It’s double honours for City’s top women bosses: NatWest chief executive Alison Rose and Anita Frew, chairman of Rolls-Royce, recognised
Alison Rose: First woman to head a major UK bank
Two of the UK’s most senior female executives are in line for damehoods in the New Year Honours List.
NatWest chief executive Alison Rose, the first woman to head a major UK bank, will receive the honour for services to the financial services sector.
And Anita Frew, who is the chairman of aerospace giant Rolls-Royce, is to be made a dame in recognition for services to business and the economy.
‘It is a tremendous privilege to receive a damehood in His Majesty’s New Year’s honours list and I am immensely proud to lead an organisation that plays such a positive role in the lives of people and families across the UK,’ Rose said.
She added: ‘This honour is a reflection of the fantastic work of all my colleagues at NatWest and the support we provide for the customers and communities we serve.’
Rose’s honour follows a mixed year for NatWest, with the banking giant raking in more money as a result of rising interest rates but it also had to put aside more cash to cover potential losses from loans as the cost of living crisis bites.
But her tenure has so far been a positive one for the share price, which has risen by 15 per cent since Rose took the helm in November 2019.
Meanwhile, the award to Frew comes at a time of upheaval for Rolls-Royce as chief executive Warren East steps down after over seven years in charge.
Frew, who has chaired the FTSE 100 firm since October last year and is the first woman to hold the post, is also chairman of chemicals group Croda and has previously held roles at mining giant BHP, Lloyds Bank and plastics group Victrex.
‘I’m sure that if anyone had told me, as a young girl growing up in Scotland with a father and a grandfather who worked at Rolls-Royce, that one day not only would I chair that company but would have the honour to be made a dame, I would not have believed it,’ she said.
Frew added: ‘I’ve been fortunate to chair three great British companies – Rolls-Royce, Croda and Victrex – with world-leading technologies in science and engineering. I hope that what I have achieved… during my career can help inspire others and show that anything is possible if you have determination and passion.’
Rose and Frew are not the only senior executives to receive honours in the New Year.
Ivan Menezes, the boss of drinks giant Diageo, which owns brands including Guinness and Johnnie Walker, is due to receive a knighthood for his services to business and equality.
Others include Martin Read, chairman of logistics firm Wincanton, who is also receiving a knighthood, and Octavius Black, the boss of staff training and business transformation specialist Mind Gym, who will be awarded a CBE.