Lord Trefgarne served in the Conservative administration of Margaret Thatcher as a Government Whip from 1979 to 1981 and as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Trade in 1981; at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1981 to 1982; at the Department of Health and Social Security from 1982 to 1983; and at the Ministry of Defence from 1983 to 1985. He was then promoted to Minister of State for Defence Support, a post he held until 1986, and then served as Minister of State for Defence Procurement from 1986 to 1989 and as a Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry from 1989 to 1990. In 1989 he was admitted to the Privy Council. Lord Trefgarne was Chairman of the LBBC from its foundation until December 2013.
The LBBC Team
The LBBC’s day-to-day operations are handled by our Board of Directors and an experienced team of staff, each of whom has working knowledge of the challenges associated with doing business in Libya.
Senior members of the team include former British ambassadors to Tripoli, company directors and sector experts with first-hand experience of the UK-Libyan business scene.
Sir Vincent Fean KCVO
Sir Vincent was Chairman of the LBBC from January 2016 to 2 March 2022. He joined the Foreign Office in 1975, learning Arabic in 1977-8. He has served in Iraq, Syria, Malta, Libya (Ambassador 2006 – 10) and Jerusalem (responsible for UK/Palestinian relations 2010 – 14).
He left the Foreign Office in February 2014. Deeply interested in Libya/UK business, education and health cooperation, he is also a member of the Palestine Britain Business Council and an Officer of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.
Peter Millett CMG
Peter Millett was appointment as Chairman of the LBBC on 2 March 2022.
He served as British Ambassador to Libya from June 2015 to January 2018. During that time he played a role in supporting the UN’s efforts to negotiate and then implement the Libya Political Agreement. He met and built relationships with all the key political, security and economic players in Libya and in the international community. He also managed the return of the British Embassy from Tunis to Tripoli. Before Libya, he was British Ambassador to Jordan from 2011 to 2015 and High Commissioner to Cyprus from 2015 to 2010. Earlier in his career he had diplomatic postings in Venezuela, Qatar, Brussels and Athens.
Robin Lamb studied Arabic and history at Brasenose College, Oxford, and at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies (MECAS) in Lebanon. He joined HM Diplomatic Service in 1971 and his career has been almost entirely devoted to Britain’s relationship with the Middle East – encompassing appointments to British Embassies in Bahrain (as Ambassador), Basra (as Consul General), Cairo, Jedda, Khartoum, Kuwait, Riyadh and Tripoli, as well as an assignment in Muscat. Appointments at the Foreign Office have included spells as a Director of Trade Partners UK (now DIT) and as Deputy Head of the Middle East Department. He left government service in April 2007.
Robin has been Director General of the LBBC since May 2009. As DG, Robin supports the Chairman in delivering decisions of the Board and in maintaining contact with British and Libyan Ministers and senior officials. He also works to deliver services to LBBC members, including devising and delivering our programme of trade missions and business events. Robin is also Executive Director of the Egyptian British Business Council, a member of the Board of the Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce and a Trustee of the British University in Egypt as well as a member of the Board of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.
Rajeev Adrian is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ABC International Bank plc.
He joined ABCIB in October 2014 as CFO and 18 months later was also made Deputy CEO and Board Director.
Prior to joining ABCIB he worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) where he held various positions including CFO of International Banking, Chief Administration Officer of Global Banking and Markets and Senior Strategist.
Rajeev Adrian served at Lehman Brothers London as Strategist in the European Corporate Strategy Division, Product Controller of the Investment Banking Division and Head of the Business Analysis Team. He started his career in Australia working at the Office of hte Auditor General and the Australian Securities Commission.
Rajeev Adrian holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia, a Master of Business Administration from Cranfield University and is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants. He was the President of the European Branch of CPA Australia from 2017–2018.
He joined the LBBC Board as a Director in July 2021.
Ahmed Ben Halim
Ahmed is the Founder and Chairman of Libya Holdings Group Ltd. (LHG). Ahmed has over 35 years’ experience in Principal Investments, Corporate Finance and Asset Management. Ahmed serves as chairman of Joint Libyan Cement Company (JLCC) which is the holding company for the largest cement business in Libya, with factories in Benghazi, Hawari and Al Fattiah. It is a portfolio company of LHG in partnership with the Libyan government Economic and Social Development Fund (ESDF). He is also Chairman of the Libya Oil Rigs and Services Company (LORASCO), which specialises in oil services and drilling. In the last two years LHG have set up a joint venture with Terminal Investments Limited (TIL) to run Port Operations in Misurata. LHG has also launched Ghibli limited a company delivering high quality Manpower services to companies in Libya.
