Membership

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.

Sybella Stanley

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

Gillian is an experienced chairman and non-executive director, following an executive career as marketing director and CEO. Career highlights include launching the Next Directory and the UK Royal Mail turnaround. She founded Board Mentoring in 2008 and works personally with CEOs and directors of leading international companies; she has served on boards of FTSE UK Quoted, Entrepreneur led, Private Equity Owned, Public Sector and Member owned companies. She was chairman of jisp.com from technology start-up in 2014 to an Enterprise Value over £20 million. She was winner of a Sunday Times Non Executive Director of the Year Award in 2014 for her work on corporate governance. Gillian joined Senet Group at its formation in Jan 2015 as a non-executive director and took over as chairman in November 2017.

Vikas Shah

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

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

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

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

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.

Cecilia McAnulty

Cecilia McAnulty has spent most of her career advising, restructuring and investing in listed and private companies, many experiencing extreme operational and/ or financial challenges. She was formerly a senior partner and portfolio manager at Centaurus Capital, a London based hedge fund, and headed similar businesses in Barclays Capital and Royal Bank of Scotland. She is a non-executive director of Northern 2 PLC, an LSE listed venture capital trust and was formerly a trustee of English National Ballet and chair of its Finance and General Purposes Committee.

She is a graduate of Glasgow University and a chartered accountant.

Kay Ashton

Kay is a partner at Silverfleet Capital, a leading European private equity firm. Having joined in 1992 she is a member of the investment committee and has responsibility for the firm’s portfolio management activities. She is also a Non-Executive director of Ipes and Sigma Components.

Prior to joining Silverfleet Capital, Kay worked at NatWest Ventures (now Bridgepoint Capital) which she joined from PricewaterhouseCoopers where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant.