Commendations in full

Listed alphabetically by surname.

Des Benjamin – Former Chief Executive, Simplyhealth

I have known George since 1996.  We met when we worked in two different GE companies.  When I became CEO of Simplyhealth George led some management consultancy advice that was refreshingly clear, and we have also mentored members of each other’s senior management teams.   George has strong leadership qualities and I have always found him to deal with people honestly and with integrity.

Norman Lonergan – Main Board Director, Ernst & Young

I have known George since 1990, when we worked together for a firm of chartered surveyors.  He is a strong leader, good at bringing the best out of his team, identifying talent and nurturing the development of the most able.

Sir Terry Matthews – Chairman, Mitel

George came to see me and my Chief Executive a few times when he was Group Chief Information Officer of Herbert Smith, and he facilitated workshops for our senior management with his partners.  He was very clear thinking, and refreshingly frank and objective in his observations about what we were doing well and where we could do things better.  I especially enjoyed talking to George one on one over dinner a few times (and I think he did too…).

Bert Morris – Former Deputy Group Chief Executive of NatWest and Former Chairman of Lorien plc

I have known George since 1985.  He carried out a large amount of consultancy work for the bank over some ten years.  He developed the business and information systems strategies that led to a significant change of focus – from customer account to customer relationship.

Based on his record I recruited George to head up Lorien Consulting when I became Executive Chairman of Lorien plc.  His job was to turn round a loss making consultancy and sell it.  He took it to the top 10% of consultancies by profitability and sold it in a trade sale, for a price well ahead of our expectations.

His defining characteristics are intelligence, integrity and determination.

Claire Nichols, Former Head of Customer Services, Herbert Smith LLP

I worked for George for over 8 years whilst at Herbert Smith.  George has very strong leadership qualities, he is firm and fair and always gets the best from his team.

I always found George to be very approachable and easy to talk to, he is a strong believer in developing people within his team, and this included me.

George was a great mentor and someone I could always look to for help and advice.  Discussions with George were always honest and to the point, which made it easy to know where you were and where you needed to get to.

During his time at Herbert Smith George brought drive, structure and strategy to a department where these were previously lacking. This resulted in more reliable and respected systems and processes, and helped make the department a challenging and rewarding place to work.

Jonathan Scott – Senior Partner, Herbert Smith LLP

George was Herbert Smith’s Group Chief Information Officer for some eight years, and left us at the end of June 2011.  George inherited IT systems which were creaking and suffered from outages. Under his leadership the systems were updated and renewed so they were reliable, resilient and fit for purpose. He did this whilst maintaining strict budgetary controls. Independent external benchmarking showed that our systems had become comparable with our competitors and the cost of our systems was below equivalent law firm averages. George was also able to persuade suppliers to work collaboratively with the firm on new product developments. All of this was achieved during a period of rapid international growth.

Throughout his time at Herbert Smith George had a loyal, stable and motivated team.

Chris Simpkins – Director General, The Royal British Legion

George was recommended to us by one of our trustees, a former partner at Herbert Smith where he had seen first-hand George’s ability to understand and resolve complex IT issues and align business and information systems strategies.

Initially we asked George to carry out a review of our IT department and IT systems.  This gave us real insights into how to get better value for money, and we then asked him to develop an information systems strategy for the Legion.  The strategy has provided us with a blueprint to ensure our information systems can fully support our business strategy and future business initiatives, and that we get value for money from our investment in information systems.

Stuart Worden – Principal, The Brit School

The Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology has an international reputation for excellence.  The Senior Leadership Team felt that in order to maintain and build on this position we needed to work with someone who had in-depth experience of business and organisation strategies, aligning information systems and technologies with strategic plans, and education.  George’s rare combination of experience as a CEO and CIO, management consultancy and as a school governor fitted the bill.  George has helped us to structure our approach and develop an implementation plan that will further enhance the school’s reputation for doing its best for its students and for the industries that they target for their careers.   He’s been a real pleasure to work with.