Origins & Aims

The late Sir David Nicolson MEP, founded the American European Business Association (AEBA) in 1980 in consultation with the late Lord Roy Jenkins OM, PC, then President of the European Commission.

AEBA promotes and facilitates lively and informed debate on key business, economic and political topics. The association’s goal is to use this dialogue, connection and collaboration to improve and increase understanding and cooperation between the business community and governments in Europe and North America.

AEBA does this by bringing together senior international business, political, diplomatic, and academic representatives to engage in productive conversation through the open exchange of views in an atmosphere of trust, which provides unique insight behind today’s headlines. A key factor in the success of these debates is the diversity of the participants’ backgrounds, industries, and their shared interest in debating future developments. Limiting the number of participants at each discussion promotes a more intimate, meaningful and powerful experience for both members and speakers. Meetings are governed by the Chatham House Rule.

A highlight of the annual program is our Autumn Drinks Reception. Previous events have been held at Winfield House, Canada House and the German and US Embassies.

AEBA is a non-partisan association.

Women Executive Forum (WEF)

The purpose of WEF is to create opportunities that help propel women in their careers by bringing together up and coming and established female executives to engage, meet, network, and become inspired by the professional journey of a top female executive.

WEF is a special discussion series for the AEBA membership.

Charlotte Laycock, Chief Executive Officer

Charlotte Laycock comes to the American European Business Association after having worked at a senior level for high profile American media companies, including Time Warner and Dow Jones, in London, Paris and New York. She thoroughly enjoys bringing together international business leaders and creating the environment for unique, confidential and insightful discussions to take place.

Charlotte received her B.A in European Studies with a concentration in French from Loughborough University and studied abroad at L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lyon, France.

Board of Directors

Mark Wippell


Mark Wippell is a Non-Executive Director and advisor to listed and unlisted companies. He works with both established businesses and growth companies. He is a director of Deltex Medical Group PLC, the specialist medical devices manufacturer, an Association Member of BUPA, the international healthcare group and a member of the CW Innovation Advisory Group supported by CW+ the official charity to Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust. He mentors a number of early stage technology businesses and acts a mentor on fintech accelerator programs powered by Techstars. He is a trustee of various charities.

He is a past member of three senior advisory committees at Oxford University. He was formerly a senior corporate partner of Allen & Overy where he advised boards of UK, US, European and Asian businesses on commercial matters internationally and held various management roles.

He is qualified as a lawyer in both the UK and US, and has lived, worked and studied in both countries. Mark has been chairman of the American European Business Association since 2013.

Paul Staples

Deputy Chairman

Partner, Smith Square Partners

Paul Staples is a senior partner at Smith Square Partners, an established independent corporate finance business based in London.

Paul has spent over thirty years advising a wide range of clients, including family offices, within the media and technology sectors across all major geographies. He has held senior management positions in several major investment banks, notably Citigroup and BNP Paribas.

Paul has been on the Board of the AEBA since 2010.

Doug King

Hon. Treasurer

Vice Chairman, Deloitte UK

Doug King is a Vice Chairman of Deloitte in the UK with more than 40 years’ experience and over 30 as a partner. He has experience across a broad range of industry sectors but has particular expertise in Energy and Resources.

He is a senior audit partner and has lead 13 FTSE 100 audits, been the advisory partner on other major audits and acted as Lead Client Service Partner on advisory clients.

Accordingly he has significant boardroom experience. Doug established Deloitte’s FTSE 100 Audit Committee Chair forum and participates in our CFO programme under the auspices of the Deloitte Academy.

Doug has been the Treasurer of the AEBA since 2004.

Ron Carlson


Chief Executive & Founding Partner, NS Holdings

Ron Carlson has over 35 years’ experience in investment banking, and asset management. In 2003, he co-founded NewSmith Capital Partners LLP, an independent investment firm. Its asset management business was acquired by Man Group in 2015.

