Our team

Sir Michael Lyons - Chairman

photo of Sir Michael Lyons

Following a distinguished career in local government Sir Michael Lyons now acts as a strategic adviser to a range of organisations in the public and private sectors.

Sir Michael completed a four year term as chairman of the BBC in 2011 and is a former chief executive of Birmingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Wolverhampton Borough Council.

He is chairman of the English Cities Fund, which aims to bring together the public and private sectors to promote sustainable urban regeneration and a strategic adviser to CB Richard Ellis.

He was formerly a non-executive director of Mouchel Group plc, acting chairman of the Audit Commission, professor of Public Policy at Birmingham University and chairman of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He completed a ten year term as a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2011.

Sir Michael Lyons led a major government sponsored enquiry on the Role and Funding of Local Government (pub spring 2007) and was responsible for the 2004 Lyons Review of Public Sector relocation for the Treasury. He is currently leading a review of housing supply for Ed Milliband.

Ian Laing

photo of Ian Laing

Ian Laing has had an entrepreneurial career in commercial property and early stage science and technology companies.

He worked for English Property Corporation plc for 13 years, initially as general manager of overseas operations in Australia, Brussels and Paris and subsequently as a main board director with responsibility for the Group’s overseas properties, the UK industrial portfolio and trading subsidiaries.

In 1984 Ian Laing and his business partner, Nick Cross, completed a management buy-out of Lansdown Estates Group Ltd, which owned the Milton Park Estate in Oxfordshire. Mr Laing was managing director until 1993 and then chairman of Milton Park until 2006. During this period the site was transformed from a former ordnance depot into one of Europe’s leading mixed-use business parks, with a growing concentration of science and technology-based businesses.

Together with Nick Cross, Ian Laing is a founding shareholder and non-executive director of a number of Oxfordshire science and high-tech businesses, including Adaptimmune Ltd (pioneering engineered T cells to treat cancer and infectious disease), Immunocore Ltd (creating novel biological drugs to treat cancer) and PhosphonicS Ltd (precious metal recovery specialist). He is also a non-executive director of Sussex Place Ventures Ltd and Bamboo Investments plc, both of which specialise in seedcorn funding of early-stage companies.

Nick Cross and Ian Laing have previously been founding shareholders and non-executive directors of Oxford Asymmetry International plc (chiral and combinatorial chemistry – resigned 2000), Oxford Semiconductor Ltd (semiconductor design - resigned 2005), Oxagen Ltd (genomics – resigned 2001) and Doctors.net.uk Ltd (internet provider for the medical profession – resigned 2011). Ian Laing was also a shareholder and non-executive director of Stanhope plc, which creates major commercial and mixed-use developments in London and the south east.

Ian Laing was a non-executive director of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust between 1993 and 1998 and a Governor and Deputy Chairman of London Business School between 1996 and 2005. He is currently a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and an Honorary Fellow of Green Templeton College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford.

Roger Quince

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Roger Quince combines experience at board level in industry and property investment with consultancy in the field of public policy.

Roger Quince is a co-founder of SQW and a former managing director of the company. As well as leading the development of the firm to become one of the foremost in its field he directed many of SQW’s flagship projects, principally in the science and technology field. His consultancy experience includes a strong international dimension, with assignments spanning the Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Mediterranean, and several countries in Western and Eastern Europe.

Mr Quince is a former executive director of MEPC Ltd, one of the UK’s leading property companies, and was responsible for three business parks including Granta Park near Cambridge which is focused on the biotechnology sector.

Roger Quince is chair of a medium sized NHS acute hospital in Suffolk and also chairs the Cambridge Music Festival, a triennial classical music festival which comprises over 70 separate events.

Sir William Wells

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Sir William Wells’ career encompasses senior positions in health, commercial property, insurance and small business.

Sir William is currently chairman of ADL, an AIM-listed care home provider; CMG plc, a specialist in the care of adults and children with learning difficulties; Transform plc; the Cosmetic Surgery Co; Restore plc, an information storage management company, and Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charitable Foundation.

Sir William was managing partner and then chairman of Chesterton chartered surveyors for 34 years, where he oversaw their transition from a private partnership to a listed company. In the private sector, his other former experience includes non-executive director roles with AMP (UK) which acquired the Pearl Group, London Life, NPI and Henderson. He guided AMP (UK) through a disposal programme leading to the refloating of Henderson Group plc and of Exel plc, which was subsequently acquired by Deutsche Post.

In the public sector, he was chairman of the Department of Health’s Commercial Advisory Board, which advised ministers on the effects of policy on the private sector, and chairman of the NHS Appointments Commission, which he established in 2001. Sir William was also a former governor of the Royal Free Hospital, London, and regional chairman of the South Thames Region.

Chris Green

Group Chief Executive Officer

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Chris Green has been chief executive officer of SQW Group since 2006, and was previously managing director of subsidiary company, SQW, for eight years. He negotiated a merger with Oxford Innovation in 2006, which brought OI into the Group.

Chris has substantial experience of economic development and planning work in the public and private sectors, including 25 years in consulting and 10 years in local government in the UK and Australia. He has particular expertise in relation to innovation and technology-based development, and at the interface between economic and spatial development. This includes policy development and evaluation, and project design and delivery.

Chris has led work on proposals for the re-use of major employment sites, the creation of science and business parks and eco-towns and on inward investment. His international work has included projects on small business and technology development, and organisational re-structuring.

He has worked in over 30 countries worldwide as well as throughout the UK for clients ranging from the World Bank and the European Commission to national and local governments, major charitable foundations, private property developers and universities.

Andrew Strivens

Group Chief Operating Officer

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Andrew Strivens has overall responsibility for central support functions at SQW Group, with a particular focus on Finance and Human Resources.

Prior to joining SQW Group, he was Chief Operating Officer, Finance Director and Company Secretary at TMG, an IT-based professional services firm.

Andrew was also formerly Chief Operating Officer at the London office of Weil Gotshal & Manges, a New York based city law firm, ranked 12th globally, where he led a turnaround of the office’s financial performance and substantially improved the HR services.

Andrew trained as an accountant at Coopers & Lybrand and subsequently worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a management consultant.

Malcolm Hay

Finance Director

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Malcolm Hay joined SQW Group as finance director in April 2013.

Mr Hay qualified as a chartered accountant with a predecessor firm of Ernst & Young before working for Grand Metropolitan plc for seven years in London and New York. He then returned to work for EY in corporate finance, becoming a partner advising on m&a, corporate restructuring, and raising debt and equity.

In 1997 he joined Oxford Asymmetry International as finance director – it was a fast-growing profitable spin-out company from Oxford University which had an IPO in London in 1998 and was acquired in 2000. Mr Hay then worked for several life science and tech companies in Worthing, Cambridge, Southampton and Oxford before becoming head of finance for a charity, The Oxford Trust, in 2009. The charity’s mission is to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise and it was the founder of Oxford Innovation. Mr Hay initially joined SQW Group on secondment from the Trust before becoming an employee in late 2013.

SQW Consulting - consultancy in economic and social development Oxford Innovation - business services and office space for entrepeneurs