Our Advisory Board
They advise The University of Manchester, the Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and the Head of Alliance Manchester Business School on the development of the School's strategy. They support with the development of corporate, institutional and Governmental links and offer an external perspective on the School's products and services.
The Board is Chaired by Kenneth Lever.
Our advisory board members are experts in their individual fields
Ken is a Chartered Accountant having qualified with Arthur Andersen where he became a partner and subsequently moving as a partner to Andersen Consulting (which became Accenture). After leaving Andersen Consulting Ken pursued a career in a series of executive roles of UK listed companies: Finance Director then Group Managing Director of Corton Beach plc (a manufacturing and distribution business); Group Finance Director of Alfred McAlpine plc (international construction, house building and quarrying group); Group Finance Director of Albright and Wilson plc (global chemical manufacturing group); and, Chief Financial Officer of Tomkins plc (global manufacturing group in the industrial and automotive sectors).
On leaving Tomkins Ken became Chief Financial Officer, based in Geneva, of Numonyx BV (a semiconductor manufacturer) which was a private equity funded a joint venture between Intel and ST Microelectronics. Following the sale of the business to Micron Inc. Ken returned to the UK and became Chief Executive of Xchanging plc, a technology and business services business for 5 years. Following the successful sale of the business to Computer Sciences Corporation Ken decided to pursue a number of non-executive roles.
Ken is now a non-executive director of two UK publicly listed businesses: Vertu Motors plc, retail automotive and Rockwood Strategic plc, strategic private equity investment. He is also Deputy Chairman of Rainier Developments Limited. Until January 2023 Ken was the Chairman of Biffa plc, the UK's largest integrated waste management company and Chairman of RPS Group plc, an international consultancy services business, stepping off the respective Boards following the sale of each of those companies.
Ken has also served as non-executive director of Vega Systems plc (satellite management systems) and iSoft plc (healthcare software) and a number of private company businesses in property and land planning development. Ken served on the Accounting Standards Board for a period of six years and chaired the Financial Reporting Committee of the 100 Group of Finance directors as well as serving as the Deputy Chairman of the Financial Reporting Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He is currently on the advisory panel of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Ken is a graduate of UMIST with a degree in Management Sciences.
Born in Cumbria of Irish parents, Eamonn attended English Martyrs High School in Hartlepool before moving to Manchester to study English and American Literature at Manchester University, graduating in 1982 with a 2:1 Double Honours. Later that year Eamonn began his career in Local Government as a Clerical Officer in the Housing Department of Manchester City Council working in the Miles Platting area, then moving to the Moss Side and Hulme office in 1983 and the Town Hall in 1985 before taking up Area Manager roles in Longsight and Langley (an “overspill estate” built by Manchester in Middleton as part of the City’s strategy to create Garden Suburbs to house communities displaced by slum clearance after the Second World War).
In 1990 Eamonn moved back to Hulme and Moss Side to help manage the Hulme City Challenge programme, a radical strategy to remedy the catastrophic failure of the system built estates that had been built in the 1960’s through a programme of demolition and rebuilding that saw the area transformed both in physical and social terms. A core element of the strategy was to guarantee every resident whose home was demolished an affordable new home in Hulme, a promise that was kept.
Eamonn took over the direction of the whole of the city’s housing capital programme (overseeing the transformation of the Alexandra Park Estate, Monsall and Hacking Street in Cheetham as well as the first phase of investment through stock transfer) before moving, in 1997, to Sheffield as Director of Housing and Operational Services under the leadership of Bob Kerslake, who went on to be the joint head of the Civil Service before his elevation to the Lords.
In Sheffield, Eamonn was responsible for the regeneration programmes at Norfolk Park and Park Hill before returning to Manchester in late 1999 to take on the role of Director of Housing and Community Services. Then Deputy Chief Executive serving under Sir Howard Bernstein.
As Deputy CE Eamonn worked on a range of projects including the creation of the Housing Market Renewal programme aimed at reinvigorating neighbourhoods whose economies had failed and left residents stranded in homes of no value. He also led a wide range of services and projects including the development of the city’s brand strategy (“Original Modern”) with Peter Saville and the first Manchester International Festival which followed the success of the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
In 2008 Eamonn joined the newly established Homes and Communities Agency as Deputy Chief Executive with responsibility for the Northern Regions and national programmes including the Thames Gateway and Coalfields before moving to Stockport as Chief Executive in 2010 where he led the physical regeneration of the town centre and the modernisation of the council and public services. Stockport led the way in the creation of integrated commissioning of health and social care as a national Vanguard and as part of the GM devolution agenda.
