UK Export Finance announces three new appointments to support UK's export ambitions

Tue 6 Feb 2018
Posted by: Sam Pileggi
Trade News
UK Export Finance (UKEF) has appointed Richard Simon-Lewis as its new Head of Origination, Client Coverage, Marketing and Communications, Adam Harris as its new Head of Civil, Infrastructure and Energy, and Andy Blacksell as its new Head of Underwriting Policy and Products.

The appointments will enhance UKEF’s senior management capability, as the department takes steps to realise the ambitions set out in its Business Plan for 2017-20.

Richard, Adam and Andy will play a critical role in implementing UKEF’s strategy to lead with finance, to bring major international business opportunities to the UK and help UK companies compete for business around the world. Additional recruitment into senior roles across UKEF’s policy and operations divisions is planned for the coming months to build the department’s capacity and expertise further.

Richard will focus on seeking and securing global opportunities for UK exporters, helping to connect UK capability with international demand, raising awareness of UKEF’s support among exporters and overseas buyers, and generating new business both at home and abroad. He will also develop a new network of international advisors to support UKEF’s overseas activity across 20 different markets.

Richard is a structured financier with over 25 years’ experience heading up energy and infrastructure units at leading project and export institutions. In 2016, he became UKEF’s Head of Civil, Infrastructure and Energy and led the division through a period of significant growth, as well as pioneering an innovative new ‘supplier fair’ model which has connected hundreds of UK companies with opportunities worth hundreds of millions on major international projects.

Adam will take over responsibility for managing and developing a growing team of 30 specialist underwriters, responsible for delivering and enhancing UKEF’s support for the civil, infrastructure and energy sectors. 

He began his career in the Civil Service Fast Stream, gaining experience in a range of positions across UKEF including credit risk analysis, as well as policy at HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs. He spent over five years in UKEF’s aerospace underwriting division, before becoming Chief of Staff to Louis Taylor, UKEF Chief Executive, in 2016.

Andy will focus on ensuring UKEF’s tools, insights and resources are fully utilised to develop and deliver the products that UK exporters need, to support them in making the most of trading internationally, with greater pace, efficiency and capacity. 

He has over 15 years’ experience at UKEF, spanning roles as a country policy officer for sub-Saharan Africa and an underwriter in UKEF’s civil, aerospace and defence sector teams, as well as managing the department’s transition through landmark changes to its governing statute in 2015. 

Louis Taylor, UKEF’s Chief Executive Officer, welcomed Richard, Adam and Andy to their roles, saying:

“I am very pleased to announce these appointments into key positions as we look to deliver world-leading finance to help the UK’s world-leading exporters grow their business internationally. 

“Richard, Adam and Andy will bring the expertise, creativity and ambition required to help UKEF realise its aim to be the best export credit agency in the world.”

Richard Simon-Lewis, Head of Origination, Client Coverage, Marketing and Communications said:

“In the last year, UKEF has further enhanced its reputation as a world-leading export credit agency, from extending short-term finance to the UK supply chain, to expanding our overseas buyer finance to 62 local currencies. We are better placed than ever before to support UK exports.

I want to ensure UK exporters and their buyers can realise the full benefits of that, and am excited to be leading UKEF’s international drive to bring these major opportunities to the UK.”

Adam Harris, Head of Civil, Infrastructure and Energy said:

“I am delighted to be leading UKEF’s civil, infrastructure and energy underwriting division at an exciting time for UK exports and international trade. 

By working closely with our customers and their overseas buyers, and growing our capacity to do ever more business in these vital sectors in which the UK is a recognised leader, we can help UK businesses thrive internationally.”

Andy Blacksell, Head of Underwriting Policy and Products said:

“UKEF’s offering must remain agile and adaptable, so I am excited to be able to take this role to ensure our product range continues to evolve in a way that is both evidence-based and, crucially, puts the needs of UK exporters first.”