A list of the UK’s most powerful directors spanning over all sectors, ranked by their level of power.
1: Pamela J Kirby
Dr Pamela J Kirby has been a director at DCC plc, a leading international sales, marketing and support services group, since September 2013. She is also a board member of both Smith & Nephew and Reckitt Benckisser, both within the FTSE 100 list.
She has also been an independent director at Victrex plc since 2011 and Hikma Pharmaceuticals since 2014. These companies are both within the FTSE 250 list.
Kirby attended the University of London and received a 1st class Bachelor Degree of Science in Pharmacology. She went on to receive a PhD in Clinical Pharmacology, also from the University of London.
2: John David Gibson McAdam
Dr John D G McAdam has served as the non-executive chairman at United Utilities, the UK’s largest water company, since 2008. His FTSE 100 connections include Rentokil Initial, for which he is also chairman, and Rolls Royce.
Within the FTSE 250 list, McAdam serves on the board of directors for Cobham plc and Electra Private Equity.
McAdam received both his Bachelor degree in Chemical Physics and his PhD from the University of Manchester. He also served as a Research Fellow at both Manchester and Cambridge.
3: David Nish
Within the FTSE 100 list, David Nish is director for HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world, The London Stock Exchange Group, and Vodafone Group, the multinational telecommunications company. He is also on the board of directors for Zurich Insurance Company, one of the world’s leading insurers.
Nish has international experience of financial services, corporate governance, financial accounting and business strategic and operational transformation. In 2000, Nish was awarded with the Scottish Business Award’s Finance Director of the year.
Nish received his Bachelor degree of accountancy from Glasgow University, his home town and where he currently lives with his wife, Caroline, and their two children.
4: Rakhi Goss-Custard Parekh
Rakhi Goss-Custard Parekh is an experienced executive after 11 years on the board of directors at Amazon. More recently, she has served as a director at Kingfisher plc, Europe’s leading home improvement retailer, since February 2016.
Parekh’s FTSE 250 connections include Rightmove, the UK’s largest online property website, and Intu properties, the British real estate investment trust.
Rakhi received her Bachelor degree in marketing and communications from the University of Pennsylvania.
5: Tanya Fratto
Ms. Tanya Fratto has been a director at Ashtead Group, an international equipment rental company, since 2016. She is also on the board of directors for Smiths Group, since 2012, and Mondi since 2017.
Fratto has years of experience spanning over a range of sectors in product innovation, profit and loss, sales and marketing and engineering. She served as the president and chief executive officer of Diamond Innovations and had a 20 year career with General Electric.
Fratto received her Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of South Alabama.
6: John Gildersleeve
John Gildersleeve is a British businessman who has been the Chairman of British Land, a FTSE 100 Company, since 2013. British Land is one of the biggest property development and investment companies within the UK. Gildersleeve was born in July 1994 and lived in a rented house in South London with his mother and father, who was a sergeant in the Army.
Gildersleeve was the only boy in his year who went to grammar school. He now lives in Cambridge and has three daughters.
After he left school at 18 he joined Shell as a clerk, where he worked for a year before joining Tesco as a trainee manager at the age of 19. Gildersleeve remained at Tesco and worked his way up until he eventually joined the board in 1984 and was a director for 20 years. Despite being 73, he is also the deputy chairman of TalkTalk, a FTSE 250 company.
Gildersleeve has had an extensive career, including being the chairman of New Look and Carphone Warehouse as well as being a non-executive director for Lloyds TSB and Vodfone Group.
7: Iain Conn
Iain Conn has been the CEO of Centrica since January 2015. Centrica is a British multinational utility company which supplies electricity and gas to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom, Ireland and North America. It is listed on the FTSE 100.
Conn was born in Edinburgh in October 1962 and was the eldest of two sons. He grew up in Galashiels, however, tragically at the age of 12 Conns father passed away.
He went to two independent day or boarding schools, St Mary’s School and Loretto School. In 1985 he graduated from Imperial College London where he had been studying chemical engineering and management. He is now married to Caroline Conn and they have three children together.
A newspaper report in The Guardian suggests that 2017 was a tough year for Conn as Centrica faced a £9.5m fine for IT failures at British Gas which is owned by Centrica. The company’s shares also faced a large fall as British Gas said it had lost almost 6% of customers in 3 months.
There was also further problems as the high court found that, in 2010 which Conn was senior independent director, Rolls Royce had been aware of corruption allegations within the company but chose not to notify the Serious Fraud Office.
The earlier stages of his career included being a director at BP from 2004 until 2014 and a Director for Rolls Royce Holdings from 2005-2014.
As CEO of Centrica he has the responsibility for Centrica and has been leading the repositioning of the company in response to the low oil and gas price environment. He also has a current positon at BT Group as a Non-Executive Director.
8: Javier Ferran
Javier Ferran is a Spanish business man and the chairman of Diageo which is a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, it is one of the world’s biggest distillers. It is on the FTSE 100 index.
He was born in 1956 and went on to study at the University of Barcelona where he graduated with a BA in Economics. He also received a BA in Law and a MBA from ESADE, Barcelona in 1978. Ferran then went on to earn a MA in Computer Information Systems from the University of Miami in 1984.
