retail banks and has written reports used as expert evidence in the prosecution of fraud. 

Ms Briggs has a BSc (Hons) degree in Mathematics from the University of Leeds and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. She has been a Partner at KPMG for eighteen years and joined the Executive Board in January 2015.

Ms Briggs has held a number of senior positions including Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering and more recently UK Head of Solutions, which comprises Tax, Deal Advisory and Management & Risk Consulting and the innovation and investment strategy.

Craig Kreeger

Craig Kreeger

Chief Executive
Virgin Atlantic

Craig Kreeger was appointed Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways in February 2013. Virgin Atlantic has a fleet of 40 long haul aircraft, flying six million passengers a year all over the world. He joined from American Airlines (AA), where he had a 27-year career spanning commercial, financial and strategic roles in the US and around the globe.  

Mr Kreeger joined American Airlines in 1985 as an analyst and was appointed Senior Vice President, Customer in 2012. He spent six years in London as Senior Vice President, International and was responsible for AA operations and sales throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific. He worked on AA joint ventures with British Airways and Iberia across the Atlantic, as well as its partnership with Japan Airlines in the Pacific.

Mr Kreeger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California at San Diego and an MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles. 

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 2012-2016

Theresa Villiers has been the Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet since 2005. A former barrister, Ms Villiers represented London as an MEP from 1999 to 2005, working to ensure that Britain stayed out of the Euro. Seven months after being elected to the House of Commons, she was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet, leading the Opposition scrutiny of the Finance Bills in 2006 and 2007. In 2010, she became Minister of State for Transport where her responsibilities included the 2012 Olympics. Joining the Cabinet in 2010, she served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for four years, delivering the successful 2013 G8 summit in Fermanagh. She chaired two sets of cross party talks securing the 2014 Stormont House Agreement and the 2015 Fresh Start Agreement, which averted the possible collapse of Northern Ireland’s devolved institutions. Ms Villiers was one of the five Cabinet Ministers to launch the Vote Leave campaign. Always an active constituency MP, she has an extensive track record local campaigning and supporting her constituents.

Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP

Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP

Exiting the European Union Select Committee

Hilary Benn is the Member of Parliament for Leeds Central and Chair of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee.

Mr Benn attended Holland Park Comprehensive School and the University of Sussex. A former President of Ealing Acton Constituency Labour Party, Mr Benn was elected to Ealing Borough Council in 1979, becoming the youngest ever Chair of the Education Committee.  He also served as Deputy Leader of the Council.

Mr Benn worked as Head of Policy and Communications for the Manufacturing Science and Finance union and represented it on the Labour Party's National Policy Forum. He was also Chair of the Management Committee of Unions 21 - the trade union think tank.

Following Labour's 1997 General Election victory, Mr Benn was appointed as special adviser to the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP, Secretary of State for Education and Employment. He developed the Union Learning Fund and was closely involved in the drafting of the Learning Age green paper.

In 1999, Mr Benn was elected as Member of Parliament for Leeds Central. After serving as a minister at the Department for International Development and the Home Office, he was appointed to the Cabinet as the Secretary of State for International Development in 2003. He was the Prime Minister’s Africa Personal Representative and was responsible for the establishment of the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund.

From 2007 until the 2010 General Election, Mr Benn was Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He played a leading role in putting the Climate Change Act and the Marine and Coastal Access Act on the statute book, and he established the South Downs National Park.

From May to September 2010, Mr Benn was the Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He was elected to the Shadow Cabinet in October 2010 and was the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons until being appointed the Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government in September 2011. He was Shadow Foreign Secretary from May 2015 to June 2016 and now chairs the Select Committee on Exiting the EU.   

Mr Benn was voted by his fellow MPs as Minister of the Year in the 2006 and 2007 House Magazine Awards. He also won the Channel 4 Politicians’ Politician Award in 2006. He was a contributor to Beyond 2000: Long-term policies for Labour (Profile Books, 1999), Forces of Conservatism (IPPR, 1999), and Men who made Labour (Routledge, 2006). 

Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP

Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Nick Clegg MP is a Liberal Democrat politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister in Britain’s first post war Coalition Government from 2010 to 2015 and as Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2007 to 2015. He is the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam, where he was first elected in 2005, and was previously a Member of the European Parliament.

