Meet the Team

Douglas McWilliams

Executive Chairman

Douglas is one of the world’s leading economists and was chosen in 2012 from over 300 applicants to become the Gresham Professor of Commerce.

His Gresham lecture series ‘The world’s greatest ever economic event’ looking at the impact of globalisation on the Western economies has attracted widespread attention and large audiences. He covers all aspects of economics but is best known for his work in forecasting, the economics of the IT and telecoms sectors and transport economics and for his knowledge of the Far East economies. He works with clients who are particularly looking for an economist with a public presence to help make their case.

After setting up Cebr, he was our Chief Executive for 20 years. Previously he was Chief Economic Adviser to the Confederation of British Industry and Chief Economist for IBM UK. Douglas is famed for his communications skills and is one of the most widely quoted economists.

"I see economics not as an end in itself but as an amazing tool that helps people make better decisions. It still gives me a thrill to see our clients make great use of economics!"

John Duff

Board member-responsible for Finance and Strategy advice

John spent the majority of his career before Cebr working for IBM in the UK and internationally in corporate finance, planning and logistics before being appointed IBM UK board director responsible for business planning.

He moved to international roles including being part of the executive team that introduced the IBM PC to the European market. He subsequently held senior positions in IBM’s European Government Industry and then European PC businesses.

John has been a non executive member of Cebr’s board since 2002 and Chairman from 2003 to 2013. He is now responsible for advising the company on matters relating to Finance and Strategy.

Apart from enjoying the challenges and dynamics of a growing organisation he believes strongly in the value Cebr brings to a wide range of enterprises.

“Cebr provides incisive business advice firmly based on top class economic and numeric analysis”

Dr. Sin C. Chai

Board Member

Sin Chai is a qualified medical doctor who has been responsible for his family’s businesses in farming, real estate, and hotels.

On account of his training as a physician and having been involved in diverse businesses, Sin is particularly suited to analyzing and solving complex problems, especially ones that transcend cultural and social divides.

Being Malaysian and living in Scotland, Sin brings to Cebr perspectives from those two regions which are current and insightful.

Sin is currently Chairman of Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI), a hospitality management company.

"Cebr has the breadth and depth of talent to analyse today's rapidly changing world."

Mike McWilliams

Board Member

Mike is a Chartered Engineer in the power sector, specialising in commercial aspects of private power and project risk management.

He is currently Head of Hydropower for Mott MacDonald, a £1 billion global management, engineering and development consultancy. He has lived and worked extensively overseas, managing projects and regional offices in Africa and South East Asia, and visiting projects in more than 50 countries.

 

"I am particularly enthusiastic about Cebr's skills in translating complex and abstract economic concepts into useful tools for business management"

Martin Piers

Board Member

A former partner of global law firm Jones Day and its European Head of Employment, Martin acted for CEBR as one of his then clients.

He later joined legal recruitment firm Hudson in-house and said: “I was highly impressed by Cebr’s professionalism and integrity so I was delighted to become a non-executive director and bring my experience and legal perspective to the board.

"I have watched Cebr continue to develop impressively both domestically and internationally.”

Bruce Warman

Board Member

Bruce’s career has been primarily in the motor industry where he was the Finance Director and Managing Director of two motor components companies, an organisational development consultant working for General Motors in Detroit and Director of Personnel for Vauxhall Motors. He chaired the CBI Eastern Region and a number of CBI Policy Committees and sat on the ACAS Council. He currently part owns and is a Director of AutoXP, a motor industry service company, sits on the Employment Appeal Tribunal and is a member of the Senior Salaries Review Body, proposing pay levels at the top level in the public sector. He has a BSc in Biochemistry, an MBA from London Business School, is qualified accountant and also a qualified business coach. He has particular skill in creating maximum value at minimum cost in organisations.

Cebr is special - its analysis work is thorough and insightful but most importantly it takes a view and provides clear strategic guidance to its clients. It doesn't sit on the fence.