Ferran started his career with banking as worked for Lloyds TSB from 1979 until 1984, he also spent two years as Vice President of the Miami branch. After this he joined the drinks sector working at Martini and Rossi until 1992, he then joined Bacardi as the Regional President for Europe, Middle East and Africa from 1994. Ferran then later served as President and CEO of Bacardi from 2003 until 2004. He over saw the rum makers’ acquisition of Grey Goose Vodka.
He then joined Diageo in January 2017, where he is still currently Chairman, as well as serving on the board of directors of another FTSE 100 company, Associated British Foods.
9: Jo Harlow
Jo Harlow is an American Non-Executive Director for Halma Plc which is a group of companies that make products for hazard detection and life protection. It is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.
Harlow has a BSc in Psychology from Duke University in North Carolina, where she was also captain of the women’s basketball team.
Harlow is also a Non-Executive Director at Sainsbury PLC and Intercontinental Hotels Group, both of which are also on the FTSE 100.
She has global executive experience in consumer electronics and has responsibilities that include strategy, innovation, product development and marketing. Harlow gained her international experience at her previous position at Microsoft where she was the Corporate Vice President of the Phones Business Unit.
10: Mark Seligman
Mark Seligman was appointed as Senior Independent Director at the Royal Bank of Scotland, a FTSE 100 company, in April 2017. He studied at the University of Oxford and is a former investment banker who has substantial FTSE 100 experience in various sectors.
He was previously a Non-Executive Director for BG Group Plc and a Deputy Chairman of G4S Plc.
His other current positions include being a Senior Independent Director of Kingfisher, as well as being a Non-Executive Director at Smiths Group Plc.
11: Ian Graham King
Ian King has been a director at Schroders plc, a multinational asset management company, since November 2017. He is best known for his role of CEO at BAE Systems, the multinational defence, security and aerospace company, a role he had from 2008 until June 2017.
Within the FTSE 250 list, King is on the board of directors for Senior plc, the holding company for a global group of firms in the manufacturing and engineering industries, and Rotork Process Controls, the British based company manufacturing industrial flow control equipment.
King currently resides in Portsmouth with his wife and son.
12: Byron Grote
Dr Byron Grote has been a director at Standard Chartered, a British multinational banking and financial services company, since 2014. Within the FTSE 100 list, Grote is also a board member at Tesco, the British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer. He is also director and chief financial officer at BP, the multinational oil and gas company.
Grote is also a member of the European Audit Committee Leadership Network, which is a group of audit committee chairs drawn from North America’s leading companies committed to improving the performance of audit committees and enhancing trust in financial markets.
Dr Byron Grote received his PhD in quantitative analysis from the S.C Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
13: John Allan
As well as sitting on the board of directors at the payment processing company, Worldpay, John Allan is also chairman of the FTSE 100 companies, Tesco, the British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer, and Barratt Developments, one of the largest residential property development companies in the United Kingdom.
Allan is also a previous member of the Home Office Supervisory Board and in 2006 he was awarded the CBE for services to freight transport.
Allan received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematical sciences from the University of Edinburgh.
14: Deanna Oppenheimer
Deanna Oppenheimer has been director at Tesco, the British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer, since 2012, and Whitbread, multinational hotel, coffee shop and restaurant company, since 2017. She also sits on the board of directors at Worldpay, the payment processing company. All of these companies sit within the FTSE 100 list.
After spending over 25 years in a number of senior roles in banking at both Barclays Bank and Washington Mutual Incorporated, it is no surprise that in 2003 Oppenheimer was selected as one of the top five most influential leaders in financial services by US Banker magazine.
Oppenheimer received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Urban Affairs from the University of Puget Sound, as well as completing the Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
15: Michael John Turner
Although Michael John Turner is best known for his former role as CEO at BAE Systems, he has recently become a director on the board for Barclays Bank, and is also chairman of FTSE 100 company GKE plc, British multinational automotive and aerospace components company.
Turner gained a Bachelor of Arts from Manchester before marrying Rosalind Thomas and having 2 children.
In 1999, Turner received a CBE for services to the Aerospace Industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2004 he won Chairman of the year appointed by the Financial Times.
16: John Bason
John Bason currently holds the position of chief financial officer at the FTSE 100 company Associated British Foods PLC. Having studied at Trinity College in Cambridge, Bason is now based in London is a member of the Institute for Chartered Accountants.
John was appointed his current role in 1999 having previously held a position on the board of directors at Bunzl PLC between 1996 and 1999. Since 2011, Bason has also been on the board of directors at fellow FTSE 100 company Compass Group, which operates in the travel and leisure industry.
Other positions held include being chairman of the charity Fareshare, while also being on the board of trustees for the Voluntary Service Overseas.
17: Julia Wilson
Julia Wilson is currently a Senior Independent Director at the Legal and General Group PLC who operate in the life insurance industry. Julia was originally appointed to the board in 2011 but was given her current position in May 2016 following the step down of Rudy Markham.
