William Scott, Chairman
William Scott was appointed to the board of the Company as an independent Director on 28 March 2019. A Guernsey resident, Mr. Scott also currently serves as independent non-executive director of a number of investment companies and funds, of which Axiom European Financial Debt Fund Limited and Pershing Square Holdings Limited are listed on the Premium Segment of the LSE. He is also a director of The Flight and Partners Recovery Fund Limited (listed on The International Stock Exchange) and a number of funds sponsored by Man Group (including Absolute Alpha Fund PCC Limited and MAN AHL Diversified PCC Limited) which are respectively listed on Euronext Dublin and The International Stock Exchange. From 2003 to 2004, Mr Scott worked as senior vice-president with FRM Investment Management Limited, which is now part of Man Group plc. Previously, Mr Scott was a director at Rea Brothers (which became part of the Close Brothers group in 1999) from 1989 to 2002 and assistant investment manager with the London Residuary Body Superannuation Scheme from 1987 to 1989. Mr Scott graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and is a chartered accountant having qualified with Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young LLP) in 1987. Mr Scott also holds the Securities Institute Diploma and is a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. He is also a chartered wealth manager.
Robert Burke is a resident of Ireland and was appointed to the board of the Company as an independent Director on 28 March 2019. He also serves as an independent non-executive director of a number of investment companies and investment management companies which are domiciled in Ireland as well as a number of companies engaged in retail activities, aircraft leasing, pharmaceuticals, corporate service provision and group treasury activities. He is a graduate of University College Dublin with degrees of Bachelor of Civil Law (1968) and Master of Laws (1970). He was called to the Irish Bar in 1969 and later undertook training for Chartered Accountancy with Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in London, passing the final examination in 1973. He later was admitted as a Solicitor of the Irish Courts and was a tax partner in the practice of McCann FitzGerald in Dublin from 1981 to 2005 at which point he retired from the partnership to concentrate on directorship roles in which he was involved. He continues to hold a practice certificate as a solicitor and is a member of the Irish Tax Institute.
Blake Nixon was one of the pioneers of activism in the UK and has wide corporate experience in the UK and overseas. Following three years at Jordan Sandman Smythe (now part of Goldman Sachs), a New Zealand stockbroker, Blake emigrated to Australia, where he spent three years as an investment analyst at Industrial Equity Limited (‘IEL’), then Australia’s fourth largest listed company. In 1989 he transferred to IEL’s UK operation and early in 1990 led the takeover of failing LSE listed financial conglomerate, Guinness Peat Group plc (‘GPG’). The group was then relaunched as an investment company, applying an owner orientated approach to listed investee companies. Blake was UK Executive Director, responsible for GPG’s UK operations and corporate function, for the following 20 years, finally retiring as a non-executive director in December 2015. He is a founding partner of Worsley Associates LLP, an activist fund manager, and has served as a non-executive director of a number of other UK listed companies, as well as numerous unlisted companies. He is a British resident and was appointed to the Board on 23 January 2019.