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Peter Levene, Baron Levene of Portsoken

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Title: Peter Levene, Baron Levene of Portsoken  
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Subject: Economic Affairs Committee (House of Lords), People from Pinner, Councilmen and Aldermen of the City of London, Bevis Marks Synagogue, Portsoken
Collection: 1941 Births, Alumni of the University of Manchester, British Businesspeople, Commandeurs of the Ordre National Du Mérite, Councilmen and Aldermen of the City of London, Crossbench Life Peers, English Jews, Knight Commanders of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Knights Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Knights of the Order of St John, Living People, Lord Mayors of London, People Educated at the City of London School, People from Pinner, Recipients of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Sheriffs of the City of London
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Peter Levene, Baron Levene of Portsoken

The Rt. Hon.
The Lord Levene of Portsoken
Lord Levene at the World Economic Forum on Europe in 2010
Lord Mayor of London
In office
Preceded by Richard Nichols
Succeeded by Clive Martin
Personal details
Nationality British

Peter Keith Levene, Baron Levene of Portsoken KBE (born 8 December 1941 - in Pinner) is chairman of Starr Underwriting Agents Limited and was Lord Mayor of London 1998 to 1999.


  • Education 1
  • Life 2
  • Family 3
  • Titles and Honours 4
  • Arms 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


He was educated at the City of London School and then studied at the University of Manchester where he graduated with a degree in Economics and Political Science.


Lord Levene has enjoyed a long and varied career in business, government and banking. He is Chairman of Starr Underwriting Agents Limited.

Previously, he served as Chairman of Wasserstein Perella.

He joined United Scientific Holdings in 1963, a small company which grew into a substantial supplier to UK and overseas Ministries of Defence. He eventually rose to the post of chairman of that group, in 1981.

Subsequently, he was asked by the then Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Heseltine, to act as his Personal Advisor in the MoD, and then as Permanent Secretary in the role of Chief of Defence Procurement, a position which he held for six years. As UK National Armaments Director, he was appointed as Chairman of the European National Armaments Directors 1989-1990. He thereafter held a number of Government posts, as Advisor to the Secretary of State for the Environment; to the President of the Board of Trade; and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was appointed as Advisor to the Prime Minister (John Major) on Efficiency and Effectiveness from 1992 to 1997. During this period, he also served as Chairman of the Docklands Light Railway and then Chairman and Chief Executive of Canary Wharf Ltd. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of J Sainsbury plc from 2001–2004, and of Total S.A., from 2005–2011.

He served as an Alderman of the City of London from 1994–2012 and as Sheriff of London from 1995–96. He was Lord Mayor of London for the year 1998–99, in which role he presided over the Corporation of the City of London, and supported and promoted London as an international financial centre. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the 1989 New Year Honours[1] and was created a Life Peer on 22 July 1997 as Baron Levene of Portsoken, of Portsoken in the City of London.[2]

Lord Levene holds four non-executive directorships, as Chairman of General Dynamics UK Limited and on the boards of Haymarket Group Ltd, China Construction Bank Asia Ltd and Eurotunnel S.A.. He is also a member of the Joint (ie, Lords and Commons) Committee on National Security Strategy.

He was appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence in July 2010 to chair the Defence Reform Group, a body set up to review proposals for changes in structure in the UK Ministry of Defence. This body reported in June 2011 and their recommendations are now being implemented.

He speaks French, German and Italian.


Lord Levene is married to Wendy, Lady Levene, who is active in many charities. She is a trustee of the Jewish Museum and of the National Theatre. She has polymyalgia rheumatica and is a trustee of the associated charity, PMRGCA UK.[3] In 1989, she launched HMS Argyll, a Royal Navy warship sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Paviors. [4]

The couple have three children, two sons working in banking and finance and a daughter working in public relations. They have ten grandchildren who live in London and New York.

Titles and Honours


Arms of Peter Levene, Baron Levene of Portsoken
Coronet of a Baron
A Mail Gauntlet clenched Argent, in front of two Vine Branches in saltire leaved and fructed proper.
Per pale Gules and Azure, between three Swords palewise in fess the outer two with their points downwards all three Argent, their Hilts Pommels and Quillons Or, two Towers Argent, masoned proper, in front of the portal of each tower a Cartwheel Gules, and on a Chief per pale Azure and Gules, a Boar's Head couped Or, langued Gules, tusked Argent, between two Loving Cups of Silver.
Dexter: a Scorpion Or, the Stinger Azure.

Sinister: a Scorpion Or, the Stinger Gules.

INDUSTRIA ATQUE FORTUNA (By industry and fortune)


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51578. p. 7. 31 December 1988.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54844. p. 8547. 25 July 1997.
  3. ^ "Meet the trustees". PMRGCAUK. 
  4. ^ "HMS Argyll - The Company's Adopted Frigate". Worshipful Company of Paviors. 

External links

  • Lord Levene awarded Gold Medal - Lord Levene awarded Gold Medal for Services to Lloyd's
  • General Dynamics UK Limited - Home Page
  • [2] - Vita, published by World Economic Forum
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