Kevin Mahoney

Board Member

Kevin is currently Executive Chairman of Green Biofuels plc. His career history includes MD positions with ISS (UK), Niceday, Caradon Everest and Mavinwood Plc. His early career was in sales and marketing with Rank Xerox UK and Rank Xerox International.

More recently he chaired the Carlisle Group before becoming Chairman of Impellam Plc – the £1.2 billion revenue recruitment and support services group, latterly becoming non-executive chair of its Audit Committee.

Kevin holds an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University.

"Customers keep telling me how Cebr's output helps give them a competitive edge"

Graham Brough

Chief Executive

Graham joined Cebr in 2010 as Managing Director and became Chief Executive in 2013.

He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and taught at Florence University before opting for an investigative and journalism career with the Yorkshire Post, Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday and Daily Mirror.

He became an international and war correspondent and specialised in human rights campaigns with Doreen Lawrence of the Stephen Lawrence Trust and Joanna Lumley on Gurkha immigration. He is a skilled communicator of complex ideas and a multi-linguist and has advised various Government departments since 1998. He helps distil and explain Cebr economics, maximising effect and resonance.

"Sometimes we're brainstorming solutions for a big name client and there's a genuine surge of innovative intellectual delight when we realise we've cracked it. Priceless."

Ianthe McWilliams

Executive Director

Ianthe joined Cebr after a career as a civil servant specialising in policy development and some project management.

She applied her skills first in the Employment Department, on policies to help unemployed people, including a spell overseeing the UK’s receipts from the European Social Fund.

After that, she was closely involved in policies to train and develop teachers and support staff.

Now a director of Cebr Ianthe is responsible for attracting public sector clients and projects, and also contributes to Cebr’s leadership team.

"Having recently become executive director I am very impressed with the hard work and professionalism of all at Cebr"

Oliver Hogan

Director

Oliver leads Cebr’s microeconomics team and, since joining the company in 2009, has worked to enhance the modelling and analytical frameworks underlying Cebr’s economic impact assessments.

He has directed and delivered many such assessments for clients in a wide range of industries such as forestry, construction, housing, wind energy, gambling, travel and tourism, science and logistics.

Oliver is also responsible for much of Cebr’s public policy work on issues such as minimum pricing for alcohol, fuel duty, night-time parking charges in central London and the point-of-sale display ban and plain packaging policies for tobacco.

Oliver holds a BA (Mod) and M.Litt in economics from Trinity College Dublin.

"The main difference between my role at Cebr and previous roles is the variety of the issues we grapple with. This is what makes Cebr great."

Charles Davis

Director

A specialist in forecasting the UK economy, Charles predicts how the macroeconomic environment will impact UK businesses and is economic adviser to some of the UK’s biggest private sector organisations, as well as major professional and trade bodies.

Charles heads Cebr’s global economic research programme and edits regular up to the minute and forward looking reports on global economies, including China, the Middle East and South East Asia.

He also runs Cebr’s economics advisory service, furnishing Cebr clients with regular reports and briefings on the outlook for the global and UK economies.

After gaining 1st class honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Economics Major) at University of Warwick, Charles worked in the Government Economic Service before joining Cebr.

"At Cebr we say what we think. We are a proudly independent consultancy focussed on delivering the best possible advice and service to our clients."

Vicky Pryce

Chief Economic Advisor

Vicky was previously Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting,(2010-2013), Director General for Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)(2002-2010) and Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service . Before that she was Partner at London Economics and Partner and Chief Economist at KPMG after holding senior economic positions in banking and the oil sector.

At various stages in her career she has held a number of academic posts, including Visiting Professorships at Queen Mary, University of London, Imperial College Business School and Cass Business School. She has also served on the Council of the Royal Economic Society, as Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford , on the Council of the University of Kent and on the Court of the London School of Economics. She was also a trustee of the RSA. She is currently a Fellow of the Society of Business Economists, an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, on the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, on BIS’ Panel for Monitoring the Economy, on the City AM’s shadow monetary policy committee and on the Advisory Board of the central banking think-tank OMFIF. She also co-founded GoodCorporation, a company set up to promote corporate social responsibility and in 2010-11 became the first female Master for the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants in the City of London.