LHG was established to pursue investment opportunities in Libya after the 2011 revolution. To date the firm has made strategic investments in several industry sectors including oil and gas, power generation and cement. In addition to its direct investment activities LHG has entered into several strategic partnership with large international companies to create operating businesses in Libya. LHG provides its partners with local knowledge, a network of contacts, operational support and seed capital.
Melanie Butler is a Partner at PwC and leads their Global Crisis Centre “GCC”, which acts as a trusted guide to clients as they prepare for, respond to and recover from the crises they face. Prior to her GCC role, she led our Deals Advisory practice based in Tripoli, Libya, post-revolution. Her clients included the National Transitional Council’s Temporary Financing Mechanism, Ministries of Health, Housing and Education, World Bank [WB] and General Electric Company of Libya [GECOL]. She has been a partner at PwC in the UK since 2003.
A forensic accountant by background, Melanie’s experience is focused on crisis response, financial management, investigations and contract examinations, in particular the areas of transparency, accountability and governance. She joined the Board of the LBBC in 2014.
Eric Butterworth has over 35 years experience in the construction industry. He has worked on a wide range of international, world-class construction projects and a number of projects in Libya including the Al Fateh University in Tripoli, 25 new universities across the country, the African Economic City, Healthcare City, feasibility studies for hospital projects and several mixed use and commercial schemes. His qualifications include MSc (Project Management), FRICS (Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Project Manager), FAPM, and a Post Grad Diploma in property development. Eric was appointed to the LBBC Board of Directors in June 2011.
Tarek is a dual Libyan/New York qualified lawyer with a broad practice that covers general corporate and commercial matters (foreign direct investment, joint ventures, restructurings), project development, finance and dispute resolution. He works principally in the sovereign wealth, energy, infrastructure and telecommunications sectors, with a geographic focus mainly on Libya, but also on Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa more generally.
Tarek practised in Tripoli, Libya for just under 10 years where he advised on a range of innovative international finance deals and major infrastructure, oil and gas and tourism projects. Tarek went on to work as General Counsel of AECOM Libya Housing and Infrastructure Inc., where he directed all legal issues arising from the US$55bn Libyan Housing and Infrastructure Program.
During the 2011 Libyan uprising, he served as special advisor and member of staff of the Prime Minister of Libya appointed by the National Transitional Council.
Tarek then went on to join the international law firm Hogan Lovells 2012 where he ran that firm’s Libya Practice and was a member of the Infrastructure, Energy, Resources and Projects practice. Tarek became Partner at that firm and retired in June 2018 to pursue establishing Eltumi & Co as a leading Libyan law practice.
Tarek is fluent in both English and Arabic and is widely published on matters of Libyan law.
Born in Benghazi, Libya, and holding dual British/Libyan citizenship, in 2008 Mr. Fezzani retired as Deputy Chief Executive and General Manager of British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB), following over 30 years service. During his time at BACB he acted as the main interface between the Bank and its principal Arab customers, bankers and shareholders; he headed up the Institutional & Corporate Banking (ICB) department; and he was directly responsible for BACB’s Representative Office in Libya – its largest market.
Mr Fezzani was appointed as a Member of the LBBC Board of Directors in May 2009, having previously held the position of Honorary Council Member. In this role, he provides the LBBC and its members with invaluable advice and expertise regarding the Libyan business scene and unique access to its corporate and political hierarchy.
Pauline Graham has spent her working career in the exhibitions and conference industry. With her late husband, Dermot Graham, she set up an events management company which organised trade and investment delegations to overseas markets specifically viewed as ‘difficult’.
She was a co-founder of the Libyan British Business Council and was, until April 2018, responsible for the business and administrative side of the organisation as well as for managing LBBC events both in Libya and the UK.
Pauline is General Secretary of the Society for Libyan Studies.
Paul Jennings was appointment Chief Banking Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB) in December 2021, heading up the front office and the Bank’s business development activity across trade finance and real estate, leveraging his invaluable experience working in specialist markets in the Middle East and Africa.
Paul has over 35 years’ experience in the International Wholesale Banking sector. This includes a 20-year career at ABC International Bank where he was appointed Managing Director & CEO in 2015. Prior to that he was Group Head, Global Trade Finance for ABC Group. He is a Board member of the Arab Bankers Association and joined the Board of LBBC in September 2018.
Eddie joined BACB in October 2020, after a successful career at HSBC where he gained extensive Corporate and Transaction Banking experience. Most recently he was Head of Capital Strategic Initiatives, Global Banking & Markets. During his tenure at HSBC, Eddie also held a variety of Executive roles in EMEA, APAC and the Americas where he demonstrated a strong track record in leading Commercial and Corporate Banking businesses, strategy development and implementation.
As well as an EXCO level Business Leader, Eddie has Non-Executive Director experience and enjoys coaching and mentoring. He brings deep corporate banking and risk expertise and a track record of positive internal and external stakeholder engagement.