Prior to NewSmith, Ron was with Merrill Lynch in London, latterly as Managing Director, and Regional Administrative Officer for EMEA. He joined Merrill Lynch in 1992 as an investment banker, having spent the previous 15 years with The First Boston Corporation in New York and London.

He holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. from The University of Vermont.

Ron is also a Non-Executive Senior Advisor to Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management Co. Ltd. and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Ltd.

Ron has been on the board of the AEBA since 2002.

Adrian Frost


Managing Director, Corporate and Institutional Banking, BNP Paribas UK

Adrian Frost has 20 year’s experience in Corporate & Investment Banking. As a Senior Managing Director within the Capital Markets business at BNP Paribas Adrian advises large Multi-National Corporates throughout Northern Europe on the structuring and execution of debt capital market transactions.

Adrian has been with BNPP for the past 13 years and prior to that was at ABN AMRO and has led deals across a wide range of industries and geographies.

Adrian lives in Oxfordshire with his family, is graduate of Manchester University and as a keen rugby fan he also does not need any excuse to get outdoors with his children to run, cycle, ski, golf, fish, camp or paddleboard.

Adrian joined the Board of the AEBA in 2017.

Kathryn Herrington


Chief Adminstrative Officer, CLS Bank International
Kathryn Herrington is Chief Administrative Officer at CLS, the world’s leading provider of multi-lateral netting and FX settlement services for over 70 of the world’s leading financial institutions

Joining in September 2011, Kathryn reports to the Chief Executive and Chairman’s / Remuneration Committee. She has responsibility for all human capital and organisation effectiveness functions, including Human Resources, Communications, PR, Brand & Marketing, Real Estate and Administration.

Prior to CLS Group, Kathryn held senior HR roles in a range of global financial institutions.

Kathryn has long-term transatlantic experience and dual nationality. She is currently based in London, having operated out of New York from 2002 to 2018.

She has a degree in Economic and Social History from the University of Bristol.

Kathryn joined the Board of the AEBA in 2020.

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Jenni Hibbert


Global Practice Managing Partner, Heidrick & Struggles

Jenni Hibbert is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ London office and the global managing partner and head of Search Go-to-Market. She serves on the firm’s Management Committee.

Previously, Jenni led the Global Financial Services Practice. Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, Jenni was a broadcaster with the BBC with a focus on financial and business news.

Jenni is as an Honorary Associate of Newnham College, Cambridge University, having served as an elected Associate for 10 years. Previously, she served as a Board Governor of the English-Speaking Union, a global educational charity, for six years. Jenni holds an MPhil in English from Cambridge University where she studied on an Arts & Humanities Research Board scholarship, a First Class BA (honours) degree in English and Drama from Birmingham University, and a PgDip (with distinction) in broadcast journalism from Cardiff University.

Jenni joined the Board of the AEBA in 2019.

Paul O’Donnell


Chairman & CEO, Ogilvy EMEA

Paul O’Donnell is Executive Partner, Chief Executive, Europe, Middle East & Africa and has been with Ogilvy for over 30 years. He has worked in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America, running geographic operations and working with major international and local clients.

In May 2014, Paul was appointed Chief Executive, Ogilvy EMEA. He is a member of the agency’s International Executive Management Group and an Executive Partner of the Ogilvy Group worldwide.

Paul has a particular interest in organizational psychodynamics and the management of change within companies. In 2002, he completed the inaugural International Diploma Programme at INSEAD and holds a Masters Degree from the Haute Etude Commercial in Paris. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the UK Chapter of the International Advertising Association.

Paul joined the Board of the AEBA in 2017.

Next Event

Women Executive Forum Virtual Discussion

Sarah Friar, CEO Nextdoor & Co-Founder Ladies Who Launch

Wednesday, 26th May 2021



Ms. Charlotte Laycock
Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1252 703 514
Mob: +44 (0)7469 920 174

Wenta Business Centre,
1 Electric Avenue, London, EN3 7XU