"Delighted to be working with such an enthusiastic and brilliant set of people, whose research findings seem to be quoted more widely than any other consultancy I have ever known."

Scott Corfe

Managing Economist

A professional economist and researcher with experience working in both the private and public sector. Scott has authored a wide range of reports providing economic, market and consumer insights.

Scott helps businesses use economic analysis to contribute to government policy debates – recent examples include arguing the case against a minimum price for alcohol and against a 50% top rate of Income Tax in the United Kingdom. Scott’s economic commentary is widely quoted in the UK and international press.

After gaining a 1st class honours in Economics at the University of Cambridge, Scott worked in local government before joining Cebr.

"Cebr's analysis shapes public opinion. It's great to see our research informing and changing government policy debates."

Rob Harbron

Senior Economist

Macroeconomist and econometrician Rob Harbron focuses on the UK economy, specialising in regional outlooks and the prospects for consumers and households.

Rob leads the analysis on two regular major Cebr reports on UK households. He authors the Asda Income Tracker, which monitors changes in household spending power, and the VocaLink Take Home Pay Index, which tracks real-time changes in disposable income pay in the UK. Rob is also the lead author on Cebr’s bi-annual report on London, City and Regional Prospects and undertakes detailed regional analysis for the ICAEW Grant Thornton Business Confidence Monitor and the FSB Small Business Index.

Before joining Cebr, Rob used his econometrics to analyse the effectiveness of marketing campaigns acting a consultant to big name grocers, retailers and fast-moving consumer goods companies. Rob holds an MSc in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Bristol and a BSc in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Reading.

"The range and breadth of the work that we do at Cebr is outstanding"

Colm Sheehy

Senior Economist

Colm is a senior economist in the Microeconomics team at Cebr, providing bespoke analysis for a range of clients. Colm has extensive project experience in a wide range of sectors including specific deep expertise in property economics, industrial development and technology.

Colm has broad analytical expertise providing property market forecasting, econometric modelling, economic impact assessment and cost benefit analysis for public and private sector clients.

Colm holds an MSc in Economics and a BA in Economics and Sociology from the Trinity College Dublin.

“Cebr has a proudly collaborative culture which we apply when working with our clients”

Colin Edwards

Senior Economist

As an economist in the Microeconomics team Colin regularly conducts economic impact assessments and thought leadership pieces across a variety of sectors, while providing regular macroeconomic advice through Cebr’s Prospects Service.

Colin led Cebr’s study into underinsurance on behalf of Lloyd’s of London, producing an innovative framework for examining the evidence for underinsurance against natural catastrophes across the globe.

After joining Cebr following the completion of a Master’s Degree in economics at the University of Manchester, Colin has produced research in areas as diverse as insurance, housing, unified communications technology and tourism.

"The chance to apply our economic understanding in new and creative ways keeps us all on our toes!"

Osman Ismail

Senior Economist

Since joining Cebr in January 2012, Osman has worked with Cebr’s economic impact models and establishing approaches for the assessment of path-breaking economic scenarios and technologies.

He has performed microeconomic analysis for several high-profile clients including Royal & Sun Alliance, DLA Piper, Mainstream Renewable Power, the European Physical Society and SAS, as well as contributing to Cebr’s macroeconomic advisory package.

Osman is a graduate of the London School of Economics, where he read Government and Economics before working in the voluntary sector.

"Cebr's culture of inquiry and innovation leads to highly diverse and interesting work."

Danae Kyriakopoulou

Economist

Danae contributes to the reporting and analysis of macroeconomic indicators and events as part of the Cebr Prospects Services. She specialises in monetary economics and international finance with a focus on developing economies, and the Eurozone.

Danae grew up in Greece, where she was educated at the German School of Athens before moving to the UK to pursue her studies. She read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford, and completed the MSc in Economics for Development at the Oxford Department for International Development.

