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Economic Advisory Council

​Local Economy of the Future

A COUNCIL TO FOSTER A THRIVING ECONOMY

We’ve brought together experts from around the world to develop new policies to drive economic and business prosperity.

Uniting people to drive positive change is central to the BCC’s ethos, and that’s exactly what we’ve done with the launch of our new Economic Advisory Council. Built on insights from our esteemed Quarterly Economic Survey, the EAC is transforming findings into tangible policies that positively impact British business.

Guided by respected economists and business leaders – both nationally and internationally – the Council provides expert advice and feedback to the BCC and our Chamber Network, with its work focused on the BCC’s long-standing and renowned programme of business research.

We’re laying the groundwork for the British economy’s long-term vitality.

ECONOMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL

A COUNCIL TO FOSTER A THRIVING ECONOMY

“We’re a year out on a General Election and now is a pivotal moment for business. That is why we have set up an Economic Advisory Council to help shape and guide our economic policies to boost the UK’s growth and prosperity.

We have been working on this for the past six months, and I’m thrilled to have such a diverse range of prominent economic and business experts join us at the BCC.

These people are national and global leaders in their fields, and they will help guide and shape our economic priorities and focus into the future. Our aim is to fuse the practical acumen of entrepreneurs with the technical expertise of economists to help produce policy that will make a real difference to the UK’s growth prospects.

The membership of the council reflects the diversity of our economy – with experts in the subject areas of financial services, logistics, trade, and taxation sitting on the EAC.”

Shevaun Haviland

Director General, British Chambers of Commerce

“I am delighted to be a part of the BCC’s Economic Advisory Council. Having previously worked with the BCC in an advisory role several years ago, it’s great to be back working with this brilliant organisation once again.

The BCC and its regional Chambers play such an important role in assisting firms to navigate and succeed in a complicated and constantly changing economic landscape.

It’s rewarding to help bring greater clarity on what is nowadays – and likely to remain for some time – a challenging economic environment for all.”

Vicky Pryce

Chair of the BCC Economic Advisory Council

COUNCIL MEMBERS

meet the council members

MARTIN SHELFORD

Non Executive Director, Business West

Martin is a Non Executive Director for Business West and currently runs his own business providing strategy and leadership development support to numerous start ups and scale ups, notably in the digital, eCommerce and logistics sectors.

Previously, Martin co-founded and scaled an international outsourced HR services business, and held senior operational and strategic leadership roles in the areas of global supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, eCommerce and retail.

VICKY PRYCE

Chief Economic Advisor, CEBR

Vicky Pryce is Chief Economic Adviser and board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). She was previously  Director General for Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills(BIS)  and Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service.

Before that she was Partner and Chief Economist at the accounting and consulting firm KPMG after senior economic positions in banking and the oil sector.  She is a Visiting Professor at BCU and King’s College,  London, a Fellow and Council member of the UK Academy for Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Society of Professional Economists and a Companion of the British Academy of Management. 

She is also co-founder of GoodCorporation, a company set up to advise on business ethics, and sits on the Advisory Board of the financial think-tank OMFIF and on the Advisory Group of Better Statistics CIC. Her books include: “Greekonomics: The Euro crisis and Why Politicians Don’t Get It”;  “It’s the Economy, Stupid– Economics for Voters”, with Ross and Urwin”; “Redesigning Manufacturing”, with Nielsen and Beverland”; and  “Women vs Capitalism- Why We Can’t have it All in a  Free Market Economy”. Her latest co-authored book, “How to be a Successful Economist”, has just been published by Oxford University Press.

Dame Teresa Graham

Chairman of the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board, HMRC

Teresa Graham graduated from Newcastle University in 1977. (She was awarded a Fellowship in 2012). She qualified as a Chartered Accountant and, from December 1986 to August 1987, she was seconded to the UK Government’s Enterprise and Deregulation Unit reporting directly to Lord Young, the Secretary of State for Employment and then Trade and Industry. In March 1988 she was appointed to the Government’s Deregulation Advisory Panel for a two-year term and served through two decades of administrations.

With her red tape hat on Teresa stepped down as Deputy Chair of the Government’s Better Regulation Commission (BRC) in 2008. She is currently Chairman of the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board of HMRC and was the senior independent Director of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Simplification until it closed down in 2023.

In terms of major pieces of work for Government, she completed a high-profile review on pre-packaged administrations for SoS Cable which was published in June 2014. Her publications also include a major piece of work on litigation and compensation for the Lord Chancellor, an independent review for the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Small Firm’s Loan Guarantee Scheme and a ground-breaking study for the Prime Minister, “Less is More”. She was also a member of the Financial Reporting Council Group which produced “Louder Than Words” – a study into the complexity of corporate reporting.

More recently she was part of the advisory board appointed by Sir John Kingman in the BEIS Review of the Financial Reporting Council with specific responsibility for the area of audit quality.

She was also a past member of the Accounting Standards Board’s Committee for Accounting for Smaller Entities (CASE); a past member of the Government’s Ministerial Group on Access Business; past Chairman of the RSA’s Educational Policy Committee; past member of the Advisory Committee of the Office for National Statistics, a non executive member of the Steering Board of the DTI’s Small Business Service, and a member of the DTI’s Small Business Council.

