UKGI undertakes largest senior recruitment exercise to date to meet expanding advisory mandate

UK Government Investments (“UKGI”), the government’s centre of excellence in corporate governance and corporate financetoday announces that it has significantly strengthened its senior advisory team with the appointment of eight new Executive Directors who bring a breadth of experience from a range of different backgrounds. 

The appointments reflect UKGI’s growing mandate and workload as it continues to support the government’s private sector interventions, including in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside developing its governance portfolio of Arm’s Length Bodies and maintaining its advisory role on asset realisations. 

UKGI’s unique blend of civil service and corporate finance experts collaborate on a broad range of projects that have a social, economic and political impact. 

  • The eight new Executive Directors have been appointed to enhance UKGI’s specialist and sector-specific corporate finance and governance expertise.  Specifically, they have been appointed to lead UKGI teams which will advise and support government on its major private sector interventions and programmes, and to build a central advisory resource for contingent liabilities across government.
  • The appointments constitute UKGI’s largest Executive Director recruitment programme to date and are part of UKGI’s ongoing recruitment plan which is expected to see its fulltime equivalent staff headcount increase by approximately 20to around 150 staff by the summer of 2021.  The timing of this recruitment plan is in line with the increasing government demand for UKGI’s services across specialist corporate finance and governance advisory expertise. 
  • In the past 12 months, UKGI has worked on a diverse range of government projects and interventions, from advising on complex cases of corporate distress to supporting the UK Vaccines Taskforce in progressing contract negotiations.   
  • In March 2021 UKGI achieved its target to have 40% female employees at Director and Executive Director level. The target was set with the HMT-led Women in Finance charter in 2018 when the organisation had 30% female representation at senior management level. Currently 42% of UKGI’s Directors and Executive Directors are female. 


Charles Donald, CEO of UKGI, said:

“In these challenging times, UKGI’s mandate is continuing to expand on its core governance, corporate finance and asset sales expertise. We are adding to our governance portfolio, increasing our resources to help with additional COVID-related responsibilities, and building a new team of experts to provide analytical and advisory support on contingent liabilities to government.

The new senior appointments we are announcing today will enhance UKGI’s existing body of specialist expertise with specific additional skills and senior advisory experience across legal, actuarial, audit, investment banking and the workings of government.  It is this unique combination of in-depth, specialist experience and skills that enables UKGI to ensure that government continually receives the best advice and support across our expanded mandate.

UKGI’s inclusive culture and working environment means that we continue to attract senior talent from market-leading organisations and government departments.  The breadth of the combined experience and expertise of our new Executive Directors is already proving hugely beneficial to UKGI and I look forward to working with them all in their new roles.”


The new appointments announced today are:

Elena Ciallie has spent over 25 years in investment banking and corporate finance including roles at Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Ondra Partners. She also has 5 years of corporate governance experience. In addition to her role at UKGI, she is a NonExecutive Director at illimity Bank, a digital only, SMEfocused bank headquartered in Milan, Italy.  

Jonathan Gorrie has rejoined UKGI having previously been with the organisation between 2015 and 2019 when he led the inaugural income contingent student loan sale on behalf of DfE, UKGI’s work on net zero with BEIS, and projects with MoD, DIT, and the FCO.  Prior to joining UKGI, Jonathan was a portfolio manager at the BT Pension Scheme and at BlackRock. He began his career at ING Barings in its Energy, Transport, and Infrastructure group. 

Samantha Harris has joined UKGI from BEIS.  Samantha joined the Civil Service in 2004, supporting international negotiations to address long range transboundary air pollution building on expertise from her Ph.D. She has worked in a wide variety of policy and corporate roles across a number of Whitehall departments, including a secondment to Lloyds Banking Group. 

Sukhi Johal joined UKGI from RSM UK, the provider of audit, tax and consulting services, where she was a Corporate Finance Partner. She has over 20 years experience in Corporate Finance, split between Advisory and Corporate & Investment Banking and spent working on complex transactions in the UK and internationally.   

Lucie Lambert has been promoted to General Counsel. Lucie is also the UK Delegate to the OECD’s Working Party on State Ownership and Privatisation Practices. Prior to joining UKGI in 2015, she worked as a lawyer at Clifford Chance, Lloyds Banking Group and the United Nations. 

Robert Mackie has joined UKGI to lead its work supporting HM Treasury’s financial interventions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to UKGI, he spent over a decade in HM Treasury fulfilling a range of roles across financial services, public spending, corporate finance and communications. 

Aidan Smith has joined UKGI on secondment from the Government Actuary’s Department (“GAD”). He will lead the insurance branch in the new contingent liabilities team. Aidan has over 20 years’ experience providing actuarial advice to the public sector, covering insurance, social security and pension arrangements.  

Nancy Zhang joined UKGI in March 2021. She has over 18 years’ experience in corporate finance and investment banking in both the UK and Asia, leading complex transactions across the capital structure involving both private and publicly listed companies. Prior to joining UKGI, Nancy worked at Ernst & Young, Canaccord Genuity and UBS.  


Notes to Editors

UKGI is the government’s centre of excellence in corporate governance and corporate finance. It provides expert advice and leading solutions that inform and translate government’s decisions into effective outcomes in the national interest.

UKGI acts as shareholder for, and leads the establishment of, UK government arm’s length bodies; it advises on all major UK government corporate finance matters, including financial interventions into corporate structures, corporate finance negotiations, and providing central capability on contingent liabilities; and it acquires, manages and executes the sale of all significant UK government corporate assets.

UKGI is owned by HM Treasury and independently managed with a Board comprised predominantly of independent non-executive directors. UKGI works closely with both the private and public sectors, advising and interacting with ministers, Parliament and Whitehall departments.


For further information:

UKGI: Frances Collier-Wright – 07971 610 050

Citigate Dewe Rogerson: Toby Moore, Jos Bieneman, Andrew Hey – 0207 638 9571