Chuka Umunna is a former Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and a sought-after keynote speaker. He is also a strategic corporate advisor to companies on business-critical issues that impact on long term value, reputation and narrative. In particular, the environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors. With a wealth of professional, political and corporate advisory experience, Chuka is a veteran of public speaking. He delivers his speeches with an easy authority and engaging style. Passionate advocate for positive change in business, he has an in-depth understanding of the factors required to transform organisations both large and small.
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Chuka Umunna is currently an Executive Director and Head of ESG at Edelman, one of the world’s leading corporate advisory firms. Based in Edelman’s specialist capital markets and financial communications team, he acts for both publicly-listed and privately-owned companies providing strategic counsel on how best to integrate environmental, social and governance.
He also sits on a number of Boards. He is a non-executive director of Advanced, the UK’s third largest provider of business software and services. In addition, he is a also a non executive director of Digital Identity Net. They provide consumers with a single gateway to the validated identity data held by banks and other trusted custodians of transactional and behavioural data. Furthermore, he sits on the advisory board of Signal AI. They are a leader in Artificial Intelligence Powered solutions for business and professional services.
Widely recognised as the former Member of Parliament for Streatham (2010-2019), Chuka Umunna served in Opposition as the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Shadow Minister for Small Business for several years.
As Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills he was a leading advocate in Parliament of the responsible capitalism agenda and how businesses can create shared value in society. He led the successful campaign against the takeover of AstraZenca by Pfizer to protect the UK’s science base. Chucka also instigated the establishment of the annual Small Business Saturday campaign in the UK in 2013. He also led trade delegations for business organisations to West Africa and China whilst in post.
Chuka left the Shadow Cabinet in September 2015 and subsequently resigned the Labour whip to sit as an independent MP in February 2019. This was due to policy differences with the Labour leadership over Brexit, the economy, national security, and because of anti-Jewish racism in the party.
In June 2019, Chuka joined the Liberal Democrats and was immediately appointed to become the party’s Treasury and Business spokesperson. He was then appointed in August 2019 as the party’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, also leading on international trade. In this role he was an advocate of the liberal, rules-based international order established in the wake of the Second World War.
He stood as the Liberal Democrats’ candidate in the Cities of London and Westminster in the 2019 General Election. He was endorsed by The Economist and The Observer newspapers and by people from across the political spectrum, They included the former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Michael Heseltine. Though he was not elected, whilst the Conservative MP lost 6.7% of their vote in the seat, he almost trebled the Lib Dem share of the vote increasing it by 19.6%.
Prior to being elected to Parliament, Chuka practiced as a corporate employment lawyer for international City law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. He helped clients with their most challenging contentious, transactional and advisory matters. His clients were businesses large and small, international and domestic. Chuka’s work involved providing advice across employment and employment litigation. It also included advising on industrial relations, remuneration and incentives, superannuation and workplace health and safety.
Other information about Chuka Umunna
Chuka continues to contribute regularly to a range of publications. These include a variety of major UK newspapers and Forbes business magazine.
He was a leading figure in the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign during the 2016 EU referendum. He subsequently co-founded the People’s Vote campaign and continues to be a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is a patron of Crystal Palace Football Club’s Palace for Life Foundation and is a Performing Rights Society Foundation Ambassador.
A popular and first classs speaker Chuka an in-depth understanding of the factors required to transform organisations both large and small. Chuka’s core keynote speaking topics are listed below. Each can be tailored to the specific needs of the client, as well as their wider positioning and context in the marketplace.
- Environmental, social and governance factors in business
As businesses and organisations adopt ESG factors to provide a more holistic approach to working practices, goals and attitudes, Chuka discusses and assesses how best to integrate ESG into decision making and how to align this with the demands and requirements of investors and shareholders.
- Environmental, social and governance factors in a post COVID-19 world
Chuka looks at the impact of Covid-19 and the increasing global focus on equality; and whether this will lead to an increase in pressure on businesses and organisation to take account of ESG in corporate decision making?
- Corporate reputation management
As businesses seek to best manage their reputations and the competing demands of multiple stakeholders, Chuka provides his insight into the most effective ways for companies to campaign and illustrate how they deliver for shareholders and society at large.
- Business and economic policy – building back better
As the world enters what has been coined the ‘new normal’, Chuka draws on first-hand experience (in the corporate world and 10 years as a Member of Parliament) to address: the public policies needed to promote prosperity and growth, how to construct a more inclusive and productive capitalism and how to build an environment that can nurture and incubate successful businesses.
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