Brian retired from the civil service in 2009, having been a Permanent Secretary for nearly 10 years. His final post was at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (and before that DTI), where his main focus was on establishing the Department as the “voice for business” across Government, on the Government’s approach to globalisation, and (in his last year) overseeing work on helping business weather the recession. As well as refocusing the Department, he oversaw a substantial downsizing of it (a 25% reduction in headcount in the 2 years up to April 2006, and a further 10% in 2006/07). Previously, he was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, leading the creation of the Department in 2001. He has extensive EU experience, having twice served in the UK Permanent Representation to the EU and, from 1994-98, was Head of the European Secretariat in the Cabinet Office.
Since 2009, Brian has built a portfolio, the core of which is Chairmanship of the London Metal Exchange.