Vindi (Manvinder) Banga, a veteran executive who spent three decades at Unilever, and has held roles at M&S, GlaxoSmithKline, Thomson Reuters, and Maruti Suzuki, has been appointed Chair of Imperial College Council.
Banga, whose younger brother Ajay is World Bank President and former Mastercard chair, will begin at Imperial on 1st April this year.
Banga holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management.
He is a partner at US private equity firm CD&R, which orchestrated a leveraged buyout of Morrisons in 2021. The deal piled £6.1 billion of debt onto the British grocery chain, which subsequently posted losses of £1.5 billion.
Vindi has sat on the board of Morrisons since the takeover, which was described by a loan fund manager talking to the Financial Times as ‘the biggest fiasco since the Boots LBO [in 2007].’
Banga has several existing affiliations with educational institutions around the world, and said he looks ‘forward to supporting Imperial in this next phase of its journey as it seeks to leverage its excellence in research and education in science, engineering, medicine and business to the benefit of our wider society.’
He replaces John Allan, whose term ended in December 2023. Allan stepped back from his role as chair in April last year after facing unsubstantiated allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women – which he vehemently denies – but returned to his post three months later to see out the remainder of his term.
College Council is the governing and executive body of Imperial. It meets five times a year to set the College’s strategic direction, and oversee its finance, property, investments, and general business.
The Council Chair cannot be an employee, student or honorary status holder at the College, and does not receive any payments for the role, other than reimbursements of expenses.