Chris Roebuck

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Chris Roebuck
OccupationVisiting Professor Cass Business School, Author, Speaker

Chris Roebuck, FCIPD, CCMI is a British economist, focusing on leadership and organisational performance. He is an honorary visiting professor of transformational leadership at Cass Business School in London, a position he has held since 2009.[1][2] He advises organisations on maximising performance through effective leadership, in particular developing lean leadership and entrepreneurial leadership.[3][4]

Roebuck has held senior human resource and organisational transformation roles at London Underground, KPMG, HSBC, and UBS.[citation needed] In 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, he was nominated by HR Magazine as one of the top 20 Most Influential HR Thinkers.[5] Roebuck advises the Chartered Management Institute,[6] and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, business groups such as the Corporate Leadership Council, and the media, such as The Times, Wall Street Journal and he is interviewed on leadership and business issues by the BBC and other television channels.[7]


Roebuck studied economics and geography at University College London where he chaired the Students Union commercial enterprises committee, whose operations turned over in excess of £1m in 1976 and employed 32 staff.[citation needed] He later chaired the Union Council, overseeing the constitutional governance process, elections, and negotiations with the UCL senior leadership team and Provost.[citation needed] Roebuck graduated in 1977.[citation needed]

Military service[edit]

Roebuck served with the Royal Engineer sub unit of the University of London Officer Training Corps and was commissioned into the Territorial Army. During this period he led the team that blew up the 150 ft high chimney at the old pottery at Sandford near Wareham in Dorset to make way for a new housing estate. Roebuck was subsequently commissioned into the regular Army Royal Engineers via the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was the Best Young Officer on his Course at the Royal School of Military Engineering. During his service in Germany, Roebuck developed the modern pipe fascine, now used by the British Army in operations globally to rapidly cross small gaps and obstacles that restrict the mobility of armoured and other units.[citation needed]


After leaving the Army, Roebuck used his knowledge of leadership to help SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) develop their leadership capability as he found they often lack resources or knowledge to achieve this. He frequently worked with entrepreneurs, helping them develop better leadership skills to take their businesses forward. This later fed into his work with larger organisations, particularly UBS, around developing entrepreneurial leadership.[citation needed]

In 1992 he received his MBA from Cass Business School in London. His final dissertation on organisational communication was featured in The Times, on BBC Television and was published worldwide in the International Journal of Strategic Management.[8]

After his MBA he was asked to develop performance improvement initiatives in organisations such as Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York, Bank of England, Arts Council of England and Wales, legal firms, and the UK Government amongst others.[citation needed]

In the late 1990s Roebuck lectured at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Joint Services Command College on utilising the best of both military and commercial leadership techniques for the benefit of military officers. In 1996, he also advised on updating the course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[citation needed]

In 1999, Roebuck was invited to be a member of an expert panel on improving leadership in British business in order to enhance competitiveness, reporting to the UK government [9]

After roles with the executive team at London Underground developing the Public Private Partnership, the largest Public Finance Initiative to date in the UK, he then worked to build a new business line for KPMG based on providing outsourced services. He then moved on to building a business-driven core leadership management system for HSBC investment bank. In 2002, Roebuck moved to Zurich at the request of UBS where he worked until 2006.[citation needed]

At UBS, Roebuck and colleagues led the delivery of a new development and leadership strategy for the bank’s top 500 leaders. They subsequently co-ordinated the strategy via the business divisions for the other 70,000 employees.[10] This underpinned a new corporate alignment, culture and brand, improving the bottom line and the position of UBS in the global banking rankings through entrepreneurial leadership. In 2004, he was appointed Global Head of Talent and Leadership. The project at UBS progressed well with top management support and, as a result, in 2005 UBS won the title "Best Company for Leaders Europe" [11] and the "Best New Corporate University" awards, the "Corporate University Best Practice" and "Excellence" awards in 2006/7,[12] and was ranked one of the top 10 best companies in Europe in 2007.

The UBS talent and leadership initiative now forms a key part of a Harvard Business School Case Study "UBS: Towards the Integrated Firm" on supporting strategic business change, realignment and improvement via talent and leadership activity.[13] This case is also reviewed from the organisational culture and performance perspective.[14]

During his time at UBS, Roebuck built on his experience of entrepreneurial leadership in SMEs to enable it to be used at UBS as a catalyst for improving organisational performance. He also developed the initial concept of Entrepreneurial HR to support this, which he continues to expand on and refine.[15]

Since 2006, Roebuck has helped develop leadership and values-based high performance working with or in organisations as diverse as the British National Health Service (1.4m staff), and in sectors including international logistics, finance, legal, transport, facilities, media, pharmaceutical, and not-for-profit.[citation needed]

