Lord Powell was for many years Private Secretary and adviser on foreign affairs and defence to Lady Thatcher when she was Prime Minister, and held the same position in the early part of John Major’s time as Prime Minister. Since 1992 he has been an international businessman, serving as a Board member of several major international companies. He is currently Chairman of Sagitta Asset Management Limited, and Chairman of LVMH, Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy in the UK. He is a board member of, among others, the Textron Corporation, Caterpillar Inc., LVMH, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Schindler Corporation, Northern Trust Global Services, Yell Group, Matheson & Co, and British Mediterranean Airways. He also holds a number of other positions, in particular President of the China-Britain Business Council, Chairman of the Trustees of the Oxford Business School and a Trustee of the British Museum.
Charles Powell was born in Sussex, UK in 1941. He was educated at King’s School, Canterbury and New College, Oxford, where he obtained a first class honours degree in History.
He joined the Diplomatic Service in 1963 and served successively in Helsinki, Washington, Bonn and at the European Community in Brussels, as well as in the Foreign Office in London. In 1984 he became Private Secretary and adviser on foreign affairs and defence to the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. He continued to serve in the same capacity with John Major until 1991.
Lord Powell subsequently embarked on a career in international business in 1992. He is currently Chairman of two companies: Sagitta Asset Management Limited and LVMH Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy in the United Kingdom.
He serves as a Director of the Textron Corporation and of Caterpillar Inc. in the United States, of LVMH in France, of Schindler Corporation in Switzerland and of Yell Group in the UK. He is also a Director of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, of Matheson & Co, of British Mediterranean Airways, and Northern Trust Global Services .
Previous directorships include Jardine Matheson Holdings and associated companies (1992-2000), National Westminster Bank and Arjo Wiggins Appleton.
Lord Powell is a member of a number of international advisory boards including Textron Corporation, Barrick Gold, Magna Corporation, HCL Technologies, Diligence LLC and GEMS Oriental & General Fund, as well as the European Advisory Board of Rolls-Royce and the European Strategy Board of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst.
Lord Powell also serves as President of the China-Britain Business Council: as Chairman of the Trustees of the Said Business School at Oxford University: as a Trustee of the Aspen Institute in the United States: and as a Trustee of the British Museum.
Lord Powell was created a Life Peer in the 2000 New Year Honours List. He is married and has two sons.