About the Board
The Board comprises, in addition to the Chairman, four Independent Non-Executive Directors and two Executive Directors. Membership of each of the Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee is made up solely of the Independent Non-Executive Directors.
The Board believes that the size and composition of the Board give it sufficient independence, balance and broad experience to provide effective oversight of the Group’s strategy, performance, resources and standards of conduct. The continued strong representation of Non-Executive Directors on the Board demonstrates its independence, provides a greater depth of experience and facilitates challenge.
The roles of the Chairman and the Chief Executive are undertaken by separate individuals. The Chairman, David Coghlan, is responsible for leadership of the Board and ensuring that there is effective communication with shareholders. The day-to-day leadership and management of the business are undertaken by the Chief Executive, Paul Webb, assisted by senior management.
Since his appointment as Senior Independent Director in 2018, Michael Butler continues to be responsible for supporting the Chairman and monitoring the division of responsibility between the Chairman and the Chief Executive. He is also available to address shareholder concerns where applicable.
The Company Secretary, in conjunction with the Chairman, ensures that accurate, timely and clear information is provided to the Board in order for informed decisions and discussions to take place. The Company Secretary is responsible for advising the Board on governance matters and regulatory requirements. The appointment and removal of the Company Secretary are matters reserved for the Board. All Directors have direct access to the Company Secretary and to independent professional advice at the Group’s expense as required.
The Group purchases and maintains Directors’ and Officers’ liability insurance in respect of the Group, the Company and its Directors throughout each financial year.
David Coghlan - Chairman (Non-Executive Director)
has degrees in Law and in Finance from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and an MBA from Wharton in Philadelphia. He was formerly a partner at strategy consultants Bain & Company. In addition to a background in developing and implementing board-level strategies for major multinational companies, David brings current wide experience as a director and founder of, and investor in, medium-sized technology growth companies in the B2B software and electronics sectors. He is currently a non-executive director and remuneration committee chairman of AIM-quoted Eckoh plc, and chairman of aviation simulation and training company Quadrant Group Limited. Until its takeover by CGI in December 2019, David was also a non-executive director and audit committee chairman of SCISYS plc.
Paul Webb - Chief Executive (Executive Director)
joined the Group in 2004 and drove the rapid growth of the Group’s Systems activities before becoming Chief Executive in 2015. With a 35-year career in the electronic surveillance industry, he has held roles spanning Engineering, Business Development and General Management. Before joining the Group, Paul was MD of a surveillance business that was acquired by Siemens, and previously lived and worked in Asia. He has a degree in Physics from Imperial College, London.
Amanda Larnder - Finance Director (Executive Director)
holds a degree in International Business and Modern Languages from Aston University and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (‘ICAS’), having qualified with Ernst & Young in 2006. Following management roles specialising in listed companies within Ernst & Young and Deloitte, Ms Larnder first joined Synectics in 2012 and was Financial Controller from 2015 until 2019. She was Acting Finance Director during 2019 prior to the relocation of Synectics’ Head Office from the Midlands to Sheffield.
Michael Butler - Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
has held various senior roles in general management, sales and marketing in telecommunications businesses, including president and chief operating officer and an executive board director of Inmarsat plc. He was previously managing director of MCI Worldcom UK. He is also non-executive chairman of Broadband Satellite Services Ltd., a business backed by the UK’s Business Growth Fund (‘BGF’).
Steve Coggins – Independent Non-Executive Director
has held various senior roles in both sales and marketing and general management in the information technology arena including senior vice president at both Amdahl (now part of Fujitsu) and at Silicon Graphics. Earlier he spent time at IBM and also in engineering computing in the aircraft industry. He currently chairs one of Fujitsu’s pension schemes.
Dr Alison Vincent – Independent Non-Executive Director
is an experienced IT industry leader with recent roles including group chief information security officer at HSBC and chief technology officer at Cisco. She is a non-executive director for SEI Investments (Europe) Ltd, Bytes Technology Group plc and Connected Places Catapult. She is a lay member of council at Southampton University and is a technical adviser to Telesoft Technologies Ltd and Argit Ltd. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Computer Society and the Institution of Technology and Engineering.
Andrew Lockwood – Independent Non-Executive Director
has over 30 years’ experience of reshaping and growing technology, managed services and healthcare businesses and is currently CEO of KCH Interventional Facilities Management LLP (“KFM”), a provider of healthcare support services. Prior to joining KFM, Andrew was MD of Capita plc’s international healthcare technology and services businesses, Commercial Director for data solutions at Daisy Communications Plc, Interim Chief Executive Office at Retalika Limited, a SaaS business, and President and co-founder of Graphita Inc.
The Board welcomes dialogue with shareholders and actively engages with them through face-to-face meetings and written queries, and at the Company's Annual General Meeting.
Individual meetings are conducted with those substantial shareholders who so request following the announcement of final and half-year results. The Group's brokers are requested to collate all responses from such investor meetings and to pass these to the Board.
In addition, the Chairman apprises all Board members of any other significant shareholder feedback or discussions.
As part of the continued review of the Group's governance reporting, the Annual Report and Accounts includes expanded narrative governance disclosures that take into account the views of shareholders expressed through the engagement process.