Jan 222021

TransUnion Strengthens UK Board with Two Non-Executive Directors, Including New Chair

Global information and insights provider TransUnion has appointed two non-executive directors (NEDs) to its UK board, demonstrating its commitment to strong corporate governance as the business pursues its growth agenda.

In their new roles, Margot Cronin, who will act as chair, and Jonathan Baum will promote the long-term sustainable success of the company, providing constructive challenge, strategic guidance and specialist advice to the UK board and management executives.

Margot is a winner of the prestigious Institute of Directors award for ‘Chartered director of the year’ and has worked in financial services executive roles across her career, most recently at HSBC Life, Tesco Underwriting and Prudential International.

As a former senior insurance executive, Margot has leadership experience across multiple board memberships and spent significant time with market leader Aviva in the UK, US and Hong Kong. As an independent non-executive director and newly appointed chair of TransUnion’s UK board, Margot’s role is subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

At a time of financial hardship for many households in the UK, this a pivotal moment to be joining TransUnion as it aims to support both businesses and consumers through an unprecedented challenge, providing data and insights that are fundamental across so many sectors, ranging from fraud and ID checks to credit referencing,” commented Margot. “I look forward to working alongside the wider UK leadership to help TransUnion harness the full extent of its global capabilities to support the UK market.

In addition, TransUnion has appointed Jonathan Baum, former chief credit officer at Lloyds Banking Group, as a non-executive director. Jonathan has extensive financial services experience, having also held senior risk and credit roles at Barclays and GE Capital during his career. He brings with him significant experience in retail and business lending, and a proven track record in bank acquisitions and mergers.

Jonathan said:

I have been impressed with TransUnion’s commitment to growth here in the UK, through continued investment in its products and services, which enable trust between businesses and their customers. I am very much looking forward to supporting the business as it strives to meet and exceed its ambitions.

Commenting on the appointments, Satrajit “Satty” Saha, CEO of TransUnion in the UK, said:

We’re really pleased to be bringing two such well-respected and experienced non-executive directors to our UK board, which is a critical part of our corporate governance structure. COVID-19 has presented many challenges for businesses, and in light of the third national lockdown there is still a difficult road ahead for the nation, but as the economy starts to recover, we want to be in a position to strengthen our business and deliver on our plans for long-term and sustained growth, using the valuable lessons learned to support our clients, and their customers.

Mar 212018

Chartered Director

CDNetwork Bucks, Berks & Oxon Relaunch - Breakfast at the Hotel du Vin, Henley-on-Thames

In response to demand the CDNetwork Bucks, Berks & Oxon is being relaunched.

The first meeting is scheduled for Friday March 23rd at 7.15am for 7.30am start over Breakfast at the Hotel du Vin, Henley @ £20 a head, to be paid on arrival.

A new business proposition will be discussed - by CDirs for CDirs - that could provide ongoing opportunities for CDirs to earn fee income and participate in capital growth.

We will also welcome ideas for further meetings with the accent on achieving value, for the time invested in those meetings.

Hope to see you there.

If you can’t make it but would like information on the business proposal, please e-mail Alan Hindley at alan@cedar-associates.com

Alan Hindley, John Palmer and Hector Grant
Chartered Director Network

Book your place now!

Chartered Director Network

Organiser of CDNetwork Bucks, Berks & Oxon Re-launch

The Chartered Director Network Bucks, Berks, and Oxon has relaunched with the objectives which are:

  • Purpose - to bring together current Chartered Directors, supporters, friends and colleagues with the common aim of furthering knowledge and learning opportunities for good governance of organisations, enterprise and businesses of all sizes.
  • CPD - promote Continuous Professional Development as an integral part of the Chartered Director qualification, amongst all and wherever possible in alignment with the governing body’s current guidelines.
  • Awareness - promote and raise awareness of Chartered Directors, their values, professional skillset and ‘corporate governance’ focus.
  • Share - knowledge, learning, career and business opportunities.
  • Engage - with entrepreneur and business groups, innovation and learning centres with a view to supporting business growth with good governance and sustainable business practices.
  • Network - support and encourage networking and partnerships for career and business opportunities

Book your place now!

