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.

Anthony Rabin, Independent Non-Executive Chairman

Appointed: Anthony joined the Board as an Independent non-executive Director in August 2013 and became our non-executive Chairman on 9 September 2016.

Skills and experience: Anthony was with Balfour Beatty Plc, the international infrastructure group, for 17 years until June 2012, including six years as the Chief Financial Officer and four years as Deputy Chief Executive. He has also held several previous executive roles within Coopers & Lybrand (Partner, Structured Finance Group) and Morgan Grenfell & Co (Senior Assistant Director). Anthony is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, an English barrister, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Hull.

Other roles: Anthony is the non-executive chairman of Kelda Holdings Limited.

Committee Membership: Nomination (Chair), People and Remuneration, Health and Safety and Social Value.

Liz Barber, Chief Executive

Appointed: Liz joined the Board as CFO in November 2010, stepping up to become the CEO in September 2019.

Skills and experience: Liz joined the company from Ernst & Young LLP where she held several senior partner roles, including leading the firm’s national water team and the assurance practice across the North Region. Liz had been with Ernst & Young since 1987 and in that time worked with some of the largest companies in the UK. Liz specialised in delivery of services to the water industry, including several water companies and UK regulators. Liz is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Other roles: Liz is the CEO for Kelda Holdings Limited. Liz is also a lay member and Deputy Pro-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, a non-executive Director of Cranswick Plc and Chair of the Yorkshire and Humberside Climate Commission. Liz was a non-executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee for KCOM Group Plc from 2015 to 2019.

Committee membership: Nomination, Social Value, Safety and Health and Safety.

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, Senior Independent 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.

Skills and experience: Ray has spent much 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 Chairman of Stagecoach Group Plc.

Committee Membership: Audit and Risk, People and Remuneration (chair), Nomination and Health and Safety.

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: Audit and Risk, People and Remuneration, Nomination and Health and Safety (chair)

Dame Julia Unwin, Independent Non-Executive Director

Appointed: Julia was appointed to 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 extensive experience of regulatory environments. She was the Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for ten years from 2007 until the end of 2016 and was a Council member of the
University of York until December 2018. She has also previously served at a very senior level at the Housing Corporation, the Charity Commission and she has chaired 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 of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and is the Chair of the governing body for York St John University.

Committee Membership: Nomination, People and Remuneration, Health and Safety and Social Value (chair).

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 and a Trustee of The Nell Bank Charitable Trust.

Committee Membership: Audit and Risk (chair), Nomination, Health and Safety and Social Value

Vanda Murray, Independent Non-Executive Director

On 15 June 2021 we were delighted to announce the appointment of Vanda Murray to our Board as an independent non-executive director. Vanda will become our non-executive Chair later this year upon the retirement of Anthony Rabin from our Board. 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 also a non-executive Director at Manchester Airports Group, where she chairs the Remuneration and Corporate and Social Responsibility Committees. Vanda brings with her extensive experience of business leadership in a number of different sectors and was an outstanding candidate following a very thorough recruitment process.

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: Nomination, People and Remuneration and Health and Safety.

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 nonexecutive 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, M&A, utilities, and the natural resources sector.

Other roles: Andrew is a non-executive director of Kelda Holdings Limited. He is also a nonexecutive director on a number of 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: Audit and Risk, People and Remuneration and Nomination 

Mike Osborne, Non-Executive Director

Appointed: Mike joined the Board as a non-executive Director in September 2017.

Skills and experience: Mike is a Principal at Corsair Infrastructure Partners, a business unit of Corsair Capital. Mike has 18 years of experience in infrastructure finance at Ernst & Young, Citi and Corsair.

Other roles: Mike is also a director of Itínere Infraestructuras, S.A., a toll road operator in Spain.

Committee membership: Audit and Risk, Nomination, Social Value and Health and Safety.

Corporate governance and structure documents