Mr Clegg led his party into Government for the first time in its modern history in a coalition with the Conservatives. During that time, he was at the heart of decisions surrounding the conflict in Libya, new anti-terrorism measures, the referenda on electoral reform and Scottish independence, and extensive reforms to the education, health and pensions systems. He was particularly associated with landmark changes to the funding of schools, early years education and the treatment of mental health within the NHS. 

Mr Clegg is an outspoken advocate of civil liberties and centre ground politics, of radical measures to boost social mobility, and of an internationalist approach to world affairs. Following the UK referendum on EU membership in June 2016, he has returned to the Liberal Democrat front bench as the party’s European Union spokesperson in order to hold the Government to account over its plans for Brexit.  

Sandro Gozi

Sandro Gozi

State Secretary for European Affairs, Italy

Sandro Gozi is a Member of the Italian Parliament since 2006. He is State Secretary at the Presidency in the Italian Government, in charge of European Affairs.

In August 2013, Mr Gozi was nominated as Vice President of the Assembly of the Council of Europe. From January to May 2014 he was Vice President of Socialist Group at the Assembly of the Council of Europe. From 2006 until 2008 he was the President of the parliamentary Committee on Schengen, Europol and Immigration Affairs. From 2008 to 2013 he was group leader of the Democratic Party in the parliamentary commission on EU policies and he was in charge at national level of EU policies for the Democratic Party.  

From 1995 to 1996 Mr Gozi worked as a diplomat at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1996, at the European Commission, he was in charge of its relationship with the European Parliament and he took part in the negotiations for the introduction of the euro. Overall, he has worked as official at the European Commission for 10 years, dealing with institutional affairs, regional cooperation in the Balkans and in the Mediterranean, and matters related to education and culture.  

In 2005 Mr Gozi worked as a diplomatic advisor to Nichi Vendola, President of the Italian region of Puglia, and then from 2006 until 2008 as a European policies advisor in the new Prodi government.

Between 2004 and 2010 he was Deputy Secretary-General of the European Democratic Party.

In 2011 Mr Gozi received a special award from the Municipality of San Francisco as well by the Harvey Milk Foundation in recognition of his support for human rights. In 2007, he was awarded Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes by the French President for his efforts in promoting French Culture. In 2014, he was awarded Chevalier dans l’Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur by Alain LeRoy, French Ambassador to Italy.  

Mr Gozi holds a PhD on public law from University of Bologna. He teaches on European Union Institutions and Policies at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris, as well as European Colleges of Bruges and Parma. He also has experience in the private legal sector and is author of various publications on European politics as well as of editorials on European and national policies.  

Emma Jones MBE

Emma Jones MBE

Enterprise Nation

Emma Jones is the founder of Enterprise Nation, which supports thousands of people across the UK starting, running and growing their own businesses. Since its launch in 2005, Enterprise Nation has expanded to become a small business community of over 75,000 members who access support via online content, masterclasses, events and get access to its global export missions. Enterprise Nation also campaigns on behalf of small businesses and represents the smallest firms to Government through lobbying.  

Ms Jones hails from Shrewsbury in Shropshire. She studied Law and Japanese at university. Following on from that she spent a year living and working in Japan where she set up a school from scratch. On her return, she joined international accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, where she worked in London, Leeds and Manchester offices and set up the firm’s inward investment practice that attracted overseas companies to relocate in the UK.

In 2000, Ms Jones started her first business, Techlocate, which after 15 months was successfully sold to Tenon plc

Ms Jones was one of eight co-founders to launch StartUp Britain, the national campaign to encourage more people to start a business and support existing businesses to grow. She spent three years at the helm of the private sector-funded campaign.

In June 2012, Ms Jones was awarded an MBE for Services to Enterprise in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List. She is now the Government's Small Business Crown Representative and is also a Small Business Ambassador for the Department of International Trade.

Ms Jones is the author of several business books including Spare Room StartUp: How to start a business from home (2008), Go Global: How to take your business to the world (2010) and Turn Your Talent into a Business (2012).

Ruth McKernan CBE

Ruth McKernan CBE

Chief Executive
Innovate UK

Ruth McKernan joined Innovate UK as Chief Executive in May 2015. Dr McKernan has 25 years of research and commercial experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including heading up research units in the United Kingdom and the United States. She is a member of the Science, Industry and Translation Committee of the Royal Society and was a Council Member for the Medical Research Council for five years.

