Our Board

Andy Argyle

Head of Midlands Devolved Government and Infrastructure, KPMG

Andy coordinates KPMG’s work in the Midlands for organisations across the Government, Social Housing, Education, Health and Transport sectors. 

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Andy uses his mix of private and public sector experience within KPMG to bring the appropriate expertise to each client project. As a senior ‘sounding board’ he is always available to clients to discuss and share any issues or concerns Andy sits on the Birmingham Chamber of  Commerce council which supports the Chamber with strategic decisions around its skills agenda, relationship with the LEP and transport infrastructure. He also has strong links with the British Chambers of Commerce. Outside of the government sector, Andy’s client base includes Wolverhampton University, West Nottinghamshire College and Cranfield University which means he has an excellent overview of the education and skills agenda. Andy leads KPMG’s relationships with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), the Mayoral office and regional councils. He also ensures that KPMG Midlands are connected with national organisations such as HS2 which have a significant economic impact on the region. Andy previously led KPMG’s Transaction Services business in the Midlands. He has extensive experience of leading large complex projects such as KPMG’s work for Ford on the disposal of Aston Martin and Jaguar Landrover. He is a fluent German speaker and has spent time working in KPMG’s Dusseldorf and Frankfurt offices on secondment. Andy works closely with our East Midlands leads, Ian Borley and John Cornett to cover the Midlands Engine geography. Andy recently led a joint project with Shelter to examine the causes of the housing shortage and the related economic issues this creates in regional geographies.

  • Find out more about KPMG

Ian Barnes

Lead Partner - Consumer Business, Deloitte

Ian is an experienced international tax partner at Deloitte who leads the Midlands Tax practice (c.270 people) and also has a wider leadership role on the UK Tax Executive as Head of Regions Tax.

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Ian is also the Chair of Birmingham Professional Services (BPS) organisation representing the Professional Services sector in the Midlands with a role on the GBSLEP and is taking a leading role in shaping business support and response to national and local growth strategy. This includes leading on the Skills and Productivity Commission chaired by Andy Palmer where Ian is undertaking the first “Deep Dive” into the BPFS sector. 

Ian Barnes-230

Professor Julian Beer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University

Julian is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Enterprise) at Birmingham City University (BCU).


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Julian is Professor of Knowledge Transfer at BCU and an Emeritus Professor at Plymouth University and a Visiting Professor at BML Munjal University, India and a Visiting professor at LP University in India.

He received the Amity University India Excellence Award for his contribution to international academia in 2020. He is a founding Member of the Institute of Knowledge Transfer and a Fellow of the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange as well as, a longstanding member of the British Sociological Association.

He has an extensive track record in designing, developing and leading flagship programmes, projects and partnerships to unlock capital and revenue and connect innovation and talent, and engage Higher Education as a catalyst for change and growth positioning universities as “anchor” institutions internationally, nationally and in regional economies. 

Julian Beer

Professor Richard Black

College of Social Sciences, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of the College of Social Sciences

Richard is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences.  Richard Black joined the University of Birmingham in April 2018 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences. 

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Richard was previously Pro-Director (Research & Enterprise) at SOAS University of London from 2013, and founding Head of the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex from 2009.  He received his PhD in 1990, and worked as a Lecturer at King’s College London from 1989 before moving to Sussex in 1995. 

Over recent years his specialist area of research has been the relationship between migration, poverty, and climate change.  He is part of the Royal Geographical Society’s “Migrants on the Margins” field research project which has explored the vulnerability of migrants to four cities in the Global South – Colombo, Dhaka, Hargeisa and Harare.  Together with colleagues at SOAS and the London International Development Centre, he is also part of the AHRC-ESRC Migration Leadership Team, which is drawing together UK research council work on migration. 

Richard has published over fifty journal articles and nine books and edited collections on a wide range of topics relating to migration, refugees and development, based on field research across various sites in Africa and southern Europe.  In 2011, he was lead author of a “Foresight” report for the Government Office for Science on Migration and Global Environmental Change”.  He has worked for numerous UN and international agencies, including UNHCR, the World Bank and the OECD.