During her time as NED of the British Business Bank she chaired both their risk and remco committees, was a member of the audit committee and led a review of two of the Bank’s products to ensure they remained fit for purpose.

She holds a number of appointments, including non-executive, mentoring and advisory roles in growth businesses. In particular, as Chair of the award-winning company Salix Finance Limited holding funds of approximately £1bn on behalf of BEIS for allocation to the public sector to invest in energy saving schemes on their estates, winning awards including Financier of the Year, Finance Product of the Year and the best not-for-profit to work with in the UK. She also Chair’s the SME Advisory Committee of UK Finance, the professional body representing the 300 largest funders in the UK including the big 4 banks. She chairs the Public Interest Committee of professional services firm, RSM.

Teresa received the honour of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2020 honours list for services to small businesses. She was awarded a CBE in the 2007 honours list for public service and an OBE in the 1997 honours list for services to better regulation and the small firm’s sector.

BEN ALLEN

Head of the Financial Sponsors & Executives Proposition, Coutts & Co

Ben Allen is Head of the Financial Sponsors and Executives proposition at Coutts & Co, a private bank and wealth manager, where he started his career in 1998. Prior to this leadership role, Ben advised high net worth clients and their families, on both sides of the balance sheet.

He is also a board member of the London Chamber of Commerce, where he leads the finance committee, and is a member of the Worshipful Company of Bowyers. Ben was educated at Wellington College and the University of Edinburgh.

He lives in Thaxted in North Essex, with his wife and 13 year old daughter, where he is on the committee of the Thaxted Society, a conservation organisation dedicated to this unique medieval town.

Professor Dennis Novy

Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick

Dennis Novy is Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick. His research focuses on international trade, international economics and macroeconomics, and he has published widely in those areas. He also has substantial experience advising on economic and trade policy. Dennis was appointed to the UK Council of Economic Advisers by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2018/19. He was the Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in 2013/14. He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and an Associate at the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics. Dennis received a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Professor Mairi Spowage

Professor of Practice and Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute

Mairi Spowage is a Professor of Practice and Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute.
Her areas of expertise include economic policy, economic statistics, national accounting, public sector finances, and economic and fiscal forecasting.


Mairi leads on the Institute’s work with various partners, including those in business, the public and third sector. She is regularly asked to give evidence on economic and fiscal matters at Parliamentary Committees, such as the Finance and Constitution Committee and the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee.


Mairi has been appointed to be the Budget Adviser to the Finance and Publi  Administration Committee for 2021-2023. Mairi has also been appointed as a member of the National Statistician’s Committee for Advice on Standards in Economic Statistics (NSCASE). Mairi is also servicing on the Expert Panel for the Independent Commission for the Constitutional Future of Wales and the British Chambers of Commerce’s Economic Advisory Council.

Mairi is leading on various projects to improve economic measurement and the use of economic insights to improve policy decisions in Scotland and beyond. She also leads the programme to encourage graduates into careers in analysis through the Economic Futures programme.
Mairi is on the Leadership team of the Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy and the Economies Statistics Centre of Excellence.


Previously, Mairi was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Head of National Accounts at the Scottish Government, and has over 15 years of experience working in different areas of statistics and analysis, including transport, household surveys and performance measurement.

Steven Gray OBE

Vice Chair, UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce + UK Export Finance Rep, West & Central Africa

Steven is a highly accomplished business leader, seasoned from over three decades in demanding multinational roles offering difficult societal and economic environments, delivering exemplary commercial governance, business transformation, operational and commercial success. With core expertise in sectors spanning oil and gas, mining, logistics, trading and construction for firms in developing economies across Africa and the Middle East, with strong political entrepreneurship skills in dealing with governments and strategic planning capability to navigate commercial enterprises operating in emerging. Currently based in Ghana as UK Export Finance Regional Head – West Africa, the UK Governments award winning Export Credit Agency. In this role Steven is responsible for UKEF’s origination activities across 18 countries in West Africa which has seen over £1.5bn of UKEF backed transactions closed across the region in the past 5 years.

Prior to representing UKEF, Steve held a number of senior positions in companies operating in Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East covering trading, logistics, construction, infrastructure and mining sectors over the last 33 years. His early career was within the UK construction industry.

Steve has held a number of non-governmental organisation board positions, including Vice Chairman of the UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce. Mr Gray has an MBA from Heriot Watt University; and has completed an Executive Leadership Program on Oil, Gas and Mining Governance from the University of Oxford, The Blavatnik School of Government. In June 2022 Steve was awarded an O.B.E in the Queens Birthday Honours list for services for services to British business in West Africa.

Adam Uszpolewicz

Senior financial services executive

Adam is a senior financial services executive with 30 years of experience in insurance, asset management and banking markets both in Poland and internationally. He successfully developed and led several companies. In the last 15 years he worked for Aviva, recently as CEO of the Polish business.

Before that he was responsible for sales and marketing for Aviva’s European and Asian regions. Prior to joining Aviva he was CEO of Nationwide’s European business based in Luxembourg. He held numerous board positions in financial services companies in Poland, UK, France, Ireland, Turkey and Luxembourg. In addition, has experience in consulting and investment banking. Adam has a degree in economics from Copenhagen University. He is also a certified chartered accountant.

At present he is an investor in start-ups in digital health area. He also is a board member of World Wildlife Fund Poland.