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It is difficult to put into words what I feel about the last 13 years. It’s hard because of the depth of our work, and harder still because of the friendship and dedication of so many individuals. Our companies and advisory firms, our board, our Expert Groups and, especially the QCA team, have shown an enthusiasm and commitment to the cause that has always inspired me.

Our achievements are essentially the result of individuals coming together with a belief and the simple desire to do the right thing.  Doing what’s right for our companies, right for the individuals who work there and right for the financial health of the UK.  Every firm we champion is an engine of growth that keeps our economy afloat and collectively they don’t receive enough of the praise, the acknowledgement or the support that they need to flourish in the UK public markets.  And that’s what has kept me leading this organisation for 13 years and why the QCA will continue to do what it does so well, whilst I am enjoying myself with some long-anticipated as well as some new activities.  Some I trust will be in this space.

I hand over an organisation that’s in great shape with James Ashton, our new CEO, at the helm backed by Judith MacKenzie, our new Chair, and a committed team that has delivered so much over the years.  I know you will all be very well looked after and I have every confidence that the QCA will continue to be a strong voice for you for many years to come.  Please give James a big welcome as well as your support.

It is a bitter-sweet time for me to step down but I hope I will be in touch with many of you for a long time yet. Thank you to everyone (especially the QCA team) for your friendship, robust challenge and insightful advice over the years. It’s been a privilege to work with so many great people and it’s been great fun.

I leave you with the wise words of Zola: “Good work is done with passion and enthusiasm – presence can be as valuable as many millions of pounds.” (that’s Gianfranco, not Emile!)



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