Noakes is former businesswoman who worked with Big Four accountancy firm KPMG for 30 years until 2000.
After graduating in law from Bristol University, the young Sheila Masters began her KPMG career as an articled clerk with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co based at Old Jewry in the City of London, qualifying three years later (winning several prizes en route), and becoming a partner in 1983.
- Female graduate recruits were comparatively rare then – as little as four percent of the yearly intake. She recalls being closely involved with the restructuring of Rolls-Royce after its financial collapse in the 1970s, and the strategic re-organisation of British Rail during the 1980s. Later, she started to build her links with government – and was seconded to head financial reforms in the NHS, before leading KPMG’s international government practice. In the 1990s she was made a Dame and was also appointed to the Court of the Bank of England 
Noakes is a member of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, which has called for fracking to be made an urgent national priority in the UK. Parliamentary registers show that at least five committee members have shares in a number of global oil and gas players - Noakes herself holds investments in at least three firms with interests in shale gas, including British Gas owner Centrica. Centrica has invested in Cuadrilla’s exploratory operations in the North East and - as such - could be a major beneficiary of government policy on fracking.
Register of Interests
Directorships circa 2014
- Ofcom Deputy Chairman (May 2014-)
- Carpetright plc (2001-present)
- Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company Ltd
- Severn Trent plc (water) (2008-present)
- Director, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (2011-present)
Amazon.com Inc (on-line retail) | AstraZenica plc (pharmaceuticals) | Barclays plc (banking)| BG Group plc (energy) BHP Billiton plc (mining) | BP plc (energy) British Sky Broadcasting plc (tv/media) Capita Group plc (support services) Carpetright plc (retail) Centrica plc (energy) Cookson Group plc (general industrial) Croda International (chemicals) GlaxoSmithKline plc (pharmaceuticals) | Ishares plc (China) | JP Morgan American Investment Trust plc (United States) Morrison (Wm) plc (supermarkets) Odey European Inc (hedge fund) Rexam plc (general industrial) | Rio Tinto plc (mining) | Royal Dutch Shell plc (energy) | SAB Miller plc (brewing) | Serco Group plc (support services) | Smith & Nephew plc (engineering) | Tesco plc (retail) wUnilever plc (general industrial) Vodafone Group plc (telecoms | Associated British Foods plc (food) | HSBC Holdings plc (banking) JP Morgan Chinese Investment Trust plc (China) JP Morgan Indian Investment Trust plc (India) Severn Trent plc (water) Standard Chartered Bank plc (banking) Whitbread plc (food and drink/leisure) Xstrata plc (mining) Fidelity China Special Situations plc (China) Polar Capital Technology Trust plc (technology) Tate & Lyle plc (ingredients for food, beverage and other industries) Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (banking) BT Group plc (telecommunications) European Investment Trust plc (Continental European securities) Fidelity European Values plc (Continental European companies) Baillie Gifford Japan Trust (Japan) Experian plc (financial services) Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust plc (emerging markets) J Sainsbury plc (retail) IMI plc (engineering)]]
- Peer Pressure, KPMG 2013, accessed 1 October 2014
- Lawrence Carter & Damian Kahya, What energy interests do the House of Lord's economic affairs committee have?, Greenpeace, 8 May 2014