Nov 172016

Chartered Director Julia Clarke and Non-Executive Director Poku Osei are joint winners of the NHS SW Leadership Academy's Inclusive Leader Award

chartered director

Bristol Community Health CIC Chief Executive Julia Clarke and Non-Executive Director Poku Osei have jointly won the NHS South West Leadership Academy's Inclusive Leader Award for their work on board diversity.

The award recognises leaders who are dedicated to ensuring that equality and inclusion lies at the heart of their day to day work and they actively promote equality and celebrate difference:

Julia, who is a holder of the Chartered Director qualification awarded by the Institute of Directors has been instrumental in the foundation of the ground-breaking Diversity Advantage Programme run jointly by the University of the West of England (UWE) and the NHS South West Leadership Academy in Bristol and Plymouth.

The Diversity Advantage Programme provides exceptional candidates from diverse backgrounds with an opportunity to gain NHS Board level experience. The programme uses a very broad interpretation of 0the term 'Diversity' in order to focus on the promotion of diversity of thought for NHS Boards in the South West region.

This opportunity is aimed at highly experienced emerging front runners, concerned with the future of the NHS and interested in in gaining experience and contributing to the decision making of an NHS board.

The selected candidates have an opportunity to participate on a tailored pilot leadership programme called the Diversity Advantage, benefiting in learning from  highly experienced Board level practitioners and leading academics.

The pilot is being delivered in the two Cities of Bristol and Plymouth. There are 12 places available for NHS Boards and 12 selected potential Board candidates from the diverse talent pipeline across the two Cities. The programme includes a series of seminars, two Masterclasses and action learning sets.

This pioneering programme commenced on 21 June 2016 and will be completed on 6 December 2016. It is being funded by the NHS Leadership Academy at national level, and is being developed in collaboration with Christina Quinn, Director, at the NHS Leadership Academy South West, and Board member and newly elected mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, together with Bristol Community Health CIC who are piloting the first UWE graduate Board placement.

The Chartered Director qualification awarded by the Institute of Directors under Royal Charter is the only professional qualification for all directors that demands both knowledge and experience of how to make boards effective, and a commitment to continuous professional development.

Aug 052016

FBD Holdings plc ("FBD") is pleased to announce the appointment of Chartered Director Mary Brennan to the Board, subject to the approval of Shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Company to be convened for this purpose.

Mary BrennanMs. Mary Brennan has been appointed as an independent non-executive Director.

Ms. Brennan is a Chartered Director and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

In a career spanning over 30 years, Ms. Brennan has worked internationally in audit in a number of publicly listed companies, including Elan plc and Occidental Petroleum Corp.

She is currently a non-executive Director of BNP Paribas Ireland where she also chairs the Audit Committee, and is an experienced non-executive Director of a number of life and non-life reinsurance companies.

Subject to her appointment being approved by shareholders, Ms. Brennan will also join the Audit Committee.

The Chairman, Mr. Michael Berkery, said:

"I am delighted to announce this further appointment to the Board, which is subject to the approval of Shareholders. Ms. Brennan will bring new skills and wide international experience to the Board and the Audit Committee and I expect that her input will be of great value to the Board and to the Group."

Requirement for an Extraordinary General Meeting ("EGM")

An EGM is to be convened to satisfy the requirement of Listing Rule 6.9 (1) of the Irish Stock Exchange which provides "A listed company must ensure that at all times not more than one third of its board of directors is composed of persons who have been co-opted to the board." The appointment of Ms. Brennan would, when taken with the appointments of Mr. Dermot Browne, Mr. David O'Connor and Mr. John O'Grady, which were made and announced earlier this year, bring the proportion of co-opted Directors above this threshold.

The formal convening of the Extraordinary General Meeting and the posting of the Circular to shareholders will be the subject of a separate announcement shortly.

Feb 122016

Women in Tech lunch The Clarion Hotel, Cork

Brid Horan Chartered Director

In 2014, we launched our “Women in Tech” programme to support diversity in the technology sector. One of the features of this programme is our lunchtime series which we have recently enhanced. The core aim of this series is to highlight the success of leading, talented female role models.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, our next lunch is on Tuesday 8th March in the Clarion Hotel from 12pm to 2pm and we are delighted that Brid Horan will address us. Brid was Deputy Chief Executive of ESB until her retirement in late 2014.  She is an Independent Non-executive Director of FBD Holdings plc, a member of DCU Governing Authority and of the Council of the IMI.

