How do you inspire young Black men and women to pursue their dreams and career of their choice? You give them a list of the most powerful and influential Black people of African and African-Caribbean heritage in Britain and show them that it CAN be done. The Powerlist 2019 has been unveiled, and once again, it shines a spotlight on the top Black movers and shakers in the UK.

Now in its 12th year, the Powerlist honours men and women across a wide range of disciplines and industries, including sport, arts, science, business and much more. Aside from the expected big-name personalities on the list, such as Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, who makes the list for the first time this year, the list is a roll call of highly influential career giants who largely sit under the radar of mainstream media.

This year, Ric Lewis, Chief Executive and Chairman of Tristan Capital Partners, a veteran in the world of international real estate who oversees his firms’ portfolio of more than 10 billion Euro, knabbed the top spot.

Outside of work, Ric is a passionate advocate for removing the barriers to aspiration and achievement for children and young adults, in particular through his own charity the Black Heart Foundation Each year, the Foundation provides educational scholarships to young people in need in the UK and abroad.

Powerlist 2019
Ric Lewis

Speaking about topping the Powerlist 2019 Ric, said: “I am privileged to have been voted number one for 2019. Over the course of my career, I have been fortunate enough to accumulate the network and means, which allow me to give back. I hope to use this accolade to continue to advance the charitable causes I feel most passionate about, with the express aim of helping a greater number of children and young adults aspire to and achieve more. I have a deep belief that if kids are provided with inspiration, encouragement and the resources and pastoral care they need, great things can happen for them and for our community. It’s up to all of us to find our own ways to connect the dots and make this happen.”

Powerlist 2019 Publisher, Michael Eboda, agrees. He said: “Topping our Powerlist is never simply about how successful you are in what you do, just as importantly, it’s also about what you do for the good of society as a whole and Ric continues to excel on both fronts.

“We publish the list as a role model guide for young people. Everyone says there are no black role models, well here are 100.”


View the full Powerlist 100 below:

  1. Ric Lewis – Chief executive and chairman of Tristan Capital Partners
  2. Sharon White -Chief executive of Ofcom
  3. Ismail Ahmed – Founder and CEO of WorldRemit Ltd
  4. Jacky Wright – Chief digital and information officer at HMRC
  5. Sandie Okoro – Senior vice president and general counsel at World Bank Group
  6. Ebele Okobi – Facebook’s director of public policy for Africa
  7. Professor Funmi Olonisakin – Vice president and vice principal international at King’s College London
  8. Paulette Rowe – Global head of payments and financial services partnerships at Facebook
  9. Edward Enninful – Editor-in-chief of British Vogue
  10. Richard Iferenta – KPMG partner and head of challenger banking

And making up the rest of the Top 100:

Chi-Chi Nwanoku – Musician, professor and founder of Chineke! Orchestra

Chris Ofili – Artist

Dr Delia Jarrett Macauley – Writer, academic and chair of The Caine Prize

Duro Olowu – Fashion designer

Dr Shirley Thompson – Composer, artistic director and university reader in composition and performance

Isaac Julien – Artist and filmmaker

Lemn Sissay – Author and broadcaster

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye – Artist

Matthew Morgan – Co-founder of global festival Afropunk

Pat McGrath – Make-up artist, CEO and founder of Pat McGrath Labs

Valerie Brandes – Founder and CEO of Jacaranda Books

Yinka Shonibare – Artist

Alan Smith – Global head of risk strategy and senior executive officer of group risk at HSBC

Brian Robinson – Senior managing director at Goldman Sachs

Bukola Adisa – MD, head of RCSA design and execution, chief controls office at Barclays

Eric Collins – Operations head at Touch Surgery

Gary Stewart – Director of Telefonica Open Future, and Wayra UK

Heather Melville – Director of strategic partnerships and head of business inclusion initiatives for RBS

Netsai Mangwende – Head of finance for Great Britain at Willis Towers Watson

Pamela Hutchinson – Global head of diversity and inclusion at Bloomberg LP

Sandra Wallace – UK managing partner of DLA Piper UK

Tunji Akintokun – Director at Cisco leading mid-market sales and partnerships for Africa

