Gillian Lacey-Solymar has 25 years’ experience in a variety of senior management and business roles at both ends of the spectrum, from small entrepreneurial businesses through to having advised some of the world’s largest companies. She started her career as a consultant at McKinsey & Co, serving a wide range of FTSE clients, including Europe’s largest consumer goods companies, a leading retailer, as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In 1994 she joined the BBC, taking the role of Business Correspondent, Economics Correspondent and Consumer Affairs Correspondent at different times. In fact, she was the corporation’s first Consumer Affairs Correspondent and the first Business & Economics Correspondent on the BBC’s News Channel when it launched. She spent 15 years at the BBC appearing on a diverse range of programmes including Newsnight, Working Lunch, Breakfast News.
Gillian also has extensive experience in entrepreneurship. She co-led the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Programme in London for five years until 2016, putting over 200 high-growth entrepreneurial businesses through the hoops of an intensive growth programme. She remains close to many of those companies today. She has built up an entrepreneurial business in the hospitality sector (www.perfect-manors.com) which takes dilapidated historical building, restoring them to become conference/wedding venues. Last year the business won “Outstanding Small Business of the Year in the Highlands and Islands” from the Chamber of Commerce and was named the UK’s top wedding venue by Harper’s Bazaar.
Gillian is a Senior Teaching Fellow at UCL where she works part-time, combining teaching with her other interests. She joined UCL as a part time lecturer in 1994, lecturing on innovation. She now teaches Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Communication to Undergraduates and Masters students. Gillian holds an MA from Oxford in PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) and an MBA from INSEAD.