Tony Bray

Area Director, Cities and Local Growth Unit, BEIS

Tony Bray is Area Director for Cities and Local Growth Unit (joint BEIS and DCLG team) for South west England and the West Midlands, with direct responsibility for working with a wide range of partners to unlock economic growth, including through devolution.

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Previously Tony worked in the Regional Development Agency network for South West RDA and East of England RDA, involved in a range of regeneration and economic development schemes and has been a board member of a number of URCs and other regeneration companies. Tony has also worked for a number of different local authorities on economic development and, prior to that, in the private sector.

Tony Bray

Paul Faulkner

Chief Executive, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

Paul took over as CEO of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in June 2015, having previously been CEO of Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.  

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A history graduate from Cambridge University, Paul began his career at MBNA Bank, completing the Bank’s Graduate Management Scheme and working in a variety of roles across the organisation in both the UK and the US. 

Following a period working as a consultant for Michael Page, Paul returned to live in the US in 2005 when he accepted a role working for Randy Lerner and the Lerner family’s private office. In 2006 Paul was an integral part of Randy Lerner’s purchase of Aston Villa, and relocated to Birmingham to work at the club, initially as COO and then as CEO from 2010 to 2014.

Locally, Paul is an Associate Non-Executive Director of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and a Trustee of Cure Leukaemia.  He is also Chairman of Sport Birmingham, Vice-Chair of Performance Birmingham Limited (PBL) which operates the Town Hall and Symphony Hall in the city, and a Board member of Culture Central. He lives in Sutton Coldfield and is married with two young sons.


Julia Goldsworthy

Director of Strategy for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)

Julia Goldsworthy is Director of Strategy for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), working to unlock the region’s full economic potential, for the benefit of everyone that lives there.

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A former MP and Treasury Special Adviser in the coalition government, Julia has more than a decade of experience in developing and implementing policy across a wide range of departments and subject areas. Operating at senior levels in Government and the UK Parliament.

Before joining the WMCA, she spent three years at PwC as a senior adviser. This included developing their market approach to the devolution agenda through her understanding of the processes and spending control frameworks behind policy. This in turn supported local and Combined Authorities as they developed their delivery strategies.

Julia also chairs the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s Brexit Advisory Commission for Public Services, a group established to convene a sector-wide response to Brexit. She is also an associate of the Institute for Government, and is a trustee of homeless charity Crisis. 

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Maria P Machancoses

Midlands Connect Programme Director

With a degree in Law and an MSc in International Transport, Maria has spent the last 20 years working in the UK. 

Read more about Maria P Machancoses

Maria is currently Director for Midlands Connect, one of the largest and most successful partnership programmes in the country bringing together 23 Local Authorities and 9 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the Midlands from the Marches to the Wash.

In March 2017 the partnership published a 25 year pan-Midlands transport strategy for the region, therefore increasing economic activity and helping to power the Midlands Engine. Since its formation the partnership has secured over £17m support from government to accelerate the delivery of its transport priorities from 2020 and beyond.

More recently Maria has been working as Interim Director of the Midlands Engine, a partnership which aims to generate a step change in productivity, economic growth in the Midlands and help drive Britain’s post-Brexit growth.

As part of her previous role, Maria managed the WM Integrated Transport Authority’s input into the HS2 Hybrid Bill and was actively involved in master-planning activities around proposed HS2 Stations in the West Midlands.


Simon Marks

City Executive Birmingham, Arcadis

Simon Marks is the City Executive for Arcadis responsible for over 350 staff in the Birmingham office. 

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With 30 years construction and property experience Simon helps clients make the best of their built and natural assets in relation to achieving their vision, strategy and key priorities. He has led and delivered a range of projects across the public, private and infrastructure sectors and has a deep understanding of the housing and regeneration arena. Simon is a Board member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the Executive Board of the City Centre Enterprise Zone.


