Trio of British businesswomen to receive New Year’s honours

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the former boss of Virgin Money

Three prominent British businesswomen are to be recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the former boss of Virgin Money and one of the few women to have led a British bank, is to be made a Dame for her contribution to financial services and women in the finance industry. The Damehood will go with the CBE she received in 2014.

She oversaw Virgin Money’s £1.7 billion takeover by CYBG this year before standing down from the challenger bank in October. She was CEO of Virgin Money for over a decade and is currently an adviser to the enlarged group.

Ms Gadhia said: “I am very humbled to have been selected for this award and would like to thank everyone at Virgin Money for their work in serving customers and communities over the years, as well as the 300 financial services firms which have committed to improve gender diversity in their organisations by signing the Women in Finance Charter.”

Stagecoach co-founder Ann Gloag OBE is also to be made a Dame (Gloag Foundation/PA)

Transport tycoon Ann Gloag will be made a Dame in the New Year’s honours for her services to business and philanthropy having been awarded an OBE in 2004.

Ms Gloag, a former nurse and one of Britain’s richest women, set up the Freedom From Fistula charity a decade ago to help provide access to healthcare for women in Africa during pregnancy.

She co-founded bus and rail group Stagecoach with her brother Sir Brian Souter and former husband Robin Gloag in 1980 using her father’s redundancy money. Sir Brian was knighted in 2011.

Ms Gloag said: “I am humbled and grateful to receive this honour. Never in my wildest dreams, growing up in a council house in Perth, did I think this would ever happen.

“I am pleased the Honour mentions my nursing as what I learned as a nurse, dealing with people from all walks of life, helped me succeed in business and has been the cornerstone of my charitable work.”

Whitbread's chief executive Alison Brittain, who is to receive a CBE
Whitbread’s chief executive Alison Brittain will receive a CBE (Nick Ansell/PA)

Whitbread’s chief executive, Alison Brittain, is to receive a CBE for services to business.

Ms Brittain made a name for herself in the banking industry, having worked at Santander and Lloyds Banking Group, before she became the boss of hospitality firm Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn.

She is currently overseeing the sale of Whitbread’s Costa Coffee business to US drinks giant Coca-Cola for £3.9 billion in order for the group to focus on expanding its hotel operations.

Meanwhile, outgoing chairman of the London Stock Exchange Group Donald Brydon is to receive a knighthood for services to business and charity, which will go with the CBE he received in 2004.

Mr Brydon is to step down from one of the most important jobs in the City in May following a boardroom dispute with an activist investor over the departure of LSE’s former CEO Xavier Rolet.

Mustafa Suleyman, the co-founder of DeepMind, is to be awarded a CBE for services to the UK technology industry.

Artificial intelligence (AI) company DeepMind was founded in 2010 and was sold to Google parent Alphabet four years later with Mr Suleyman becoming head of applied AI at the start-up.

Christopher Bailey, who was lately the boss of luxury brand Burberry, is also to receive a CBE for services to fashion.

Mr Bailey, who was awarded an MBE in 2009, left Burberry earlier this year after 17 years and has been credited with transforming the fortunes of the fashion house.