Board of directors

 

Sir David Higgins

Chairman

N

Responsibilities: Responsible for the leadership of the board, setting its agenda and ensuring its effectiveness on all aspects of its role.

Qualifications: BEng Civil Engineering, Diploma Securities Institute of Australia, Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Appointment to the board: 13 May 2019; assumed role of Chairman with effect from 1 January 2020.

Committee membership: Nomination (chair).

Skills and experience: Sir David has spent his career overseeing high profile infrastructure projects including: the delivery of the Sydney Olympic Village and Aquatics centre; Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent; and the delivery of the 2012 London Olympic Infrastructure Project.

Career experience: Former chief executive of: Network Rail Limited; The Olympic Delivery Authority; and English Partnerships. Previous non-executive roles: chairman of High Speed Two Limited and Sirius Minerals plc. In December 2019 he stepped down as non-executive director and chair of the remuneration committee at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Current directorships/business interests: Chairman of Gatwick Airport Limited. He is also Chairman of United Utilities Water Limited.

Independence: Sir David met the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code's independence criteria (provision 10) on his appointment as a non-executive director and chairman designate.

Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Sir David's experience of major infrastructure projects and his knowledge and understanding of the role of regulators will be invaluable in meeting the challenges of the next regulatory period and beyond. As chairman of the nomination committee he is responsible for ensuring the succession plans for the board and senior management identify the right skillsets to face the challenges of the next asset management period.


Steve Mogford

Chief executive officer (CEO)

C

Responsibilities: To manage the group's business and to implement the strategy and policies approved by the board.

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Astrophysics/Maths/Physics.

Appointment to the board: January 2011.

Committee membership: Corporate responsibility.

Skills and experience: Steve's experience of the highly competitive defence market and complex design, manufacturing and support programmes has driven forwards the board's strategy of improving customer service and operational performance at United Utilities. His perspective of the construction and infrastructure sector provides valuable experience and insight to support United Utilities' capital investment programme.

Career experience: Previously chief executive of SELEX Galileo, the defence electronics company owned by Italian aerospace and defence organisation Finmeccanica, chief operating officer BAE Systems PLC and a member of its PLC board. His early career was spent with British Aerospace PLC.

Current directorships/business interests: Non-executive and senior independent director G4S PLC and chair of the risk committee. He is also Chief Executive Officer of United Utilities Water Limited.

Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: As chief executive, Steve has driven a step change in the company's operational performance, which led to fast-track status in the PR19 price review process and a resulting efficient transition into the 2020–25 asset management period.


Russ Houlden

Chief finance officer (CFO)

T

Responsibilities: To manage the group's financial affairs and to contribute to the management of the group's business and to the implementation of the strategy and policies approved by the board.

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Management Sciences, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Chartered Global Management Accountant and a Fellow of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.

Appointment to the board: October 2010.

Committee membership: Treasury.

Skills and experience: Russ's skills and experience in accounting in other commercial and regulated companies, along with his extensive experience of driving performance improvement, provides the group with valuable expertise in pursuing its strategy of improving customer service and in providing our services at the lowest sustainable cost.

Career experience: Previously chief financial officer at Telecom New Zealand and finance director of: Lovells; BT Wholesale; BT Networks and Information Services; ICI Polyurethanes; and ICI Japan. Former chairman of the financial reporting committee of the 100 Group until March 2020.

Current directorships/business interests: Member of the supervisory board and chairman of the audit committee Orange Polska SA. He was appointed a non-executive director of Babcock International Group PLC on 1 April 2020 with a view to becoming chairman of its audit and risk committee in July 2020. He is also Chief Financial Officer of United Utilities Water Limited.

Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Russ has helped drive the transformation of the operational performance of the business and delivered the group's competitive advantage in financial risk management and excellence in corporate reporting.


Mark Clare

Senior independent non-executive director

N

R

Responsibilities: Responsible, in addition to his role as an independent non-executive director, for discussing any concerns with shareholders that cannot be resolved through the normal channels of communication with the Chairman or Chief Executive Officer.

Qualifications: Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA).

Appointment to the board: November 2013.

Committee membership: Nomination and remuneration.

Skills and experience: Through his previous roles at British Gas and BAA, Mark has a strong background operating within regulated environments. His extensive knowledge of customer-facing businesses is particularly valuable for United Utilities in the pursuit of our strategy to improve customer service.

Career experience: Previously chief executive Barratt Developments plc. A former trustee of the Building Research Establishment and the UK Green Building Council. Senior executive roles held in Centrica plc and British Gas. Former non-executive director: BAA plc and Ladbrokes Coral PLC.

Current directorships/business interests: Non-executive chairman Grainger plc and non-executive director Premier Marinas Holdings Limited. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: As senior independent non-executive director, Mark led the selection process culminating in the appointment of Sir David Higgins, succeeding Dr John McAdam, as Chairman. He applies his own considerable board experience gained during his career to United Utilities and provides a sounding board to the executive in certain areas.


Sara Weller

Independent non-executive director

N

R

Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board and to lead the board's activities concerning directors' remuneration.

Qualifications: MA Chemistry.

Appointment to the board: March 2012.

Committee membership: Nomination and remuneration (chair).

Skills and experience: Sara's experience of customer-facing businesses, together with her knowledge of operating within a regulated environment, provides the board with valuable perspective as the company improves its service to customers.

