On August 14th 2009 The Portman Group announced Seymour Fortescue as their new chairman. The former Chief Executive of the Banking Code Standards Board is the first board member appointed by the group who does not have an alcohol industry background.
Although Fortescue is not an industry insider it is clear to see why he has been the choice for Big Alcohol to run their self-regulatory body. He has experience of preventative health issues as chief executive of the Health Education Authority and of self regulation as the former chief executive the Banking Code Standards Board. On his appointment Fortescue said:
- The Portman Group is already a highly respected alcohol regulator and is a key player in addressing the adverse aspects of our drinking culture. I look forward to working closely with other groups to build a consensus around actions that promote responsible attitudes to alcohol. I firmly believe that self-regulation based on a tough code of practice that is rigorously monitored and enforced is the right way forward. 
Past and present positions
- Barclays Bank, Head of Marketing, Chief Executive of Barclaycard and Director Personal Sector, he worked for Barclays for 26 years, leaving in 1991.
- Visa International, Director
- Mercantile Credit, Director
- BACS, Director
- Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Finance & Fundraising Director since 1991
- Health Education Authority, Chief Executive
- Banking Code Standards Board, Became first Chief Executive in 1999
- Council member of London University
- Member of the Court of Grocers Company
- Chairman of the charity BookPower
- Chairman of the private sector UK Migrant Remittances Task Force set up by the ]]Department for International Development]]
- Board member of the Commercial Landlords Accreditation Scheme