Our Board

The Board provides strategic direction and ensures UKGI is equipped to perform its functions, including having sufficient resourcing and a suitable organisational structure. The Board also enables effective arrangements to be put in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance and internal control.

Vindi Banga

Non-Executive Chair

Vindi was appointed Chair of UK Government Investments in September 2021. He is also Chair of the Transaction Committee and Nominations Committee.

Vindi is an experienced Chair of public and private companies with an extensive Board career having been Senior Independent Director at M&S plc; GlaxoSmithKline; Chairman and CEO of Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Chair of privately owned companies.

He has 33 years of executive experience at Unilever, where his last role was President of the Global Foods, Home and Personal Care businesses, including serving on the Unilever Executive Board.

Current additional appointments:

  • Senior Independent Director at Haleon plc
  • Non-Executive Director of The Economist Group
  • Partner of CD&R, a global private equity firm
  • Chair of Marie Curie
  • Chair of Council at Imperial College

Charles Donald

Chief Executive Officer

Charles was appointed Chief Executive of UK Government Investments in March 2020, having joined in May 2018 as Head of the Financial Institutions Group.

Prior to this, he had spent his career in investment banking. After 19 years in both financing and equity research, in 2006 he moved into UK corporate advisory where he held a number of senior management positions.

Charles is the Head of the Government’s Corporate Finance Profession.

Current additional appointments:

  • Non-Executive Director of the UK Infrastructure Bank in Leeds
  • Chair of the Working Party on State Ownership and Privatisation Practices at the OECD in Paris
  • Trustee of Help for Heroes, the charity that helps the Armed Forces community live well after service

Non-executive directors

Andrew Ballheimer

Non-Executive Director

Andrew was appointed a Non-Executive Director of UK Government Investments in September 2022.
From 2016 to 2020, Andrew was the Global Managing Partner of Allen & Overy LLP. Andrew has more than 35 years of legal experience advising multinational corporations and global financial institutions, including in other senior leadership positions at Allen & Overy, as Global Co-Head of Corporate and UK Managing Partner of Corporate.

Current additional appointments:

  • Member of the fundraising committee of Moorfields Eye Charity
  • Board member of Factor Law Inc.
  • Chair of the M&A Global Advisory Board at AON PLC

Gareth Davies

Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business and Trade

Gareth joined the Board of UK Government Investments in July 2023.

Gareth Davies is Permanent Secretary of the Department for Business and Trade. Previously he was Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade. Gareth has also been the Second Permanent Secretary and a Director General in the Department for Transport. His responsibilities included decarbonising transport, technology, international and security.

Earlier in his career he was a Director General in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He has led the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and was a Private Secretary in Downing Street.

Gareth started his career in PricewaterhouseCoopers working across Central and Eastern Europe and has worked for AIA, the life insurance company based in Hong Kong.

Kalpana Desai

Non-Executive Director

Kalpana was appointed Non-Executive Director of UK Government Investments in September 2022. She is also the NED responsible for Engagement.
Kalpana is also currently a Non-Executive Director of Janus Henderson plc, and Chair of its Governance and Nominations Committee. Previously, Kalpana was a member of the Takeovers and Mergers Panel of the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong from 2007 to 2014 and was a Non-Executive Director at Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. from 2015-2019.
Kalpana has over 35 years of international advisory, investment banking and asset management experience. Until 2013, she was Chief Executive of Macquarie Capital Asia, the investment banking division of Macquarie Group Limited. Prior to this, she was Head of the Asia-Pacific Mergers & Acquisitions Group and a Managing Director from 2001 in the Investment Banking Division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch based in Hong Kong. Kalpana is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. She holds a BSc Economics from the London School of Economics, and a Corporate Director Certificate from Harvard Business School.

Current additional appointments:

  • Non-Executive Director of Janus Henderson plc
  • Founding Trustee of the Future is Bright Charitable Trust


Andrew Duff

Non Executive Director

Andrew was appointed Non-Executive Director of UK Government Investments in July 2019.
Andrew spent most of his executive career in the energy industry; first with BP and then Chief Executive Officer of RWE Npower. Andrew was the Senior Trustee of Macmillan Cancer Support and a member of the Steering Group on the Hampton Alexander Review. He is a Fellow of the Energy Institute. Andrew was previously Chair of Severn Trent plc and Chair of Elementis plc, a FTSE 250 chemicals company. He was a Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director of Wolseley plc (now Ferguson Plc) from 2004-2013.

Current additional appointments:

  • Chair of Sage Group Plc, having been a member of the Board from 1 May 2021.

