Role details

British Business Bank - Non Executive Chair

Application deadline 20 February 2023


British Business Bank
Sponsor department
Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business, Finance & Skills
Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Business, Commercial
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
2 day(s) per week
£120000 per annum
Length of term
Application deadline
1pm on 20 February 2023

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    16 January 2023

  2. Application deadline

    1pm on 20 February 2023

  3. Sifting date

    21 March 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    27 April 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

Person specification

Essential criteria

We are seeking an outstanding individual with the highest levels of integrity, authority and independence. They will be highly passionate and motivated in driving sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK by improving access to finance for smaller businesses and enabling them to succeed in the transition to a net zero economy.

The right candidates will have the following attributes:

  • Significant board experience with a track record of improving corporate governance, organisational culture and shaping the strategic vision of high-profile organisations.
  • Strong credibility to lead the Board of a public sector bank with significant experience gained through senior leadership roles in a commercial/financial services business or in economic development/economic policy making.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills with the required emotional intelligence to provide support and constructively challenge the Senior Leadership Team and develop excellent working relationships with board members and the Shareholder.
  • The skills and understanding to operate successfully in the public sector including the ability to represent the bank to, and engage effectively with, senior political decisions makers and other stakeholders across Whitehall.

Desirable criteria

  • Senior experience working in an organisation subject to significant public and Parliamentary scrutiny.
  • Experience at senior level in an organisation that has seen significant growth in a short amount of time.
  • Previous Chair experience would be helpful but isn’t essential.

Role description

Role description

The Chair is responsible for the development and leadership of the Board and ensuring its effectiveness in all aspects of its role. The Chair is also responsible for ensuring that BBB’s policies and actions support the shareholder’s wider strategic policies and that BBB’s affairs are conducted with probity.
Additional responsibilities include:
  • Chairing the board. Setting the agenda and managing the business of the board to provide clear direction and focus. The Chair is responsible for establishing a style and tone of board discussion that will promote open debate encouraging contribution from all board members, effective decision-making and a unitary culture.
  • Strategic direction. The Chair is responsible for facilitating scrutiny and approval of BBB’s strategy, ensuring that the Executive are offered constructive challenge.
  • Shareholder objectives and business performance. Leading the board in overseeing delivery of the required business performance to develop and meet agreed shareholder objectives, ensuring that the board contributes fully to deciding strategy and that it has sufficient and appropriate information to monitor performance effectively.
  • Working in partnership with the Chief Executive. Establishing a positive, relationship with the Chief Executive, Chief Finance Officer and the other members of the senior management team. Provide appropriate challenge and support to drive business performance.
  • Governance, risk and regulation. Central to the Chair’s role is ensuring that the bank continues to be well governed, delivers high standards of regularity and propriety and that board committees are properly structured and supported. The Chair is responsible for ensuring that the board has the right control environment so that risk is appropriately monitored and managed and the bank complies with the prevailing regulatory framework and has proper relationships with the relevant regulatory bodies
  • Composition of the board. Overseeing the composition of the board, ensuring that the Board has a good balance of skills appropriate to directing BBB Group business, and has an appropriate level of diversity, as set out in Central Government Departments’ Code of Good Practice. Conducting succession planning for the non-executive directors and executive management. Ensuring that its members have the collective capability appropriate for the needs of the business.
  • Board performance. Ensuring the board’s performance is regularly evaluated and conducting annual performance appraisals for individual board members.
  • Shareholder and stakeholder relations. Establishing regular engagement with the shareholder – both directly and through the Shareholder Representative Director. Acting as an ambassador for the Bank as required with banks, investors, Government and Ministers, commercial representative organisations and other stakeholders.

