Advisory Board

Prof George Holmes, Chair

When appointed to the post of Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the university in 2005, George became the youngest university head in the UK. He has been at the university now for over thirteen years. He holds a Doctorate in the field of Education, a Masters in Business Administration and a BSc in Economics. Professor Holmes is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. He previously edited two International Journals for almost ten years, specialising in Quality Assurance in Education. In 2002 he was appointed by the then Secretary of State for Education and Skills as advisor to the Department, becoming, along with Sir Ron Cooke, one of only two Sector representatives for the Department’s HE Policy Delivery Steering Group – which was assisting in the preparation of the HE White Paper. George was, for six years until 2014, on the Board of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, and is now on the Board of the Bolton Lads and Girls Club. He was previously a Governor of Bolton School, the ESSA Academy Trust and Bury College. He is a founding Trustee of the Bolton University Technical College, and a Governor at Bolton College. Prior to joining the university, Dr Holmes was Principal of Doncaster College where he also established the Doncaster Education City Project, of which he became Chief Executive. In this post he secured the largest capital grant in the history of the FE sector at the time and had responsibility for building a new £75m College on the Waterfront. At Doncaster he was a Governor of both the College and Hayfield School. George was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of North London (now the London Metropolitan University). In 1996 he played a central role, within the Vice Chancellor’s Office, in the founding of the Lincoln University Campus, opened by HM The Queen. Latterly in 2015, Professor Holmes was appointed by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of the County of Greater Manchester as one of his Deputy Lieutenants.

Mr Simon Blagden

Following a successful and active military career, Simon joined GEC Plc as an International Commercial Manager. In 1991, Simon joined Quante AG as UK Managing Director and then joined the Main Board in 1995 as CEO of International Operations. In 2000, Simon joined Spescom in Johannesburg to head up their international telecoms and IT business. In 2004, Simon was appointed as non-executive Chairman of Fujitsu Telecommunications for Europe and is a member of Fujitsu UK’s leadership team. In 1997, Simon was appointed Member of The Order of The British Empire for services to the telecommunications industry.

Prof Nadey Hakim

President’s Envoy, Imperial College . Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur 2016. Vice President of the International Medical Sciences Academy. Surgical Director of the Transplant Unit at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust London 1995-2015. Max Thorek Professor of Surgery. Adjunct Professor of Transplantation Surgery. Particular interest in kidney and pancreas transplantation and bariatric surgery. Surgical training Guy’s Hospital. PhD in small bowel transplantation from University College London. Completed a Gastrointestinal Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and a multiorgan transplant fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Editor in Chief of International Surgery. Member of the Kidney-Pancreas Committee of the American Society of Transplantation (AST). Past President of the International College of Surgeons (ICS) and Past-President of the Transplantation Section of the Royal Society Medicine. Member of Council RSM. London School of Surgery Transplant Tutor. Past Honorary Secretary Royal Society of Medicine. Assessor Royal College of Surgeons of England. Past Vice President Royal Society of Medicine. Governor American College of Surgeons.

Mr Ian Baker

Ian holds the position of Partner (Finance) and a member of the Executive Committee at Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP (Rockspring). His primary responsibilities are the strategic planning aspects as they pertain to finance, including the planning and implementation of the corporate, financial, tax and debt structures for all client funds, asset acquisitions and disposals. Ian is also the Rockspring Compliance Officer. Ian commenced his professional career in the London office of international chartered accountants Peat Marwick. In 1987 Ian joined INVESCO MIM and part of his responsibilities was the financial control and tax planning of the PanEuropean Property Unit Trust. In 1990 Ian became a full time member of MIM Property Services Limited (MIMPS) with responsibility for all accounting, fund structuring, debt finance and tax planning. In 1993 MIMPS was acquired by the Prudential Insurance Company of America and changed its name to PRICOA Property Investment Management Limited (PPIM). Ian was responsible for the fund structuring, debt financing and tax planning of client funds. Ian has structured acquisitions in 14 countries in Europe. In 2004 PPIM was subject to a management buy-out, and changed its name to Rockspring. Ian is among the Founder Shareholders. Ian holds a BA in Accountancy from the University of Kent at Canterbury and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales since 1985. Ian also serves as the safeguarding independent board member.