Roger Mendonca

Chief Operating Officer, West Midlands Growth Company

Roger has been working in a Senior Executive role on the delivery frontline of the public sector for the last decade 

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Roger's previous roles include Director at the GBSLEP, Director of Studies at Civil Service College, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, and Senior Policy Adviser at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Roger has been working in a Senior Executive role on the delivery frontline of the public sector for the last decade. He has led start-ups, closures and turnarounds and has wide-ranging experience of all operational matters, including setting strategic direction, business planning, policy development, change management, financial and resource management, stakeholder management, marketing, media relations, PR and public affairs, governance, information management, business analytics, and HR – including organisational design and the creation and maintenance of a culture of excellence.

He has studied at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, has an MBA from Henley Business School and is a certified Executive Coach.

Find out more about West Midlands Growth Company

Roger Mendonca

Sarah Middleton

Chief Executive, Black Country Consortium Ltd

Sarah is the Chief Executive of Black Country Consortium Limited (BCC) and has been since its incorporation in 2006. 

Read more about Sarah Middleton

Sarah joined the Consortium Partnership in October 1999 and has been central in developing the Black Country Sub-Regional partnership, its 30 year vision, Economic Strategy and Spatial Strategy, including joint approaches on Planning, Investment, Economic Intelligence and the Black Country Education and Skills Strategy. She has also supported the West Midlands Combined Authority on the development of the Combined Authority Strategic Economic Plan.

Sarah qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive for East Mercia Chamber of Commerce (including responsibilities as General Manager for Business Link Walsall) and Chief Executive of Walsall City Challenge. 


Tim Pile

Chair, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership

Tim, Chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, holds a number of non-executive responsibilities, following on from his executive career in retail, banking, professional services and marketing.

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In addition to his role as Chair of GBSLEP, Tim is a Non-Executive Director of Marshalls Plc and Deputy Chairman of The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital. He also serves on the Board (and is a past president) of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and is on the CBSO development Board.

His most recent executive role was CEO and Executive Chairman of Cogent Elliott, the leading Midlands based Marketing Agency, supporting a large number of iconic brands and businesses.

Between 2001 and 2006, Tim was CEO of Sainsbury’s Bank and a member of Sainsbury’s Operating Board. 

Prior to Sainsbury’s, Tim led the Retail Function of the Alliance and Leicester Group as Marketing, Strategy and Sales Director from 1996 to 2001. Before this he served at LloydsTSB as Marketing Director.

He has held a number of non-executive roles including being a trustee of the Library of Birmingham, a governor at Bromsgrove School, Honorary Senior Fellow at Birmingham Business School and on the Board of Cancer Research UK.

Tim has four children and lives locally.  His interests include cycling, walking (with the dog), skiing, theatre, music, sailing, and various sports (vicariously).


Nigel Robinson

Partner, PA Consulting Group

PA Consulting has deep industry knowledge, coupled with skills in management consulting, technology and innovation, which allows them to challenge conventional thinking and deliver exceptional results for their clients.

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Nigel leads PA’s Advanced Analytics and Data Science Practice and, during his 20-year career in the analytics, business intelligence and data management domains, has developed and led technology consulting/services practices and overseen complex consulting projects in the UK and internationally.

His client work covers a broad spectrum and includes digital and data solutions for Justice, Law Enforcement and Central Government. Before joining PA, Nigel was a Director at KPMG, which followed spells at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Capgemini. In addition to Central Government, Nigel has also worked with clients in the retail, automotive, energy and banking sectors where they have been rapid in their recognition of the value of analytics.

Nigel Robinson

Mark Smith

Executive Director of Business, Aston University

Mark Smith is Aston University's first-ever Executive Director of Business Engagement. 

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Mark takes strategic responsibility for all business engagement activities at the University and showcases the commercial benefits of working with Aston to business, professional and public sector organisations. This includes Aston’s business growth programmes, student placements, knowledge transfer partnerships (KTPs), and other initiatives.

