Cotswold Life Business & Professional’s 55 most influential figures

55 of the most influential business people in the region

55 of the most influential business people in the region - Credit: Archant

From lawyers to accountants, finance experts to the people driving our automotive industries, who are the Cotswolds’ movers and shakers? Here’s our guide to 55 of the most influential business people in the region

Carl Arntzen

Worcester Bosch

Carl is Chairman of Britain’s best-loved boiler brand, which boasts a Royal Warrant to supply Sandringham House. Based at the 55-year-old firm’s Worcester HQ, Carl also sits on the board of the Worcestershire LEP.


Frank Bachmann

BMW Cowley

Mechanical engineer Frank started as a trainee at BMW in Bavaria before moving to the car manufacturer’s operations in the US and South Africa, via China and Mexico. He took up the MD’s post at Cowley in the autumn of 2012 and now heads up Mini production in the UK.


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Paul Baker

Cheltenham Town Football Club

Paul has been at the helm of the League Two club for 20 years, his reign encompassing four promotions and an FA Trophy at Wembley. He runs Paul Baker Insurance Services in Cheltenham, which specialises in park homes.


The Rt Hon Lord Bamford


Chairman and managing director of global plant manufacturer JCB - a position he took over from his father at the age of 30 in 1975 - Lord Bamford lives on the 2,000-acre Daylesford estate near Kingham, Oxfordshire, with his wife Carole. A Tory party donor, the billionaire led the 12,500-employee firm to a record £2.6bn turnover in 2016 and has an obsession with vintage Ferraris.


Stewart Barnes


Cheltenham-based QuoLux runs high-performance leadership programmes for senior executives to grow businesses across the region, including MBAs thanks to a groundbreaking partnership with the University of Gloucestershire. Managing Director Stewart launched QuoLux in 2011 following a 10-year career on the board of the multi-national HansenGroup.


The Rt Hon The Lord Patten of Barnes

University of Oxford

Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong, was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003 and has held high-profile positions including Environment Secretary in the Thatcher Government and Chairman of the BBC Trust. Louise Richardson is the university’s Vice-Chancellor.


Peter Bungard

Gloucestershire County Council

Peter, a Chartered Engineer, has been Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council since 2005 and oversees its 3,145 staff and a £420m budget.


Matthew Burgess

Gloucestershire College

Matthew was appointed Principal and Chief Executive of Gloucestershire College in 2013, when it was rated Outstanding by Ofsted. There are 14,000 full and part-time students taking courses there from GCSEs to vocational qualifications and apprenticeships.


David Carter

Warwickshire County Council

David is Warwickshire County Council’s joint Managing Director with Monica Fogarty, and also Strategic Director. With a legal background, he directs the Resources Group, which encompasses customers service, finance, HR and organisational development, information assets, law and governance, physical assets and performance.


Peter Clark

Oxfordshire County Council

Chief Executive Peter Clark controls Oxfordshire County Council’s £790m budget. A committed Christian, he is also an honorary lay canon at Gloucester Cathedral and had the title bestowed on him in March last year by the Bishop of Gloucester.


Giles Cross


Folk2Folk, the award-winning lending platform for local and rural businesses, appointed Giles Cross as Chief Executive Officer at the beginning of 2018. He joined the lender in June 2017 and has been instrumental in defining brand, driving awareness and boosting sales. Folk2Folk hs branches in Tewkesbury as well as Somerset, Cornwall and Yorkshire.


Ruth Dooley


Marathon runner Ruth has been a tax adviser in Gloucestershire for more than 20 years. Having graduated in history from Oxford University - where she was a Coxing Blue - she joined Hazlewoods in 2009 and is now Partner. She is a previous winner of the South West Accountant of the Year Award.


Julian Dunkerton

Lucky Onion Group

Founder of global super-brand Superdry, Julian has taken full control of the Cotswolds-based hotel group he set up, The Lucky Onion, which owns No 131, No 38 The Park and a series of gastro pubs across the Cotswolds. He lives in an £11m house on the outskirts of Cheltenham and is in the top 15 of the Sunday Times Rich List with a fortune of £366m - kick-started by sending a Superdry jacket to David Beckham in the hope he would wear it. He did.


Sir James Dyson


Inventor and industrial designer Sir James is the founder of the Dyson company, best known for inventing the dual cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner. The group is now working on a top-secret prototype for an electric car. Married to Deirdre Hindmarsh, billionaire Sir James has a fortune estimated at £7.4bn and lives in Dodington Park, an 18th century pile in Gloucestershire.


Darryl Eales

Oxford United FC

Darryl, Chairman of Oxford United FC, was Chief Executive of Lloyds Development Capital, which bought adult training provider Learndirect from the Government in 2011. He owns 84% of the club, which he took over in 2014.


