Meet the Leader with Richard Walker

In this interactive discussion Richard Walker, the Managing director of the British Iceland supermarket chain, talked to Lutfey Siddiqi, Visiting Professor in Practice at LSE IDEAS. #LSERichardWalker


Meet the Leader with Richard Walker

This webinar was held on 13th December 2022.

Meet the speakers and chair

Richard Walker (@icelandrichard) graduated in geography, qualified as a chartered surveyor and developed his own property businesses, Bywater Properties, in Poland and the UK. In 2012 he joined Iceland Foods (the company founded by his parents Malcolm and Rhianydd in 1970). He spent a year as a shelf-stacker and cashier before becoming an Iceland store manager and then moving to head office, where he took up his current role in 2018. 

Richard is a committed environmentalist who has led all Iceland’s recent sustainability initiatives including the removal of palm oil from the company’s own label range in 2018, its pledge to eliminate plastic packaging from the Iceland own label range, the publication of the full plastic footprint of the business. Under his leadership, Iceland has reported a drop in carbon emissions by 74% since 2011, and a reduction in food waste by 23% in the last two years. 

In January 2022 he was nominated to sit on the Prime Minister’s Business Council. He is an Honorary Fellow of University College London and an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Bedfordshire. He also sits as a trustee for the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and of the conservation group Fauna & Flora International and is actively involved in many other organisations.

Lutfey Siddiqi is a Visiting Professor in Practice at LSE IDEAS and a co-investigator at LSE Inclusion Initiative (TII). He is a member of the advisory boards of LSE Systemic Risk Centre, LSE IDEAS and TII. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the National University of Singapore (Risk Management Institute) and advisory board member of the Centre for Governance and Sustainability (CGS) at NUS business school.

He was previously Global Head of Emerging Markets for Foreign Exchange, Rates & Credit at UBS Investment Bank where he was also the founding head of UBS Knowledge Network. Prior to that, he was a Managing Director at Barclays Bank in charge of a business-line across Asia Pacific.

Lutfey was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012 where he has served on their global future councils since 2014 and spoken on the official Davos program for several years. He is a governor of UWC Atlantic College and former governor of New City College London. A former member of the Court of Governors, investment committee and health & safety assurance committee, he is now an Emeritus Governor of LSE.



LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.