Mark also oversees the development of degree apprenticeship programmes, where students work and study over the course of their degree gaining the exact skills their employer needs. Aston has been a trailblazer for this growing trend in higher education, and was the first university in the UK to produce degree apprenticeship graduates.Mark joined Aston from Birmingham City University where he was Director of Enterprise and Employability. His career has involved working across government, regeneration and online education taking on big projects including establishing new airports and fostering enterprise in inner-city areas.

Mark Smith

Jonathan Tew

Assistant Chief Executive, Birmingham City Council

An experienced public servant, Jonathan is the Assistant Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, leading on policy development, partnership working and improvement across the complex range of services provided to over a million of Birmingham’s residents.

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Prior to that, Jonathan was an Associate Director at KPMG LLP’s public sector and health consulting practice, advising senior politicians, chief executives and statutory directors across the UK public sector. He has performed a range of policy, performance, community development and programme management roles in local authorities in County Durham, Lancashire and Stoke-on-Trent. He also has extensive experience of working closely with Government departments and supporting Home Office and CLG national programmes with an emphasis on social cohesion and public service reform.

Jonathan Tew

Councillor Lisa Trickett

Birmingham City Council

Lisa has held leadership positions in the sphere of public policy in both a political and professional context for over two decades. Lisa is known for her strategic thinking and collaborative leadership practice and has worked within the public, private and higher educational sectors.

Read more about Lisa Trickett

Lisa has represented local government on a range of regional and national boards including acting as Urban Advisor to the Regional Housing Board, developing for the Homes and Communities Agency its national Leadership of Place programme and whilst at PwC pioneered an area investment planning approach - more recently she has been a board member of Innovation Birmingham and Birmingham Retail BID. Whilst at the University of Birmingham she drew on her knowledge of regional and local context and work on place - shaping to serve as the policy lead on the Bishop of Birmingham’s Social Inclusion Process, providing the frame for the adoption of approaches to inclusive growth and active wellbeing within the City. She has engaged and published work on Leadership of Place and led projects nationally and internationally on the place shaping agenda and a range of sustainability topics. 

Having being elected as a Labour Councillor in Birmingham in 2012 - Lisa served as a  Cabinet Member from 2014-2018 providing  the strategic lead on environmental and sustainability policy and its implementation to address issues including climate change, carbon reduction, flood management, clean air zones, energy security and fuel poverty. She also had the strategic lead for the city’s parks and green spaces. As Chair of Birmingham’s Green Commission she was the driving force in the development of “Energy Capital” and in the delivery of subsequent projects including the development of the FBC for Birmingham Energy Supply Company and the City’s Air Quality Strategy – work she continues to take forward professionally through UK100 and her engagement with Energy Capital and related collaborations.

Lisa Trickett

Dr Helen Turner

Director, Midlands Innovation

Dr Helen Turner is Director of the Midlands Innovation university partnership, which includes the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick.  

Read more about Helen Turner

Midlands Innovation is a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the collective excellence of leading universities in the heart of the UK. We unite the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development. 

Helen is a collaboration professional having spent seven years as Director of the Midlands Energy Consortium, where she played a key role in the successful £60m bid to establish the Midlands Energy Research Accelerator.  Helen has played a strong role in the Midlands Engine for Growth where she currently sits on both its Operations Board and its Innovation and Enterprise Group.


Patrick White

Director, Metro – Dynamics

Patrick is an expert in the development and delivery of successful growth and investment strategies. 

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He gets things done across complex networks and partnerships, leading our work with developer and public sector clients to develop and execute projects that have a real and lasting impact.

Current and recent assignments include leading industrial strategy for the West Midlands Mayor and country’s largest Combined Authority, creating the investment strategy for a major regional developer and leading our work with Liverpool City Region on the single investment fund.

Patrick was previously a Director in the UK civil service, working in the Cabinet Office and what is now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.