Here you can view the profiles and biographies of our directors.
Jonathan Brearley became Ofgem's Chief Executive Officer on 3 February 2020. This follows his previous appointment as our Executive Director for Systems and Networks in April 2018.
He has wide-ranging energy sector experience, having led Electricity Market Reform as the Director for Energy Markets and Networks at DECC. Prior to this, he was Director of the Office of Climate Change, a cross-government strategy unit focussed on climate change and energy issues, where he led the development of the Climate Change Act. Earlier in his career, Jonathan was a senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Physics from Glasgow University and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge.
Philippa Pickford, previously regulatory director for retail, will lead the E-Serve directorate from 1 February.
Philippa has been at Ofgem for more than a decade. Prior to her current role, she led our work to regulate the Electricity System Operator and to deliver legal separation of the Electricity System Operator within National Grid plc. As part of this, she oversaw the introduction of a new regulatory and incentives framework for the Electricity System Operator. She has previously led Ofgem’s work relating to the evolving distribution system operator role; security of supply, wholesale market design, including the Capacity Market, wholesale market conduct and smart metering.
Akshay is responsible for the economic regulation of Great Britain’s energy networks. This includes the development of the next generation of onshore network price controls called RIIO2, the regulation of offshore transmission infrastructure; and the delivery of an ambitious cross-border interconnection programme through the cap and floor regime.
Prior to joining Ofgem, Akshay was on secondment from HM Treasury to Transport for London, where he led TfL’s work on funding transport infrastructure in London by capturing the uplift in land and property values associated with transport projects such as Barking Riverside Extension, Crossrail 2 and the Bakerloo Line Extension. This followed a spell of five years at HM Treasury, where Akshay directed energy and transport projects for Infrastructure UK, a specialist infrastructure unit responsible for the planning, prioritisation, funding, financing and delivery of economic infrastructure. He has been involved in the design and delivery of electricity market reform, the competition for carbon capture and storage, the development of the new nuclear energy programme, the reform of the strategic roads network and regeneration projects such as the Northern Line extension to Battersea Power Station in London, the UK’s first large scale tax increment financing scheme. He also directed the production of the National Infrastructure Plan in 2011.
Earlier in his career, Akshay worked for ten years with Partnerships UK, a joint venture between HM Treasury and the private sector, on the delivery of projects in the transport, health, education and housing sectors under the Government’s private finance initiative. He started his career in India, where he worked in investment banking and project finance for energy, transport and industrial projects for the IL&FS Group, a major Indian financial institution. Akshay studied economics, finance, management, and bioscience, at the London School of Economics, the universities of London and Delhi, and the Indian Institute of Management.
Energy Systems Management and Security
Director (job share role)
Charlotte Ramsay has worked across the energy sector in several senior roles. Most recently for National Grid, where she led the creation of a separate Electricity System Operator and secured investment decisions on National Grid's portfolio of electricity interconnectors. She spent several years at Ofgem, developing the "Cap and Floor" regime for interconnector investment and leading work on integrated transmission planning and regulation. Prior to this, she worked for the Energy Research Partnership and the Association for Conservation of Energy (now part of the Association for Decentralised Energy). She has a PhD in Power System Economics from Imperial College.
Director (job share role)
An engineer by background, Richard Smith worked at National Grid for many years where he carried out an array of roles gaining extensive leadership experience. In his most recent roles, which include Head of Networks, Head of Market Change and Head of Commercial, he sat on the executive team of the NG ESO, contributing to the corporate strategy agenda. Richard’s business portfolio also includes leading the creation of the first UK-wide Future Energy Scenarios energy system, promoting political, regulatory and industry-wide stakeholder engagement.
Enforcement and Emerging Issues
Cathryn joined in 2013 as the Legal Director for E-Serve environmental schemes and our offshore transmission tenders regime. Between 2016 and 2018, she was Partner for Wholesale Markets and Legal in the Energy Systems division, leading on the provision of legal advice and on Ofgem’s oversight of the wholesale energy market, gas systems issues and settlement reform. In April 2018, she was appointed Director of Wholesale Markets and Commercial, and in August 2020, Director of Enforcement and Emerging Issues.
Before joining Ofgem, Cathryn worked in both the public and private sectors. She was the Deputy General Counsel at the Department for Transport, having headed up teams advising on aviation and rail regulation. She has extensive competition, regulatory and procurement law experience, having also worked for the Competition Commission and Linklaters EU and Competition Group. Previously, she worked in the litigation division of the Treasury Solicitor’s Department and as Assistant to the European Speakers Counsel at the House of Commons. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence.
Anna is responsible for the regulation of the retail energy sector, on an interim basis.
Prior to this, she was responsible for the policy associated with the default tariff cap, having led the successful introduction of the cap at the start of 2019. She also headed the future consumers team, looking at what role consumers will play in the future retail market, and what will be needed to ensure they are able to participate successfully.
Prior to this Anna worked in Ofgem’s Networks division, leading the 3-year RIIO-ED1 price control review to set the revenues the GB electricity distribution network companies were allowed to earn from 2015. She also led the successful defence of the review against two appeals to the Competition and Markets Authority.
Analysis and Assurance
Simon joined Ofgem in August 2018, to lead Ofgem’s regulatory and corporate finance and investor relations teams. Prior to Ofgem, he spent 26 years in investment banking, predominantly focused on the utilities, renewable energy and infrastructure sectors.
Simon was previously a senior energy banker at Macquarie Capital and head of European power & utilities at RBS / ABN Amro, advising on transactions including Iberdrola’s acquisition of Scottish Power, Cheung Kong Infrastructure / UK Power Networks and the acquisition of Bristol Water.
In addition to his professional practice, Simon is a visiting lecturer and research fellow at Imperial College Business School and has held faculty positions in finance at the University of Bath and UWE Bristol.
Simon holds masters degrees from LSE and Bristol and graduated in law and economics from the University of Cambridge.
Strategy and Decarbonisation
Neil has been Ofgem’s Director for Strategy and Decarbonisation since April 2020. Prior to this, Neil spent five years as head of Energy and Environmental policy and spending at HM Treasury. This followed a range of energy, economic, and strategy roles across the UK government, including working in Tony Blair’s Strategy Unit, running the Foreign Office economics network, and head of Globalisation and Emerging Markets in the Treasury. Neil started his career in the private sector, as a consultant on energy and public policy questions, and is an economist by training.
Priya Brahmbhatt-Patel has operated at the heart of Whitehall for 15 years, acquiring a wealth of leadership experience in Government Communications. She began her comms career as a PR officer for the Royal College of Surgeons of England, moving on to work as a press officer for government departments including the Department for Transport and the Home Office, before becoming chief press officer at the Department for Education and Skills. Priya also worked for the Department for Culture Media and Sports, rising to become its deputy Director of Communications, before taking on the role of interim Director of Communications at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.
Euan McVicar became General Counsel in August 2018. He is responsible for leading the Ofgem legal team, providing legal advice to GEMA and managing legal risk and is a member of the executive leadership team.
Before joining Ofgem Euan was General Counsel and Company Secretary at the Green Investment Bank (GIB) and was part of the team who took the bank through a successful privatisation process in 2017. Post-acquisition of GIB by the Macquarie Group, Euan took on the role of Head of Transaction Structuring within Macquarie Capital. Prior to this Euan was a partner in the law firm Pinsent Masons where he led the firm’s Energy Transactions and Advisory team.