Diversity UK draws on the experience, knowledge and wisdom of its Advisory Board comprising individuals with a wide skills set from a broad range of backgrounds.
Diversity UK Advisory Board Members
(listed in alphabetical order by surname)
Anil Bhanot OBE
BSC (Hons) FCA FCCA AIFP FRSA
Anil Bhanot is a practising chartered accountant by profession and in his voluntary capacity he works on community issues with an added focus on faith. He is the Managing Director of Hindu Council UK, a national umbrella organisation for the UK’s Hindu temples and cultural organisations. He is the Vice Chair of a wider faith organisation the Council of Dharmic Faiths UK which works on ecumenical unification of the Dharmic Faiths of India.
Anil is also the Vice Chair of EMF, a social justice foundation, which over the last few years have been funding projects in India to bring sustainable living in harsh and remote areas with the help of science and technology innovations. Anil is a trustee of the Peepul Centre, a large community centre in Leicester. He is the Chair of the Mosaic Community Trust (MST) which helps build bridges across broken communities like Jewish and Palestinians in the UK, especially with the help of women. MST also does projects on mental health and other community projects in London. Anil is a patron of the Kisch Trust which funds youth projects to bring different communities together.
Anil runs his own Charity the Rita Trust with the aim of researching into the natural laws which guide our human behaviour and interaction and currently is sponsoring two researches in India to compile a Sanskrit dictionary, an Indo-European mother language reputed to have the most logical base, thus near perhaps to the natural law, Rita.
Naaz Coker’s career in the public and voluntary sectors spans forty years. From 2003 to 2011, she was the Chair of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, which has at its heart St. George’s Hospital, one of London’s premier undergraduate teaching hospitals, a 1000 bed acute and tertiary specialist hospital with 8000 employees and turnover of £500 million. She is currently a Non-Executive Director on the National Audit Office Board and the Ethical Property Company as well as a trustee of C3 Collaborating for Health and the Clore Social Leadership Programme. She was previously Chair of Shelter and the British Refugee Council.
She has Master’s degree from the University of London and completed her MBA in 1991. She was awarded honorary doctorate degrees by Leeds Metropolitan University in 2005 and the University of Central England in 2007. She was awarded ‘Asian Woman of the Year in 2000, 2003 and winner of the ‘Asian Woman of Achievement’ award in the Public Sector category in 2004. In November 2009, she was awarded the lifetime achievement award in the Lloyds TSB Jewel Awards for her contribution to public life.
Sharmila is a Partner and Co-Head of The UK Immigration Group at specialist London law firm Magrath LLP, where she has responsibilities for some of the Firm's major investment banking, financial services and global commodity clients acting for influential business people, wealthy families and entrepreneurs for whom she has built a personal brand as a trusted adviser and friend.
She has been practising corporate and private immigration law for over 18 years and is widely respected by clients and peers alike for her technical skill, market knowledge, tenacity and humanity. Her unwavering determination and common sense approach to some of the most complex immigration issues have made her an asset much in demand.
Sharmila is an energetic lobbyist helping shape government policy, is an active member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, a regular contributor to news articles on corporate immigration and a speaker at major business events around the UK and overseas.
Recommended by both Chambers and Legal 500 legal directories as well as Legal Experts, Sharmila has acted in highly sensitive cases around the world including Russia and the Middle East where she is becoming known as a significant authority. Sharmila advises on all aspects of corporate immigration as well as private wealth client migration issues.
Peter has 14 years’ experience in recruitment. He joined Harvey Nash four years ago as a consultant in both the Board and Government and Public Sector Practices. Peter has extensive experience of appointing Chairmen and Non-Executive Directors across the private, public sector and not-for-profit sectors. Peter is particularly respected for bringing diversity forward and leads Harvey Nash’s diversity initiative, Tbay. Peter is increasingly working with the private sector helping to address diversity on Boards.
Before entering the recruitment sector Peter had experience of both the private and not-for-profit sectors. He is a Trustee of World Jewish Relief and a regular speaker at the Financial Times Non Executive Director Club seminars. Peter is also an accredited workplace and Employment Mediator.
Selina Sagayam is a partner in one of the prominent global law firms, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP. She is based in London where she practices primarily in the fields of international corporate finance and advisory work focussed on corporate governance and financial securities law matters. Ms. Sagayam is dual qualified, having started her legal career as a barrister in 1993. She was seconded to Charterhouse Bank in 1997 (Group Legal & Compliance) and to the UK Panel on Takeovers and Mergers in the role as Secretary for a two year period (2004-2006). Prior to joining Gibson Dunn in January 2007, Ms. Sagayam practised in London in another leading international law firm for 11½ years.
Ms Sagayam is a member of Gibson Dunn’s Global Diversity Committee and chairs its London Diversity Committee under the auspices of which she has organised a number of key diversity events. She has been a Charter Member of the global networking organisation TiE since 2000. Through TiE and other educational organisations, Selina acts as a mentor to business people and young adults looking to make a career move. Selina is also hugely interested in the arts and is a member of the Learning Council of the Serpentine Gallery.
Selina has received a number of accolades and recognition in the legal industry including being recommended as leading lawyer in the field of Corporate/M&A by UK Legal Experts 2011 and listed in the International Who's Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers 2010 and 2011. She is a regular speaker at conferences in UK and Europe on legal issues and is regularly quoted for her views on M&A transactions, regulatory reform and corporate governance issues.