Chris Banks is an Alumnus and Graduate of Birmingham University and has spent his career in business, mainly food and drink. He had periods with Mars, Bulmers, Allied Domecq and Grand Metropolitan before becoming Managing Director of Coca-Cola Great Britain. He went on to establish his own leading edge food and drink business, called Big Thoughts, following a management buy-out from The Coca-Cola Company early in 2001.
Chris is former Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council, the organisation responsible for Post-16 education and training in England, including public investment of over £11 billion per annum. He was for several years Deputy Chair of the National Employment Panel, advising Government on Welfare to Work reform and a Commissioner for Women and Work.
He is passionately committed to helping all people, whatever their background or circumstances, to achieve their full potential and sees the link between education and employment as critical. Chris was awarded a CBE for services to young people and the unemployed in the 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Chris has been the Deputy Pro-Chancellor of Council since August 2009 and serves on the Strategy, Planning and Resources Committee, Membership Committee, Investment Sub-Committee and is Chair of the Remuneration Committee. He is a founding Governor of the Birmingham University School.
Chris was an Honorary Doctorate of the University (DUniv) in 2012.