Hugh Merrill

Much of Hugh’s working life has been 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.

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

Deborah Wilkins

Deborah Wilkins has worked with Hugh since 2007 and coordinates all aspects of the briefings. She started her career in the wholesale fashion business and then moved to the City to work on the Liffe floor, moving to the interest rate futures desk at ICAP Securities.

I have attended a number of Briefing Circle events over the last couple of years, and have always found them to be of the highest quality – excellent speakers, attendees and a very high quality discussion. These events are invaluable in providing the context we all need to do our daily jobs.
Peter Mather, Regional Vice President Europe & Head of Country UK, BP
You do have a special knack for bringing interesting groups of people together.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair The Environment Agency
I have found The Briefing Circle a useful forum for discussion, both as a way of engaging in discussion of the work of my then Department and in participating in a debate among interested parties on a current theme.
Sir Brian Bender KCB, Chairman London Metal Exchange
Busy people always have to make difficult choices about how to spend their time effectively. I have found the breadth of experience of the attendees and the quality of the debate have meant that the payback on time spent at The Briefing Circle has always been excellent.
Dr Martin Read CBE, Chairman Laird
The Briefing Circle is unique and it does what it says. It brings together senior people from diverse backgrounds to discuss genuinely interesting topics in a relaxed and informal way. The discussions bring real insights and are a joy to contribute to, but most importantly, to learn from.
Clare Spottiswoode CBE Director Enquest and G4S