Presidential team and trustees

Mike Clasper CBE CMgr CCMI

Mike Clasper

Mike Clasper took over as President of CMI in October 2014.  He is Non-Executive Chairman of Coats Group plc, as well as a Senior Independent Director at Serco PLC and Chairman of Which? Ltd. Mike has outstanding experience across a wide range of organisations, including private, public, third sector, FTSE 350 and SMEs.

He was formerly Non-Executive Director at ITV, Chief Executive of BAA plc. Operating Managing Director at Terra Firma Capital Partners Limited and Chairman of HMRC. He has also held a number of senior executive positions at Procter & Gamble. Mike grew up in Sunderland and studied Engineering at St. John's College, Cambridge. He is proud to hold an Honorary Doctorate from Sunderland University and in his spare time enjoys the theatre as well as watching and playing sport. 

Ann Francke, CMgr CCMI FIC Chief Executive Officer (CMI)

Ann Franke

Ann Francke, CEO of Chartered Management Institute (CMI), Winner of the Louis Armstrong Award for outstanding leadership of a UK professional body 2016 and Author of: Financial Times Guide to Management: How to Make a Difference and Get Results. 

Ann is a transformational leader with vision, pace and proven ability to deliver profitable growth and build organisational capability.  At CMI, she uses her experience in leading organisations to promote best practices in management and leadership, and improve management standards across the UK and beyond. Ann has been named in the top 100 women to watch in the 2015 Female FTSE report from Cranfield and is an expert on current challenges facing women in the workplace.

Ann is Strategic Advisor at Tongal and a Non-Exec at Grant Thornton International.  She is also a member of the CRUK Women of Influence Board, WACL, MGGB and an Advisory Board member of Lancaster Management, Nottingham Trent and the Open University Business Schools. Ann speaks frequently at conferences and in the media on all aspects of management best practice. 

Prior to CMI Ann was Global General Manager at the British Standards Institution, held executive board positions at Boots and Yell and was European Vice President at Mars.  Ann began her career at P&G and managed a variety of international brands including Pampers, Always and Olay before rising to global general manager.

Ann holds a BA with Distinction from Stanford, an MBA/MS from Columbia; Honorary Doctorates in Business Administration from UWE and Nottingham Trent Universities and a Doctor of the University from Oxford Brookes.

Ann and her husband live in West London; she has one daughter. 

Valerie Dias CCMI

Valerie DiasValerie Dias is Chief Risk and Compliance Officer at Visa Europe and a member of the Visa Executive Leadership Team. Having joined Visa in 1993, she was previously executive vice-president, and chief financial officer. Prior to that she led one of Visa’s e-commerce initiatives.

She chairs and/or sits on various Visa Europe standing committees including Risk Committee, Asset and Liability Committee, Reputational Council and Compliance Council. Valerie is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants (ACCA).

As a CMI Companion, Valerie joined the Board of Companions in 2014. She was co-opted to the Board of Trustees in September 2015 for a one year term and appointed as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Sue O’Brien OBE CCMI

Sue O'Brien

Sue joined Ridgeway Partners as a partner in mid-2015 to lead the Retail and HR practice and work with the Board practice team. Previously Chief Executive and a board member of Norman Broadbent, she has over 17 years as a practitioner in board advisory services. Her work within the search industry has focused on board and non-executive appointments in FTSE and AIM listed businesses.

With an early career in retail, Sue was managing director of a leisure business in the early 90s. She moved into executive search in 1998. In addition to her role at Ridgeway Partners, Sue is a board member of Walpole British Luxury, a non-executive director of MK-LF partners, a founder member of The Women’s Business Council and a Trustee for KidsOut children’s charity. She is also a member of the International Women’s Federation.

In January 2014, she was awarded an OBE for services to charity and for promoting equality in the workplace.

Sue was appointed to the Board in July 2015, and is chairing the WiM Advisory Committee.

Beverly Landais CMgr FCMI

Beverly Landais

Beverly is currently Marketing and Business Development Director at Saunderson House, a chartered firm of Independent Financial Advisers which provides award-winning advice to busy professionals. Prior to this she was CEO of Devereux Chambers for over 4 years during which time she rebranded and repositioned the set. Devereux was awarded 'Chambers of the Year' at Legal Week’s The British Legal Awards in 2013.

