Our Board

The Board and its committees steer the strategic direction of the Company. Led by an elected, volunteer Chair, the Board of Directors comprises representatives from each of the separate BIDs.

Adam Wiles (Chair)

Gascoyne Holdings

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Adam Wiles (Chair)

Gascoyne Holdings

Adam is Chair of Heart of London Business Alliance.

Gascoyne own a number of properties within the Heart of London Business Alliance area and are pleased to be involved with Heart of London. Adam’s vast local knowledge and extensive experience as estate manager has meant he has proved to be an invaluable asset to our organisation.

Andrew Love

The Ritz London

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Andrew Love

The Ritz London

Andrew Love is currently Senior Advisor to The Ritz Hotel London. He initially joined The Ritz Club in 1998 and the Hotel in 2004 when he became Deputy Chairman and subsequently Chairman, resigning from that role in 2020. Throughout his career, he has been heavily involved in the leisure and hospitality industry. He has held several positions on the main board of leading groups, including Ladbroke Plc, City Clubs Limited, Leisure Investments Plc, Metropole Hotels & Casinos, Suits Ltd, Coral Casinos [UK] Ltd, and Pleasurama Ltd. He was also a Director of Scottish & Universal Investments, the United Kingdom trading subsidiary of Lonrho Plc. Holding the position of Managing Director of Dutton-Forshaw Motor Group, the second largest motor group in England. Amongst Andrew’s further activities, he is also Chairman of St James’s Conservation Trust and a Council member of the Jermyn Street Association. He was a Joint Master of the Aldenham Harriers and Master of his Livery Company, The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers. He is a widower, has two children, Alexandra and Anthony, and lives in Hertfordshire, England.

Claude Abi-Gerges

Capital Arches Group

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Claude Abi-Gerges

Capital Arches Group

Claude Abi-Gerges is a McDonald’s franchisee and the Managing Director of Capital Arches Group Ltd.

He brings to the board a wealth of knowledge acquired through his 22 years of experience in the hospitality and services sector. Claude owned a group of restaurants in Cambridgeshire and worked as a Director of Franchising at McDonald’s UK, as well as a member of the company’s Promotion Team and the Supply Chain Tactic Board; he currently sits on the Apprenticeships Steering Group.

James Cooksey

Old Park Lane Management

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James Cooksey

Old Park Lane Management

James joined Old Park Lane Management in August 2021 as their new Chief Executive.

Prior to this, James spent 12 years at The Crown Estate, latterly in the role of Managing Director of London, responsible for The Crown Estate’s holdings in Central London portfolio, valued at around £8bn.

With over 25 years’ experience in real estate and fund management, James is a qualified chartered surveyor as well as having passed the full IMC.

James is a Board member of both the Westminster Property Association and Heart of London Business Alliance as well as a Trustee for the Creative Land Trust.

Jo Prosser

Royal Academy of Arts

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Jo Prosser

Royal Academy of Arts

As Director of Audience and Experience for the Royal Academy of Arts, Jo Prosser leads the RA’s work on its audience proposition, strategy, delivery and revenue. Her remit incorporates marketing, digital, CRM and insight, visitor experience retail, licensing, hospitality, box office and welcome.

John James

Soho Estates

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John James

Soho Estates

John is a Director of Soho Estates, who are key long-term investors in the area. They understand the importance and value of working with local communities, councils and associations to promote and improve local neighbourhood environments.

Julian Shaw

BAFTA

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Julian Shaw

BAFTA

Julian has 25 years’ experience in hospitality, incorporating all aspects of the service industry (from waiter to multi-site operations director). Prior to joining BAFTA 195 Piccadilly in 2014 he spent over a decade working on the creation of numerous award-winning food and beverage concepts in the London and the rest of the UK, Europe, US and Asia.

