Brexit lobby’s new advisory council has MEP pedigree

Former MEP and Lib Dem politician Sharon Bowles is on the board at the FSNF

The Financial Services Negotiation Forum’s advisory council now boasts political firepower, including three serving and former members of the European Parliament, who could help raise the stakes in talks over how the UK will manage its split from the EU.

The council – led by Anthony Belchambers, the founder of the FIA Europe, formerly known as the Futures and Options Association – has recruited 17 political and financial figures to its board, including serving politicians from the three major political parties. The FSNF, formerly known as City United, was launched to campaign for the interests of the UK’s financial sector in talks with Europe.

Private equity veteran Jon Moulton was confirmed as a member of the advisory board after FN reported in July that he had been approached by the group.

New members from the financial industry include former chairman of Hermes Pensions Management, Richard Bernays, who chairs Quantum Group, Professor Michael Mainelli, co-founder of City of London commercial think tank and venture firm Z/Yen, and Alison Carnwath, the chairman of Land Securities and private equity firm Livingbridge and former Barclays board member who spent 20 years in investment banking and corporate finance.

British businessman Robert Hiscox, a former chair of Lloyds‘ underwriter Hiscox, also sits on the council.

Serving politicians include the Right Honorable Mark Field MP, a Tory politician who looks after the cities of London and Westminster; Conservative MP Stephen Hammond; Labour politician Lord Harrison; Dr. Charles Tannock MEP, who is Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Spokesman for the UK Conservative delegation; and Lord Teverson, a former MEP and Lib Dem politician who serves in the House of Lords.

Former MEP and Lib Dem politician Sharon Margaret Bowles – who is now a non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange – and lawyer and Labour peer Janet Neel Cohen, Baroness Cohen of Pimlico, also sit on the board.

Additional members include David Reid Scott, a former senior adviser to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and former chair of Hawkpoint Partners; barrister QC Anthony Speaight; and the chair of British executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, Richard Boggis-Rolfe.

The new Brexit lobby was set up as part of eurosceptic group Business for Britain, which was founded in 2013 as a non-partisan group aimed at changing relations between the European Union and the UK. FN previously reported that former CEO of derivatives exchange Liffe, Daniel Hodson, was chair of the executive committee. Dominic Johnson, CEO and founding partner at Somerset Capital, was also a member.

The forum is holding a soft launch this week in advance of a formal unveiling on October 19, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The appointment of the advisory board comes as another City of London lobby called the Financial Services EU Taskforce, led by Baroness Shriti Vadera, the chairwoman of Santander, is due to launch several working groups this month. The task force is part of TheCityUK and, like Business for Britain’s new financial lobby, aims to ensure the financial services industry is properly represented in EU talks.

Mark Boleat, member of the task force, was unaware of the Financial Services Negotiation Forum. He said: “This is a group of individuals, which is fine. They can put forward their own views but we deal with the institutions not with the individuals.”

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to include Alison Carnwath’s involvement and to correct the information on Anthony Belchambers in the third paragraph. An earlier version incorrectly described him as the former CEO of Liffe

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