Andy Halford

Non-Executive Director

Andy Halford was appointed Non-Executive Director in October 2023.

Andy was Group Chief Financial Officer and Group Executive Director of Standard Chartered PLC from July 2014 until January 2024. Andy joined Standard Chartered from Vodafone Group PLC, where he spent 15 years including 9 years as Chief Financial Officer. Andy joined Vodafone Group PLC in 1999 as Financial Director for Vodafone Limited, and in 2001 he became Financial Director for Vodafone’s Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa Region. In 2002, Andy was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Verizon Wireless in the US and was a Member of the Board of Representatives of the Verizon Wireless Partnership. Andy became Chief Financial Officer of Vodafone Group PLC in July 2005, a position which he held until March 2014. Prior to Vodafone, Andy was Finance Director at East Midlands Electricity PLC. Andy was, until recently, the Senior Independent Director of Marks and Spencer Group PLC and is a former Chairman of the Hundred Group of Finance Directors.

Andy holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial economics from Nottingham University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB

Non-Executive Director

Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB was appointed Non-Executive Director of UK Government Investments in September 2023.

Vanessa has more than 35 years’ experience working in the digital data community and has a background in geographical information and space applications. From 2000-2014, Vanessa was Director General and CEO of Ordnance Survey. From 2011-2015, she was a founding co-chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). Prior to joining Ordnance Survey, she held senior roles with the billion-dollar American software company, Autodesk Inc and the global media and publishing company, Pearson plc. Today, Vanessa is working internationally as a senior advisor to overseas governments, inter-governmental organisations and large private sector organisations.

Current appointments include:

  • Director of Location International
  • Non-Executive Director and Trustee of the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Non-Executive Director for the Satellite Applications Catapult
  • Chair of the UK’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Geospatial Systems
  • Adjunct Professor at the University of Southampton
  • Patron of two charities – MapAction and Cure Parkinson’s

Iain Mackay

Non-Executive Director

Iain Mackay was appointed a Non-Executive Director of UK Government Investments in November 2023.

Iain spent most of his career in senior finance leadership roles and retired as CFO of GSK plc and as an executive director on the GSK Board in April 2023. Prior to joining GSK in early 2019, Iain was Group Finance Director of HSBC Holdings plc, a position he held for eight years. In his earlier career Iain undertook senior finance leadership roles for: HSBC in North America and Asia; for The General Electric Company of the US for almost 12 years in diverse areas including Consumer Finance, Healthcare and Corporate Audit and; for Schlumberger in Africa and Asia.  A chartered accountant, Iain’s formative career was with Thomson Maclintock in Aberdeen and with Price Waterhouse in New York and Paris. He holds an MA in Business Studies and Accounting and an Honorary Doctorate from Aberdeen University.

Current additional appointments:

  • Non-Executive Director, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, member of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Finance Committee at National Grid plc
  • Non-Executive Director of Schroders plc since January 2024

Beth Russell

Second Permanent Secretary at His Majesty’s Treasury

Beth joined the Board of UK Government Investments in November 2022.

Beth was appointed as the Second Permanent Secretary of HM Treasury (HMT) in October 2022 and is based at the Darlington Economic Campus. HMT is the UK’s economics and finance ministry.
Beth has worked in HMT since 2000 on a range of policy roles across tax, welfare and public spending. Previous to her current role she was the Director General of Tax and Welfare in the Treasury between 2017 and 2022. Her earlier Treasury roles included Director of Personal Tax, Welfare and Pensions (2013-2017), Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (2011-2013), Deputy Director of General Expenditure Policy (2008-2011), Deputy Director of Environmental and Transport Taxes (2005-07) and Speechwriter for Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor (2001-2005) and Prime Minister (2007-2008).  Beth started her career in the Department of Social Security as a policy adviser on welfare (1996-2000).

Dr Mahnaz Safa

Non-Executive Director

Mahnaz was appointed Non-Executive Director of UK Government Investments in September 2022. She is also the NED responsible for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Chair of the Remuneration Committee.

With 30 years of experience in finance, Mahnaz has been a Senior Executive at UBS, Citi and ANZ. She led Debt Capital Markets for EMEA and headed Markets for Europe and America. Whilst at UBS and Citi, she co-chaired their respective women’s leadership Executive Committees. She has previously served as a Senior Independent Director on the Board of Alternative Credit Investments, a FTSE 250 company. She has been elected the SID by Imperial College Council. Mahnaz holds a PhD in computer aided technology from Imperial College.

Current additional appointments:

  • Non-Executive Director at Jefferies International Limited
  • Senior-Independent Director of the Council at Imperial College where she is the Champion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.