Andrea was born in Buckinghamshire but moved to Kent aged 8 with her mother, stepfather and two sisters, where she attended Southborough Primary School then Tonbridge Girls Grammar School. From age 14 to 18 she had various part time jobs including - silver service waitress, sales assistant in Dolcis, shelf filler in Sainsbury's, and as an office cleaner. After A levels she attended Warwick University where she gained a degree in Political Science and became a Conservative Party activist.
Andrea then began a career in the banking and finance industry that would last 25 years, starting in 1984 at Wood Gundy Calatchi China Investments, a start-up corporate finance firm seeking joint ventures between Canadian and Chinese firms.
In 1985 she joined E F Hutton as an assistant broker, trading on behalf of clients in US stocks and commodity futures, as well as metals on the London Metals Exchange. She passed her FINRA Series 3 (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) exam in 1985 and her Series 7 (New York Stock Exchange) exam in 1986, which qualified her to trade in her role at E F Hutton.
She then moved in 1987 to join BZW in the new ‘Commercial Paper’ team, helping multinational corporates with their short term funding needs. She transferred to Barclays in Sydney, Australia, for a year to work on the treasury desk selling forward rate agreements, bank bills and foreign exchange. She returned to BZW to develop their sales in synthetic floating rate notes, and was then invited to join Barclays Bank in a new structured products team, specialising in private placements for Northern European companies raising long term loans from US institutional investors.
Andrea was appointed in 1993 to the Barclays grade of 'Deputy Institutional Banking Director' with the job title of Deputy Financial Institutions Director, managing the Investment Banks team within Barclays.
Andrea and Ben were married in 1993.
Andrea's team were responsible for all global investment banking relationships, which included providing key banking and trading facilities to Barings as their principal UK bank. Over the weekend that Barings collapsed, Andrea was part of the group of bankers that helped the then Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, as he tried to reassure the markets and prevent a run on the banks. In 2011 she took part in an episode of BBC Radio 4’s The Reunion where some of those involved discussed what happened. You can listen to it here.
Andrea’s first child was born in 1995.
In late 1995 Andrea was promoted to the grade of 'Institutional Banking Director' within the bank - her role as Financial Institutions Director was to manage Barclays' global relationships within the banking sector, together with a team of senior bankers and support staff.
In 1997 Andrea was appointed Head of Euro Product Strategy, Payments and Cash Management Services, leading Barclays' payments project to prepare for the advent of the Euro.
You can read letters from John McFarlane and Tristram Roberts, Chairman and Group HR Director at Barclays respectively, here.
Andrea was approached in 1997 by two former clients – one of whom would go on to marry a member of her family – to become Managing Director of a start-up London based funds management company, DPFM. From 1997 until 1999 as MD she was responsible for marketing the fund strategies to investors, as well as for recruitment and business management.
You can read a statement by Roger Harlow, Director of DPFM here.
Andrea’s second child was born in 1998.
After a four month career break in mid-1999, Andrea went on to spend ten years until 2009 as Head of Corporate Governance and Senior Investment Officer at Invesco Perpetual, one of the UK's largest retail fund managers.
The former Chief Investment Officer and Andrea’s former boss at Invesco Perpetual, Bob Yerbury, discussed her time there in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. You can read the full article here or read the text here.
Alongside her business career, in 2001 Andrea became Chairman of Trustees of a children's charity, the Oxford Parent Infant Project (OXPIP), which helps families that are struggling to form a secure bond with their new babies.
In the same year, Andrea successfully applied to become a Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate, before standing in the 2003 South Oxfordshire District Council local election where she won her seat from the Liberal Democrat Leader of the Council.
Andrea's third child was born in 2003.
After contesting the Knowsley South constituency in the 2005 General Election, in 2006 Andrea was selected as the Conservative candidate for the new Parliamentary constituency of South Northamptonshire. She went on to win the seat at the 2010 General Election with a majority of over 20,000.
Upon entering Parliament, Andrea was elected to the Treasury Select Committee, where she remained for four years. She held posts as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sure Starts, and Founding Chairman of the APPG on the 1001 Critical Days - conception to age two; she launched the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto as a cross party campaign in 2012.
In 2011, Andrea established the Northamptonshire Parent Infant Partnership (NorPIP), as a sister charity to OXPIP, and in 2012 established PIP UK, a new charitable foundation to offer practical and financial support for the establishment of new PIPs around the country. You can read more about the ongoing work of PIP UK and the flourishing network of PIPs here.
During this time, she was also founder and co-Chairman with a Labour MP of the APPG for European Reform and founded the Fresh Start Project in Parliament that worked towards establishing a new relationship between Britain and the EU. You can read about the work of the Fresh Start Project here.
In April 2014, Andrea joined the Government as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, with responsibility for Financial Services. Upon being returned to Parliament as MP for South Northamptonshire with an increased majority of over 26,000 at the 2015 General Election, she was promoted to Minister of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
Andrea campaigned strongly for the UK to leave the EU during the referendum period of 2016. She stood for the leadership of the Conservative Party after the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister and was one of the final two candidates chosen by Conservative MPs, but decided to withdraw from the leadership election. You can read her letter to Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, setting out her reasons for withdrawing here.
Andrea was appointed to the post of Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Theresa May's first Cabinet as Prime Minister in July 2016.