14 December 2016 16:43

Two Lancaster graduates have received Alumni awards at the December graduation ceremonies.

Mark Branson (MSc Operational Research, Fylde College, 1990) is CEO of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

He is the first non-Swiss head of Switzerland’s financial watchdog.

His career started at Coopers & Lybrand Management Consultancy Services, before moving to Credit Suisse in London, rising in quick time to lead a customer support department.

Mark went on to hold a number of senior appointments with UBS, including CEO of UBS Securities Japan Ltd in 2006 and CFO of the Wealth Management and Swiss Bank business division in Zurich with responsibilities including finance, risk control and treasury management.

Mark moved to FINMA in 2010. Prior to his current role he worked as Head of Banks division and Deputy CEO.


Andrew Cowell (BEng Hons Mechanical Engineering, Grizedale College, 1991) is Managing Director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains.

He joined Cosworth Racing on their graduate training scheme, specialising in the design and development of their Formula One engines and rising to lead the engine project group responsible for the top end of the innovative CK engine.

He has also worked for BMW Motorsport on the 2001 Williams BMW F1 engine.

He joined Mercedes-Ilmor in 2005 as Principal Engineer for the FQ V10 engine project,  which delivered the most race wins of any manufacturer in that season.

He became the Managing Director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in 2013. This was the same year he was awarded the James Clayton Prize, awarded for contribution to modern engineering science, for his outstanding work on engine design and development in the Formula One world, especially V10, V8 and the new V6 with Hybrid Energy Recovery System. 

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.