Board of Directors

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MAIN BOARD – DIRECTORS

Nirj Deva, DL, FRSA, MEP (Chairman of the Board)

Mr Deva has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999 and is Vice-Chairman of the Parliament’s International Development Committee.  He is also Chairman of the EU-China Friendship Group.  From 1992-97 he was a member of the UK Parliament.  He has held a number of senior political appointments and has advised the boards of a number of public companies including International Leisure Group, Air Europe Plc, Tricentrol Oil co Plc, EDS, Television South West, Thomas Howell Group, John Laing Plc, aitken Spence and Rpthmans International Plc.

Michael Laurier (Chief Executive Officer)

Michael is the Chief Executive of the Company.  Michael’s career began with his long established family packaging business. Brentwood Sack and Bag Co. Limited.  He took over responsibility for sales and production in the mid-1970’s and changed the emphasis of the company’s business from jute products to polythene packaging, introducing the then innovative high density and medium density polythene bags into the UK market in 1975.  He was appointed Managing director of Brentapac UK Plc, which formerly owned the Tuffy trademark in 1985, with continuing responsibility for national and international sales.  He co-founded Symphony Plastics in 1995.

 Michael Stephen, LL.M Commercial Director and Deputy Chairman

Michael Stephen is Commercial Director and Deputy Chairman of the Plc, and Chairman of its subsidiary companies. He qualified as a Solicitor with Distinction in Company Law. He was called to the Bar, and practised from chambers in London for many years, dealing with civil cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal. He was a member of the UK Parliament 1992-97 and was a member of the Trade and Industry Select Committee and the Environment Select Committee of the House of Commons. He served in Government as Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture. He held a Harkness Fellowship in law at Stanford and Harvard Universities in the USA and was Deputy Legal Adviser to the British Ambassador to the United Nations for the 25th General Assembly.

Ian Bristow, FCCA (Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary)

Ian was in private practice for seven years, qualifying as a certified accountant in 1992. In 1994, he joined Brentapac UK Plc which was sold later the same year.  He went on to co-found Symphony Plastics in 1995.

Nicolas Clavel (Non-Executive Director)

Nicolas Clavel started his career in international banking in the mid seventies and his area of expertise has been structured trade finance and equity investments with a particular focus on Emerging Markets. He is Chief Investment Officer of Scipion Capital Ltd., (the Investment Manager of Scipion African Opportunities Fund SPC) and is personally CF 1, 3, 11 and CF30 approved by the UK Financial Services Authority. Nicolas is Swiss, and is based in London and Geneva. He is fluent in English, French, Italian and German.

Committees:

Audit Committee  – Chairman

Remuneration Committee – Member

Sean Robinson (Non-Executive Director)

Shaun Robinson has nearly 20 years corporate finance, restructuring and active asset management experience, focusing on operational real estate with key specialities in hotels and healthcare.  A chartered certified accountant, Shaun Robinson joined the Somerston Group in 2004 and is responsible for the group’s business development. M & A and tax/corporate structuring.  Shaun is also executive director of Richmount Management Limited, Somerston Health, Somerston Hotels and St James’s Hotels.

Committees:

Remuneration Committee – Chairman

Audit Committee – Member

Bob Wigley BSc, HonDBA, FCA (Non-Executive Director)

Bob is Chairman of UK Finance, Secure Broadcast Ltd, Vesta Global Holdings Ltd, Bink Ltd and Accloud Ltd.  He is Non-Executive Director of Nordengine Capital Ltd and the Qatar Finance Centre Authority.  From 2004-2009 he was Chairman of Merrill Lynch EMEA.  He is a former member of the Court of the Bank of England and a former NED of Royal Mail Group.  In 2009 he chaired the Green Investment Bank commission for the then Chancellor of the Exchequer.  He is an Honorary Fellow of Judge Business School, Cambridge University and a Visiting Fellow of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.