Sir Bryan Nicholson GBE, former CBI President, company chairman and director, and former chairman of the Financial Reporting Council.

Sir John Bourn KCB, former Comptroller & Auditor General of the United Kingdom. He is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics.

Board of Directors

Professor John Mellor Ph.D, MBA (Founder and Chairman)

John Mellor‘s wide experience combines banking and finance,  management consulting, work in the public sector, and academia.

After a twenty year wide-ranging career in Citibank,  including as a Vice President and head of a team of international bankers, followed by three years as an executive director of the Scandinavian Unibank PLC, he pursued his interest in governance and board leadership, and was appointed a director and head of the board governance practice in an international firm of management consultants. In the public sector he has been an advisor to a number of DTI agencies and was a major contributor to the Higgs Review on NEDs. He was a non-executive director on the Insolvency Service board, and a co-founder and policy advisor to the APPG on Corporate Governance.

John pioneered professional development and education for NEDs as NatWest Visiting Senior Fellow in Corporate Leadership at the University of Exeter. He was Visiting Professor in Corporate Governance at Bristol Business School from 2003 to 2012, and the first holder of a chair in Governance in Banking and Finance at the University of Leicester Business School before stepping down in 2017.

His publications have the practice of governance and the role of the non-executive at their core, and include his book “Practical Corporate Governance for Smaller Quoted Companies”, released by Jordans in its second edition in 2013.

After graduating from the University of Exeter with a BSc in chemistry, John progressed to the University of Bristol for his PhD in physical chemistry. Before embarking on his banking career he served a  three year short service commission as a Lieutenant in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, followed by an  MBA at Cranfield, specialising in corporate finance.

Chris Leslie

Chris Leslie spent the first 18 years of his career in banking with Citicorp/Citibank in London, Dublin, and New York. His last position at the bank was heading up its corporate and specialised financing businesses in the UK. For the last 25 years, Chris has been in executive search, working initially on senior executive appointments in banking and financial services, where he was part of a small team that built Whitehead Mann into the leading executive search firm in the UK. For the last 10 years, both at Whitehead Mann and latterly The Zygos Partnership, he has focused almost exclusively on chairman and non-executive director appointments in financial services. He holds an MA in French and Economics from St Andrews University and has attended the Programme for Management Development at Harvard Business School.

Ian Donald Cormack

Ian spent 30 years with Citibank/Citigroup where he held a number of senior positions, including UK Country Head, Head of European Training, and Co-Head of the Global Financial Institutions Business. He has extensive boardroom experience, and is currently a non-executive director of Just Group plc and Hasting Holdings plc, and Chairman of Maven Income and Growth VCT4 plc. He has previously been the senior independent director of Phoenix Group Holdings plc, Xchanging Ltd and Partnership Assurance Group Ltd (both formerly plc’s), and Bloomsbury Publishing plc. In May 2018 he was appointed a non-executive director on the board of NatWest Holdings Ltd, the RBS ‘ring-fenced’ bank, which includes NatWest Bank plc and other entities. Ian has a PPE degree from Oxford where he chairs the alumni advisory panel of Pembroke College.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board, established under the delegated authority of the FGRE Board in accordance with the Constitution, comprises experienced practitioners and others with relevant background and knowledge.

Its purpose is to ensure that the education delivered by FGRE maintains a focus on addressing the practical needs of NEDs (including chairs) of financial institutions within the context of their board's responsibility for governance. 

Its scope is to advise on the content and development of the educational programmes, provide input on case studies, and make recommendations for experienced contributors.


  • Professor John Mellor (FGRE Chair)

  • Sir Win Bischoff - Chief Executive and/or Chairman of international banks since 1983.

  • Ian Cormack - FGRE Director and former banker with extensive NED and boardroom experience.

  • Stephen Jones - CEO of UK Finance from 2017 to 2020, CFO of Santander UK from 2012 to 2015, and chair of Capital Home Loans. He has served on the boards of Landmark Mortgages, MyMoneyBank France, the Advisory Council of TheCityUK, the Executive Committee of the European Banking Federation and the Practitioners' Panel of the FCA.

  • Chris Leslie - FGRE Director. Former banker and headhunter with a focus on Board appointments in the financial services sector.

  • Tracey McDermott - Member of the Group Management Team at Standard Chartered Bank with responsibility for conduct, financial crime and compliance. Previously 15 years at the FSA/FCA including as interim CEO.

  • Lynne Peacock - Experienced NED and former banking CEO.

  • Laura Sanderson - Headhunter and lead of the Board and CEO Advisory Practice for Russell Reynolds in Europe. A specialist in advising on board performance and board appointments for over twenty years.

  • David Thorburn - Former bank CEO with over 40 years executive and non executive experience.

February 2021

© 2019 Foundation for Governance Research & Education