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Paul Drechsler CBE nominated CBI President-Designate

The CBI today announced that Paul Drechsler, Chairman of diversified international firm Bibby Group, has been nominated to succeed Sir Mike Rake as President of the UK’s leading business group.

CBI members will be asked to endorse Mr Drechsler’s appointment as President at the annual general meeting on July 13th. It follows his nomination by the Chairmen’s Committee in a process led by the current President Sir Mike Rake.

The CBI President plays a leading role in the organisation’s advocacy work, meeting with ministers and senior civil servants, promoting UK business internationally and chairing the CBI Board. It is an unpaid appointment.

Commenting on Mr Drechsler’s nomination, Sir Mike Rake said:

“Paul brings with him an impressive breadth of experience of leading companies of all sizes across varied sectors operating internationally and domestically, and of public companies and privately-owned firms.

“He combines this with a passion and a drive to ensure that business is recognised as a force for good and at the heart of the community.

“Paul is a fantastic advocate for businesses of all sizes and will play a vital role in continuing to ensure the CBI’s voice is heard loud and clear on the economic and political issues that affect growth and jobs, including reform of the European Union and devolution.”

Commenting on his nomination, Mr Drechsler added:

“I am delighted to have been nominated for the role of CBI President.

“This is a critically important time for the economy with plenty of challenges ahead. I look forward to continuing Sir Mike’s excellent work with CBI members and politicians to boost jobs and growth across all UK businesses, regions and nations.

“The coming months will be dominated by the prospect of an EU referendum and my focus will be on working with businesses and the Government to champion ambitious reform to ensure the EU delivers for businesses and citizens at home and on the Continent.

“While EU reform is top of the agenda, we mustn’t lose track of other important growth priorities, including ensuring we have an education system that addresses skills shortages and enables all young people to have fulfilling careers.

“I will also focus on securing the high-quality infrastructure the UK needs to compete on the world stage and ensuring growing firms can access the range of finance options they need to thrive.”

Mr Drechsler is currently Chairman of Bibby Line Group which is headquartered in Liverpool. Before that he was Chief Executive of the privately-owned construction firm Wates Group. He joined Wates in September 2004 and became Chairman and Chief Executive in April 2006 until 2014.

Prior to joining Wates, Mr Drechsler worked for ICI PLC, spending the first ten years of his career on Teesside. That was followed by 14 years holding various senior positions and living in Brazil, the USA and the Netherlands, which concluded with five years as Chief Executive of one of ICI’s principal international businesses and as a Main Board Director (1998-2003).

He is also Chairman of the board of the charity Teach First and Chairman of the National Skills Funding Agency. He is a board member of Business in the Community and Chairman of its Education Leadership Team.

Mr Drechsler has also been recognised for his outstanding leadership, winning KPMG Chief Executive of the Year for the construction industry and PwC ‘Private Company, Chief Executive of the Year’. During his tenure at the helm, Wates Group won the Business in the Community Company of the Year and the J.P. Morgan Best UK Family Business Award.

Mr Drechsler has been a member of the CBI Board since 2012 and was Chairman of the CBI Energy Policy Committee between 2007 and 2012 and a member of the Chairmen’s Committee.

In February 2015, he was honoured by Her Majesty, The Queen with an Honorary CBE for services to the construction industry.

Mr Drechsler graduated from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, with an (Honours) degree in Engineering Science. He is married with three children.

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