Krishma Singh-Dear

Edwardian Hotels

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Krishma Singh-Dear

Edwardian Hotels

Krishma is the Head of Design at Edwardian Hotels. Krishma has worked at Edwardian Hotels since 2015. During this time, she’s worked on several projects including the renovations of the “Kitchen” restaurants, the Edwardian Manchester Hotel as well as the Londoner, a 350-bedroom lifestyle hotel on Leicester Square that opened in September 2021. Prior to joining Edwardian, Krishma studied interior design at Parsons in New York where she interned with Yabu Pushelberg, the interior designers of the Londoner hotel. Before moving into the design sector, Krishma spent over four years working in investment banking

Rob Russell-Smith

Great Portland Estates

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Rob Russell-Smith

Great Portland Estates

Rob Russell-Smith is Investment Manager at Great Portland Estates who own significant property holdings in the Piccadilly and the St. James’s area.

His role includes strategic planning of the estate with particular focus on business planning and total returns of each asset.

Rob has previously sat on the committee for the Jermyn Street Association.

Simon Thomas

The Hippodrome Casino

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Simon Thomas

The Hippodrome Casino

Simon is on the strategy committee of NCIF, the main casino association. He has high-level involvement in Parliament, the Gaming Commission, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

He is currently chairman of Hippodrome Casino Limited, which is an extensive leisure-based casino complex at the Hippodrome in Leicester Square. He is a director of a number of other companies, and is also a trustee of Gamcare, the UK’s main problem gambling charity.

Surinder Simmons

Hearst UK

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Surinder Simmons

Hearst UK

Surinder Simmons was appointed Chief People Officer at Hearst UK in 2015 and became Chief People Officer, Hearst Europe in 2020.

Surinder and her team have been instrumental in transforming the culture of the business, creating an environment where people can get more out of life. Having adopted the mantra of Learn Well, Work Well, Live Well she has championed employee engagement at every level, from launching learning academies, introducing a new approach to reward and wellbeing and driving the diversity and inclusion agenda.

Surinder has spent more than two decades in human resources, with a focus on media and telecommunications.  She has held senior HR roles at Sony Ericsson, Virgin Media and Telewest/ntl.

Tessa Street

Odeon Cinemas

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Tessa Street

Odeon Cinemas

Tessa Street is General Manager of the two Odeon Cinemas in Leicester Square, both of which host a number of world, royal and gala premieres every year. As an employer of the major film exhibitor in the UK, Tessa brings extensive experience of the entertainment sector to the Board.

Tim Allibone

The Crown Estate

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Tim Allibone

The Crown Estate

Tim Allibone joined The Crown Estate in December 2022 as the Head of Asset Management for the St James’s portfolio.

Most recently, Tim was the Director of Asset Management at Frogmore for over 8 years. Prior to joining Frogmore, Tim worked at Land Securities at Asset Management Director, working across the City and West End. During his time at Land Securities he was involved with HOLBA.

With over 30 years of experience in real estate, Tim is a chartered surveyor.

Tom Athron

Fortnum & Mason

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Tom Athron

Fortnum & Mason

Tom Athron has been CEO at Fortnum and Mason since December 2020. He joined Fortnum’s from Matchesfashion, the online luxury fashion retailer where he was Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this, Tom spent 13 years at the John Lewis Partnership where he held several senior roles including Buying Director for Electricals and Technology at John Lewis, and was Chief Financial Officer at the Partnership’s supermarket arm, Waitrose. He was appointed to the main board of the John Lewis Partnership Plc in 2015 as Group Development Director, where he founded the Partnership’s innovation unit, JLP Ventures. He served for 6 years as a trustee on the board of the JLP Pension scheme.

Tom is also a Non-Executive Director at Swedish retailer Åhlèns AB. He started his career in investment banking and strategy consulting.

Omar Aziz

Criterion Capital

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Omar Aziz

Criterion Capital

Omar Aziz, is a director of Criterion Capital, a privately held British property company, renowned for its prime holdings across Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

Omar is a trustee of the Aziz Foundation, a charitable organisation that promotes inclusivity across the country with a base and focus on Westminster.