The Scrutiny Body’s overall purpose is to obtain assurance on behalf of FSB members that the strategic direction of FSB is in line with the principles and objectives set out in its Constitution. This strategic scrutiny activity is a key component of the good governance of FSB.
Following the conclusion of the independent selection process, eight of the 12 members of the FSB Scrutiny Body have now been appointed.
FSB Scrutiny Body Chair
Brian is Managing Director of a Planning & Architectural Practice acting primarily as an expert witness and he acts on all sides of planning disputes. Prior to this he had a long career in Local Government and then at a commercial property company.
Brian has taken an active role in the FSB since 2013 holding a wide variety of Volunteer roles. Latterly he was regional chair for the South East and then chair of National Council.
He believes in achieving results and unlocking potential by negotiation, based on professionalism and building relationships.
Mark Allso has spent the whole of his career in the transport industry.
On leaving school he worked as a warehouse operative, part of the role included loading and unloading goods vehicles. He immediately wanted to become a lorry driver and obtained both LGV and PSV licences when he was 21.
He drove large goods vehicles, buses and coaches for about 12 years before moving into transport management as a planner. Over the years he has been the nominated Transport Manager for many operators both in the passenger and freight sectors.
Transport is a very varied industry and being exposed to the risk that inevitably surrounds operating large vehicles, he became more involved in Health and Safety. He felt that to be able to sufficiently manage the risk he needed training and qualifications. Mark began by obtaining the NEBOSH General Certificate quickly followed by the NEBOSH Fire and Risk Management and Construction Certificates and then went onto gain a level 5 Diploma in Health and Safety Practice.
Through the role of Transport Manager, Mark has worked in general haulage, the waste industry, the construction industry and for own account operators.
Mark is a qualified Trainer, Assessor and IQA and a fellow of CILT, SOE, IMI, IIRSM, Graduate Member of IOSH, Associate Member of CIWM and a NEBOSH examiner Mark has been self-employed as a Transport, Health and Safety and Waste Management Consultant for the past twenty years and a member of the Federation of Small Businesses for six years.
Stuart has been an FSB member for many years, as well as a managing director in the manufacturing and retail sectors, and a small business mentor. Having worked in senior management roles in large multi-national companies, Stuart also knows what the challenges of being on the small business side of industry can be.
Outside of work and FSB, Stuart is also involved in charitable causes including a charity in the city of London for the furniture industry, and is a Heart of England welfare ambassador. He is passionate about helping those people from the industry that through no fault of their own have fallen on hard times.
David Cunningham has been a member of the FSB since 2003, a regional volunteer since 2014, a National Councillor representing the Northern Ireland Region since 2018 and now a member of the Scrutiny Body and he knows very well the benefits of membership and the great work the FSB do for the self-employed and small businesses across the UK.
David has been in business, both in a self-employed capacity and as a small business owner, for nearly 40 years initially in the printing sector but latterly, since 1992, in the IT sector developing and delivering websites and digital content to many different businesses sectors across the UK and Ireland. David has built many relationships and made many friends through his involvement with FSB.
During a HR career that started in 1981 Michael Millward has worked around the world in every type of organisation from entrepreneur led start-ups to major corporations. In 2003 he established Abeceder to be a provider of HR software and HR support services. Abeceder has been described as a HR eco-system delivering products and services that cover every aspect, of every stage, of the employer employee relationship.
Michael’s past volunteering activities have included supporting the businesses in the Yorkshire village where he lives as part of the Village Plan; being the Vice Chair of governors at his local secondary school/academy; and Chair of the local authority school governors’ forum. He also volunteered as the Chair of the North Yorkshire Branch of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, for six years, and as a member of the Institute’s National Council for eight years.
Michael’s memorable times as a small business owner include working with The Simpsons™ to create a range of health and safety education resources that feature the characters from the hit TV series. As a volunteer Michael is proud of his involvement in converting a secondary school to academy status and of building what was initially a small rural branch of the CIPD into one of the most active branches in the country with high levels of member engagement.
As a member of the National Scrutiny Body Michael is looking forward to being involved in ensuring that the highest standards of corporate governance are achieved and maintained and that the best interests of FSB members are served.
Dr Akin Ojolo is an experienced entrepreneur who having arrived in the UK as a young teenager, alone and with no support and has gone on to establish and run a number of small businesses. Akin currently owns and manages a 22 bedroom Best Western Hotel in Bristol. He also acts as a mentor and advisor to other small business owners. In addition to his business interests, his career path has taken him through a number of challenges and opportunities, from being an Engineer at Wessex Water to a Director at Greenwich Community College to his present role in academia.
An expert of the field of entrepreneurship, he has taught at Bristol Business School, University of the West of England for over 12 years. During this time as an academic, he has developed differing levels of award-winning entrepreneurship programmes in support of the university Small Business Charter. Many of the students he taught and mentored have gone to set up and run their own successful businesses. His research interests include the growth of family-owned businesses, specifically exploring the robustness of family-owned small enterprises and family businesses post-COVID. Exploring why family businesses in the hospitality sector often fail for non-business reasons.
His major achievement has been his ability to gain a good education, without any family or financial support. Undertook any odd jobs available to pay for his education from his A Levels to his Doctorate degree in Business Administration at Kingston University. Along the way, he was also able to set up his own businesses and proudly raise his two children.
Ben Ramsay was appointed to the FSB Scrutiny Body in March 2023. Having started out working in the financial services sector in 2006, Ben took the exciting step to become self-employed in 2014, running his own mortgage and protection business. In 2021 he expanded into full financial planning. Having benefitted from being a member of FSB over the years, Ben Ramsay is passionate about the role small businesses play in the economy.
Abhishek Sachdev has been an FSB member for 11 years now and is passionate about representing and helping small businesses across the UK. He is committed to contributing to the growth of the FSB.
Abhishek founded Vedanta Hedging in 2011, to provide transparency for small businesses that use derivatives for hedging and risk management. Having provided evidence and advice to the Prime Minister, the Treasury Select Committee, as well as paid advice to the FCA itself, this led to Abhishek founding the IRHP redress scheme which provided over £3bn to more than 20,000 SMEs. Abhishek also similarly supports the SMEA organisation and their redress schemes.
In his mission to help small businesses Abhishek has acted as Expert Witness and Advisor on more than 700 derivative disputes; ranging from SME sole traders to PLCs and Local Councils.
He also mentors and supports other SMEs, charitable bodies, food banks and students. Abhishek was elected as a Councillor in Hertsmere, using his experience where he can help for the good of the community and is currently Head of Finance on the Executive Committee at the Council. As Head of Finance, he is also responsible for Elstree Film Studios.