Beverly has over 30 years' experience in professional services marketing. Her sector experience spans insurance, banking, financial and legal services. She has led the successful rebranding and repositioning of three different organisations, including Lloyd's of London and most recently, Saunderson House.  Her previous posts include being Head of Marketing at Lloyd's of London, Head of Brand and Communication at Lombard Asset Finance and Director of Business Development at law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP. 

She is a member of the editorial panel of 'Managing Partner' magazine. She was named 'City/National BD & Marketing Director of the Year' - Legal Marketing Awards, May 2008. 

Beverly is a Fellow of the CMI and Chartered Manager. She was elected to the Board for a three year term in 2013. She was appointed Chair of the External Affairs and Insight Committee in October 2014. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and an Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Mr Ian Alan Owen CMgr MCMI

Ian OwenIan is currently Senior Contract Manufacturing Manager, Europe for PepsiCo. Ian has a diverse career background; starting out as a pilot in the Royal Air Force and later moving into management and leadership roles. He has a considerable breadth of expertise in leading teams and implementing strategic change, with specific expertise in supply change management and operations management. Ian has an MSc in Management and a BSc in Logistical Management. He is also a keen sportsman, and a regular participator in 10 km races, half-marathons and marathons and is passionate about travel.

Gavin Richardson, CMgr FCMI

Gavin RichardsonGavin started his career as an electrical apprentice for a company called ABB Building Services. At an early stage, his potential for quick advancement was apparent, which culminated in him winning a National Apprentice Award (ECA) in 1997. His career path advanced to estimating through to project management. He departed ABB once career progression and opportunity became sparse. Gavin joined Syncro (part of the CO-OP group) as a project manager, where his career acceleration picked up again, culminating in him becoming the Regional Mechanical and Electrical Manager at the age of 29, with a budget responsibility of £8Million and over 80 operatives. After the business focus and strategy changed, Gavin decided to create his own business.

In 2006 Gavin created a company called OPUS Electrical. This business quickly grew due to Gavin’s local reputation and previous working relationships with other colleagues, many of whom have grown with the business. In 2008 Gavin further expanded the company to incorporate other trades and renamed it OPUS Building Services, which has to date completed over £30M worth of work nationally and created full time employment for over 50 permanent staff under difficult market conditions and continues to grow and develop. In 2008 during the economic crisis Gavin decided to embark on an executive MBA at Newcastle University Business School in order to further progress his business skills and fine tune OPUS. As part of his MBA studies Gavin produced a business plan for a new and diverse business which became OPUS Green, a Renewable energy Consultancy and Contractor. Both businesses run independently at the same time facilitating consortium bids.  OPUS Green’s success continues nationally in installing renewable energy in projects ranging from domestic to multi million pound schemes for housing authorities.

Gavin has embraced management philosophies to get the best out of his staff, businesses and associations and his interest in the Board has evolved from an interest in success and failure rates in SMEs. In endeavouring to enrich his own business acumen, Gavin also undertakes Non executive Director roles at partnership insurance companies based in London (ECIC and ECIS). OPUS businesses are growing well, further expanding and currently employing over 60 direct operatives, with strong growth aspirations for the future.

Gavin was elected to the Board in 2013 for a 3 year term. He is Chair of the Regional\Devolved Nation Advisory Committee.

Richard Thomas CMgr FCMI

Richard ThomasRichard is Deputy Commander of Regional Forces in the Royal Navy and leads the Naval Service national organisation for engagement with the full spectrum of UK society and provides advice in respect to emergency planning. Previously, he was appointed Chief of Staff to Commandant and Team Leader and Business Change Manager.

In a career spanning 28 years in the Royal navy, he was selected to Command at Sea as a result of exemplary leadership, led the Royal Navy’s Reform Change Team, and has carried out various high level strategic and operation leadership roles.

Richard is a Fellow of the CMI and a Chartered Manager. He served as Co-Chair of London and South East Regional Board between 2033 and 2015 and was elected to the Board in September 2015 for a 3 year term.


