Mary Francis

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Mary Elizabeth Francis CBE LVO, (née George, born July 1948),[1] is a non-executive director of Barclays plc, the leading UK banking group, Swiss Re, the global reinsurance group, and Ensco plc, a global provider of offshore drilling services to the petroleum industry.[2]

Growing up in Petts Wood, Kent, she was educated at James Allen's Girls' School, Dulwich, London, and read history at Newnham College, University of Cambridge.[citation needed]

After graduating she became research assistant to Professor Max Beloff at All Souls' College, Oxford. She subsequently joined the Civil Service and held successive posts in the Civil Service Department and HM Treasury. She was seconded to investment bank Hill Samuel 1984-6, led one of the Treasury privatisation teams 1986-88, and had policy responsibility for European Union matters in the Treasury 1988-90. In the 1990s she was Financial Counsellor in the British Embassy in Washington DC (1990-92), Private Secretary to the Prime Minister (John Major) with responsibility for economic and business policy (1992-5), and Assistant/Deputy Private Secretary to The Queen (1995-99). She became Director General of the Association of British Insurers in 1999 and since 2005 has held a number of non executive directorships including at the Bank of England, Centrica (where she was Senior Independent Director), Aviva and Cable & Wireless Communications.[citation needed]

Francis is also a senior advisor to Chatham House, a member of the advisory council of the Institute of Business Ethics, a member of the Takeover Appeal Board and an ambassador for the Almeida Theatre.[3]


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