Corporate governance and structure

The Board of Yorkshire Water Services Ltd (Yorkshire Water or the Company) is accountable and responsible for the control of the business, its strategy and its decisions.

Baitings Reservoir

The primary focus for the Board is to lead the development and delivery of a sustainable strategy which best meets the needs of our customers, whilst aligning the requirements of all stakeholders including the environment, society and investors.

Vanda Murray OBE, Independent Non-Executive Chair

Appointed: Vanda joined  the Board as Independent Non-Executive Director  n 1 July 2021, stepping up to become the Chair of the Board on 1 September 2021.

Skills and experience: Vanda is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has extensive experience of corporate leadership  in both executive and non-executive roles.  From 2001 to 2004 she was Chief Executive of  Blick plc, a FTSE quoted company, where she doubled the value of the business before it was acquired by The Stanley Works Inc. She was also Managing Director of Ultraframe plc between 2004 and 2006. Vanda was appointed OBE for Services to Industry and to Export in 2002.

Other roles: Vanda is Non-Executive Chair of Yorkshire-based Marshalls plc and is the Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee at Bunzl plc. She is a Non-Executive Director at Manchester Airports Group, where she chairs the Remuneration and Corporate and Social Responsibility Committees. Vanda is also the Chair of Kelda Holdings Limited.

Committee Membership: Chair of the Nomination Committee, Member of Audit and Risk Committee, People and Remuneration Committee, Public Value Committee and Safety, Health and Environment Committee

Nicola Shaw CBE, Chief Executive

Appointed: Nicola joined the Board as CEO in May 2022.

Skills and experience: Nicola brings with her extensive experience in regulated infrastructure businesses and has an excellent track record in driving efficient delivery whilst also improving customer service and colleague engagement.  Most recently Nicola was the UK Executive Director for National Grid and was previously the Chief Executive of High Speed 1 and a Director of First Group.  Nicola was the author of the Shaw Report published in 2016 which made several recommendations for the future of British Transport.  Nicola received a CBE for services to transport in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2016.

Other roles: Nicola is the CEO for Kelda Holdings Limited and a Non-Executive Director of International Airlines Group.

Committee Membership:  Member of Public Value Committee and Safety, Health and Environment Committee

Chris Johns, Chief Financial Officer

Appointed: Chris joined the Board as the CFO in  June 2020.

Skills and experience: Chris joined Yorkshire Water from Northumbrian Water, where he had been the Finance Director since 2013. Prior to his role at Northumbrian Water, Chris was the Finance Director of Northern Gas Networks for eight years. Before that he held several senior financial management positions in the financial services sector, in both Yorkshire and London, including with Provident Financial plc and Morgan Stanley. Chris is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Other roles: Chris is the CFO for Kelda Holdings Limited and an Audit Committee member of Market Operator Services Limited.

Committee Membership: None

Raymond O'Toole, Non-Executive Director

Appointed: Ray joined the Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director in  June 2014, becoming the Senior Independent Director in July 2017.  He stepped down as Senior Independent Director in July 2022, remaining on the Board as a non-independent Non-Executive Director.

Skills and experience: Ray has spent the majority of his career in the transport sector, including as Group Chief Operating Officer and UK Chief Executive for National Express plc for ten years until 2010. This included responsibility for a fleet of 20,000 buses and coaches, nine rail franchises and 40,000 staff, with operations in Spain, the USA, Canada, and the UK. He started his non-executive career whilst at National Express as a member of the Board of the British Transport Police Authority. From 2011 Ray served as a Non-Executive Director and member of the Safety Committee of the Office of Rail and Road until he was appointed as Chief Executive of Essential Fleet Services Limited from July 2015 until February 2017. Ray has a background in mechanical engineering in addition to bringing his skills in safety and strategy.

Other roles: Ray is the Non-Executive Chair and Chair of the Health, Safety and Environment Committee of Stagecoach Group plc.

Committee Membership:  Member of Audit and Risk Committee and Safety, Health and Environment Committee

Andrew Wyllie CBE, Independent Non-Executive Director

Appointed: Andrew joined the Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director in September 2017.

Skills and experience: Andrew was Chief Executive of Costain Group PLC for 14 years up until May 2019. He was also a Non-Executive Director of Scottish Water from April 2009 to April 2017. Andrew has an MBA from the London Business School, he is a Chartered Engineer, a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering  and was President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 2019. Prior to joining Costain Group PLC, Andrew worked for Taylor Woodrow where  he was the Managing Director of the construction business and a member of the Group Executive Committee. Andrew was awarded a CBE for services to engineering and construction in the 2015 New Year Honours list.

Other roles: Andrew is a Non-Executive Director of Persimmon PLC and BMT Group Ltd and undertakes a variety of independent advisory roles.

Committee Membership:  Chair of Safety, Health and Environment Committee, Member of Audit and Risk Committee, Nomination Committee and People and Remuneration Committee

Dame Julia Unwin, Independent Non-Executive Director

Appointed: Julia joined the Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director in January 2017.

