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Former boss of international sandwich chain giant takes on local good causes

PUBLISHED: 16:11 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:11 04 February 2020

Clive Schlee, chairman of the Seckford Foundation  Picture: PRET A MANGER

Clive Schlee, chairman of the Seckford Foundation Picture: PRET A MANGER

Pret A Manger

The former boss of Pret a Manger is set to take over as chairman of a Suffolk charity.

Clive Schlee - who spent much of his childhood in Suffolk and has lived at Bromeswell for more than 20 years - is set to succeed Roger Finbow at Woodbridge-based Seckford Foundation.

Mr Schlee spent the last 16 years as chief executive of the international sandwich shop chain before retiring in October last year. He helped to grow it into a billion-pound business with more than 500 stores in 10 countries.

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Prior to that he spent 17 years in restaurants and financial services at Jardine Matheson & Co Ltd, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate.

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He is also chairman of London based sushi chain Itsu. During his career, he championed the Pret Foundation, greatly increasing its income and starting to offer jobs and accommodation to the homeless in addition to distributing unsold food to hostels every night.

Seckford, founded in 1587, promotes education and care in Woodbridge and Suffolk.

Roger, who retires at the end of February, said it had been "a great privilege" to chair the charity for 10 years, and he was "delighted" to at Mr Schlee's appointment.

Mr Schlee, whose three children attended school in Woodbridge, said: "It is an honour to be able to serve the foundation as it plays such an important role in the lives of so many people in Woodbridge and Suffolk."

He plans to spend more time in Suffolk and hopes to use his business experience to help the local community.

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