Professor Baback YazdaniProfessor Baback Yazdani is Dean of Nottingham Business School. He is a member of the Board of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), Supervisory Board of the Academy of Business in Society (ABIS), Executive Board of the Association of Business School (ABS), and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) where he previously held the role of Regional Chairman East Midlands. Baback is currently Chair of the National Advisory Board Network for Business Schools.

Baback’s extensive leadership experience in industry and academia has been instrumental in the rapid development of NBS. He has emphasised the transformational nature of NBS for its students, clients and customers by intensifying applied research for the benefit of business, industry and public services. Under his leadership NBS has invested in acquisition and world-class faculty; developed its research to international standards; applied ‘Lean’; introduced innovative programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, directly delivering value to students and business; more than doubled applications and grown income and contribution to NTU by more than 60%. He continues to promote strong industrial relationships with professional bodies.

Baback is a chartered Mechanical Engineer and has an MSc in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and a PhD in Engineering (Product Development) from Warwick. He has authored more than 50 articles in product development and concurrent engineering. His early career was in the automotive industry where he held senior positions with various car manufacturers in Europe and the U.S. From 1993 to 2000 he was a Principal Fellow at Warwick University and led Innovation and Product Design and Development, creating a reputation for excellence in research and executive education. Between 2003 and 2006 Baback ran Product Development Operations at Jaguar Land Rover, part of Ford Motor Company, where he led the introduction of ‘Lean’ to PD and introduced the Global Product Development System, drastically improving vehicle introduction lead-times and efficiency.

Baback is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology and a member of Federation Europeene D’Associations Nationales D’Ingeniers; American Society of Mechanical Engineers and British Academy of Management.

Marcella Monaghan CMgr MCMI

Marcella has concentrated her career to date within project and programme management in Corporate Banking. She set up her own business in 2013 to provide project and change management services within the financial services industry.

Previously, she developed her career within the Bank of Ireland where she started as a graduate. Between 2010 and 2011, she held the senior role of End to End Delivery Programme Manager, Consumer Segments ROI & UK. In 2012 she became Risk Partner in the Retail Divisional Risk Ireland & UK, and part of the leadership group within the Group Regulatory Compliance and Operational Risk.

She is a member of the Institute of Bankers Ireland and Association of Compliance Officers Ireland, a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and an associate of the Women in Business Northern Ireland Network.

Marcella is a Chartered Manager. She was elected to the Board in September 2015 for a 3 year term.

Martin Cook CCMI

Martin CookCurrently the Commercial Managing Partner with EY UK, Martin is primarily responsible for brand, marketing and communications, CSR, and alumni, working directly for the Chairman and CEO and as a member of its leadership team.

Achievements in this role of which he is particularly proud include:

  • Reforming EY’s CSR function and creating from scratch a new charity, the EY Foundation, to deliver national programmes designed to help disadvantaged young people into education, employment and to start their own businesses; and
  • Designing and delivering a unique partnership with the Tate: the EY Tate arts partnership.

Martin is also EY’s global client service partner for one of the world’s largest consumer products companies.

Outside of EY, he is a member of Tate’s Corporate Advisory Group and an experienced mentor of high potential executives from non-traditional backgrounds.

Martin’s broader career to date has spanned public and private sectors and ranged from being a senior civil servant in the Home Office, to CEO of a 3000 person, £1bn turnover IT business, to strategy and transformation director at a global IT services company as well as being a senior Partner at EY.  He has worked at management board level at both EY and at Capgemini.

Martin is married with three grown up children and lives in Kent.  He enjoys walking, music, reading and nearly all sports; is an art lover and enjoys the shock of modern art in particular.  He is also a musician, learning to play the drums, and with an embryonic home studio to compose and record music and songs.

Martin comes from a relatively humble background in South London and retains a passionate interest in furthering social mobility and encouraging diversity and inclusiveness in all organisations.  This is the agenda which he hopes to further within CMI.  Martin has been appointed as an ex-officio member of the Board, to lead on our Chartered Management Consultant project, and he will chair the Oversight Board for this new award.