Tickets are available at €30 for members and €40 for non members and includes a two course lunch so this is an ideal opportunity to invite clients or colleagues. Discounted table rates also available. If you would like to find out more about the event or book tickets, please contact sarah@itcork.ie.

Brid Horan Chartered Director

Brid Horan
Independent Non-executive Director of FBD Holdings plc.

Bríd Horan was Deputy Chief Executive of ESB until her retirement in late 2014. She is an Independent Non-executive Director of FBD Holdings plc, a member of DCU Governing Authority and of the Council of the IMI.

Brid spent eight years on the ESB Executive Team. As Executive Director, she led the transformation of ESB’s retail businesses from a regulated model to a fully competitive newly branded business, Electric Ireland, and led the integration of ESB’s internal services (IT, HR, Finance, Property) into a central Business Service Centre, delivering significant efficiencies/savings.

Prior to joining ESB as Group Pensions Manager in 1997, Bríd headed KPMG Pension & Actuarial Consulting. She served on the Board of the IDA (1996 – 2006) and as a Commissioner of the National Pensions Reserve Fund (2001 – 2009) and was a member of the 2014 Strategic Review Group for the Arts Council.

Bríd is an Actuary and a Chartered Director (IOD), a Director of ISAX (Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange), Dublin Theatre Festival and Chamber Choir Ireland, a member of the Steering Committee of the 30% Club and a mentor on the WXN Wisdom Top 25 Mentoring Programme. Brid has two adult sons.

Feb 122016

Cheque and Credit Clearing Company appoints Chartered Director as new independent director

The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) has today announced the appointment of a new independent director to its Board.

Heather BenjaminHeather Benjamin, former Chief Procurement Officer at Centrica, the international energy company, and current Chair of Walsingham Support, the learning disabilities charity, took up the position on 1 February 2016.

Heather Benjamin’s appointment maintains the C&CCC’s objective of ensuring the ‘customer voice’ is heard in the boardroom. She joins at a time when the industry is working on one of the biggest changes in the cheque’s 350-year history with the introduction of cheque imaging, and part of Heather’s role is to ensure that input from multiple stakeholders helps shape the delivery of this important development.

Since her retirement from Centrica, Heather has taken up a diverse number of non-executive and chair appointments: She is: the Senior Independent Director for Portsmouth Water and chairs its Audit Committee; is Chair Of Trustees for the charity, Walsingham Support; and has combined her insight at a senior level with her passion for music by taking up a board role at the Academy of St Martins in the Field international orchestra. Heather is a Chartered Director (IoD) and also provides consultancy advice on managing multi-million pound outsourced partnerships and supply chains.

Regarding her appointment, Heather Benjamin said:
“I am very pleased to take on the role of independent director on the C&CCC Board. It is an exciting time to be part of the cheque industry, as it works to introduce an image clearing system that will bring cheques firmly into the 21st century, ensuring their continuing existence for those individuals, businesses and charities that still use them.”

Jane Bevis, Chair of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, commented:
“I'm delighted to welcome Heather to the Board as we work to deliver a transformation in cheque payment services. Her understanding of consumer issues, supply chain risks and operating in a regulated environment will strengthen further the skills around the table. We have built a strong team to lead this major change programme over the last 18 months and Heather's appointment is an important - and independent - addition."

Sep 172015

Irish charity Vita has appointed former Eirgrid CEO and Chartered Director Dermot Byrne as its chairman.

Dermot ByrneVita works with local communities in the Horn of Africa to end hunger and climate change.

Byrne replaces Seamus Crosse whose term of office has ended.

He retired as chief executive of EirGrid in September 2012, having developed the company into a group structure with responsibilities in Northern Ireland and Ireland. During his tenure the €600m East West Connector was completed and the Grid25 strategy was developed and implemented.

Dermot is a graduate of University College Dublin, he holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Business Administration, and more recently he qualified as a Chartered Director from the Institute of Directors

Byrne is currently also chair of the Government’s Energy Research Strategy Group and was appointed non-executive director of Element Power Ireland in October 2013.

