Board members


Nick Holder

BBGV Responsibilities: Chair
Nick is currently Chief Financial Officer for Prudential Vietnam. Prudential Vietnam is the largest life insurance company operating in Vietnam and are part of Prudential Plc. He has worked in accounting, audit and financial services for nearly 20 years and has worked in the UK, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
He has been living and working in Vietnam since 2009. He is married to Stephanie and they have two daughters and one son.


David Priestley

BBGV Responsibilities: Vice-Chair and Social & Business Events Sub-Committee (Hanoi)
David is Managing Director of Rolls-Royce International (Vietnam) Ltd based in Hanoi responsible for the company’s corporate representation in the region. In addition, David is also legal representative and Chairman of Rolls-Royce Vietnam Ltd in Vung Tau, a manufacturing facility which is part of Rolls-Royce’s global supply chain. David has extensive international experience through a series of increasingly senior roles in the Middle East leading to positions as Director of Service Strategy & Business Development M.E and Regional Director – Saudi Arabia. Married to Carmel with 2 sons in education in UK.


Kenneth Atkinson

BBGV Responsibilities: Treasurer
Ken Atkinson is based in Ho Chi Minh City and is a Managing Partner at Grant Thornton in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Ken graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in Economics, Accountancy and Law and is a CPA (Australia); CPA Vietnam; and a member of the Khmer Institute of Public Practicing Accountants.
Ken has worked and lived in Vietnam since 1990 and was a founding member of the BBGV and served on the first committee from 1996-2001 serving as Secretary, Vice Chair and Chair. Ken was also a member of the original British luncheon group which was the catalyst to the establishment and licensing of the BBGV in 1996. Ken also served as Chairman of Operation Smile from 2002-2011 and is currently Chairman of the Eurocham Sector Committee and the VBF working group on Tourism and Hospitality and also Vice Chair of the Tourism Advisory Board.


Steve Banner

BBGV Responsibilities: Social and Business Events Sub-Committee (Hanoi)
Steve Banner joined HSBC in 1991. During his career he has worked in 9 countries in North America, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.
Since April 2011, he has been based in Hanoi where he represents HSBC on the Board of Directors of Techcombank, a Vietnamese joint stock bank in which HSBC has a 19.41% equity stake. Steve joined the Board of BBGV in 2011.
Prior to Vietnam, Steve worked in the USA, where he was focused on the restructuring of HSBC’s sub-prime mortgage business. Prior to that he was Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Bangladesh, where he held a seat on the steering committee of BBG Bangladesh.
He is married with 2 children.


Paul Cleves MBE

BBGV Responsibilities: Charity Sub-committee
Paul works for Foodlines, a seafood sourcing consultancy. In 1992 Paul founded the Saigon Children’s Charity which he continues to serve as a Trustee. In 2004 he was awarded the MBE.


Michael Farrelly

BBGV Responsibilities: Social Events Sub-committee
Mike was educated at St. Mary’s College, Crosby, Liverpool and the University of Bristol. In 1981, Mike joined Fairfield Industries of Houston, Texas, which is a full service geophysical company engaged in old and gas exploration, in which Mike is a corporate Vice President. Mike first came to Vietnam in May, 1994 and commenced negotiations with PetroVietnam in Hanoi for the establishment of a seismic data processing joint venture. Fairfield Vietnam commenced operations in 1996 and Mike took over as CEO in 2005.
Fairfield Vietnam provides seismic services to both the Vietnam and regional oil and gas industry. The company presently employs sixty people in HCMC. Through the relationship with PetroVietnam, Mike has been active and continues to be active in assisting several British companies and universities to gain access to business opportunities in the oil and gas sector here in Vietnam.


Chris Jeffrey

BBGV Responsibilities: Charity Sub-committee (Hanoi)
Chris is Dean of the British University Vietnam, based in Hanoi. Prior to taking up the role he was a senior teaching fellow at Cass Business School London where he taught for 15 years, specializing in Emerging Markets (Vietnam, Russia, Brazil, Argentina and China) as well as Customer Service and Satisfaction. He was also Director of the Executive MBA Programme which was taught in London, Dubai and China.


Milton Lawson

BBGV responsibilities: Lawyer
Milton has been resident in Vietnam for almost 20 years, having worked in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. He manages the Ho Chi Minh City office of the international law firm – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP – one of the oldest, largest and best law firms. He is a long-term member of the BBGV, and has been a member of board since 2002.
He is married with two children.