In 2017 Eamonn was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority with responsibility for Transport, Waste, Health and Social Care, the office of the Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, Fire and Rescue and Strategic Planning and Investment.
Katie is a Partner and UK Head of Internal Audit & Risk Services, KPMG LLP. Katie was educated at Bolton School before studying for a Management Sciences degree from The University of Manchester (formerly UMIST).
She joined KPMG’s graduate training scheme in Manchester in September 2000, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2003, was awarded her Fellow status in 2011 and promoted to Partner in October 2014.
Katie is an active supporter of KPMG's Network of Women and leads on a number of Women in Business initiatives across the UK. As a young female partner and mentor, she knows the importance of senior role models to help encourage talented, ambitious women to stay and reach the top in KPMG.
Through the firm, Katie’s involvement with Bolton School continues. Having established the scheme over six years ago, she continues to develop and lead KPMG’s flagship work placement and sponsorship programme with them.
Amin was born in Cairo and lived in Moscow and Kuwait where he studied at the New English School. After graduating as a software engineer from Imperial College, he joined IC-Parc, an industry-funded research centre at Imperial, where he spent the early part of his career applying Artificial Intelligence techniques to business challenges of large corporations.
In 1997 he embarked on his career in emerging markets equity asset management initially in London, at United Bank of Kuwait and HSBC. He moved to Dubai in 2004 to set up and manage asset management divisions at the National Bank of Dubai, Shuaa and Arqaam Capital.
Since 2017, Amin has focussed on FinTech through start-up mentoring and angel investing. He serves as adjunct staff at Alliance Manchester Business School where he teaches Global MBA courses, and is a member of the advisory board of two Universities in the UAE. In 2018 he founded Life Skills Oasis, a company focused on technology-enabled learning.
He holds an MEng. in Software Engineering and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Imperial College and an MBA (Finance) from Alliance Manchester Business School.
David is Chairman of The Gregson Family Foundation; an Executive Committee Member of The Institute for Fiscal Studies; a Trustee of Pro Bono Economics and The Windsor Leadership Trust; an advisor to both Sutton Trust, which seeks to improve social mobility through education, and the Invictus Games to be held in 2022 in The Hague; a Director of the FA Women’s Super League; and a member of the Advisory Board of Phoenix Equity Partners, a leading UK mid-market private equity business.
Previously, David was a co-founder and Chairman of Phoenix. Over his career, he has been a director or Chairman of some thirty companies or charities. Most recently, David has been Chairman of the LTA, which is responsible for tennis in Britain; Chairman of CGL, the UK’s largest social and health care charity; and a Director of LLDC, which is transforming East London following the 2012 Games. David has an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School and an MA in Maths and Physics from Cambridge University.
After studying Chemistry at The University of Manchester, Alison worked in manufacturing before joining Tesco as a Personnel Manager in 1999. During 22 years at Tesco, she worked in operations, people management and change. For 10 years she was a member of the executive committee, as Chief People Officer and then Chief Executive of Tesco Asia. Alison led Tesco Asia through turnaround and its successful sale to CP group. She left Tesco in 2021 on completion of the deal.
Alison has an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School – for which she received The Guardian's "Women in Management" scholarship.
Ian King has been Business Presenter for Sky News since April 2014, during which time he has interviewed two-thirds of the FTSE-100’s chief executives, along with countless other leading figures from the world of business, finance and economics. Prior to that, he was Business & City Editor of The Times and, during 25 years as an award-winning financial journalist on national newspapers and television, has also worked for The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, The Guardian and The Mail on Sunday. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Ian worked as a business analyst for the Midland Bank Group (now HSBC UK) in the City of London for three years.
Brought up in Bristol and in Devon, Ian has an honours degree in History from The University of Manchester and a postgraduate diploma in newspaper journalism from City, University of London. During his time at Manchester, he took a year out from his studies to serve as the elected Editor of Mancunion, the University of Manchester Students Union newspaper.
Vikas was born in Manchester and founded his first company – a website - at the age of 14. He is now an experienced award-winning entrepreneur and strategist who has built businesses in diverse sectors internationally. He is also an advisor to numerous entrepreneurs, businesses, and organisations globally.
