Senior Corporate Officer; Special Advisor; Geo-political Counsellor; ambassador of reconciliation; Chartered Surveyor; Project Manager.
Mark James Finlay (Mark) is President and CEO of Ulster & London Ventures Ltd (ULV) and of ULV Americas, Inc. Mark serves leaders, including the C-Suites and Boards of some of the world’s largest and best known corporations.
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Mark lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Karen. Their daughter Grace (21) is a recent graduate of the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Mark grew up during the Northern Ireland “troubles” that raged from 1968 until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, and was actively involved in the peace process and in post-conflict transformation as an ambassador of reconciliation.
For 25 years, Mark worked as a professional, a principal and as a Company Director in development, regeneration and corporate governance of multi-jurisdictional real estate and investment vehicles, as well as a host of operational businesses. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Member of the Association for Project Management.
For a decade, from 1996, Mark was Development Director of a UK-based global real estate company, Scarborough Development Group plc (SDG) and Managing Director of SDG Property Holdings Ltd., through which he helped to deliver Public Private Partnerships, city regeneration, and port and infrastructure development projects. Mark was responsible for the transformation of HMS Rosyth, the former Nuclear Submarine base in Scotland, into a multi-campus business park, port and community resource.
During the mid-1990’s, from a platform of business and economic regeneration, Mark became involved with the Northern Ireland “peace process”.
In 2002 Mark was appointed by a Government Minister as a Commissioner of the Port of Belfast, the third-busiest port in the U.K., which encompasses Europe’s largest waterfront regeneration, known as Titanic Quarter, where RMS Titanic was built in 1909 and today where Game of Thrones is filmed.
He served in this public office for three years and was subsequently elected as Chairman of South Belfast Partnership, a cross-government initiative created following the Good Friday Peace Agreement to bring about transformation of some of the island of Ireland’s most disadvantaged communities.
In 2003 Mark was appointed a Director of the Ireland-US Council (IUSC) in Dublin and in 2016 was appointed to the Board in New York. The IUSC was created following President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in 1963 to promote economic links between the United States and Ireland.
In 2011 Mark authored Northern Ireland’s Global Diaspora Strategy to examine how to better connect with the region’s “scattered seed,” an estimated 58 million Irish and Scots-Irish in North America. In 2017 he authored the Consumer Code for New Home Ownership in the UK, designed to protect families and raise standards in the construction industry.
Stemming from his work in reconciliation and peace, Mark has served the island of Ireland’s delegation to the National Prayer Breakfast (NPB) in Washington, D.C. since 2007.
The NPB is hosted by the men and women of the U.S. Congress weekly prayer breakfast groups, involving Senators and Representatives from both political parties. Every President since President Eisenhower has attended the NPB. Annually over 3600 people attend, with representatives from every state joined by 750 international leaders, typically from more than 150 countries.
In 2012 Mark felt called to relocate from the UK and Ireland to Annapolis and, since December 2014, Mark has been privileged to volunteer and support Congressman Robert Aderholt, Co-Chair of the 2016 NPB, with his faith-based initiatives and international relations and in his efforts in the organization of the 2016 National Prayer Breakfast.
Since relocating to the United States, Mark has been involved in a number of significant diplomatic efforts and multi-lateral engagements, including Sino-American and European/USA Track II discussions.
Mark’s work in diplomacy, peace-making, dispute resolution, reconciliation, post conflict transformation and Jesus-centered faith based initiatives is undertaken variously under the auspices of the Center for Global Strategies 501 (c) (3) and the Wilberforce Alliance (UK Charity).