Organisation description

The British Business Bank (BBB) is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government. The British Business Bank’s core programmes support over £12.2bn of finance to more than 96,000 smaller businesses.
As well as increasing the supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.
The British Business Bank is also responsible for administering the government’s three Coronavirus loan schemes and its Future Fund, together responsible for delivering £80.4bn in finance to 1.67m businesses. These schemes are now closed to new applications. 
Mission and Objectives
The Bank’s mission, objectives and KPIs are developed in consultation with BEIS and HM Treasury. The Bank has seven objectives which support the Bank’s mission:
  • Increase the supply of finance available to smaller businesses where markets don’t work well.
  • Help to create a more diverse finance market for smaller businesses, with a greater choice of options and providers.
  • Identify and help to reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK.
  • Encourage and enable SMEs to seek the finance best suited to their needs.
  • Be the centre of expertise on smaller business finance in the UK, providing advice and support to Government.
  • Support the UK’s transition to a net zero economy.
  • Achieve its other objectives whilst managing taxpayer resources efficiently within a robust risk management framework. 

As part of its Centre of Expertise objective, the Bank strives to build, refine, and share its expertise, both to deliver more effective programmes and to advice and shape SME access to finance approaches with important stakeholders. This means working closely with BEIS as the Bank's Shareholder along with HM Treasury and other stakeholders across government, industry, business organisations, trade associations, academia and think tanks. 

Products and Services 

In pursuit of its objectives, the Bank undertakes a range of finance programmes and non-financial activities for smaller businesses across the UK, at all stages of development.  

For its finance programmes, the principal business model is to work indirectly through delivery partners, which are financial services providers for smaller businesses (such as banks, non-bank lenders, equity funds and private debt funds). For most of its programmes, this indirect approach enables the Bank to ‘leverage in’ third-party funding in addition to its own, maximising the impact of the public funds it deploys.  The business model provides the flexibility to manage finance programmes on both its own balance sheet and the balance sheets of government departments. In the latter case, the Bank act as an ‘agent’ on their behalf – primarily for its Shareholder (BEIS), for programmes such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee and the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine, and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Funds.  

The Bank’s non-financial activities are closely integrated with, and complementary to, its finance programmes. These include: 

  • Developing demand through regional and digital networks. 

  • Undertaking market and research analysis that examines the UK’s finance provision landscape for smaller businesses. 

  • Commissioning independent assurance of its portfolio of schemes and programmes to enable best practice, effectiveness and value for money. 

Further details on the Bank and its programmes can be found on its website: here. 

People and Culture 

The Bank’s ability to deliver on its mission, purpose and strategy is dependent on committed colleagues with appropriate expertise and experience, and the ability to work collaboratively and creatively. It continually strives to create an inspiring culture and environment, based on shared values, that enables colleagues to excel. 

The Bank recruits candidates from a diversity of backgrounds who can bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and ideas from the public and private sectors, and who share a passion for our mission and purpose. Colleagues say they are proud to work for the organisation, and this is reflected in how they go about their work – from award-winning performance and creation of innovative solutions to a willingness to embrace cross-team working and knowledge-sharing.  

Board composition

The Bank is led by its Board of Directors which is collectively responsible for the long-term sustainable success of the Bank, generating value for its Shareholder (the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and contributing to the wider society.

The Board currently comprises eleven members:

Non-Executive Directors

  • Lord Smith of Kelvin – Chair and Chair of Nomination Committee
  • Neeta Atkar – Senior Independent Director and Chair of Risk Committee
  • Jenny knott - Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit Committee
  • Barbara Anderson – Non-Executive Director and Chair of Remuneration Committee
  • James Connelly – Non-Executive Director
  • Nat Sloane – Non-Executive Director
  • Matthew Elderfield – Non-Executive Director
  • Eilish Jamieson – Non-Executive Director
  • Jamie Carter – Non-Executive Director and Shareholder Representative

Executive Directors

  • Louis Taylor – Chief Executive Officer
  • David Hourican – Chief Financial Officer

Application and selection process

How to apply

The closing date for applications is Monday 20th February 2023 at 12.00 noon.

Please submit your full application by email to All applications will be acknowledged.