Skills and experience: Julia brings to the Board a wealth of experience from the voluntary, commercial, and public sectors as well as from regulatory environments. She was the Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for a decade until 2016. She has regulatory experience having served on the Boards of the Housing Corporation, the Charity Commission and she was Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency. Through her engagement with consumers, regulation and public policy, Julia brings a deep understanding of the interests of customers and individual communities to the Board as well as a specific knowledge of the demographics of the Yorkshire region and of poverty, vulnerability, and disadvantage.  She has worked extensively on issues to do with developing social value. In May 2019 Julia received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chartered Management Institute and was appointed a Dame in the 2020 New Year Honours list for her contribution to civil society.

Other roles: Julia is a Non-Executive Director of Mears Group Plc and is the Chair of the Board of Governors of York St John University. She is the Inaugural Chair of the Smart Data Foundry, Edinburgh University.

Committee Membership:  Chair of Public Value Committee and Interim Chair of People and Remuneration Committee, Member of Nomination Committee and Safety, Health and Environment Committee

Andrew Merrick, Independent Non-Executive Director

Appointed: Andrew joined the Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director in  June 2019.

Skills and experience: Andrew brings considerable financial experience and expertise to the Board, as well as strong connections with the Yorkshire region. Prior to joining the Board, Andrew was the CFO of Irwin Mitchell solicitors, having previously worked as Group Finance Director for Dart Group plc and as Director of Finance for Bradford & Bingley plc. Andrew has also sat on the Board of ‘Incommunities’, a Bradford-based social housing provider, where he chaired the Audit Committee.

Other roles: Andrew is a Non-Executive Director of Market Harborough Building Society, a Trustee Director of The Nell Bank Charitable Trust and a Director of Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club Limited and its subsidiary, ILTSC Events Limited.

Committee Membership:  Chair of Audit and Risk Committee, Member of Nomination Committee, People and Remuneration Committee, Safety, Health and Environment Committee and Public Value Committee

Scott Auty, Non-Executive Director

Appointed: Scott joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in September 2017.

Skills and experience: Scott is a London based Partner in DWS’s infrastructure investment business, Europe, and is responsible for the origination and execution of infrastructure investment opportunities as well as the ongoing management of the acquired assets. He is a member of the Investment Committee for the three European infrastructure funds managed by DWS. Prior to joining DWS’s infrastructure business in 2005, Scott started his career at N M Rothschild & Sons’ investment banking division where he was a specialist in the utilities and natural resources sectors.

Other roles: Scott is also a Non-Executive Director of Kelda Holdings Limited, a Supervisory Board Member of Dutch waste management company Attero Holdings BV and a Non-Executive Director of the Spanish bioethanol producer Vertex Bioenergy SL.

Committee Membership: Member of Nomination Committee, People and Remuneration Committee and Safety, Health and Environment Committee

Andrew Dench, Non-Executive Director

Appointed: Andrew joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in September 2017.

Skills and experience: Andrew is a Senior Vice President in GIC’s Infrastructure team, based in London. He is responsible for the ongoing management of GIC’s global infrastructure portfolio. Prior to joining GIC, Andrew was  deputy CEO / CFO of Veolia Water, UK, Ireland & Northern Europe, CFO of Electricity North West, and Head of Corporate Finance & Change at London Stock Exchange Group. While at Veolia, he was a Non-Executive Director of Affinity Water (formerly Veolia Water). Andrew started his  career in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley where he was focused on  project finance, mergers & acquisitions, utilities, and the natural resources sector.

Other roles: Andrew is a Non-Executive Director of Kelda Holdings Limited and several other boards, including Teréga (Gas transportation and storage, France), Duquesne Light and Power (Electricity transportation and distribution, US), Greenko (Renewal generation, India) and Raffles Infra Holdings Limited (Infrastructure investment, Asia).

Committee Membership: Member of Audit and Risk Committee, People and Remuneration Committee and Nomination Committee

Russ Houlden, Non-Executive Director

Appointed: Russ joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in January 2022.

Skills and experience: Russ is an Operating Partner at Corsair Infrastructure, a business unit of Corsair Capital. Russ brings a wealth of financial expertise and water industry experience to the Board, having been the CFO of United Utilities Group PLC for ten years until July 2020. During his time at United Utilities, he was also Chair of the Financial Reporting Committee of  the 100 Group from 2013 to 2020. Prior to his role  at United Utilities, he was the CFO of Telecom  New Zealand from 2008 to 2010 and Finance Director of Lovells from 2002 to 2008. Until 2002 he held a variety of divisional Finance Director positions in ICI and BT.

Other roles: Russ is a Non-Executive Director of Kelda Holdings Limited. He is also an Independent Non-Executive Director at Babcock International Group PLC and an Independent Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at Orange Polska SA.

Committees: Member of People and Remuneration Committee, Nomination Committee and Public Value Committee

Corporate governance and structure documents