Board Alchemy

Board Alchemy



At Board Alchemy, we bring extensive expertise of working with boards and committees, as well as risk and audit functions.  This experience comes from sitting on boards and committees, experience as audit and risk professionals and from a wide range of consulting work.  Our experience means we focus on the big issues and our approach means we work with our clients in an open and collaborative way.  We adapt our work as issues and needs arise.

Summary CVs for our team members follow.

Hanif Barma

Hanif has extensive experience of board and committee reviews.  He also brings considerable expertise in risk and assurance.  He has worked with a wide range of clients including plcs, private companies, subsidiaries, industry regulators and not-for-profit organisations.  He brings an excellent understanding of board culture and dynamics, board information and board processes.  Hanif's work with audit and risk functions means he brings an effective working knowledge of assurance to boards.  His work with boards and committees means he brings insight to risk and audit functions of their key stakeholders' needs and expectations.

Hanif founded Board Alchemy in 2017 to deliver a broad range of value-adding governance services to his clients.  Previously, for thirteen years, he was a founder partner at Independent Audit and prior to this was a director at PwC.  He is a Chartered Accountant and has an MBA from London Business School.

He is also Chair (formerly Audit Committee Chairman) of St Christopher’s Fellowship, a leading specialist charity for children and young people in care and on the edge of care.  He is also a member of the Audit & Risk Committee at City, University of London.  These pro-bono roles have given him practical experience of dealing with ‘live’ governance issues and have helped him ensure the advice he gives his clients is practical and fit-for-purpose.  He is also a visiting lecturer on corporate governance at Cass Business School and was recently appointed as a member of the Working Group of the Financial Reporting Council's Audit & Assurance Lab.

David Young


David brings extensive experience to his role as adviser to Board Alchemy.  He is an experienced audit and risk committee chair with particular knowledge of the regulated financial services industry.  He sits on the boards of several public and private equity-backed companies, regulated by both the FCA and PRA as well as the FRC.

He qualified as a Chartered Accountant at the London office of Arthur Andersen (now Deloitte).  Following seven years in investment banking, he became finance director of a London Stock Exchange premium-listed company before embarking on a portfolio career in 1999.  He is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.  He was deputy chairman of the ICAEW’s NED Group.

Having been both a finance director and non-executive director of companies gives David a special insight into the workings of company boards and the requirements of regulators.  As a purchaser of external and internal audit, risk and other assurance services, he understands how strong and constructive relationships can be formed which add value to strong governance and do not simply tick the right box.

David Alexander

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David Alexander is a chartered accountant with extensive experience of risk management and internal audit gained from over 30 years in executive assurance or consulting roles. 

David is a former global head of internal audit for three major financial services groups (Coutts NatWest, Benfield and Catlin) and has also undertaken interim head of internal audit roles for companies such as Premier Foods, Kleinwort Benson and Henderson Global Investors.  David has a detailed understanding of financial services regulation and regulatory expectations of internal audit, as well as an in-depth working knowledge of the practical operation and challenges of operating in a three lines of defence framework.

David now acts as a consultant and trainer on various aspects of assurance, including external quality assessments of internal audit teams and running training courses for heads of internal audit and audit committee members.