ACE UK appoints Stephen Marcos Jones as new chief executive

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UK consultancy and engineering association, ACE, has appointed a new chief executive.

Stephen Marcos Jones has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE UK) to replace Hannah Vickers who left ACE earlier in the summer. He will take up his new role on 31 January 2022.

Jones joins ACE UK after more than a decade in senior leadership roles representing the UK energy sector. He arrives at ACE following a four-year stint as director general at the UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA), the business association for the UK’s downstream oil sector. While at UKPIA, Jones led significant change across an important manufacturing sector, spearheading a cross-industry response on issues such as environmental regulation and promoting the sector’s key role in delivering decarbonisation in pursuit of net zero and helping to articulate a vision for a sustainable future for the sector.

At UKPIA, he has led on issues such as the energy transition, the role of hydrogen, fuel quality, forging proactive and collaborative relationships with the UK government ministers and the devolved administrations. Most recently, he has promoted the concept of industrial clustering and is a strong advocate of the UK government’s levelling up agenda.

Prior to his time at UKPIA, Jones held a number of senior leadership positions at OGUK, the representative body for the UK offshore energy industry, where he grew commercial revenues for the association through a robust member engagement and events programme. He also led a campaign to promote efficiency across the sector, through better procurement practices across the supply chain.

Commenting on Jones’s impending arrival, ACE UK chair, Dave Beddell, said: “On behalf of our membership, I would like to welcome Stephen to ACE. Having conducted an extensive search for our next CEO, the board was unanimous in its view that Stephen was the outstanding candidate to take our organisation forward in what is a period of both immense challenge and opportunity for the consultancy sector.

“Stephen’s proven experience of executive leadership and impactful stakeholder engagement is extremely impressive and I look forward to working closely with him as ACE continues to promote the critical role consultants have in delivering government objectives around economic recovery, levelling up and net zero.”

Speaking about his appointment, Jones said: “The last few years have been incredibly challenging for the UK economy, but where there is challenge there is also opportunity. It is already clear to me that our members are critical partners for government and our industry is uniquely placed to turn political ambition into practical reality. I am delighted to have the opportunity to help ACE’s members take a leading role in delivering a sustainable future for us all.”

Commenting on the announcement of Jones’s arrival at ACE UK, FIDIC CEO Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said: “Congratulations to Stephen on his appointment to such an important role in the engineering and construction industry in the UK. I wish him all the best in his new position and look forward to working closely with him and ACE UK in the months and years to come.”

Jones will have a very busy time when he starts work at ACE UK, with plans to meet many of the organisation’s key stakeholders in his first months in post. “My aim is to meet at least 100 people in my first 100 days, kicking off an intensive induction programme during which time I will be listening to stakeholders to understand how ACE can continue to provide a compelling proposition and to prioritise the work of the association to maximise value for its membership,” he said.