He has just returned from Eritrea where he learnt more about Vita’s climate smart programme which is supported by the Irish Government and the EU.

“Combating climate change in countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia is a massive challenge, and in Vita we recognise that knowledge–led programmes can make a difference and help redress the balance,” said Vita CEO, John Weakliam. “Having someone the calibre of Dermot Byrne, with his knowledge and expertise, will stand well to Vita as we get ready to launch the Vita Green Impact Fund as a next generation model of development.”

The charity is also expecting to announce new members of its board of directors within a few months in order to broaden the organisation’s skill set and expertise.

Jul 012015

Chartered Director Victoria Muir joined the Invesco Perpetual Select Trust Plc board on 1 July 2015

Victoria Muir

The Board of Invesco Perpetual Select Trust plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Victoria Muir as a Non-Executive Director of the Company with effect from 1 July 2015.

Ms Muir is Global Head of Investor Relations at BlueBay Asset Management LLP, a Chartered Director and a Member of the Institute of Directors.  She was previously Head of Client Account Management at Royal London Asset Management Ltd, which position was the culmination of a twelve year progression in sales, marketing and client relationship related positions, and was also a director of a number of Royal London Group companies.

Invesco Perpetual is one of the largest independent investment managers in the UK

The other members of the board are:

Non-Executive Independent Chairman of the Board
Appointed 2006
Mr. Patrick A. F. Gifford is the Non-Executive Independent Chairman of the Board of Invesco Perpetual Select Trust Plc., since January 10, 2008. Gifford has served as a Director since the Company’s incorporation in August 2006. He is chairman of Martin Currie Pacific Trust plc and Murray Income Trust plc. He is also chairman of the supervisory committee of Scottish Life’s with-profits fund and an adviser to a pension fund. He was previously the chief executive of Fleming Investment Trust Management and a director of Robert Fleming Holdings.

Non-Executive Director
Appointed 2015

Non-Executive Independent Director
Appointed 2008
Sir Michael W. Bunbury is a Non-Executive Independent Director of Invesco Perpetual Select Trust plc., since 10 January 2008. A former chairman of Smith & Williamson, he is now a consultant to the firm. He is chairman of JPMorgan Claverhouse Investment Trust plc, BH Global Ltd and HarbourVest Global Private Equity Ltd and a former director of Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust plc. He has other directorships of various property investment and development companies.
Senior Non-Executive Independent Director
Appointed 2008
Mr. Alan Henry Clifton is a Senior Non-Executive Independent Director of Invesco Perpetual Select Trust plc., since 10 January 2008. He is a former managing partner of the stockbrokers, Kitcat & Aitken, and from 1990 until 2001 was the managing director of Morley Fund Management (now Aviva Investors), the asset management arm of Aviva plc, the UK’s largest insurance group. He is now chairman of Schroder UK Growth Fund plc, JPMorgan Japanese Smaller Companies Trust plc and International Biotechnology Trust plc and is an independent director of a number of other investment companies both in the UK and abroad.

Non-Executive Independent Director
Appointed 2007

Mr. David Rosier is a Non-Executive Independent Director of Invesco Perpetual Select Trust plc., since 28 November 2007. Following his retirement from Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (previously Mercury Asset Management) in 2002, he was a founder partner of Thurleigh Investment Managers LLP of which he is chairman. He is also chairman of the Armed Forces Common Investment Fund, a commissioner and chairman of the investment committee of The Royal Hospital Chelsea and a trustee of the Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown, The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust and 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards Heritage Trust. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment.


May 072015

Chartered Director Liam Woulfe one of two appointees to the Teagasc authority board

chartered directorAgriculture Minister Simon Coveney has approved the appointments of Cliona Murphy and Liam Woulfe to the Teagasc authority, both for five-year terms.

Teagasc chairman Noel Cawley welcomed the new appointees to the board, confirmed at the authority’s board meeting in Teagasc, Clonakilty, Co Cork.

A native of Adare, Co Limerick, Liam Woulfe is managing director of Grassland AGRO and of Freshgrass Group.