Dr McKernan’s previous roles include Senior Vice President at Pfizer and Head of the Merck Neuroscience Research Centre. Her awards and achievements include CBE in 2013 for services to Business, Innovation and Skills, a Fulbright Scholarship and winner of Glaxo/ABSW Science Writers’ Award. She is a published author with more than 120 scientific papers and 15 patents, as well as a book for non-scientists, Billy’s Halo. She has a BSc in Pharmacology and Biochemistry and PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from King’s College, London. 

Joe Cassidy

Joe Cassidy

Financial Services Partner
KPMG in the UK

Joe Cassidy is a Partner in the financial services advisory practice at KPMG in the UK. He leads on Brexit for banking and markets and helps clients as well as regulators and government departments understand the implications of the UK’s move to leave the European Union. He is also the firm’s global leader of the market infrastructure group, which includes exchanges, FMUs, data services and market intermediaries.

Mr Cassidy has nearly 30 years of pan-financial services experience in such fields as retail banking technology, design of secure payment systems, asset management and wealth management. He has presented at global forums and to regulators on economic effects of compound regulation and Brexit. He regularly speaks at industry events across a number of topics and spoke at Eurofi 2018 on Brexit: what way forward less than one year from the Article 50 deadline. His latest Brexit article explores Brexit’s impact on funding to the real economy.  

Mr Cassidy has held a number of global roles with Deutsche Bank, Nomura and Lloyds Bank as well as being a Senior Advisor to Boston Consulting Group. He has also been involved in establishing joint ventures globally and in the setup of exchanges and financial market utilities. In addition, he has served on regulatory affairs committees at banks and brokerage firms.

Guy Lougher

Guy Lougher

Pinsent Masons

Guy Lougher heads Pinsent Masons’ cross-disciplinary Brexit team, advising clients on the implications of Brexit for their businesses and how best to respond to the challenges and opportunities which Brexit raises. Mr Lougher is also a Partner in the EU and Competition Team, in which capacity he has worked on competition and market investigations by the European Commission and the UK’s competition authorities.

Lesley Batchelor OBE

Lesley Batchelor OBE

Director General
Institute of Export and International Trade

Lesley Batchelor is a champion of UK exporters, with a powerful track record in enhancing the performance of hundreds of businesses.

Appointed director general of the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT), an education foundation providing qualifications and support for business for over 80 years, Ms Batchelor is also CEO of Open to Export – a collaborative CIC supported by FSB, DIT, HSBC & the IOE&IT which comprises a digital platform for new and inexperienced exporters.  

Active on the APPG Advisory Panel on Trade and Investment, the APP Manufacturing Group, Lesley has given evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Government support for SMEs and is often a leading light in thought leadership issues on international trade.

After 15 years working with blue-chip giants including Fujitsu Europe, Canon, Ciba-Geigy and Coca-Cola, Ms Batchelor set up CMC Marketing in 1992 to develop inspirational overseas strategies and international training programmes for SMEs. In 2007 she joined the IOE&IT where she has forged influential partnerships with many national and international associations.

A graduate of the Institute of Export & International Trade qualifications and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ms Batchelor has invaluable expertise in intellectual property, global licensing and marketing. Awarded an OBE in the 2014 Birthday Honours List, she was named as the CBI/Real Business First Woman in Business Services for 2015 and voted CEO of the year for the Trade Association Congress 2015.   

Nicolas Mackel

Nicolas Mackel

Chief Executive Officer
Luxembourg for Finance

Nicolas Mackel is CEO of Luxembourg for Finance, the Agency for the Development of the Financial Centre, since July 2013.

Mr Mackel is a career diplomat. He graduated with a law degree from the University of Aix-en-Provence, and holds two post-graduate diplomas in European law from the Sorbonne University, respectively the College of Europe in Bruges where he then also served as a teaching assistant in the Law Department. He worked as a legal clerk at the European Court of Justice before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999. His assignments focused on the successive EU Treaty negotiations (Amsterdam, Nice, Constitution, Lisbon).  