He is CEO of Swiscot Group, a textiles and commodities trading company. He is also the founder of Thought Strategy (a consulting firm and investment fund) and holds board-level advisory roles in commercial and charitable organisations. Since 2015 he has been Chairman of FutureEverything, an award-winning innovation lab for digital culture, and a Member of the UK government’s Industrial Development Board.
He is President and board member of TiE UK North (part of the world’s largest entrepreneurs network) and frequently speaks and lectures at entrepreneurship events around the world (including the MIT Global Startup Workshop and the RICE Business Plan Competition).
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce, and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. Alongside his business interests, Vikas is Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship on the prestigious Lisbon MBA (with MIT Sloan School of Management) teaching at Católica (Lisbon) and Nova School of Business and Economics.
Vikas received the Member of the Order of the British Empire for Services to Business and the Economy in the New Year’s Honours List in 2018.
Daniel started his career creating software in Japan, before returning to the UK to start a career in financial services at ICAP. He spent his next ten years in Foreign Exchange across the world with such leading firms as Citibank and UBS. After taking a career break to complete his MBA in 2018, Daniel joined Greensill as one of their earliest employees, and held a succession of senior roles as that fintech raised capital and blitzscaled. Daniel is now involved as an investor and in a number of other capacities with various fintechs, and is passionate about finding the next opportunity for disintermediation in finance.
Daniel graduated from the Full Time MBA program in 2018, and remains involved with the school as a course adjudicator, guest speaker, and mentor. He joined the advisory board in 2021.
A Cambridge graduate with an MBA from Manchester Business School, Marian’s background as a senior business leader means she brings commercial acumen to the role of Director UK Regions for the Department for International Trade.
Marian has worked on behalf of major blue chip companies, charities and government, defining organisational direction and designing and delivering short and long-term commercial strategy. She was made a Board Director in 2001 for planning and then setting up the international division within a Greater Manchester research firm.
Subsequently a Senior Vice President in a top 15 research firm she ran a business division conducting research and advice contracts for multinationals such as DuPont, Caterpillar, Mars and Oxfam. She then founded her own lifestyle business which worked for clients in locations ranging from Sakhalin to Birmingham Alabama. After three very successful years of trading she experienced, at a very personal level, the impact of the banking crisis.
Her career in advising clients on internationalisation began in Istanbul, where she provided research and advice to help Eveready, Mercedes and Avon Cosmetics understand how to operate in the Turkish market.
Since January 2013 she has been working for the Department for International Trade, initially leading Global Operations and the Northern Powerhouse and now as the Director for English Regions, a national role focussed on growing the UK economy by helping high potential businesses learn and grow through doing business overseas and high quality global businesses create wealth by investing in the UK.
Dr Sarah Holland is Chief Business Officer at Cureteq AG, a biotechnology and asset management company based in Switzerland. She originally completed her Manchester MBA in 1998 and has spent more than 30 years in the biopharma industry.
Sarah’s previous roles include being Chief Business Officer of VectivBio AG, as well as global head of licensing and head of R&D at Lonza, one of the world’s leading biopharma contract manufacturing and development organisations.
She also worked for Roche for more than a decade, where she drove a number of notable deals and led the M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) assessment and integration team.
As well as working in Switzerland for many years, she has also held commercial roles in diagnostics, biotech and pharma in the UK and the Netherlands, and originally took her MBA at Manchester after winning a scholarship for women in management from the Guardian newspaper. Sarah was also Visiting Fellow at the School from 2001 to 2004.
Beth is Managing Partner of Palatine’s Impact Fund, the Fund invests in companies that create social and environmental change as well as delivering market rate returns. Her role includes defining the strategy and process for selecting impact investments, engaging with portfolio companies to drive value creation initiatives and tracking and reporting results to our investors and other stakeholders.
Beth is committed to raising the profile of ESG, impact investing and diversity in the Private Equity industry. She is active on industry panels and BVCA Committees promoting a sustainable approach to investing. Palatine has won six British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) awards since starting their ESG programme over twelve years ago.
Beth was awarded Changemaker of the Year at The Rainmakers Awards in 2022 and 2019. She was also the winner of Investor of the Year at the City AM Awards in 2017 and the winner of the Outstanding Individual Contribution Award at the BVCA Responsible Investment Awards in 2016.
Beth joined Palatine in 2006 after having previously spent 10 years as a Management Consultant.
She holds an MBA with distinction from Manchester Business School.