Current board members.
Kevin Taylor (Chair)
Kevin Taylor is Managing Director of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, the Cyber Division of BAE Systems plc. He has previously been the Group Strategy Director as well as the Managing Director of the Military Air Business, and of the Submarines Business. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, having graduated from Oxford with a physics degree.
Nicky is CEO of the City Law Firm Rosenblatt Solicitors. She was named Veuve Cliquot Businesswoman of the Year in 1997 when she was Chief Executive of Brands Hatch Leisure plc – she was, and remains, the awards youngest ever recipient. Nicky became Chief Executive of Brands Hatch in early 1990 when the business was valued at £6 million and built it into the largest organiser and promoter of motor sport in Europe. In 1996, she floated the business on the London Stock Exchange; and in 1999, she sold the business for over $195 million to Interpublic, the US marketing giant.
Nicky has since run a private family office with private equity investments in the USA and Europe. She was originally appointed to the Industrial Development Advisory Board in 2014.
Sybella Stanley is Director of Corporate Finance at RELX Group plc where she manages RELX’s global mergers and acquisitions programmes. Before joining RELX in 1997, Sybella was a member of the mergers and acquisitions advisory teams at successively Citigroup and Barings. Sybella is also a non-executive director of Tate & Lyle plc and The Merchant’s Trust plc and is a member of the Somerville College Oxford Development Board.
Gillian Wilmot is an experienced Chairman and Non-Executive Director following an executive career as a Marketing Director then a CEO. She was recognised for governance excellence in the 2014 Sunday Times Non-Executive Director Awards. Gillian runs Board Mentoring which works with CEOs and directors of leading UK and international companies. She was appointed to the Industrial Development Advisory Board in 2012 and is on 4 other boards from energy to retail, leisure and technology. Gillian is Chair of SportsCoach UK and is committed to bringing more under-represented groups into coaching.
Vikas Shah is Managing Director of Swiscot Group, a Manchester based textiles and commodities trading firm, with operations worldwide. He is also Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship with MIT Sloan on their European MBA programme, as well as receiving a prestigious honorary Professorship from the Alliance Manchester Business School. Vikas has built businesses in diverse sectors around the world for almost 20 years, and is also a consultant and advisor to many entrepreneurs, and organisations globally. He is President of the North West region chapter of TiE (the world’s largest entrepreneurs network), and a respected speaker and commentator on entrepreneurship, business, and social issues. Vikas is an advisor to many civic and community groups, and is a trustee of Mustard Tree, Executive Patron of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, and a member of the University of Manchester General Assembly.
John Drake is Chief Commercial Counsel for Bird and Bird LLP, where he is in charge of several change programmes, having been Chief Operating Officer for 7 years until 2015. A qualified barrister, most of John’s career was in industry both in Asia and the UK mostly as CEO in operational engineering and service provision businesses undertaking major change in telecoms, electronics and transportation sectors.
Mark Bryant is a senior member of the Business Growth Fund plc and also brings 30 years of experience in manufacturing and industry roles such as the Managing Director / CEO of Pressurements Ltd, Druck Holdings plc, M&H Plastics Ltd and Commercial Director at General Electric. Mark has also sold a number of companies that he has successfully led as well as integrated bolt-on acquisitions.
Ian Guthrie is a Senior Advisor to JLL, a Fortune 500 professional services company specializing in real estate. He is also a Senior Advisor and External Member of the Advisory Council of SVP Global Investors, a c.$5billion distress investment firm. Until 2015 he was Managing Director of Lloyds Bank’s non-core real estate group, with responsibility for a c.£23billion portfolio (cumulative). Ian has more than 25 years’ experience in financial services, is a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Member of the Institute for Turnaround.
Volker Schultz brings over 30 years of experience in the refining, downstream oil and petrochemical industries. He’s a board member and only independent non-executive director of SOCAR Turkey Enerji A.Ş. Volker also advises a variety of companies on strategy and mergers and acquisitions opportunities. From 2011 to 2015 he was Chief Executive Officer of Essar Oil UK (and its Stanlow refinery). Previously he had worked 23 years with BP, including as Head of Refining and Marketing Strategy & Portfolio and Planning & Performance Reporting, Business Unit Leader of the Lingen refinery and Works General Manager of a petrochemicals facility.