Mr Mackel was consecutively posted at Luxembourg's Permanent Representation to the EU (2002-07), as Deputy Chief of Mission at Luxembourg's Embassy in Washington DC (2007-11) and as Consul General in Shanghai (2011-13) where he was in charge of promoting Luxembourg's economic interests throughout China as the Executive Director of the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office.  

Tina Fordham

Tina Fordham

Managing Director and Chief Global Political Analyst
Citi Research

Tina Fordham is Managing Director and Chief Global Political Analyst at Citi Research. The first and only chief political analyst to work for a major financial institution, Ms Fordham has pioneered incorporating political analysis within traditional banking research, establishing it as a critical input into the decision-making process for companies and investors during a period when political risks, especially in the advanced economies, have accelerated. She joined Citi in 2003 and has established a loyal following of corporate boards, institutional investors and governments, as well as Citi’s senior management, about the implications of macro global political developments. Ms Fordham is a member of the Corporate and Investment Bank’s Diversity Board and the Veteran's Network at Citi, and sits on the International Advisory Council for the foreign policy think tank Carnegie Europe and the Advisory Council for Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs. Previously she served in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and as Head of Global Political Risk at Eurasia Group, launching its financial markets research business in 1999. A frequent commentator on the BBC, CNBC, and Bloomberg as well as at Davos, Ms Fordham earned her Master's degree at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Tony Barber

Tony Barber

Europe Editor
Financial Times

Tony Barber is Europe Editor and Associate Editor at the Financial Times in London. He joined the newspaper in 1997 and served as bureau chief in Frankfurt (1998-2002), Rome (2002-2007) and Brussels (2007-2010).

Mr Barber started his career in 1981 at Reuters news agency, serving as a foreign correspondent in New York, Washington and Chicago (1982-83), Vienna (1983), Warsaw (1984-85), Moscow (1985-87), Washington (State Department correspondent, 1987-88) and Belgrade (bureau chief, 1989). He worked from 1990 to 1997 at The Independent in London, where he was successively East Europe Editor and Europe Editor.

Among the major world events on which Mr Barber has reported on the ground are the 1986 Chernobyl accident, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the fall of eastern European communism in 1989, the 1991-95 wars of the Yugoslav succession, the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005 and the eurozone crisis.  

Mr Barber studied from 1978 to 1981 at St John’s College, Oxford University, where he received a BA First Class Honours degree in Modern History.  

Alex Barker

Alex Barker

Brussels Bureau Chief
Financial Times

Alex Barker was appointed as Brussels Bureau Chief for the Financial Times in May 2016 after five years in Brussels working as the FT’s European diplomatic editor and EU correspondent. Prior to that, he spent four years as a UK political correspondent in Westminster. Mr Barker started his career in current affairs television. After taking a Masters degree at Columbia University, he joined the FT as a graduate trainee in 2005. His reporting stints have included covering a US presidential campaign and a constitutional crisis in Ankara.

Ross McInnes

Ross McInnes

Chairman of the Board

Ross McInnes is Chairman of the Board at Safran and a Non-Executive Director of IMI plc, Eutelsat and Faurecia. In 2016, he was appointed as ambassador for the promotion of the Ile-de-France (Greater Paris area) within the scope of Brexit, and also joined the French High Committee for Corporate Governance. In 2015, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development appointed him as special representative for economic relations with Australia within the framework of economic diplomacy.

Mr McInnes started his career in 1977 with Kleinwort Benson bank, first working in London then in Rio de Janeiro. In 1980, he joined Continental Bank (now Bank of America), holding several positions in the corporate finance arm, first in Chicago and then in Paris. He joined Eridania Beghin-Say in 1989, being named Chief Financial Officer in 1991 and then a member of the Board of Directors in 1999. In 2000, Mr McInnes joined Thomson-CSF (now Thales) as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, assisting in the group's transformation. In 2005, he moved to PPR (now Kering) as Executive Vice President for Finance and Strategy. In 2006, he was appointed to the Supervisory Board of Générale de Santé, serving as Acting Chairman of the Management Board from March to June 2007. From 2007 to 2009, he was also Vice Chairman of Macquarie Capital Europe, specialising in infrastructure investments. Mr McInnes joined Safran in March 2009 and subsequently became Executive Vice President, Economic and Financial Affairs and a member of the Executive Board. From April 2011 to April 2015 he was Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Born in 1954, Mr McInnes has dual French and Australian nationality and is a graduate of Oxford University. 

