Culture Secretary appoints new Gambling Commissioners

J Whittingdale 2
John Whittingdale

The Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, has appointed five new Gambling Commissioners. As reported on Gov.uk, Sarika Patel, John Baillie and Catharine Seddon will join for five years, with Simone Pennie and Stephen Cohen for a period of four years.

Sarika Patel is a business leader with over 25 years of public and private organisational experience. She is currently a partner at Zeus Capital, leading cross-border transactions focused on infrastructure, real estate and technology sectors. She is also Vice Chair of Centrepoint, a Trustee of the Royal Institution and on the board of the Imperial Healthcare Trust.

John Baillie is a Chartered Accountant and former partner of a Big Four firm. He is a Trustee of a charity, The ICAS Foundation, that sponsors young people from disadvantaged communities to pursue a university degree in accounting or finance. Previously, John was Chair of the Accounts Commission for Scotland, a local authority watchdog, and Chair of Audit Scotland, the Scottish Government-sponsored independent public sector audit organisation.

Catharine Seddon began working for the judiciary in 2002, after many years as a film documentary maker for BBC TV and then as an independent producer for Channel 4. She now sits on tribunals in the jurisdictions of Social Security, Employment and Mental Health, and remains a Trustee for the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Her national public appointments include Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Chair and member of the Human Tissue Authority.

Simone Pennie, having qualified as a chartered accountant in 1991, spent 18 months with KPMG in Toronto before joining P&O Nedlloyd in 1994. She subsequently joined BBC Worldwide in 1996 and became Finance Director of BBC World News in 2005. Since 2011, she has maintained a portfolio career, including Non-Executive Director for Wye Valley NHS Trust and Independent Risk & Audit Committee member for Ofcom.

Stephen Cohen has worked in the financial industry for over 35 years in London, New York and Tokyo, managing large institutional portfolios as well as fund management businesses. He is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council, has chaired a financial technology business and acted as Advisor to the UK’s leading independent technology research business. He was also a Trustee of the Beacon Charitable Trust for ten years, gaining wide experience of best practice in the Third Sector.

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