The Chair of engineering consultancy Arup has been announced as the new joint-leader of the Professional & Business Services Council. Alan Belfield becomes Business Chair of the organisation which represents the UK’s business services industry.
Commenting on the news, Alan Belfield said, “The Professional and Business Services sector is crucial to the Government’s agenda across a number of fronts – from achieving net zero emissions, through reducing regional inequalities, to boosting international exports. The PBSC has played a major role in recent years in helping forge a better understanding between businesses and the Government. I look forward to us building on this foundation, working closely together to make sure the potential of the sector is fully realised as an important part of the country’s post-Covid recovery, and helping the country move to Net Zero.”
Since 2019, Belfield has been the Chair of Arup Group. He joined the firm in 1992, and his previous experience at the firm has involved leading the group’s operations in the UK, the Middle East and Africa. A mechanical engineer by training, during his 27-year career at Arup, Alan has built the firm’s consulting business with specialists in management consulting, planning and technology.
Prior to his spell with Arup, Belfield spent another seven years with Hawtal Whiting, where he reached the rank of Executive Engineer before transitioning to the consulting industry. He completed a PhD in stress analysis in 1981 at the University of Nottingham.
Representing one of the UK’s largest sectors, the PBSC is a partnership between industry and government and spans accountancy, actuarial, advertising, architecture, consultancy, engineering, law, recruitment and surveying. The council works closely with sector leaders, trade associations and professional bodies to make sure that the voice of the sector is heard by government. Employing 4.7 million people, its output is crucial to the UK economy, adding £217 billion of gross value in 2020 alone.
Taking over from Nick Owen, UK Chair of Deloitte, who served as co-Chair since 2016, Belfield will lead the Professional & Business Services Council (PBSC), together with Lord Grimstone, Minister for Investment jointly at the DIT and BEIS. Belfield will also work closely with Deputy Chair Sally Jones. A Trade Strategy Partner at EY, she has extensive knowledge of the sector having worked across all of the Council’s activities.
Belfield added, “Sally has been leading the PBSC Secretariat for the last five years… and will be a key support in helping me to convene the PBS leadership, drive collaboration on impactful initiatives and build upon the Council’s relationship with government.”