All applications must include the following:

Please quote the role title and reference number P2210-169L in the subject heading of the email

  • A Curriculum Vitae setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements tailored to the person specification. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps.
  •  A Supporting Statement (2 pages A4 maximum) explaining your motivation for applying for this role. Provide evidence and outline how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience are suitable with particular reference to the criteria in the person specification.
  • Completed Declaration of Interest form. Please find the form available here
  • Diversity Information Form. This will assist BBB in monitoring selection decisions to assess whether equality of opportunity is being achieved. Any information collected will not be seen by anyone assessing your application.  Please find the form available here. 

Overview of the application process

Russell Reynolds Associates has been appointed to support this recruitment.   

The Advisory Assessment Panel will be chaired by Jamie Carter, UKGI Director (BBB Non-Executive Director and UKGI Shareholder Representative) and will comprise Neeta Atkar, BBB Senior Independent Director; Jo Shanmugalingam, BEIS Director General for Science, Innovation and Growth and Chris Grigg, Chair of the UK Infrastructure Bank (Senior Independent Panel Member). The final decision on who to appoint will be made by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 

Once the competition closes, the panel will assess the applications to select those demonstrating the best fit with the role by considering the evidence you have provided against the Essential Criteria in the Person Specification section. Failure to address any or all of these may affect your application. The Panel will identify a subset of candidates who best match the criteria for an initial interview with Russell Reynolds to further explore their skills and experience with reference to all the criteria in the person specification. 

The panel will then have a further meeting to review interview reports on these candidates alongside CVs and statements of suitability in order to select the shortlist. At this stage they may choose to take into account the desirable criteria. Shortlisted candidates will be advised on the outcome as soon as possible thereafter. 

If you are shortlisted, you will be asked to attend a panel interview in order to have a more in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence. This could be in relation to any of the criteria set out in the vacancy description, key responsibilities and accountabilities and person specification. 

Prior to interview, you may have the opportunity for informal conversations with key personnel in order to improve your understanding of the organisation. Full details of the assessment process will be made available to shortlisted candidates. 

The panel will identify which candidates are appointable before a final decision on who to appoint is made by the Secretary of State. Prior this decision, candidates may be asked to meet with Ministers.  

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Panel members : 
  • Jamie Carter, UKGI Director and Shareholder Representative Non-Executive Director on BBB Board (Panel Chair)
  • Jo Shanmugalingam, BEIS Director General for Science, Innovation and Growth
  • Neeta Aktar, Senior Independent Director BBB Board 
  • Chris Grigg, Chair of UK Infrastructure Bank

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

The Bank recruits candidates from a diversity of backgrounds who can bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and ideas from the public and private sectors, and who share a passion for our mission and purpose. The Bank encourages applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds. The data collected in the Diversity Monitoring Form is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants and will not be seen by anyone assessing your application.

Disability confident

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is an accredited user of the Disability Confident symbol, which signifies organisations which have a positive attitude towards disabled applicants. All Disability Confident Employers will offer interviews to disabled candidates who meet the minimum requirements for a job or role. If you wish to apply for consideration under this scheme, please complete the declaration in the Diversity Monitoring Form provided. It is not necessary to state the nature of your disability. Whether you choose to apply under the Disability Confident scheme or not, you can still ask us to make particular adjustments for you.  

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving additional detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.

If you require an adjustment at any stage of the recruitment process, please email the team at 

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life. These are:
  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

How to complain

If you feel you have reason to complain you should direct your concerns in the first instance to Russell Reynolds Associates at who will make every effort to deal with these and respond to you as soon as possible.

Data protection

This process is being run in conjunction with UK Government Investments (UKGI). Candidates are asked to read the UKGI data privacy notice prior to applying to understand how your data will be treated by UKGI, available here. 

Contact details

If you require any additional information please contact Russell Reynolds Associates at, quoting the role title and reference number P2210-169L.