Current Members

Professor Stephen West

Professor Stephen West has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England, Bristol since 2008.
He trained as a Podiatrist and Podiatric Surgeon in London, working in the NHS and private/commercial sector from 1982. He entered academia in 1984 and is a Fellow of the Society of Chiropodists, Fellow of the College of Podiatric Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Professor West holds a number of external leadership positions, including:
– Chair of the University Alliance: working with policy makers to create a strong and sustainable future for the UK higher education sector
– Chair of the Universities UK Health Education and Research Network: working with policy makers in the health area
– Chair of the West of England Academic Health Science Network: working to put ‘innovation at the heart of health and care, to improve patient outcomes and contribute to wealth creation’
– President of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the West of England Initiative
– Incoming Chair of the South West CBI and member of the CBI Board
He is also a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Gloucestershire.

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Membership is by invitation to men and women who are prominent in the business and commercial life of the greater Bristol area, and who are prepared to give their time and skills in support of the Merchant Venturers’ objectives.

All the members meet together four times a year at what is known as Quarterly Hall, and again on Charter Day in November.

The Merchant Venturers are governed by the Master and two Wardens. They head a 15-strong Standing Committee of members who are elected annually on Charter Day, 10th November.

Day-to-day administration is carried out by the Treasurer, who is effectively the chief executive. He is advised as necessary by the Clerk, who is a lawyer.