Development & Alumni Relations Office 


14 July 2016

A Queen’s 1981 Business Administration graduate, Francis Martin, has been appointed President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). Originally from Moy in Co Tyrone, Francis is the business group’s first President from Northern Ireland in 156 years.

A partner in BDO Northern Ireland with more than 20 years’ experience in corporate finance and business strategy development, Francis had served as BCC Vice President since 2013. He was formerly President of NI Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was recently awarded Northern Ireland Dealmaker of the Year 2016.

The BCC network of 52 accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK, represents thousands of businesses of all sizes and within all sectors. 

Commenting on his appointment Mr Martin said: “The British Chambers of Commerce is a powerful advocate for the business community and has strongly represented the diverse interests of our members for more than 150 years. In my tenure as President, I will work with my colleagues and government for the benefit of businesses and communities around the country.

“This is a crucial time for the UK economy and the role of the Chambers of Commerce has become vital as a result. Businesses in the UK are resilient and innovative, but it is imperative that actions needed to sustain competitive trade and support long-term growth are identified and taken by policymakers.”

Welcoming the appointment, Peter Burnside, Managing Partner at BDO Northern Ireland said: “Francis brings strong leadership and exceptional business acumen to the Chambers. His influence and measured approach in challenging situations has helped our clients and our firm to grow considerably in the last decade. 

“I’m pleased that he will continue to lead our ranks while also sharing his experience and guidance through the BCC. Now is the time for calm and considered thinking across all sectors in the UK and, in Francis, the Chambers have a strategist of the highest calibre at their helm. I wish him every success during his term as President of the British Chambers of Commerce.”

In addition to his Queen’s degree Mr Martin also has an MBA from the University of Ulster (1990). The immediate Past President of NI Chamber of Commerce, a board member of Genesis Initiative Ltd, a member of the Board of Governors of Lagan College, and a member of the Agri-food Strategy Board, Francis is a Chartered Accountant, a Fellow of the Institute of Business Consulting, and is widely recognised as one of the province’s leading business advisers.

He was recently awarded the prestigious title of Northern Ireland Dealmaker of the Year at the 2016 Dealmaker Awards.

Visit Queen’s Management School to find out more about studying business at Queen’s University Belfast.

For more on the appointment of Francis Martin as BCC President contact Allan Williams – Senior Press Manager BCC 020 7654 5812 or 07920 583 381 or Chris McIntyre – Press Officer, 020 7654 5813 or 07825 746 812.


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