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New Portman Group Chairman is appointed



The UK’s leading drinks manufacturers have appointed Seymour Fortescue as the first external Chairman of the Portman Group.

This new position is designed to provide independent leadership on marketing and social responsibility standards for drinks producers.  Previous chairs have been appointed from among the senior drinks executives who make up the Portman Group’s Council.

Seymour Fortescue has held several senior positions in marketing, regulation and health promotion across the private, voluntary and public sectors.

Seymour was Chief Executive of the Banking Code Standards Board for seven years, the only self-regulatory body remaining in retail financial services.  Previously, he was Chief Executive of the Health Education Authority; Chief Executive of Barclaycard and Head of Marketing for Barclays Bank.

On taking up the position, Seymour Fortescue, said:

“The Portman Group is already a highly respected alcohol regulator and is a key player in addressing the adverse aspects of our drinking culture.  I look forward to working closely with other groups to build a consensus around actions that promote responsible attitudes to alcohol.  I firmly believe that self-regulation based on a tough code of practice that is rigorously monitored and enforced is the right way forward.”

The final industry Chairman of the Portman Group, Mark Hunter, Chief Executive of Molson Coors Brewing Company, said:

“Seymour combines excellent leadership skills with a great blend of self- regulatory, commercial, Whitehall and media experience.  His knowledge and experience will be a tremendous asset to the Portman Group as alcohol producers continue to strengthen industry standards.”

Notes to editors

The Portman Group is the dedicated social responsibility body for drinks producers, regulating the marketing of all UK drinks companies.  The work of the Portman Group is funded by its nine member companies: Bacardi-Martini, Beverage Brands, Brown-Forman; Carlsberg; Molson Coors Brewing Company; Diageo; Inbev; Pernod Ricard; and Scottish & Newcastle.

For a photograph or more information please call Michael Thompson, Head of Communications and External Affairs, on 020 7907 3704


Seymour Fortescue spent 26 years working for Barclays Bank, where he was Head of Marketing, Chief Executive of Barclaycard and Director, Personal Sector.  He was a Director of Visa International, Mercantile Credit and BACS.  Since leaving Barclays in 1991, he worked in the voluntary sector as Director of Finance and Fundraising at Imperial Cancer Research Fund and in the public sector as Chief Executive of the prevention arm of the NHS, the Health Education Authority.  In 1999, he became the Banking Code Standards Board’s first Chief Executive.  He retired in September 2006.

Seymour Fortescue has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University, an MSc in Business Studies from the London Business School and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Until recently he was a Council Member of London University and Chairman of the charity BookPower.  He is Chairman of the private sector UK Migrant Remittances Task Force set up by the Department for International Development.

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Monday, January 22, 6:11 pm

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