Roebuck was part of the expert group developing the 2009 report on Employee Engagement "Engaging for Success" for the UK Government to improve performance in British Business. He also subsequently worked on its implementation. In 2011 he was commissioned by the King's Fund, the UKs leading Health Sector think tank, to deliver a report and recommendations on developing leadership in the NHS to enhance patient care for their Commission to the UK Government.[16]

He was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Coaching and Mentoring Council 2004 -6 and also is an expert on developing leadership via mentoring.[17] He is also an executive coach and business mentor.[citation needed]

Public speaking and masterclasses[edit]

Roebuck presents at international conferences, business schools and to professional and management groups such as NHS Chief Executives, the Institute of Directors CEO Summit, Confederation of British Industry and the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Management.[18]

Roebuck is asked to present and run masterclasses on leadership and organisational performance focused on his new approach to leadership – Mach 2 leadership – at international conferences, business schools and to professional and management groups such as NHS Chief Executives, the Institute of Directors CEO Summit, Confederation of British Industry, the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Management[18] and other groups across the world.[18] These have been in the USA, Europe, India and Asia, including for the Red Cross in Myanmar, the China Aeronautical & Scientific Corporation (Chinese Space Programme) in Beijing, NASSCOM Congress in India and the Project Management Institute (PMI) Congress in Dubai.[citation needed]


Roebuck has written books on leadership, communication and delegation. His book on "hands-on" leadership was a global bestseller, translated into 11 languages and was used as a best practice guide by the American Management Association.[19]

He had regular columns in CEO[20] and HR Magazines for a number of years[21] and has written for publications such as Health Service Journal,[22] Governance Magazine,[23] Management Today,[24] Law Society Gazette,[25] Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Magazine,[26] and other business titles.[citation needed]

His work has been quoted globally, for example in the UK national press, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal,[27] Washington Post,[28] Time Magazine,[29] Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Le Monde, Times of India,[30] Vancouver Sun and more than 50 other business titles.[citation needed]

In May 2014, Roebuck published a combined guide to both organisational and individual leadership introducing a new model of leadership – Mach 2 leadership – in his new book 'Lead to Succeed - The Only Leadership Book You Need.'[31] Mach 2 leadership enables the maximisation of employee effort and the application of that effort onto activities that maximises organisational performance. The book also focuses on the effective, engaging, ethical and entrepreneurial elements of leadership that underpin world-class performance.[citation needed]

TV and radio[edit]

Roebuck appears regularly on both global TV and radio as a leadership expert, including BBC News, BBC World Business, BBC Breakfast, The Money Programme, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Sky, Al Jazeera, Swiss and Russian National Television, BBC UK, World Service and Australian Radio channels.[32] His total television audience to date is estimated to be in excess of several billion viewers.[citation needed]


In December 2011, Roebuck became a Freeman of the City of London.[33] In May 2012, he was invited to become a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, in recognition of his work over many years in leading the improvement of leadership and management practice in organisations globally.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Cass Professor honoured by Chartered Institute of Management". Cass Business School - City, University of London. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  2. ^ Lane, Edwin (16 February 2010). "Why bankers are still making millions". BBC News.
  3. ^ "About Chris - Chris Roebuck". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  4. ^ Authorities, Leading. "Chris Roebuck - Keynote Speakers - LAI". LAI. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Chris Roebuck, Visiting professor of transformational leadership, Cass Business School" HR Most Influential
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^
  8. ^ Roebuck, Chris (1996). "Constructive feedback: Key to higher performance and commitment". Long Range Planning. 29 (3): 328–336. doi:10.1016/0024-6301(96)00028-3.
  9. ^ ""Leadership and Management in the Changing Economy" Ideopolis International" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  10. ^ Business-driven integrated talent strategy Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "En dansk blog om mode, skønhed og livsstil". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "UBS: Towards the Integrated Firm". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  14. ^ UBS Case Study Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Episode 101 - HR can lead the way in creating entrepreneurial leaders". Interview on YouTube. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  16. ^ King's Fund
  17. ^ Mentoring in Action: A Practical Guide for Managers - By David Clutterbuck, Bob Garvey. P 178, Kogan Page 2006
  18. ^ a b c List of speaking appearances,
  19. ^ results, search (19 November 1999). Effective Leadership. AMACOM. ISBN 978-0814470596.
  20. ^ "Chris Roebuck" The Chief Executive
  21. ^ "Chris Roebuck" Archived 5 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine HR Magazine
  22. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Chris Roebuck: "Banks can't stop rogue traders" Wall Street Journal
  28. ^ "Roebuck sees broken link between CEO's pay performance" Washington Post
  29. ^ Quotes Time Magazine
  30. ^ "Times of India" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ List of TV and radio interviews,
  33. ^