About the Board
The Board comprises a Non-Executive Chairman, four Non-Executive Directors and two Executive Directors. The Group believes the size and composition of the Board give it sufficient independence, balance and broad experience to provide effective oversight of Synectics' strategy, performance, resources and standards of conduct. The 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.
Michael Butler fulfils the role of the Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of the Group. He was appointed based on his ability to perform the role and his deep knowledge and experience of the Group. He supports and deputises for the Chairman on matters relating to Directors and engagement with shareholders.
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 audit committee chairman of AIM-quoted SCISYS plc, non-executive director and chairman of the remuneration committee of AIM-quoted Eckoh plc, and chairman of aviation simulation and training company Quadrant Group Limited.
Paul Webb - Chief Executive (Executive Director)
joined the Group in 2004, and drove the rapid growth of the Group’s Systems activities. With a 30-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 has previously lived and worked in Asia. He has a degree in Physics from Imperial College, London.
David Bedford - Finance Director (Executive Director)
holds a degree in Economics & Accounting from the University of Bristol and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Having qualified with Deloitte & Touche in 1994, David joined Price Waterhouse’s corporate finance group. Following seven years with Jaguar Land Rover, David held a number of senior finance positions within IMI Precision, the largest division of IMI Plc.
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 currently a director of several other companies, including non-executive chairman of Broadband Satellite Services Limited and non-executive director of AddValue Technologies, a Singapore-listed provider of broadband solutions for the mobile satellite communications industry.
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 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
has over 25 years' experience as a technology leader and was most recently Global CISO for HSBC Group. Until 2017, Dr Vincent was Chief Technology Officer, UK & Ireland, for Cisco Systems, Inc. Her earlier career was spent as Director of Product Development at Micro Focus, and as a software engineer at IBM UK Labs. Dr Vincent has a PhD in Combinatorics and Cryptography from Royal Holloway, London University and is a Fellow of both the IET and the BCS.
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.