Anthony  Wells

Anthony Wells

Research Director

Anthony Wells is Research Director in YouGov's political and social opinion polling and currently runs their media polling operation for the Times. Mr Wells also runs the UK Polling Report website; an independent blog on opinion polling that was one of the most popular blogs during the 2010 and 2015 elections and is a widely used source for academics and journalists. Prior to joining YouGov in 2005, Mr Wells worked in the Leader of the Opposition’s Office for William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard. He holds a degree in British Politics and Legislative Studies from the University of Hull.

Dr Kegang Wu

Dr Kegang Wu

Chief Representative
China Guangdong Economic and Trade Office in the UK

Kegang Wu has been Chief Representative of the China Guangdong Economic and Trade Office in the United Kingdom since 2014. The office offers practical support to British companies, government and organisations in doing business with Guangdong.

During his regular visits to China in the last two decades, Dr Wu has helped to build partnerships and to close business deals including setting-up the Liverpool-Shanghai twin city relationship (at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce) and the partnership of two national chambers (as the Chief China Adviser to the British Chambers of Commerce) resulting in the BCC LinkToChina programme in 2011, for which he has been the Managing Director.

Dr Wu is an International Council member of the Guangdong Overseas Exchange Council and the Association of Guangdong Public Diplomacy, and an invited Observer of the Guangdong upper parliament CPPCC.

Dr Wu trained as a geologist and geographer, and obtained his PhD in Geography at King’s College London. He taught Geography for a decade in both British and Chinese universities. He is a native speaker of Mandarin, Cantonese, and Chaozhou (Teochew) dialects and has professional qualifications (Chartered Institute of Linguists) in interpreting (DPSI) and translations (DipTran) between English and Mandarin.

Hubertus  Väth

Hubertus Väth

Managing Director
Frankfurt Main Finance

Hubertus Väth is the Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, as well as the founder and Managing Director of NewMark Finanzkommunikation. Prior to this, he spent nearly twelve years working for Deutsche Bank, in positions such as Analyst, Asia Head of Communications, Head of Economic Research for Asia and Global Head of Marketing for Wealth Management in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Singapore. Mr. Väth founded the German and European Structured Products Association and is frequently invited to deliver lectures or participate in panel discussions. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics at the University of Mainz. He is also a member of the German Economic Council.


Chairs and Moderators (7)

Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon

Associate Editor and Business Editor
Financial Times

Sarah Gordon is the Financial Times’ Business Editor and an Associate Editor, with overall responsibility for covering business developments in Europe. She took up the role in 2014. Prior to this she was the FT’s Companies Editor and an Assistant Editor, and before that she was the International Company News Editor, overseeing the coverage of international company news in the daily newspaper and on

Ms Gordon previously spent three years as a writer and Assistant Editor on the Lex column, and before that she was Deputy Personal Finance Editor. She joined the Financial Times in 2001 on the UK companies desk.  Before joining the Financial Times Ms Gordon worked in emerging markets fund management for Citigroup's asset management business, and before that she worked as an economist in London, reviewing political and economic events and producing analysis of the global economy. She started her career working for the UN Conference for Trade and Development debt management programme in Geneva. Ms Gordon holds a BA Honours in English Literature from Clare College, Cambridge, and a Master’s degree in Latin American Politics and Economics from Oxford. Follow Sarah Gordon on Twitter at @sarahgor 

Roula  Khalaf

Roula Khalaf

Deputy Editor
Financial Times

Roula Khalaf is the Deputy Editor of the Financial Times. In this role she provides strategic direction for the FT’s editorial coverage and its large global network of foreign correspondents. An award-winning journalist, she also writes a weekly column on international affairs. Prior to this role, she served as the FT’s Foreign Editor and Assistant Editor, responsible for overseeing the FT’s editorial coverage of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the management of the FT’s international network. Her promotion to Foreign Editor came after she served for more than a decade as the FT's Middle East Editor, overseeing the launch of the FT's Middle East edition and leading coverage of the financial crisis in the Gulf and later the Arab spring. Ms Khalaf joined the FT in 1995 as North Africa correspondent and before that she was a staff writer for Forbes magazine in New York, where she focused on corporate reporting accounting. She holds a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. Ms Khalaf's series on Qatar won the Foreign Press Association’s Feature story of the year in 2013 and she was named foreign commentator of the year at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards in 2016. She appears regularly on national and international TV and radio.

