Boost for new UK Infrastructure Bank as permanent board appointed


UK chancellor appoints four new non-executive directors to the UK Infrastructure Bank.

Senior economic, business, finance and net zero experts Bridget Rosewell, Tania Songini, Marianne Økland and Nigel Topping, have been appointed by the UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak as the first set of permanent non-executive directors on the board of the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB).

The bank, which was launched at its north of England headquarters in Leeds in June last year, is tasked with accelerating investment into ambitious infrastructure projects, cutting emissions and levelling up across the UK.

Since its launch, the bank has completed seven deals, including financing the UK’s largest solar farm in south Wales, investing £100m to provide high-capacity broadband to around 500,000 properties in hard-to-reach UK premises and a further £50m to improve digital connectivity for rural homes and businesses across Northern Ireland.

The appointment of four new non-executive directors, all with extensive experience in the bank’s key areas of interest, will strengthen the bank as it finalises its set-up. UK economic secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, said: “Since its launch nearly a year ago, the bank has already delivered on its mandate, investing in projects that will support net zero and levelling up across the whole of the UK. These appointments will further strengthen the bank’s capability and support it to deliver on its goals.”

UK Infrastructure Bank chair Chris Grigg commented: “The appointment of this exceptional group of non-executive directors is a real milestone for the bank, as we approach our one-year anniversary and prepare to publish our strategy in the coming weeks. I am very pleased we’ve secured such a diverse and globally experienced team, who will help us build on the great start we’ve made to deliver against our mission and support a culture of innovation, learning and excellence as we grow.”

Bridget Rosewell has been appointed as chair of UKIB’s audit and risk committee for a term of four years, alongside Tania Songini, who will act as interim renumeration committee chair for a year after which she will be a non-executive director for the remaining three years of her term. Marianne Økland and Nigel Topping will be non-executive directors for a term of three years, with all the appointments taking effect from 9 June 2022.

Rosewell is an experienced director, policy maker and economist, with a track record in advising public and private sector clients on key strategic issues. She chairs Atom Bank and the M6 Toll Company and is a non-executive for Northumbrian Water Group. Among other roles, she has chaired the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, been senior independent director for Network Rail and chief economic adviser to the Greater London Authority.

Songini has built a portfolio of non-executive director roles including with companies such as The Private Infrastructure Development Group (a development finance fund for infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia), Thrive Renewables, Guernsey Electricity and the Energy Systems Catapult. Prior to 2015 she worked for the leading global engineering and technology services company Siemens for 18 years in their logistics, healthcare and energy businesses, where she held a number of finance director roles.

Økland currently serves on the board of Scorpio Tankers Inc and as an independent director on the Wales Professional Rugby Board responsible for the Welsh national teams and professional regional teams. Previously she held various board positions including chairing a number of board committees at IDFC Limited, IDFC Alternatives (India), Islandsbanki (Iceland), the National Bank of Greece, NLB (Slovenia) as well as Hermitage Offshore. Her executive career was spent at JP Morgan and UBS structuring and raising debt capital for some of the most significant mergers and acquisitions in the Nordic area.

Topping brings a unique mix of experience to the bank, running manufacturing businesses in UK regions and working on the industrial transformation to the zero carbon economy. He spent the first half of his career in automotive component manufacturing. Since 2006 he has worked on how to use the power of business to accelerate the zero-carbon transition, working at the Carbon Disclosure Project, leading the We Mean Business Coalition, launching the Science Based Targets Initiative and most recently appointed by the UK prime minister as the high level climate action champion for COP26 where he launched the Race To Zero and the 2030 Climate Breakthroughs.

In addition to the above appointments, the UK Infrastructure Bank yesterday also announced the appointment of five founding members of its Executive team, as permanent recruitment to the bank now accelerates.