Louise Emerson

Cheltenham Festivals

Louise was announced as the new Chief Executive Officer of Cheltenham Festivals in 2014. She was previously Head of Business and Commercial Strategy at the Natural History Museum. As part of her role, at the not-for-profit organisation, she oversees the highly successful Cheltenham Science, Literature, Music and Jazz Festivals, which plough millions into the local economy.


Jeremy Fleming


After an early career in the private sector, Jeremy joined MI5 where he became Assistant Director in 2011 and Deputy Director-General in 2013. He replaced Robert Hanigan as Director of the Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, in Cheltenham last spring.


Monica Fogarty

Warwickshire County Council

Joint Chief Executive with David Carter, Monica is responsible for the Communities Group, which brings together the units responsible for education and learning localities, community safety, public health and transport and economy. She was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and was appointed Strategic Director for Communities in 2011 before she took the top job.


Liv Garfield

Severn Trent Water

The former Chief Executive of Openreach, a BT Group business, Liv became the Chief Executive of Midlands water company Severn Trent in 2014. With one-time ambitions to be a Blue Peter presenter, the Cambridge graduate worked at the British Consulate in Brussels after university. She spearheaded the £2.5bn rollout of fibre broadband while she was at BT.


Prof David Green

University of Worcester

Professor Green has been the university’s executive head since 2003, accountable to the Board of Governors for the strategic leadership, performance and management of the university. He succeeded former Vice-Chancellor Dorma Urwin, and two years after his appointment, he led Worcester through successful applications for the full university title.


Nick Grey


Worcestershire entrepreneur Nick Grey - a lab technician at Vax - launched Gtech from his garage in 2001 and, backed by a vigorous marketing campaign, his cordless lightweight vacuum cleaner had swept the Warndon company to a £66m turnover by 2015. The firm also makes floor sweepers, grass trimmers and bikes. He is worth £95m.


Suzanne Hall-Gibbins


A trustee of Gloucestershire children’s charity Pied Piper, Suzanne is one of two Directors at Circle2Success, a regional networking group set up in 2013. She has more than 20 years’ of leadership experience in public and private sector companies, including as Director of Business West and Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Chamber of Commerce.


Rod Hansen

Gloucestershire Constabulary

Rod joined Gloucestershire Constabulary as Deputy Chief Constable in 2013 and, four years later, was appointed to the top job. He started his career at Avon and Somerset Constabulary and is a child protection expert and hostage negotiator and the chief adviser to JTFHQ - the military Joint Task Force Headquarters.


Liz Hazeldene

Kohler Mira

Liz joined the Mira Showers team in Cheltenham in 2014 after 12 years as Business Director for Rada - the commercial arm of Kohler Mira. She is now the company’s Managing Director, defining and delivering strategies that will drive growth at the £131m firm.


John Hitchcox


Billionaire loft apartment developer John Hitchcox dreamed up the idea for the Cotswolds’ luxury second homes development Lakes by yoo with designer Philippe Starck, whom he met 20 years ago. He is Chairman - and was Chief Executive until last year - of parent company yoo, which is the largest residential design and development brand in the world, working in 34 countries.


Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston

Founder of the iconic, 50s inspired floral clothing and homeware brand, Cath and her music producer husband Hugh Padgham lived at Tailgate Farm, near Stroud, for many years. The brand now has more than 200 stores worldwide, and the company is valued at over £250m.


William Kozyra

TI Fluid Systems

William, also known as Bill, has been Chief Executive Officer and President at TI Fluid Systems in Oxford since June 2008. The company develops, manufactures and supplies automotive fluid storage and employs 23,000 employees in 29 countries.


Mike Lowe

Cotswold Life

Editor of Cotswold Life, Mike’s background was in regional newspapers, latterly as Editor of the Bristol Evening Post, the then biggest-selling evening paper in the South West. He moved to media company Archant in 2007 to take the helm of flagship title Cotswold Life.


Gus Mackay

Worcester Warriors

Zimbabwe-born Gus replaced former club chief Jim O’Toole in August last year. The new Managing Director - a schoolboy international cricketer and ex-Chief Executive of Sussex County Cricket Club - was at Harlequins before he arrived at Sixways. The Warriors are currently sitting at 11th in the Aviva Premiership.


Simone Mann

Commercial Group

Simone is the Director and Co-Founder of Cheltenham-based Commercial Group. Ex-Milfield, she has grown the group, one of the largest independent suppliers of office products and services in the UK, to a £40m operation. Passionate about the environment and social value, she has plans to grow the business to £70m by 2020.


Stephen Marston

University of Gloucestershire

Stephen, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire since 2011, has been instrumental in driving the team behind Gloucestershire 2050 - an ambitious new vision for Gloucestershire which could see a new super-city created out of Gloucester and Cheltenham, and a new river crossing at Sharpness.


Sir David McMurtry


Dubliner Sir David has recently stepped down from his role as Chief Executive at Renishaw, the global matriculation company he founded in Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire in 1973, though he remains as Executive Chairman. A prolific inventor, he is named on 47 patents at Rolls Royce and 150 at Renishaw. Under his leadership, the company is headed for a £600m turnover this year.


