Vanni Emanuele Treves CBE (1940 – 10 November 2019)[1] was a British business executive. He was Chairman of Channel 4 (1998–2003), a senior partner of City law firm Macfarlanes, and Chairman (2001–2009)[2] of Equitable Life.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

Treves was born in Florence, Italy in 1940.[4] His father was killed during the Second World War in 1944 and his mother remarried, hence the family relocated to Swiss Cottage in London. He won a scholarship to the independent St Paul's School, London before attending the University of Oxford to study jurisprudence. Treves later completed a Fulbright scholarship in the United States at the University of Illinois. He relinquished his dual Italian-British nationality at the age of 36 when he realised that it made him eligible for national service in the Italian Army.[5]


Following his graduation from Oxford, Treves joined Macfarlanes in 1963 and went on to become a specialist in corporate governance. It was this that led to his appointment as a non-executive director of Saatchi & Saatchi in 1987. During the 1990s he went on to develop a career, as Philip Inman puts it, as a "serial chairman." In 2001 he took up the chairmanship of Equitable Life, determined to resolve its troubles.[5]

Treves was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to education (as chair of the National College for School Leadership).[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Treves was married with two sons and a daughter.[5] He was a donor to the Labour Party.[7]

He authored "What life after retirement from the law?" which was published in The Times on 4 April 2013.[8]


  1. ^ Treves
  2. ^ "Press Release Archive 2009". Equitable Life. Equitable Life. 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  3. ^ "The Board". Equitable Life. Equitable Life. 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Vanni Treves: the barrister manqué at Korn/Ferry". Martin Waller. The Times. 30 August 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  5. ^ a b c "Corporate charmer coaxing cash for children's charity". Philip Inman. The Guardian. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  6. ^ "No. 60009". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2011. p. 8.
  7. ^
  8. ^
Media offices
Preceded by
Michael Bishop
Chairman of Channel 4
January 1998 – December 2003
Succeeded by
Luke Johnson