Alongside her current role, Julia also finds herself on the board of directors at 3i, another FTSE 100 company that delivers financial services. She began her career at Arthur Andersen, while also having also held a variety of tax and financial roles at Hanson plc, Tomkins plc and Cable & Wireless plc before joining 3i in 2006.
Julia is a member of the ICAEW (ACA) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
18: Angela Seymour-Jackson
Angela Seyour-Jackson is a company director of Rentokil Initial. Based in Edinburgh, Angela was appointed in March 2012 having previously being the chief executive officer of RAC Motoring Services from 2010 until 2012.
Ms Seymour- Jackson also holds positions as the Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director, Gocompare.com Group plc, Non-Executive Director, Janus Henderson Group plc, Non-Executive Director, esure Group plc, Senior Adviser to Lloyds Banking Group (Insurance), Non-Executive Director, PageGroup plc. Added to this Angela also holds a position on the Remuneration and Nomination Committee.
19: Wolfhart Hauser
Wolfhart Gunnar Hauser was born in Munich, Germany.
He is a german businessman. He is the chairman of FirstGroup and was the chief executive of Intertek, a british multinational inspection that product tests and certification company form 2005-2015.
Hauser has a masters degree in medicine from Ludwig Maximilian, University of Munich and a doctorate from Technical University Munich. He started his career as a scientist and medical doctor he then joined the service industry establishing and leading a broad range of successful service businesses over the past twenty years. He is connected to 53 board members in 7 different organisations acroos 9 different industries.
He has been the chairman of the board of firstgroup plc since july 16, 2015. He has also been a senior independent director of RELX NV since april 20th 2016. He is currently active on a number of boards such as: Logixa France SAS, RELX, Associated british foods PLC and DNV GL Group AS.
Hauser wrote his dissertation on the prevention of ski injuries and went on to develop a ski bimding that certified by international quality organisations- his ski inding remains an ISO Standard. Hauser is a non-executive director at logica since the 1st of january 2007.
20: John Moloney
John Moloney was born in Dungarvan, Ireland.
He went to Summerhill College, the University College Dublin and and the national University of Ireland, Galway in 1987. He is married and has two sons. He joined the smurfit kappa board in december 2014 and is the former group managing director of glanbia plc, a global performance nutrition and ingredients company.
He served as group mananging director of glanbia plc form 2001 until he retired from this postition in november 2013. He joined Glanbia in 1987 and held a number of senior management positions before he was appointed deputy group managing director in 2000. He is chairman of coillite and a non- executive director of DCC plc and of Greencore Group plc.
21: Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin has been the Non-Executive Director at Intertek, a FTSE 100 company, since May 2016. Intertek is a multinational inspection, product testing and certification company with headquarters in London.
He graduated from the University of Manchester with a first class honours in Economics and is an associate of Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Earlier in his career he served as a Director for Compass Group PLC from 2004-2012 where he was a Group Finance Director. He was also on the board of Directors for First Choice Holidays Plc since 2001.
Martin’s current positions are at Easyjet, which is also a FTSE 100 company, where he has been a Non-Executive Director since 2011 and is a member of the Audit Committee and Chairman of Finance and IT Governance and Oversight Committees. He is also a Non-Executive Director at Hays Plc, a constituent of FTSE 250, where he has served since November 2017.
22: Martin Scicluna
As well as sitting on the board of directors for Worldpay, the payment processing company, since 2012, Martin Scicluna is also chairman of RSA, the multinational insurance company within the FTSE 100.
Scicluna is also chairman of the company Great Portland Estates, British property development and investment company. He was appointed to this role in October 2008.
Scicluna was also a member of the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board until 2015.
23: Lucinda Riches
Lucinda Riches has been director of CRH plc, the parent company for an international group of diversified building materials businesses which are engaged in the manufacture and supply of a wide range of building materials and in the operation of builders’ merchanting and DIY stores, since 2015. She has also been a director of Ashtead, the international equipment rental company also in the FTSE 100 list, since 2016.
With previous experience as an investment banker, Riches is known for her extensive experience in capital markets. She is also a trustee of Sue Ryder, the charity that supports people with complex needs and life threatening diseases internationally.
Riches received a MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Brasenose College, Oxford. She also received an MA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.
24: Danuta Gray
Danuta Gray has been an independent Non-Executive Director for Old Mutual, a life insurance company listed on the FTSE 100, since 2013.
Gray has a BSc in bio physics from the University of Leeds, she also studied at London Business School and has an MBA degree. She was previously the Senior Vice President for BT Europe where she gained experience in sales, marketing, customer service and technology and in leading and changing large businesses.
She is also a Non-Executive Defence Board Member and Chair of the People Committee at the UK Ministry of Defence. As well as this, she also has a current position with Direct Line Insurance Group, which is also a FTSE 100 company, as a Non-Executive Director.
25: Olivia Garfield
Olivia Garfield is best known for her role as chief executive of Severn Trent, a UK water company, of which she was appointed in April 2014. She is also a director for Prudential plc, multinational life insurance and financial services company.
Garfield recieved her MA degree from the New Hall College at Cambridge and is now married to Morgan Garfield, with 2 sons.
By Holly Green, Beth Kilgallon, James Brennan, Emily Stables