Paul Gray

Coaching I received several years ago helped me realise that what I regarded as one of my greatest strengths was getting in the way of my seeing the full range of future possibilities. So, for me, coaching in a supportive and trusting environment is about helping to recognise and remove the blinkers and limitations we place on ourselves. We all have untapped talent and energy we can translate into stronger performance and closer alignment with our core values.


Paul’s business career was largely in the UK public service, working in the Treasury, 10 Downing Street, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). But alongside that, in the 1970s he spent several years in the private sector as a corporate planner with Booker McConnell, and in the 1990s was a non-executive director of Laing Management

Paul held three Permanent Secretary posts, culminating in his role as Executive Chairman of HMRC; until 2007. His approach as a senior leader in two of the three largest Government Departments was to reinforce their core public service values while transforming them into the customer focused financial services businesses they need to become. Earlier in his career, he spent two and a half years as Margaret Thatcher’s private secretary for economic and domestic policy issues.

While serving as HMRC Chairman Paul was also Head of Profession for Operational Delivery across Government; and was invited by his international peers to chair the OECD Forum on Tax Administration comprising the heads of tax authorities in the 30 leading developed countries.

For the last 15 years, Paul has been a governor of the local secondary school his children attended and is now Chair of Governors there, and is a member of the Council of Essex University.

Paul and his wife live in rural North-West Essex. They have 2 sons and with the birth of Lauren they have their first grandchild. Apart from doting on her, Paul relaxes with mild physical, outdoor activities.

Professional Expertise

Paul’s original discipline was economics and he worked as a professional economist and policy analyst in his early years. In the latter part of his civil service career he complemented that focus on strategic and policy development with roles in and accountability for HR, finance, large scale projects and operational delivery. During his business career Paul spent a growing part of his time as mentor and coach for people across Government and, since leaving the Civil Service, is operating as a professional coach across the private and public sector.

Selected Client Companies

Angel Trains
Crown Prosecution Service
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Department for Children, Schools and Families
DS Smith plc
Health Protection Agency
Highways Agency
Home Office
HM Treasury
Land Registry
Ministry of Justice
Northern Ireland Office
Scottish Government
Serious Fraud Office
Validus Group

Education, Qualifications, Professional Positions

BSc (Economics), London School of Economics (London University) (1969)
Appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (2000)
Nominated as a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute (2007)
Non-Executive Director, Laing Management Ltd (1993-1995)
Chair, OECD Forum on Tax Administration (2007)
Chair of Governors, Newport Free Grammar School (2008-)
Chair Refugee and Immigrant Justice (2009-2010)
Member, University of Essex Council and its Finance and Strategy Committee (2008-)

+44 (0)20 7907 2461
+44 (0)7711 571309