News story

UK Export Finance appoints new Chairman of the Board

Robert Gillespie joins the UK’s export credit agency as its Board Chairman.

On 1 March 2024, Robert Gillespie succeeds Noël Harwerth as Chairman of the UK Export Finance (UKEF) Board.

His role will also see him acting as a Non-Executive member of the Department for Business and Trade Board.

A chartered accountant by training, Robert’s executive career has included roles as Global Head of Investment Banking at UBS Investment Bank and Director General of the Takeover Panel. He has served non-executive roles as Non-Executive Director at NatWest Group, Independent Board Member at Ashurst and Chairman of the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race.

His previous experience also includes roles as Chair of the Board of Somerset House and Chair of the Council of Durham University.

He joins UKEF alongside roles as Non-Executive Board Member at Burford Capital, Professor of Practice at the Durham University Business School and Chair of Spirit Yachts, an SME based in Ipswich.

As a member of the Board, Robert will support the department’s Chief Executive Officer and Ministers in developing UKEF’s strategy and overseeing its operations.

Robert Gillespie, Chair of  UK Export Finance, said:

I am honoured to be made Chair of the UK Export Finance Board as the department sets its ambitions higher than ever before. UKEF has been a key player in the world of international trade for more than 100 years. I look forward to helping it do even more for UK exports as it gears up to deliver a new business plan.

Tim Reid, CEO of UK Export Finance, added:

Robert Gillespie’s great experience in financial services and at Board level  makes him a great asset to our Board. I look forward to working with him as he takes Noël Harwerth’s place, and I thank Noël for her eight years of outstanding leadership.


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Published 1 March 2024