Mike Turner, Babcock International Group
Mike has been instrumental in Babcock’s recent success, with the company establishing itself as a leader in the support services sector and being firmly established in the FTSE 100. He is hands on and has helped lead the formation and implementation of a clear strategy that has delivered significant shareholder value.
He has extensive knowledge of the defence sector and Government and has used this to drive change across the business. An effective communicator, Mike has built a balanced and experienced Board and supported and developed the Executive Management team.
Beyond his daily responsibilities, he is a great believer in British engineering and has championed the training of apprentices. The Judges concurred that whatever Mike turns his hand to, he does so brilliantly.
Not-For-Profit/Public Service Organisation
Dr Alice Maynard, Scope
Alice boasts a successful and varied 30 year career, and has worked tirelessly as Chair of Scope since 2008. Since Alice’s appointment the organisation has gone from strength-to-strength under her determined stewardship, with the resources to continue to support and positively impact the lives of thousands of disabled people.
Through her own experiences Alice understands the challenges faced by disabled people, whilst her vision and drive have made her a very effective leader. As a result, she has worked closely with, challenged and mentored the Executive team to drive significant change across the organisation.
The Judges recognised that Alice has made a significant contribution to Scope, and felt she would be a positive force at any boardroom table.
Quoted Company - AIM
Baroness Ford, May Gurney Integrated Services
On becoming Chairman, Baroness Ford needed to immediately utilise her experience as a CEO in order to enable the Group to overcome a number of structural challenges. Early on the Board took the difficult decision to replace the CEO and she was key to instigating the introduction of strong financial disciplines.
The Judges felt that Baroness Ford helped drive a culture of openness which helped foster trust between the executives and Board members. Her ability to garner support, and build trust, amongst key stakeholders bolstered the company’s public reputation and stabilised it commercially, leading ultimately to a recommended Offer from Kier Group.
Her unwavering commitment to strong governance and transparent communication was invaluable in driving this procress and securing the company’s future.
Quoted Company - Official List
Frank Meysman, Thomas Cook Group
Frank was appointed Chairman at a difficult time for Thomas Cook, following a series of profit warnings, and the departure of the Group CEO. He has proven himself to be a diligent and effective operator, having reshaped the board and taken a number of decisive measures that have helped restore the company’s operational and financial performance.
It was widely agreed by the Judges that the selection of those that run the company is a key skill for any Chairman. The Judges felt Frank showed courage and conviction with several crucial appointments, notably the hiring of a new CEO and CFO, having identified and empowered two individuals with complementary skills, experience and personalities.
It was noted that Frank has been very vocal in discussions on branding and the future direction of the Group and taken a strong stance on remuneration, putting in place measurable objectives and deliverables. He was praised by the Judges for championing a new standard of reporting and control, and for his oversight of the formation of the new Executive Committee.
Unquoted/Private Equity Backed
Gillian Wilmot, Nisa Retail
The difference Gillian has made to Nisa since her appointment in January 2013 greatly impressed the Judges. Gillian joined Nisa’s Board after several NED changes and, combining her strengths in corporate governance and operational insight, quickly and efficiently helped management create the environment to drive the future success of the business.
The Judges were deeply impressed with Gillian’s achievements in the last 12 months, including the strategic recruitment of a new COO, whose strong industry track record has brought outstanding results. In addition, Gillian has spearheaded initiatives on succession planning, diversity and gaining shareholder buy-in for a new management incentive plan.
Gillian’s rigorous focus on business performance and transparency has helped create a high performing Board and delivered significant commercial success.
Sir John Buchanan
Sir John Buchanan’s long and distinguished career, and repeated success in a number of high profile positions, singled him out for this award. During the course of his career, Sir John’s contribution has been substantial. As a seasoned Board member, Sir John has held a series of important FTSE 100 roles including at Vodafone, BHP Billiton and Smith & Nephew, which have showcased his proven ability to manage critical succession planning.
The Judges were impressed by his level of dedication to every board position he has held throughout his long career. His insight and ability to challenge, and his strong but pragmatic financial discipline, has made him invaluable to every company he has worked with.
The Judges felt that Sir John encapsulates the essence of a Non-Executive Director and has proved this repeatedly over time and at the very highest corporate level.