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December 18, 2009

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BSIA appoints James Kelly as new chief executive

The BSIA says Kelly brings a wealth of experience in lobbying, legal advice and commercial service delivery.

He has a successful track record in professional representation and has performed leadership roles on behalf of the legal profession, engineering and marketing services industries.

Until recently Kelly was chief operating officer of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), a role which was both high profile and hugely challenging. He held this position for nine years, during which time he contributed significantly to the growth and influence of the DMA, a BSIA statement said.

Essential partner
Kelly said: “I am delighted to be appointed chief executive of the BSIA and look forward to representing what is a hugely important industry over the coming years.

“Key stakeholders, including government, recognise that the private security industry is an essential partner in providing a safe environment for UK business and society.

“I want to capitalise on that and shall be working hard to help members derive a real competitive and reputational advantage from their membership of the BSIA.”

Stuart Lowden said: “The appointment follows an extensive recruitment process which included a field of extremely able candidates.

“The panel concluded that James Kelly has the ideal balance of skill sets and experience to build on the achievements of the Association, and we look forward to working with him in the coming years.”

Kelly will join the BSIA on Monday 11th January 2010.


After graduating with a Law Degree Kelly worked in industry, holding roles in business efficiency improvement and project planning in Royal Mail and subsequently as European marketing manager in the wine and spirits trade.

Consultancy roles followed, with further appointments in the drinks industry, research analysis and the promotion of standards in engineering and computing.

He subsequently joined the Law Society, as marketing services manager, where he was responsible for promoting legal services within the confines of a highly regulated profession, and advised law firms on development strategy.

Mechanical engineers
Kelly was later appointed director of marketing and business development at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, where he led the strategy aimed at raising the profession’s national profile and standards.

There he forged new political relationships with senior politicians such as the then Business Minister, Alan Johnson, and the Prime Minister’s special advisers, leading to the launch of a major new national awards scheme showcasing standards and excellence in manufacturing.

He developed partnerships with some of the UK’s leading industrial corporations, like Rolls-Royce, Centrica and Corus, to maintain the Institution’s relevance to professional development and technical skills standards.

Direct marketing
In 2000 Kelly was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the DMA (UK) Ltd, where he was responsible for revenue generation, cost control and member service delivery.

Promoted to managing director within two years, he led the representation of a multi-channel industry to the media, government and regulators, achieving considerable success. In the first few years of his tenure he drove the financial turnaround from a deficit facing organisation to one making consistent annual surpluses.

He used this improved financial position to fund numerous investments in member services, including promotional campaigns, research and other support for the industry.

He increased member retention levels by a further 20 per cent, and transformed the member acquisition strategy to attract high profile blue chip brands like Microsoft, American Airlines and Selfridges.

He championed multiple projects during his nine years at the DMA, including the successful tender for Ofcom contracts, the launch of legal advice services, and the development of very profitable commercial partnerships with the corporate world.

Media man
A frequent contributor to national, regional and trade media, Kelly has made countless appearances on live news and current affairs programmes, championing the industry and promoting the membership as trusted suppliers of business services.

He has worked extensively on the development of sectoral and pan-industry codes of conduct; established a compliance function to proactively monitor professional standards and raise the reputation of member companies; he resourced an effective self-regulatory body to enforce one of the most comprehensive self-regulatory codes of practice in the UK.

Kelly led numerous high profile lobbying campaigns over the last decade, engaging with various senior politicians including David Miliband, Andy Burnham, Elliot Morley, Michael Meacher, and opposition figures like Damian Green, John Redwood and Archie Norman.

Seminal agreements
Championing the negotiation and implementation of seminal industry agreements with the Secretary of State for Environment, on the issues of waste reduction and recycling, Kelly has largely maintained the industry’s commercial freedoms, improved the previously denigrated image of companies across the industry and delivered real competitive advantage to those companies in membership of the Association, the BSIA statement said.

He has held various non-executive director roles, including the Advertising Standards Board of Finance (ASBOF) – the European Federation of Direct & Interactive Marketing, WebtraderUK, Safe Home Ordering Protection Scheme, and the Council of the Advertising Association.

James lives in Weston, Hitchin, Herts with his wife, son and daughter. His interests include sports, dance, travel and current affairs.

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