Wol Kolade – Managing partner at Livingbridge

Yvonne Ike – Partner at Africapital Management Limited

Ade Adepitan – TV presenter and wheelchair basketball player

Afua Hirsch – Journalist, author, broadcaster

Akala – Rapper, poet and political activist

Anne Mensah – Head of drama at Sky

Amma Asante – BAFTA award winning writer and director

Charlene White – Journalist and news presenter

David Harewood – Actor

David Olusoga – Historian, filmmaker and joint creative director of Uplands Television Ltd

Dumi Oburota – Founder of Disturbing London

Femi Oguns – Founder of the Identity School of Acting and Identity Agency Group

Gary Younge – Journalist, author and broadcaster

Idris Elba – Actor, musician and producer

Jacqueline Simmons – Executive editor at Bloomberg LP

John Boyega – Actor and producer

Kanya King – Founder of MOBO Awards

Marcus Ryder – Chief editor international digital news at China Global Television Network

Mo Abudu – CEO and executive chair of Ebonylife TV

Naomie Harris – Actress

Paulette Simpson – Director of The Voice Newspaper and responsible for Corporate Affairs for The Jamaica National Group in the UK

Reggie Yates – Broadcaster, actor, radio DJ and television presenter

Reni Eddo-Lodge – Journalist and author

Simon Frederick – Photographer and director

Sir Lenny Henry – Comedian

Stormzy – Rapper

Thandie Newton – Actress

Tunde Ogungbesan – BBC head of diversity and inclusion

Vanessa Kingori – Publishing director of British Vogue

Wayne Hector – Songwriter

Yolisa Phahle – CEO of M-Net

Floella Benjamin – Actress and Baroness of Beckenham

Chuka Umunna – Labour Politician

Grace Ononiwu – Chief Crown Prosecutor at Crown Prosecution Service

Joshua Siaw – Partner at White & Case LLP

Kathryn Nwajiaku – Co-director at Development Results

Martin Forde QC – Barrister, appointed person to the Windrush compensation scheme

Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin – Priest at the Church of England

David Lammy – Labour MP for Tottenham

Beverley Lewis – Co-Founder and director of operations the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust

Dr Cheron Byfield – Trust Member and Governor at King Solomon International Business School

Dr Margaret Casely-Hayford – Lawyer, businesswoman, and chair of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Marvin Rees – Labour politician and Mayor of Bristol

Meghan Markle/Duchess of Sussex – Duchess of Sussex and actress

Nero Ughwujabo – Special Adviser to the Prime Minister

Nira Chamberlain – Vice President of the Institute of Mathematics

Orin Lewis – Co-founder and chief executive of the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust

Patricia Gallan – Retired Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner leading specialist crime and operations

Simon Woolley – Director and co-founder of Operation Black Vote

David Waboso – Managing director of Network Rail’s Digital Railway

Dr Emeka Okaro – Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London NHS Hospitals

Dr Ian Nnatu – Consultant Psychiatrist at Charing Cross Hospital, London and Medical Director at Cygnet Hospital Harrow

Joy Odili – Consultant plastic surgeon at ‎St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

Dr Sylvia Bartley – PhD, Neurophysiology Global director of Medtronic Philanthropy

Samantha Tross – Consultant surgeon

Professor Laura Serrant – Professor of Nursing at Sheffield Hallam University

Anthony Joshua – Boxer

Denise Lewis – TV presenter and retired athlete

Dina Asher-Smith – British record-holding sprinter

Lewis Hamilton – Formula 1 driver

Luol Deng – Basketball player

Mo Farah – Athlete and Olympian

Oona King – Responsible for strategy around equity, diversity, inclusion & integrity for Google, and Baroness King of Bow

Ian Greenstreet – Board Advisory Group at London Stock Exchange and Chairman and founding partner of TouchFX

Janet Thomas – Founder and CEO of TouchFX at Infinity Capital Partners

Marieme Jamme – Member of the board of directors at World Wide Web Foundation

Martin Ijaha – Co-founder and chief executive officer of Neyber

Nneka Abulokwe – IT and Governance Advisor

Visit the Powerlist website.



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