George  Parker

George Parker

Political Editor
Financial Times

George Parker was appointed political editor for the Financial Times in September 2007. He has won acclaim for his coverage of the financial crisis and the political drama leading up to the formation of the coalition government.
George's career as a political journalist stretches back to 1990 when he became the Western Morning News political editor, covering the downfall of Margaret Thatcher. He joined the FT as a political correspondent in 1995.
In 2010 he was elected chairman of the parliamentary press gallery and was shortlisted for the UK Press Gazette awards as political journalist of the year. In a UKPG ranking of the top 50 political journalists, George was rated third in a survey of his peers. He is a regular broadcaster on television and radio, and is a guest presenter of Radio 4's Week in Westminster and What the Papers Say
Apart from political journalism, he was the FT's bureau chief in Brussels from 2002-7 and he remains a close follower of European politics. He was the FT's UK news editor from 1999-2002.
George read geography at Queen Mary College, London and was born in 1966. He grew up in Guildford and on a farm in Devon. His interests include a deluded passion for Crystal Palace, cricket and cycling. He is married to Gabrielle, with three children, Jack, Ellie and Maddie.

Follow George on Twitter: @GeorgeParkerFT 

Patrick Jenkins

Patrick Jenkins

Financial Editor
Financial Times

Patrick Jenkins has been Financial Editor and Assistant Editor at the Financial Times since 2014. In this role, he shapes the FT’s overall financial coverage, with a focus on financial services and investment. He works closely with the editors of Markets, Lex, FT Money, FTfm and the financial services team. He also contributes to leader writing and comment, while continuing to write for the Inside Finance column.

Previously, Mr Jenkins was Banking Editor from 2009 until 2014, leading the 10-strong global financial services reporting team. Prior to this he was Companies Editor, and before that Editor of International Company News. Prior to taking up this post, Mr Jenkins spent four years in Germany as Frankfurt Correspondent for the FT. He joined the FT Group in 1996 editing the newsletter FT world insurance report, before becoming a UK companies reporter in 2000.

James Blitz

James Blitz

Whitehall Editor
Financial Times

James Blitz is the FT’s Whitehall Editor and the main writer of the FT’s daily Brexit Briefing. In a wide-ranging career on the paper, he has been Political Editor, Defence and Diplomatic Editor, Rome Bureau Chief and Leader Writer. After graduating from St Andrews and Oxford universities, he started in journalism as a BBC News Trainee and was Moscow correspondent of the Sunday Times in the final Gorbachev years. In 2004, he was awarded the David Watt Prize for a profile he wrote of Tony Blair in the very first edition of the FT magazine. He occasionally comments on British politics for French radio and Italy’s RAI 3 channel.

James Politi

James Politi

Rome Bureau Chief
Financial Times

James Politi is the Rome Bureau Chief with the Financial Times, covering the Italian economy, politics, migration and the Vatican. He has been in the role since 2014, after moving from the FT's Washington bureau, where he was US economics and trade correspondent for five years. Between 2003 and 2008, he was an FT reporter in New York, covering Wall Street. He joined the FT as a Nico Colchester fellow in 2000 and then became a Graduate Trainee in the London office.

Mr Politi has an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and undergraduate degrees from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the University of Florence, Italy.     

Dr Stephen Woolcock

Dr Stephen Woolcock

Head of International Trade Policy Unit
London School of Economics

Stephen Woolcock is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics, where he teaches international political economy, the political economy of international trade and economic diplomacy, as well as head of the LSE's International Trade Policy Unit.

Dr Woolcock has worked on international trade policy, both at the multilateral and preferential level and written on EU trade and investment policy. For the past 18 years he has helped co-ordinate an LSE programme on economic diplomacy that has focused on the process of economic negotiations.

Dr Woolcock’s recent books include S. Woolcock and N. Bayne (eds),The New Economic Diplomacy: Decision-Making and Negotiation in International Economic Relations (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2016, 4th edition) and S. Woolcock, European Union Economic Diplomacy (Ashgate, 2012). 


