Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles
Group Head of Government Affairs, HSBC Holdings
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles joined HSBC Holdings in October 2013 as Senior Adviser to the Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive. In May 2015, he was appointed as Group Head of Government Affairs. He is also a Director of HSBC Bank Egypt SAE.
Before HSBC Sir Sherard worked as Business Development Director, International, at BAE Systems plc. Earlier he spent over 30 years in the British Diplomatic Service serving in Cairo, Washington and Paris. He was also Principal Private Secretary to the UK Foreign Secretary, the late Robin Cook, and was Head of the Foreign Office Hong Kong Department from 1994 up to the handover to China in 1997. His final diplomatic jobs were as Ambassador to Israel (2001–2003), Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2003–2007), Ambassador to Afghanistan (2007-2009), and the UK Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (2009–2010).
Sir Sherard is Chairman of the UK Financial Inclusion Commission; an Ambassador for the Money Advice Trust; Member of the Board of the China-Britain Business Council, the Egyptian British Business Council, and the Saudi British Joint Business Council; UK Chairman of the Omani-British Friendship Association; a Committee Member of The Hong Kong Association; and a Board Member of Asia House. He is President of the Algeria British Business Council, Chairman of the UK Advisory Council, LSE Confucius Institute for Business London, and of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Trust. He sits on the International Engagement Committee of the British Academy. He is an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford, and President of the Jane Austen Society. He has an honorary D. Litt. from the University of Westminster and is a Liveryman of The Skinners’ Company. Sir Sherard is the author of two books about his diplomatic experiences; ‘Cables from Kabul’ and ‘Ever the Diplomat’.