Chris Morling

Serial entrepreneur Chris founded’s parent company Dot Zinc Ltd at the height of the dot com bust in 2000. Thanks to his shrewd eye for business and innovation, the Cirencester-based price comparison website - famed for its Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen-designed castle HQ - was targeted by Zoopla in a £140m deal at the end of last year.


David Owen

GFirst LEP

David is Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, one of the most successful Local Enterprise Partnerships in the UK. He is also a Non-Executive Director of the South West Investment Group and training and development company, Gloucestershire Enterprise Ltd.


Dr Andy Palmer

Aston Martin

Chartered engineer Andy is the CEO of Aston Martin, a position he took up in 2014 following an illustrious career at Nissan. Born in Stratford-on-Avon, he now lives in Silverstone and was last year awarded the prestigious Eurostar Award for Superluxury CEO by the editors of Automotive News Europe. He hit the headlines in 2013 for allegedly controversially branding the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ “midlife crisis cars”.


Nigel Portwood

Oxford University Press

Nigel, the former Chief Financial Officer at Penguin, now heads up Oxford University Press. A department of the University of Oxford, its origins date back to 1478 and it further’s the university’s objectives of excellence in research, scholarship and education by publishing academic texts worldwide.


Matthew Rawnsley

Worcestershire County Cricket Club

Matthew took the Chief Executive’s job at WCCC at the beginning of the year, following the departure of Tom Scott. Since his appointment, the former England spin bowler has brought vast commercial and cricketing experience to the role following 15 years in high-performance sales and marketing roles.


Bridget Redmond


LSE graduate Bridget Redmond took the helm at Willans LLP in 2013; a law firm which is widely regarded for its talented, approachable lawyers and progressive ethos. Described by her staff as “forward-thinking and approachable”, Bridget has been part of the firm for 14 years. Prior to her appointment as managing partner she led the firm’s residential property department. Willans celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, and achieved its strongest rankings yet in national independent legal guide The Legal 500.


Ian Renton

Cheltenham Racecourse

Ian is Regional Director for the South West at Jockey Club Racecourses and oversees the operation at Cheltenham, including this month’s Festival, which brings in more than £100m to the Gloucestershire economy. He is also in charge of Wincanton, Warwick and Exeter and took Cheltenham through its £45m redevelopment programme in 2015. Racing is in his blood. His grandfather trained the 1950 Grand National winner Freebooter.


Paul Robinson

Worcestershire County Council

Paul was appointed Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council last December, replacing Steve Stewart. He was previously Chief Executive of Derby City Council, a role he had held since 2015. He has worked in local government for more than 30 years.


Nicholas Rogers

Jaguar Land Rover

Former engineering apprentice Nicholas is the Executive Director of Product Engineering at Jaguar Land Rover in Gaydon. Born in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, he leads a team of thousands at the company he joined more than 30 years ago.


Dr Diane Savory OBE

GFirst LEP

Diane is the Chair of GFirst LEP and represents Gloucestershire as part of the Future High Streets Forum with the High Streets Minister. Awarded an OBE in 2013 for her work with GFirst, she was one of Gloucestershire’s Deputy Lord Lieutenants in 2015.


Darren Sherborne

Sherbornes Solicitors Ltd

Employment law specialist Darren started his career 27 years ago with the Trade Union movement before qualifying as a solicitor. He is a former Coldstream Guard and has been a partner at Cheltenham-based Sherbornes for the past 10 years.


Denys Shortt OBE

DCS Group UK Ltd

Former England international hockey player Denys founded Oxfordshire-based health, beauty and household distribution group DCS in 1994, aged just 29. The company now has sales of £212m and 350 employees. It is the official UK sales and distribution company for P&G, Unilever, Colgate, PZ Cussons and SC Johnson.


Richard Smith

Yamazaki Mazak

Richard is European Group MD for global engineering company Mazak, based in Worcester. With an MBA from Warwick University, he took on the role in April last year and is responsible for Mazak’s European and UK Operations - a company he joined in 1987 as a Graduate Production Engineer. The firm has almost 8,000 staff worldwide.


Mark Stansfield


In additional to being Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, LEP, Mark is Chairman of giffgaff, the fastest-growing mobile network in the UK and digital consultant to a number of start-ups.


Nigel Tipple


Nigel joined OxLEP in 2013 and made his mark with energetic and inspirational leadership. Chair of the organisation, he spearheaded the bid of the Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal, the EU Structural and Investment Fund and Strategic Economic Plan submissions and is helping the county’s businesses through a period of exceptional growth.


Dame Janet Trotter


Kent-born Dame Janet, a former Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, helped found the University of Gloucestershire in 2001 and became its first Vice-Chancellor in the same year. She was appointed OBE in 1991, has honorary doctorates from universities across Europe and is a Lay Member of the Chapter of Gloucester Cathedral.

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