Trade and investment opportunities in Canada for UK businesses

13th October 2022
Canada House
Trafalgar Square, London SW1Y 5BJ

Trade and investment opportunities in Canada for UK businesses

Join the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce, High Commission of Canada and the Institute of Directors for a Panel Discussion and Networking Reception entitled 'Trade & Investment opportunities in Canada for UK businesses.'

Andrew Smith, Minister (Commercial & Economic), High Commission of Canada and a representative from the Department for International Trade will deliver keynote introductions followed by a panel discussion with Cora McLaren, HSBC UK; Kevin McGurgen, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Mark Magnacca, gigCMO and Dr Graham Hoare OBE, BritishVolt.

All guests must bring Photo ID and register online for this event. If you do not bring Photo ID or your name does not appear on the official guestlist you risk not being allowed access to the venue. All guests must also allow time to go through security upon entry to the building.



Key Note

Andrew Smith

Minister (Commercial & Economic)

High Commission of Canada

Andrew has extensive experience in international commerce, policy analysis related to economic development, trade promotion and investment attraction activities. He took up the position of Minister-Counsellor (Commercial and Economic) to London in August 2022, and Alternate Director for Canada, Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), from September 2022.  In his Minister-Counsellor role, Andrew is responsible for managing Canada’s commercial and economic relationship in the United Kingdom, investment into Canada, and fostering Canada-UK collaborations in science and innovation.

Prior to arriving in London, Andrew served as Minister (Commercial) at the High Commission of Canada in India (2018-2022).  He has also served as Canada's first Consul General in Istanbul (2016-2014); Canada’s Senior Trade Commissioner in Manila (2011-2008), a/ Minister (Commercial) and Senior Trade Commissioner in Beijing (2008-2004), and Trade Commissioner in Tokyo (2001-1997).

In Ottawa he was the Director of the Trade Commissioner Services Overseas division providing training and guidance to the TCS's global network of 1,200 trade commissioners (2018-2016), Director of the Centre of Learning for International Affairs and Management (2014-2011), Deputy Director of the China and Mongolia Division (2004-2001) and as Trade Commissioner in the Japan Division (1997-1996).

He has received several departmental awards, including the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers award in 2005 for his leadership in trade development in China.    

Andrew began his career with Global Affairs Canada in 1996 and prior to this had worked as a professor of urban planning in China before opening his own construction consultancy company in Calgary.

Born in St. Boniface, Manitoba and raised in East Selkirk, MB, Andrew attended the University of Manitoba and obtained a BSc degree in Geology in 1985 and a Masters Degree in City Planning in 1989 where he was awarded the Mayor's Medal for academic achievement.  He currently lives in London with his wife Marnie.  Together they have 3 children and a Border Collie.


Cora McLaren

Managing Director, International Subsidiary Banking


Cora McLaren joined HSBC in September 2012 and took up her current role as Managing Director, Head of International Subsidiary Banking in April 2022. Cora is a member of the UK Commercial Banking Executive Committee.  In her role, Cora is responsible for leading a team of international banking professionals and supporting HSBC clients expand their businesses internationally, leveraging HSBC’s global network.  Cora has more than 24 years of experience in the financial industry. Prior to this role, Cora led the transformation of the client onboarding and KYC experience across 18 markets in Asia Pacific, has been the Head of Wholesale Banking in Bermuda, before which she undertook regional leadership of Corporate Banking and Business Banking teams in HSBC UK. Over her career, she has worked in the UK, India, Bermuda and Hong Kong. 

Before working at HSBC, Cora led teams and supported clients at Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays Bank.   Her experience spans strategic and front line customer leadership roles, product partner experience and operational management.

Cora is an English graduate and also holds an MSc in Financial Services Management. She is a keen runner and active volunteer at a local animal rescue charity and currently lives in the UK with her husband, Peter.


Kevin McGurgan

Director, Government & Public Affairs, EMEA

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Kevin McGurgan is Director Government and Public Affairs for the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) in the EMEA region. Since 2020, Kevin has supported OTPP investments in the U.K., Finland, Italy & France, and provided advice to portfolio business including in the aviation, energy & technology sectors. 

Prior to OTPP, Kevin had a 30 year career as a British diplomat, serving in South Asia, the Middle East, Europe & North America. His final role was in Toronto as the UK's Trade Commissioner to Canada responsible for bilateral economic policy & trade & investment.  He was appointed OBE for service in Afghanistan in HM The Queen's 2010 Birthday Honours list. 


Mark Magnacca

CEO and Founder


Mark is the CEO and Founder of gigCMO, a business growth consultancy which provides strategic advice and expertise globally to drive local and international growth. 

Mark has over 35 years of business experience. His senior leadership roles have been in several industries, from packaged goods to professional and financial services. He has managed businesses and brands in North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

His experience spans start-ups, scale-ups and multinationals, working alongside senior leadership teams, business owners, investors and Boards on critical strategies and programme delivery – often in highly regulated industries and with significant cross-cultural challenges.

Mark is a Canadian and British citizen.


Dr Graham Hoare OBE

Acting CEO


Graham is an experienced executive, with an established track record of innovation, transformation and change management. Graham has a wealth of experience in automotive industry leadership, and is the former Chairman and Executive Director for Business Transformation for Ford Motor Company.

Achievements at Ford included the successful restructuring of Ford’s operations in the UK, and re-design of Ford for growth in commercial vehicles and connected electrification. Graham currently leads the UK Automotive Council, a successful government-industry engagement which guides the UK’s auto-industry, and is a member of the UK Government Department for Transport Infrastructure Expert Group.

Graham holds an MSc in Engineering Business Management from the University of Warwick, and a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath. In 2018, Graham became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.