Agenda - 4th Apr

  • 8:00am
    Registration and refreshments
  • 9:00am
    Opening remarks

    Roula Khalaf, Deputy Editor, Financial Times

  • 9:10am
    FT Brexit Briefing

    In this opening session a selection of the FT’s most senior journalists will discuss the latest developments on Brexit.

    Alex Barker, Brussels Bureau Chief, Financial Times

    Tony Barber, Europe Editor, Financial Times

    Sarah Gordon, Business Editor, Financial Times

    Moderator: James Blitz, Whitehall Editor, Financial Times

  • 10:00am
    Keynote: Supporting UK businesses in a global marketplace

    Ensuring we build a Global Britain that is open for businesses and the most passionate advocate for free trade in the world

    Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Minister of State, Department for International Trade

  • 10:30am
    Morning refreshments
  • 10:50am
    Panel: Brexit, Trump and the political risk landscape

    Events like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have made political risk a major concern for both governments and businesses.  

    • Could the UK crash out of the EU without a deal within six months? 
    • What if Scotland votes to leave the UK before Brexit is finalised? 
    • What will happen to border controls between the UK and Ireland?
    • What are the prospects for further fragmentation of the EU? 
    • What should we expect in the French and German elections? 
    • What will be the next political black swan?

    Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Chair, Exiting the European Union Select Committee

    Tina Fordham, Chief Political Analyst, Citi

    Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

    Anthony Wells, Research Director, YouGov

    Moderator: George Parker, Political Editor, Financial Times

  • 11:40am
    Presentation: Britain’s future as an innovation powerhouse

    The head of Britain’s innovation agency presents a vision for the economy’s science and technology sector. 

    Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, Chief Executive, Innovate UK

  • 12:10pm
    Panel: Making Brexit work for business

    Businesses are demanding to know how they should plan to deal with Brexit and how their operations are likely to be affected.  

    • How and where do businesses express their concerns in Whitehall?
    • What contingency plans are emerging to manage the risk of losing tariff-free access?
    • What are the implications of Brexit for industrial policy?
    • What more can be done to support innovation and start-ups?
    • What regulatory reforms could create new opportunities post-Brexit?
    • What is being done to help businesses prepare for the loss of EU subsidies?
    • How is Sterling’s weakness affecting different sectors and what is the outlook?
    • Could London get its own visa system?

    Karen Briggs, Head of Brexit, KPMG

    Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General, CBI

    Emma Jones MBE, Founder, Enterprise Nation

    Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive, Johnson Matthey

    Moderator: Sarah Gordon, Business Editor, Financial Times

  • 1:00pm
    Networking lunch
  • 2:00pm
    Interview: The view from EU member states

    Sandro Gozi, State Secretary for European Affairs, Italy

    Interviewer: James Politi, Rome Bureau Chief, Financial Times

  • 2:30pm
    Panel: The City of London vs. the rest of Europe

    With financial services in London facing the prospect of reduced market access after Brexit, many banks are considering the pros and cons of relocating operations to other European cities.

    • To what extent are businesses already relocating operations away from the City?
    • How can cities like Paris and Frankfurt “roll out the red carpet” for financial corporations?
    • Is there enough space in other cities to support relocation on a large scale?
    • Can other cities match London in terms of labour market flexibility?
    • Does it make sense for the ECB to force euro trading out of London?
    • Beyond financial services, what are the prospects for relocation of operations from other sectors in the UK economy?

    Lord Blackwell, Chairman, Lloyds Banking Group

    Joe Cassidy, Partner, KPMG

    Nicolas Mackel, Chief Executive Officer, Luxembourg for Finance

    Ross McInnes, Chairman of the Board, Safran

    Hubertus Väth, Managing Director, Frankfurt Main Finance

    Moderator: Patrick Jenkins, Financial Editor, Financial Times

  • 3:20pm
    Afternoon refreshments
  • 3:40pm
    Interview: Negotiation in practice

    Economic negotiations generally seek to maximise gains for both sides, but the politics of Brexit may shift the focus towards minimising losses. Degrees of openness, threats of closure and control of timing are just a few of the tactical elements that could shape the process. 

    Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister 2010-2015

    Interviewer: Dr Stephen Woolcock, Head of International Trade Policy Unit, London School of Economics

  • 4:20pm
    Panel: Reconnecting Britain with the rest of the world

    Brexit sets the scene for a realignment of global partnerships, especially trade relations with countries outside the EU. 

    • Does Britain have sufficient clout and capacity to negotiate favourable trade agreements with the US and other major economies? 
    • How will the UK’s existing foreign policy commitments made through the EU be carried forward?
    • Is Russia a strategic rival or a potential partner?
    • What are the prospects for closer trade relations between the UK and China?
    • How will Brexit affect trade relations with emerging economies?

    Lesley Batchelor OBE, Director General, Institute of Export and International Trade

    Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive, Virgin Atlantic

    Guy Lougher, Partner and Head of Brexit, Pinsent Masons

    Dr Kegang Wu, Chief Representative, China Guangdong Economic and Trade Office in the UK

    Moderator: James Politi, Rome Bureau Chief, Financial Times

  • 5:10pm
    Closing remarks

    Sarah Gordon, Business Editor, Financial Times

  • 5:30pm
    Drinks reception

Who should attend?

  • Business professionals from all sectors including finance, energy, healthcare, utilities, transport and technology 
  • Economists and policy experts from think tanks and academia specialising in European and foreign affairs
  • Politicians and civil servants from UK government and EU institutions including the European Commission, European Council, European Parliament and ECB
  • Directors from international trade organisations and regulatory agencies
  • Ambassadors and diplomats from EU member states and other nations 

Why attend?

  • Discuss key challenges for businesses as they manage the impact of Brexit
  • Explore the economic and political landscape across the UK and the EU
  • Hear from thought leaders with the power to influence policy and regulation
  • Connect with global businesses leaders from a variety of industries
  • Gain a balanced perspective on divisive issues like immigration and sovereignty


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Founding Sponsor (1)

KPMG is committed to helping businesses transform for tomorrow by bringing innovative approaches and deep expertise to the challenge of Brexit. Given the ongoing market uncertainty and potential wide-sweeping changes that lie ahead, we believe that businesses need to prepare fully to maximise opportunities and remain agile to secure competitive advantage in a post Brexit world.

In the UK, KPMG employs 12,000 people across 22 offices across the country and we are part of a global network operating in 155 countries around the world. Providing audit, tax and advisory services we combine our multi-disciplinary approach with deep industry knowledge to help clients meet challenges and find opportunities each and every day. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity.

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With 21 offices globally, wherever your commercial interests take you, we have the footprint and expertise to provide support. We recognise that giving a first class service goes beyond just legal excellence. A deep understanding of local cultural and commercial issues, and an innovative approach, underpins all of our advice. We understand the key political, economic, commercial and regulatory issues, helping to minimise risk and maximise opportunities.  That's why we have more Tier 1 rankings in The Legal 500 UK edition than any other firm.

We have market-leading expertise in five key global sectors:

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We provide a strong local presence with an excellent understanding of the local market, backed up by our innovative technologies and global resources.

Associate Sponsor (1)

Luxembourg for Finance (LFF) is the Agency for the Development of the Financial Centre. It is a public-private partnership between the Luxembourg Government and the Luxembourg Financial Industry Federation (PROFIL). Founded in 2008, its objective is to develop Luxembourg’s financial services industry and identify new business opportunities.

LFF connects international investors to the range of financial services provided in Luxembourg, such as investment funds, wealth management, capital market operations or advisory services. In addition to being the first port of call for foreign journalists, LFF cooperates with the various professional associations and monitors global trends in finance, providing the necessary material on products and services available in Luxembourg. Furthermore, LFF manages multiple communication channels, organises seminars in international business locations, and takes part in selected world-class trade fairs and congresses.

Supporting Partners (3)

Global Risk Insights (GRI) is a world leading publication providing political risk analysis for the business community. We set out to bring the political risk industry into the 21st century by making it more accessible and innovative. 

We have over 160 analysts on our team based around the world, ranging from former intelligence officers, presidential advisors, industry experts to professors. GRI has been widely referenced, including by leading think-tanks, financial institutions, military generals, former foreign ministers and major media outlets, such as BBC World, The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker and many others.

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