As part of HSBC’s Executive Management and Risk Management Committees and Asset Liability Committees across various regions, Eddie developed a wealth of governance and risk-related skills, including counterparty, financial crime, regulatory, operational and conduct risk.
With a passion for digital innovation, he has completed the Fintech Programme at Said Business School, Oxford University.
He joined the LBBC Board of Directors in July 2021.
Bob Phillips is a Director of Mott MacDonald and is primarily responsible for business development across North Africa and Country Manager for Libya. He has been responsible for managing a wide range of management, commercial and technical advisory services on pan-sector infrastructure redevelopment with a particular focus on the more challenging post conflict global environments and fragile states.
Bob has over 25 years of management experience, in both private and public sectors, encompassing extensive international stakeholder engagement at government and ministerial level. He was appointed to the Board of the LBBC in 2016.
Assad Riyany is currently the head of Libyan business at Bank ABC Europe based in London and heads a team responsible for Bank ABC’s Libyan relationships including, Banks, Corporate and non-Banking Institutions covering all wholesale banking products with a particular focus on Trade and Transaction Banking. Assad started with Bank ABC in the Treasury Department in a number of roles culminating in being appointed as Head of Treasury Sales for ABC international Bank (European subsidiary of Bank ABC, Bahrain) where he managed the treasury relationships of the European units. In 2016 he was appointed as the head of the newly created Libyan business unit. He has extensive knowledge of Libyan market, its financial institutions and corporates through his work covering Libyan for more than 15 years, as well as his position as holding a board membership of Libya’s biggest commercial bank for approximately 10 years.
In his capacity as the head of Bank ABC Libyan business he stays very close to all market developments through his network of contacts in the FI and corporate sectors (both Public and private) and regular travels to Libya. Assad will be able to share his experiences and contribute pro-actively to the LBBC and the important task of connecting UK with Libya to promote trade and business relations between the two countries.
Assad joined the LBBC Board as a Director in May 2022.
Honorary Council Members
Sir Richard Dalton KCMG
A diplomat from 1970 to 2006, Sir Richard began his career studying Arabic, followed by postings to the UK mission to the UN in New York, Jordan and Oman. In 1999, as the first UK Ambassador to Tripoli for 17 years, he re-established diplomatic relations with Libya. He was appointed Ambassador to Iran in 2003, where he played a key role in negotiations to prevent its development of a military nuclear capability.
Sir Richard stepped down as Director General of the LBBC in April 2009. He is President of the British Iranian Business Council.
Adrian Perera is a chartered civil engineer with a Masters in Structural Engineering from Imperial College, London. He retired from consultancy giant WS Atkins International with over 30 years service in the UK and worldwide as Director within the Design Engineering & Architectural Group. Adrian continues to use his experience and technical and commercial skills in project management and as a facilitator, enabler, coordinator, organiser, business developer, strategist and mentor to support selected organisations in the UK, Libya and other Emerging Markets in business, construction, super prime luxury residential and other sectors.
He sees his new role within the LBBC as an opportunity to give back to the region and to the sector some of what he has gained and enjoyed within it during his career
Stuart has held a number of senior NHS and Government posts for over 35 years including Head of International Developments at the Department of Health, London. This role entailed supporting ministers and promoting collaboration with overseas governments – China, India, Libya and the Middle East including Iraq.
From 1996 to 2001 he held the post of Chief Executive at a regional specialist university NHS trust in Manchester where he was responsible for developing one of the largest PFI schemes outside London.
A Director of International Hospitals Group, Stuart manages overseas healthcare projects and advises governments on strategic and operational issues. As Chairman of the UK/Libya Healthcare Improvement Programme and UK health collaboration lead, he has worked extensively in Libya and has supported the LBBC with healthcare trade missions to Tripoli.
Events and Membership
Susie Davies joined the LBBC in April 2018 and as the Business Manager is responsible for running the Business Council which includes membership services, organisation of events and delegations, marketing and finances. Before joining the LBBC, Susie worked for Thomson Reuters as a Project Manager within the Global Operations division. Prior to joining Reuters, she organised delegations to many countries including Libya. Susie is also a Digital Learning Specialist working with the NHS to deliver elearning and digital resources.
LBBC's Local Consultant
Drawing on his 14 years’ experience in the British Embassy Commercial Section, Omran has thorough knowledge of the functioning of the Libyan public and private sectors, and the expectations of U.K. based companies.
As LBBC’s local consultant based in Tripoli, Omran provides assistance to LBBC members:
- Contact making and relationship building with Libyan companies.
- Follow-up to commercial enquiries.
- Monitoring letters of credit and payment procedures.
- Translating offer letters into Arabic.
- Business visit programme drafting and delivery.
- Accompanying visiting business people to meetings, offering informal interpretation as required.