Hugh Merrill

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Much of Hugh’s working life was with BT, where he was at various times chief of staff to the chairman and the chief executive, a board member of Portugal Telecom, and responsible for managing BT’s relationships with its commercial partners in Europe, Asia Pacific and South America.

His early career took him via a communications consultancy to public relations for a shipping and logistics company, and then to corporate banking and investor relations. In the early 1990’s he served as a private secretary to The Prince of Wales, responsible among other things for HRH’s contact with industry, and he was a member of the Duchy Originals board.

He is an Ambassador for The Clink which trains prisoners in kitchen and front of house skills with restaurants in four UK prisons, a Vice Chair of The Parliament Choir and was Chairman of British Youth Opera which helps young singers make the transition from music college into the profession, a Vice President of Autistica which raises awareness and funds for medical research into autism, and Chairman of FutureStart which, with The Prince’s Trust, established a £3.5m fund to provide loans to help disadvantaged young people in the West Midlands to set up in business.

Larry Stone

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Larry Stone is Chair of Bravo Victor (veterans visual impairment research charity), Adviser to the Briefing Circle and a member of the MoD veterans affairs committee for London.

He was Chairman of BT’s Indian businesses which span service, technology, sales and security, based near Delhi; and was on the UK India Business Council Board and the CBI India Advisory Council. He previously had roles as President Group Public Affairs for BT, based in Brussels, and was a member of the Transatlantic Business Council; as BT Group Company Secretary, on Board corporate responsibility and security committees; as a Trustee of the BT Pension Scheme; and as a member of the London Stock Exchange Primary Markets Group. He also spent over a decade working for BT and O2 in Tokyo, Brussels and Slough, leading corporate affairs activities. He was Honorary Colonel of 81 Signal Squadron in the British Army Reserve for a decade, and is a member of the Honourable Artillery Company. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Telecoms Professionals.

Julie Rochford

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Julie Rochford joined Hugh in 2017 and co-ordinates all aspects of the briefings.

She spent most of her career working as a Designer and then a Design Director for several major UK fashion companies, dealing with buyers and supply chains in Europe, America and Asia.

“Hugh has perfected the recipe for informed and intimate debate on a single relevant topic of the day, affording guests the rare opportunity to hear and interact with others from very different sectors.  I never fail to come away both educated and stimulated by the meetings.”
Andrew Churchill, Executive Chairman, JJ Churchill Ltd
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