"Working with a wide range of clients and with many economic indicators is extremely rewarding"

Alasdair Cavalla

Economist

Alasdair works on the macro team forecasting, modelling and providing commentary on recent economic events. He has keen interest in international macroeconomics and economic history. Recent research includes the economic benefits of European Union membership for the UK.

Alasdair studied Economics and Management at New College, Oxford before moving to SOAS, London to take the MSc in Economics with reference to South Asia, where he focused on Indian industrial policy and especially the IT industry. Since leaving university, he worked for a year at London Economics consultancy, gaining experience of areas including European policy and behavioural economics.

"It’s great to be around so many inquiring minds."

Matthew Bourke Costello

Economist

Matthew joined Cebr after working in property investment and banking. He brings a global perspective, having worked in East Asia and Latin America. He graduated with a BA in Economic and Social Studies from the University of Manchester and is a part-qualified Chartered Financial Analyst.

His work for Cebr so far includes assessments of the impact of Chinese trade on the Scottish economy. His previous experience is diverse. His micro work includes analysis of property investments and the beverage industry. Macro projects include examining the effect of commodities on international conflicts and forecasting Mongolian growth.

“If I don’t know something, you can bet that somebody here does, and will be happy to share their expertise.”

Sandra Bernick

Economist

Sandra works as an economist in the microeconomics team. Currently, she contributes to Cebr economic impact assessment work across a range of sectors using her quantitative and qualitative research skills.

She holds degrees in Economics (specialisation in Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union) from UCL and Environmental and Development Economics from the LSE. Whilst undertaking her Masters degree she worked for microeconomic consulting firm London Economics for a year. Here she was mainly involved with the work of the behavioural & experimental economics and consumer economics teams. In addition she also brings to Cebr international experience gained in Germany, Belgium, Russia, Latvia and Uzbekistan.

"I love how our work is current and addresses the important issues of the day"

Sam Alderson

Economist

As an economist on the macroeconomics team, Sam contributes to the reporting and analysis of macroeconomic indicators and events as part of the Cebr Prospects Services. He also works on a variety of regional economic impact studies.

Sam studied Economics at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, where he produced research which focused on the relationship between monetary policy and commodity prices.

"Working on such a wide range of projects gives you fresh perspectives on economic conditions and the impact of the policies shaping the economy."

Shruti Uppala

Economist

Shruti is an economist on the Microeconomics team. Using her experience in econometrics, quantitative and qualitative research, Shruti contributes to Cebr’s economic impact assessment work across a variety of sectors.

Shruti studied Economics at Durham University before moving to UCL to take an MSc in Economics, where she focused on microeconomics, and applied micro econometric techniques to analyse the dynamics of the female wage distribution in the US.

Shruti speaks Hindi, Telugu and Marathi.

“At Cebr I have the chance to work with some of the brightest minds in economics, driving insight and research around some of the most important and up-to-date topics – an economists’ dream”
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Sophie MacLeod

Business Development

Sophie manages Cebr events and client liaison and is a first port of call for many new clients while she locates the right Cebr economist.

After leaving The Cheltenham Ladies’ College Sophie worked in events promotions management as a departmental head and then in a public relations company serving luxury brands PR representing clients at meetings and press briefings.

After joining a financial services PR consultancy, she expanded her duties in investor relations, managing small to mid-cap equity investments for LSE and AIM-listed clients.

This was followed by a role at a stockbroking company where she was assigned duties such as writing financial reports and stock recommendations, daily trade checks, bi-annual client reviews and assisting the investment directors with trades and IPO applications.

"I have had a great time working with such a diverse range of clients"

Sarah Conkay

Finance and Office Manager

Sarah has helped run the business side of Cebr since 2008 looking after the company’s finances and all administration tasks, including supporting the directors and economists to ensure a smooth-running office.

She previously held finance or PA roles with Avanti Screenmedia Group Plc, Industry Architecture and Design Ltd and Allsopp & Co. Accountants.

She was educated in commerce, accounting and office management in Leicestershire.

"There's never a dull moment with all these bright sparks around!"