Career experience: Previously managing director of Argos; senior executive roles at Mars, Abbey National and J Sainsbury plc. Former non-executive and senior independent director Mitchells and Butlers plc and chair of the remuneration committee. Other non-executive roles: the Department for Communities and Local Government; the Higher Education Funding Council for England; the Planning Inspectorate; and she stepped down as a council member at Cambridge University with effect from 31 December 2019. In April 2020, she stepped down from her non-executive role at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Current directorships/business interests: Non-executive director Lloyds Banking Group plc; and will be appointed as a non-executive director of BT Group plc in July 2020. She is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: As chair of the remuneration committee, Sara has played a key role in guiding and reviewing directors' remuneration policy and ensuring engagement with shareholders prior to any proposals for change made.


Board role

Chairman

Executive director

Senior independent non-executive director

Independent non-executive director

Committee membership

NNomination committee

CCorporate responsibility committee

TTreasury committee

RRemuneration committee

AAudit committee

Chair of the committee


Brian May

Independent non-executive director

N

A

T

R

Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board and to lead the audit committee.

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science, Chartered Accountant FCA.

Appointment to the board: September 2012.

Committee membership: Nomination, audit (chair), treasury (chair) and remuneration.

Skills and experience: Brian was appointed group finance director of Bunzl plc in January 2006 and he retired from the board of Bunzl plc on 31 December 2019. Brian's background and the various finance roles that he has held are major assets to the board.

Career experience: Brian has been chair of the audit committee since September 2013 and has considerable knowledge of the company and the specifics of the utilities sector.

Current directorships/business interests: Brian was appointed as non-executive director of ConvaTec Group Plc and a member of its audit and risk committee and its remuneration committee on 2 March 2020. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Brian contributes his considerable expertise in finance to the company primarily through the important roles as chair of both the audit committee and the treasury committee, which are important in overseeing the risk management of the group. The industry knowledge he has gained over the seven years he has been a board member enabled him to focus on, and contribute to, key risk areas during the regulatory price review process for the 2020–25 regulatory period.


Stephen Carter CBE

Independent non-executive director

N

A

C

Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board and to lead the board's agenda on acting responsibly as a business.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Hons).

Appointment to the board: September 2014.

Committee membership: Nomination, audit and corporate responsibility (chair).

Skills and experience: As the chief executive of a FTSE 100 listed company, Stephen brings current operational experience to the board. His public sector experience provides additional insight in regulation and government relations. His day-to-day experience in the information and technology industries ensures that the board is kept abreast of these areas of the company's operating environment.

Career experience: Previously held senior executive roles at Alcatel Lucent Inc. and a number of public sector/service roles, including serving a term as the founding chief executive of Ofcom. Former chairman Ashridge Business School. A Life Peer since 2008.

Current directorships/business interests: Group chief executive Informa plc and non-executive director Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Stephen's experience as a current chief executive and his previous work in the public sector and government provides valuable insight.


Alison Goligher

Independent non-executive director

N

R

C

Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board.

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Mathematical Physics, MEng Petroleum Engineering.

Appointment to the board: August 2016.

Committee membership: Nomination, remuneration and corporate responsibility.

Skills and experience: Alison has strong technical and capital project management skills, having been involved in large projects and the production side of Royal Dutch Shell's business. This experience of engineering and industrial sectors provides the board with additional insight into delivering United Utilities' capital investment programme.

Career experience: Royal Dutch Shell (2006 to 2015), her most recent executive role was Executive Vice President Upstream International Unconventionals. Prior to that she spent 17 years with Schlumberger, an international supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to the oil and gas industry. Alison stepped down as a board member of Edinburgh Business School in October 2019.

Current directorships/business interests: Non-executive director Meggitt PLC and a part-time executive chair Silixa Ltd. She is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Alison's understanding of the operational challenges of large capital projects and the benefits of deploying technology provides valuable insight into addressing the longer-term strategic risks faced by the business. Her role as the designated non-executive director for workforce engagement will provide the board with a better understanding of the views of employees and greater clarity on the culture of the company.


Paulette Rowe

Independent non-executive director

N

A

Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board.

Qualifications: MEng + Man (Hons), MBA.

Appointment to the board: July 2017.

Committee membership: Nomination and audit.

Skills and experience: Paulette has spent most of her career in the regulated finance industry and so provides the board with additional perspective and first-hand regulatory experience. Her experience of technology-driven transformation will contribute to United Utilities' customer experience programme and its Systems Thinking approach.

Career experience: Previously held senior executive roles in banking and technology at Facebook, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest. Former trustee and chair of children's charity The Mayor's Fund for London.

Current directorships/business interests: CEO of Integrated and Ecommerce Solutions and member of the Paysafe Group executive since January 2019. Paysafe, a former FTSE 250 company, is now privately owned by PE firms CVC and Blackstone. She is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Paulette's wide-ranging experience in regulated sectors, profit and loss management, technology and innovation enables her to provide a first-hand contribution to many board topics of discussion. In her current executive role she often faces many of the same issues, and has been able to provide support to senior management at United Utilities.


Changes to board directors:

Dr John McAdam stepped down as Chairman with effect from 31 December 2019;

Steve Fraser resigned as Chief Operating Officer with effect from 31 August 2019;

Russ Houlden's retirement as CFO was announced on 5 February 2020, he will not be seeking reappointment at the company's AGM in July 2020. On leaving the group, Russ will also cease to be a director of United Utilities Water Limited; and

Sara Weller is not seeking reappointment at the AGM in July 2020, she will also cease to be a director of United Utilities Water Limited.