Board of directors

On this page you can find a brief biography for each member of The Marston's PLC Board of Directors, along with details of their roles and responsibilities.

William Rucker N

William Rucker

Chairman of the Board

William is a Chartered Accountant with many years’ experience in banking and financial services and was appointed as Chairman of the Board with effect from 1 October 2018. He is Chief Executive of Lazard in the UK, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of financial markets, corporate finance and strategy to his leadership of the Board. William is also currently Chairman of the UK Dementia Research Institute and a Committee Member of Cheltenham Racecourse. Previously, he was Chairman of Crest Nicholson PLC, Chairman of Quintain Estates and Development plc; and, a Non-executive Director of Rentokil Initial plc.

Ralph Findlay N

Ralph Findlay

Chief Executive Officer

Appointed to the Board as Finance Director in 1996, becoming Chief Executive in 2001. Ralph is currently the Senior Independent Director at Bovis Homes Group PLC and a Director of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA). He previously worked as Financial Controller at Geest plc and Treasury Manager at Bass plc.

Andrew Andrea

Andrew Andrea

Chief Financial Officer
Corporate Development Officer

Joined the Company in 2002 as Divisional Finance Director for Marston's Beer Company and in 2006 he became Operations Director for Marston's Pub Company. Andrew was appointed to the Board as Finance Director in March 2009. He is currently a Non-executive Director at Portmeirion Group PLC. Andrew has previously worked in various financial and commercial roles with Guinness Brewing Worldwide, Bass Brewers Limited and Dolland & Aitchison.

Matthew Roberts A N R

Matthew Roberts

Non-executive Director
Chairman of the Audit Committee

Matthew, is a qualified Chartered Accountant (FCA) and was Chief Executive Officer of Intu Properties plc. He was previously Chief Financial officer of Gala Coral Group Ltd from 2004 to 2008. Matthew has held a number of senior roles with The Burton Group from 1989 to 1998, spanning group finance, corporate development and IT, during which time he lead the demerger of Debenhams in 1998. He was Finance Director of Debenhams from 1996 to 2003.

Bridget Lea A N R

Bridget Lea

Non-executive Director
Designated Non-executive Director for workforce engagement

Bridget is Managing Director – Commercial at BT Group and was previously Managing Director (North) at J Sainsbury PLC and has had a distinguished career working across multiple leading retail brands. Previously at Marks & Spencer, she went on to hold senior positions within numerous retail corporates such as at Body Shop International Ltd and Clarks Shoes Ltd. She was Director of Stores, Online and Omnichannel at O2 where she led the re-engineering of the store experience, development of an industry-leading digital experience and the omnichannel transformation. In addition, Bridget has been a member of the Board of Governors at Manchester University since 2018.

Octavia Morley A N R

Octavia Morley

Senior Independent Director (SID)
Chairman of the Remuneration Committee

Octavia has extensive experience in both executive and non-executive roles in retail and multisite companies having held various senior operational and strategic roles across all areas of retail at companies including Asda Stores Limited, Laura Ashley Holdings PLC and Woolworths plc. Octavia became Chief Executive Officer, and then Chair, at LighterLife UK Limited. She was subsequently appointed Managing Director at Crew Clothing Co Ltd before being appointed Chief Executive at OKA Direct Limited. Octavia is currently Executive Chair of Spicers-Office Team Group Ltd; Senior Independent Director at Card Factory PLC and a Non-executive Director of Crest Nicholson Holdings PLC and Ascensos Ltd. She was formerly a Non-executive Director of John Menzies PLC.

Anne-Marie Brennan

Anne-Marie Brennan

Group Secretary

Joined the Company in 1998 as Group Tax Manager. A qualified Chartered Accountant and Chartered Secretary, she was appointed Secretary in 2004.

  • A Member of the Audit Committee

  • N Member of the Nomination Committee

  • R Member of the Remuneration Committee

There is a clear division of responsibility between the roles of the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer that are set out in writing and agreed by the Board. The key responsibilities for each Board member are set out below:

Chairman

William Rucker is responsible for:

  • The operation, leadership and governance of the Board
  • Safeguarding the effectiveness of the Board
  • Setting the agenda, style and tone of Board discussions with a particular focus on strategic matters
  • Ensuring each Non-executive Director makes an effective contribution to the Board
  • Ensuring, through the Group Secretary, that the Directors receive accurate, timely and clear information

Senior Independent Director (SID)

Octavia Morley is responsible for:

  • Acting as a ‘sounding board’ for the Chairman and an intermediary for the other Directors
  • Acting as Chairman if the Chairman is conflicted
  • Leading the Non-executive Directors in their annual assessment of the Chairman’s performance and providing feedback
  • Acting as a conduit to the Board for the communication of shareholder concerns that the normal channels have failed to resolve, or for when such contact would be inappropriate

Non-executive Directors (NED)

The roles of Bridget Lea and Matthew Roberts are to:

  • Constructively challenge proposals on strategy
  • Contribute to the development of longer-term strategy
  • Meet with the Chairman, at least annually, without the Executive Directors being present
  • Scrutinise management performance in the delivery of strategic objectives
  • Monitor operational and financial performance

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Ralph Findlay is responsible for:

  • The performance of the Group in line with the strategies and objectives established by the Board and under powers delegated by the Board
  • Ensuring the Board is supplied with information relevant to its strategic role
  • Leading the PLC Exec and senior management in the operational and financial management of the business
  • Providing clear and visible leadership in business conduct
  • The effective and ongoing communication with shareholders

Chief Financial and Corporate Development Officer (CFO)

Andrew Andrea is responsible for:

  • Working with the CEO to develop and implement the Group’s strategic objectives
  • Managing the capital structure and projecting the long-term financial picture of the Group
  • Delivering the financial performance and timely and accurate financial reporting of the Group
  • Ensuring that the Group remains appropriately funded to pursue its strategic objectives
  • Investor relations activities (and communications to investors) with the CEO

Group Secretary

Anne-Marie Brennan is responsible for:

  • Framing the agenda for the Board and Committee meetings and ensuring effective information channels within the Board and its Committees, and between senior management and Non-executive Directors
  • Advising on regulatory compliance and corporate governance
  • Facilitating individual induction programmes for Directors and assisting with their development as required
  • Communications with retail shareholders and organisation of the AGM
  • Chairing the Risk & Compliance Committee and Data Security Committee

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