In 2002, he formed Freshgrass Investments and this venture then acquired Grassland Fertilizers as well as 50% of Drummonds as a joint venture with Liffey Mills in 2009.

In 2013 Grassland acquired the Irish business of the major French AGRO supplies company Groupe Roullier while simultaneously Groupe Roullier acquired a 50% stake in Grassland to form Grassland AGRO.

Previously, he was general manager of the dairies division of Kerry Group after being an executive director of Golden Vale plc for 15 years.

Mr Woulfe started his career with NCF Co-op (now Aurivo) in 1982. He graduated in Dairy Science from UCC and with a Masters in Executive Leadership from University of Ulster.

He is a qualified chartered director from the Institute of Directors, London, and is a director of 12 companies.

He was the Cecil King-Ireland Young Manager of the Year in 1994. He was an EY finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.

He has invested in a number of Green Energy Projects including Biomass, Wind and Solar companies.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved


Mar 192015

David Watt says we must train all our board directors – and non-executives – so they fully understand their roles in leading business.


There are persistent moves from politicians and in the media to increase board diversity and certainly there is strong evidence that balanced boards are more effective and efficient and have produced better results.

The Institute of Directors – while being resolutely against quotas – is very supportive of the drive towards balanced boards which reflects a sensible and appropriate range of skills, interests and experiences; and is responsive to the demands on the organisation.

Many boards – and some with a degree of justification – are accused of being “old boys’ networks” yet the only way to break that positively is to build a band of potential board members who have the capability and the expertise and are ready to serve. Such a group of people would be impossible to ignore.

The most important issue we face today is building the capacity of current and prospective board members – in particular the non-executive members. Being a good executive director does not necessarily make you a good non-executive as the skills are not exactly the same.

There are not many walks of life in a modern day Scotland where a qualification and some clear proof of training and expertise is essential but, somewhat bizarrely, it is possible to be the director of a sizeable entity without any direct or specific training.

Surely all our company directors should be trained. Indeed, so should all trustees or directors working in the third and public sectors. If you sit on a board and have an influential role in the future of the organisation, then you should be quite clear on exactly what your role is.

It doesn’t make sense that you can be responsible for a company’s operation or that of a large charity – or indeed a world level football brand – and yet have no requirement to be trained or undertake ongoing development and performance evaluation.

We see a lot  – and almost daily – of examples of bad practice at this level of organisations and yet we don’t demand that the individuals involved are educated in this very specific skills and have an understanding of the role to the level needed. Certainly Scotland has many examples of well-run companies and agencies but surely we should be demanding more certainty around that and their continuity of success through developing and supporting the best possible corporate leadership.

Understanding corporate governance and your role and duties within this heading is a vital background to your role in developing the future strategy of the organisation. Being in charge of the fate of the organisation is obviously an important and serious job and not one to be taken on lightly.

The Institute of Directors is not the only organisation offering training and development in this space but it is the only one offering a Chartered Director status and a certificate and diploma in company direction. Of course I would encourage people to follow that route but most importantly would exhort them to get some specialised training regardless of its source.

The IoD is also running a project on developing board experience to get people close to how boards operate in advance of applying for any such posts. In addition there is a board mentoring system focused on those people who are “Tips for the Top” and who will, given the appropriate support and guidance go on to be very constructive board members.

We must mount a campaign to get all our boardroom leaders properly prepared to lead and if we do that we will improve boardroom and company performance and we will all benefit, as will our economy.

Moving in this direction is the key way to ensure that we have no more bank crashes or bankrupt football clubs and the key step to improving under-performing companies and organisations in all three sectors of our civic life.

They exemplify how strong leadership from the boardroom can really make a difference in bodies as diverse as the Scottish Rugby Union and a medium sized family business or a reinvented bank to a small educational charity.

All have benefited from this quality leadership and guidance and we should do all we can to rise up to these standards – so we must train and develop all our directors and then we will improve boardroom behaviour, company performance, and the wealth and wellbeing of our nation.

Few if any other steps would bring about such significant economic impact for a relatively small input.

David WattDavid Watt is Director of the Institute of Directors in Scotland.

This article first appeared in BQ Business Quarter on 18 March 2015

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