Dr Maurizio Bragagni

Dr Maurizio Bragagni MBA is CEO and Chair of global cable manufacturer Tratos. A British citizen, Italian-born Dr Bragagni is a Doctor in Law having studied at the Università degli Studi di Pisa, holds a Masters in Business Administration from CASS Business School – City University of London – and holds the Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller. From arriving in the UK with no English and starting at the bottom in his family’s business he went on to lead Tratos, one of the biggest independent cable manufacturers with production facilities in Italy and the UK and offices worldwide. The company is now more than 50 years old and Tratos cable and cable products can routinely be found working on some of the most high profile and technologically advanced projects, across a range of industry sectors, worldwide. An enthusiastic supporter of the Conservative, Dr Bragagni recently ran for a Senate position in the Italian national elections with a remit to represent his countrymen and women abroad. Dr Bragagni is also a campaigner. Alive to the challenges faced by the industries his company partners he is also a fierce supporter of higher minimum standards around the materials that are used in our offices, public buildings and homes. His Safer Structures Campaign is dedicated to raising safety standards for the cable used in buildings. The ambition is to ensure that there’s no quarter given on levels of protection people have a right to expect – and that the bitter lesson of the Grenfell tragedy should never have to be learned a second time. Alongside a commercial drive for an ethical, fair and honest approach to everything Tratos does, from the procurement of its raw materials through to insisting on respectful treatment and adequate welfare for those down its supply chain, the company has an active and engaging CSR programme, driven from the top. Dr Bragagni was instrumental in setting up a new charitable foundation, Esharelife, which exists to help some of the most disadvantaged people in the world. The foundation seeks to affect change for good by harnessing the power of art.

Dr Rami Ranger CBE

Dr Rami Ranger CBE, FRSA is a successful businessman who has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen on Eight occasions. Six times for Business and twice personally for community services and was made a Member of British Empire in 2005 and Commander of British Empire in 2016. Rami is married to Renu and has three daughters.

Rami set up his first business in 1987 with a mere 2 pounds capital from a rented room in Hayes and through his sheer dedication and commitment, he now runs two of Britain’s fastest growing companies with an annual turnover in excess of £200 million. He sustains thousands of British jobs by exporting British supermarket products to over 130 countries.

His company, Sun Mark Ltd, has received from Her Majesty the Queen, the Queens Award for Enterprise for an unprecedented 5 consecutive years in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and in the process made British business history as no other company has received this accolade before. Sun Mark has been added to the Sunday Times most profitable 100 companies in Britain in their “Profit Track 100” league table for the past three years running.

Rami won the prestigious Institute of Director’s the Director of the Year Award for 2013 and European Export Champion in 2014.

Rami also devotes his time to benefitting society by launching ground breaking initiatives designed to strengthen social cohesion in Britain.

He Co-Founded of the British Asian Conservative Link and served the organisation for over a decade as its General Secretary. He works hard to make British Asians more politically and publically spirited. Due to the work done by the BACL, there are now 5 Conservative Members of Parliament of Asian origin where there were none before.

The Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP in January 2018 appointed him the Co Chairman of the Conservative Friends of India to champion bilateral relationship between Britain and India.

He is a Fellow of the Princes Trust and works tirelessly to enable The Prince’s Trust to reach even more of our youth to pass on his experience and expertise in inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. His message is that one does not need a rich family or an elite education to succeed in life. However, one needs self-respect, good work ethics, commitment and empathy for others.

Rami believes in supporting education and helping to provide better facilities for students. He has a clear message on this and says that if it had not been for his mother being an educated woman, he would not be where he is today. To support this he donated £250,000 to London South Bank University to set up a fund for Enterprise Excellence and to establish the Dr Rami Ranger CBE Centre for Graduate Entrepreneurship which provides a hub and workspace for students and graduates on enterprise programmes. The centre was opened by The Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Please click on the link to view video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qziYI5dcuDA He has donated £200,000 to the University of West London towards a new group pavilion in the campus library and for student hostel to enhance the facilities for the university students.

Rami donated £100,000 to the Gandhi Memorial Foundation Trust which is raising funds to erect a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square, London. Rami was quoted as saying “The world owes Gandhi Ji a huge debt of gratitude for liberating one fifth of mankind through non-violence thereby creating a better world”.