Nguyen Dao

Dao Nguyen

BBGV Responsibilities: Membership Sub-committee
Dao is the managing partner of Allen & Overy Vietnam. Over the past 18 years, she has advised investors on all aspects of doing business in Vietnam since the country first opened its doors for foreign investment. She advises multinational and domestic clients on a wide range of matters including corporate and M&A, banking and finance, real estate, energy and infrastructure. She has acted for developers and the government of Vietnam on several landmark project finance transactions including the first licensed BOT project in Vietnam. Dao is fluent in English and Vietnamese.

The Asia Pacific Legal 500 2012 notes she is “head and shoulders above her peers in the market” and “demonstrates a detailed view of ongoing and likely future legal developments, a strong willingness to understand the client’s needs, combined with a pragmatic approach”. The Legal 500 adds she “may be the top lawyer in Vietnam for a complicated important energy project. The government agencies respect her experience and knowledge”. Chambers Asia 2011 notes she is “highly regarded as the ‘number-one real estate lawyer in Vietnam'”. Dao is recognised as a leading lawyer by Chambers Asia in Corporate/M&A (2008-2012), Banking & Finance (2008-2012) and Projects & Energy (2010-2012). She was also named a Real Estate “Star Individual” by Chambers Asia (2008-2011).

Mr. Tom Nguyen

Tom Nguyen

BBGV Responsibilities: Membership Sub-committee
Tom is an English law solicitor heading the Legal & Compliance Team of Standard Chartered Bank’s wholesale and consumer banking business in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Tom joined the Bank in November 2009 having trained at Lovell White Durrant and spent much of his career working within the banking and corporate finance sectors. During his secondment with VTB Bank Europle plc (formerly Moscow Narodny Bank) in London and career with Clifford Chance (London and Moscow), he specialised in asset, commodity and project finance, acting both for borrowers and bank syndicates active in Central Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Tom is also heavily involved in the areas of real estate finance and structured products and has acted for borrowers and lenders on a variety of cross-border secured and unsecured financing transactions. Originally from Nha Trang but spent much of his life in England, Tom was educated in Nottinghamshire and is fluent in English, French, Russian and Vietnamese. Tom is married to Jo and have two sons age 6 and 2. In his limited spare time, Tom plays tennis, squash, partakes in the occasional triathlon and rides his vintage Vespa.

Ms Fiona Nichols

Fiona Nichols

BBGV Responsibilities: Business Events and Seminar Sub-committee
Fiona is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City. BIS is a selective, independent, co-educational day school, providing a British style education to the international community. It is the largest international school in Vietnam and one of the leading international schools in South East Asia. Fiona has lived and worked overseas for the past 22 years, and has gained experience in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Korea. She moved to Vietnam in 1996. She is married to Geoff and they have three daughters.

Mr. Rob Russell

Rob Russell

BBGV Responsibilities: Social Events Sub-committee
Rob is currently General Director for Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) in Vietnam. JLT is a market leader in insurance & reinsurance broking, risk consultancy and employee benefits services. The JLT Group is the largest European-based broker quoted on the London Stock Exchange. The Group employs more than 7,000 people worldwide and provides services in more than 135 countries. JLT is also an associate company of Jardine Matheson which has various commercial interests in Vietnam.
Rob is an MBA graduate with 14 years’ experience in risk management and insurance in London, Singapore and Vietnam. He has been living and working in Vietnam for 8 years, both in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Peter Simson

Peter Simson

BBGV Responsibilities: Social and Business Events Sub-Committee (Hanoi)
Peter is General Manager of Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel and has been working with Hilton Worldwide for 20 years in his 24 year international hotel management career across different countries in Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia, before moving to Vietnam in August 2010. Peter is married to Karinne and they have one daughter and one son.


Hugh Sykes, C.Eng., M.I.Mech.E.

BBGV Responsibilities: Business Events and Seminar Sub-committee
Hugh holds the position of President and Country Manager for Mubadala Petroleum in Vietnam. He has 23 years of experience in international oil and gas across S.E.Asia, Abu Dhabi, Australasia and the UK North Sea. Hugh has lived and worked in S.E.Asia for 16 years.
Hugh’s management experience spans commercial, business development and projects from gas, LNG, pipelines to power. From 2007 until 2012, Hugh was General Manager for Salamander Energy PLC in Vietnam; setting up the business, developing a team and executing exploration operations in the Mekong Delta and in the Gulf of Tonkin. Prior to this Hugh worked for BP for 17 years, including eight years in Vietnam.
Hugh’s early career includes research for Rolls Royce Aero Engines and work in UK power generation. He holds Ph.D. and B.Eng. degrees, is a chartered engineer, a member of the IMechE and the AIPN. He sits on the Board of the British Business Group Vietnam and is Representative for the International Society of Petroleum Engineers in Vietnam.
Hugh has four children, is married to a Vietnamese national, has lived in Vietnam for 14 years and speaks Vietnamese.


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