Advisory Board

Management Division Advisory Board

The key role of the Management Division Advisory Board is to provide external input and interaction for the development of programmes and curriculum, advice on links to employment and employability, and a sounding board for research and over time be helpful in defining impactful research.


• To provide strategic independent, external employer and professional perspectives to the Management Division; and 

• To provide specific guidance and advice in relation to module and programme review and development. 

Advisory Board

Richard Stoppard - Chair of the Management Division Advisory Board, Chief Executive Culinary & Creative & Group CMO at The Conversion Fund
Richard Stoppard

Richard is a senior executive with 20+ years’ international; Investment, FMCG, Retail and Mobile Telecoms experience across: Strategy, Marketing and Business Development. He is a culturally aware dynamic leader with expertise in investments, business development, international brand and consumer marketing.  He has a proven track record across: Operations, category management and strategy across developed and emerging markets from UK and US to China and Brazil focused on driving commercial results and organizational change.  He has been instrumental in driving change and transforming global organizations to achieve growth & drive increased revenues, and has held key leadership roles at in a number of large organisations.


Richard spent 8 years at Nokia/Microsoft Mobile and 10 years at Unilever (in addition to his time at Proctor & Gamble and Safeway Stores) operating both at a Global level and internationally as a member of local company operating boards, before joining the Conversion Fund, a multi-category private investment vehicle based in London with an international portfolio of businesses at the beginning of 2017.  In addition to this Richard is also Chair of the Management Division Advisory Board member and a founder member of the Leader in Residence programme at Leeds, and a none executive director of Kathryn Sargent Ltd.

Alison Houston - Head of M&S Archive Project and University of Leeds Partnership
Alison Houston - Head of M&S Archive Project and University of Leeds Partnership

As overall Head of the Archive function at Marks & Spencer since 2009, Alison has been responsible for delivering the multimillion pound relocation of the M&S Company Archive to its permanent new home in Leeds, the result of a four year project and delivery plan which launched to the public in March 2012.

Now splitting her time between London and Leeds, Alison remains responsible for all aspects of the archive function, ensuring that the archive is used as a key business asset for inspiring the future whilst preserving our M&S heritage. She is a member of the Top 100 within Marks & Spencer and acts as the senior lead on M&S’ unique partnership with the University of Leeds.

Alison has a strong commercial background having worked in the Company for over 20 years with previous roles in stores and HR management, including having worked overseas in Eire for 5 years where she was responsible for the unionised workforce at a time of significant business growth. Externally Alison is an active school governor, chairing the personnel committee of a large state grammar school. 

Graham Staples - Company Secretary, Schroders

Graham has over 25 years of experience of the financial services industry. He is currently Group Company Secretary of Schroders plc, Europe’s largest independent listed asset management company, where he is responsible for the Group’s governance framework and advising the Schroders Board and Executive Management team on all governance matters. Graham started his career as a graduate trainee with the NFU Mutual Insurance Company. He subsequently moved to TSB Group where he held a number of roles in the legal, compliance and company secretarial departments. He was Assistant Company Secretary for NatWest Group for six years prior to their takeover by the Royal Bank of Scotland. He was responsible for the European share plan administration business of Computershare, the global registrar, prior to joining Schroders in 2004. He holds a law degree from Leeds University and an MBA from Henley Management College.

Helen Wollaston - Director, Wise

Helen joined WISE as Director in June 2012, after five years running her own consultancy business, Equal to the Occasion. Along with diversity expertise, she brings extensive experience of leadership across public, business and not-for-profit sectors. Former executive roles include Regional Manager (Yorkshire) for the National Lottery Charities Board and Director of Campaigns for the Equal Opportunities Commission. She is currently Senior Independent Director and Deputy Chair of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and was until recently Chair and trustee of a national charity supporting women and girls to achieve their potential, Platform 51, which is part of the global YWCA movement.

Laurence Olins - Chairman, Poupart Ltd

Laurence Olins, Director/Chairman of a wide range of food, distribution, marketing and farming companies with a combined turnover in excess of £1 billion. The companies are mainly international, operating and farming across the UK and Europe as well as the USA, Caribbean and Africa. The products range from meat, fresh produce, arable, branded goods and leather/fashion. His responsibilities extend to Corporate Social Responsibility in some of the companies with which he is associated. Laurence initiated and chairs the annual City Food Lecture at Guildhall, London.

Susan Paul - Entrepreneur & CEO, Healthcare Leadership Systems

Susan Paul is an entrepreneur with over 25 years' legal, management and business experience.  She runs a number of businesses focused around supporting individuals and organisations to create innovative and peaceful "solutions" to the issues they face. A specialist employment solicitor, and CEDR Accredited Mediator she was a UK Employment Judge for over five years until retiring from the Judiciary to expand her career as a mediator and help businesses focus on creating "solutions" to organisational and management issues. She has used her extensive management experience to create innovative management, HR and training solutions for the NHS. Susan is also the Managing Director of the First 4 Health Group a Federated group of GP practice in East London serving approximately 21,000 patients. In 2010 her first practice, E12 Health, was ranked by Healthcare 100 as the 24th best employer to work for across all categories of health service providers in the UK. She is passionate about innovating to create systems that facilitate the provision of excellent patient care within the NHS. Through her latest venture with Healthcare Leadership Systems, she has developed an cloud based operational and change management tool for GP practices and other NHS related organisations that empowers GP practices to work together collaboratively as Federations.