Iain Ferguson joined the Stobart Group Board as Chairman on 1 October 2013. He brings a wealth of experience to the Group, and also serves as Chairman of Berendsen plc and a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Balfour Beatty plc and Gregg’s plc.
Iain’s experience includes a 26-year career with Unilever, which he joined following his graduation from the University of St Andrews. In the June 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Iain was awarded a CBE for services to the food industry. He served as CEO of Tate & Lyle plc from 2003 until the end of 2009.
Iain has also been a member of the PWC (UK LLP) Advisory Board (2009-2011), President of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and of the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), a member of the Council of Food Policy Advisors (Defra) and The Foresight Global Food and Farming Project and a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Companies House, Rothamsted Research and Sygen plc.
Outside of the City, Iain is Chairman of Wilton Park (FCO Agency), the Lead Non-Executive Director for Defra, a member of the Better Regulation Strategy Group (BIS) and the Honorary Vice-President of the British Nutrition Foundation.
A life-long entrepreneur, Andrew Tinkler’s first involvement with the Eddie Stobart business was as a friend of the Stobart sons and an occasional cleaner of trucks for the company as a teenager. He later served his apprenticeship as a cabinet maker and went self employed in the mid-1980s, forming WA Tinkler Building Contractors, in Carlisle.
Following a series of successful contracts the company became WA Developments with a start-up turnover of some £600,000 a year. WA Developments became a thriving and hugely successful business, completing large civil engineering and railway infrastructure contracts across the UK and in Europe. By the late 1990s the company’s turnover had grown to more than £20 million a year and Andrew’s old friend William Stobart joined the business as a shareholding director in 2001.
Soon, Andrew took a renewed interest in the Eddie Stobart business, and with William Stobart, acquired the company in 2004, immediately becoming CEO. The Stobart Group now counts airports, ports, rail, biomass and estates businesses as part of the Group. Andrew is credited with turning the company around during the years following the 2004 acquisition, and is central to the strategic development and vision that forms the backbone of the Group’s multimodal offering and FTSE250 listing today.
Ben Whawell joined the Board as Chief Financial Officer in March 2008. Ben started his career in Grant Thornton where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and progressed to Senior Corporate Finance Manager. He joined Stobart in 2004 after advising on the acquisition of the Group by WA Developments International.
Since joining Stobart, Ben has managed the International Division, led a number of other areas in the Group, implemented financial and IT changes across the business and was involved in the merger with Westbury in 2007. Since the formation of the Company, he has overseen the acquisitions of James Irlam, Innovate Chilled, WA Developments, LSA, CLDA and more recently the Biomass business. Ben received the North West Financial Director of the Year Award in 2009 and the Large Company Finance Director of the Year Award in 2012.
Long-time Director of Eddie Stobart Ltd, William Stobart started his career with the company. He carried out a broad spectrum of roles, including HGV Driver, Planner and Manager within Stobart during his early career. This comprehensive experience has given him an in-depth understanding of every level of the business.
William left Eddie Stobart in 2001, joining Andrew Tinkler’s business as a shareholding Director, and in 2004, following the acquisition of Eddie Stobart Group, he returned to the Company as COO. As Chief Operating Officer, William continues to be closely involved in delivering the Group’s strategy.
Paul David Orchard-Lisle, has over fifty years’ experience in the property sector. He joined Healey & Baker in 1961 where he was Head of Investment between 1986-1998 and Senior Partner between 1987-1999. He oversaw the company’s merger with Cushman & Wakefield in 1998, forming a global company, covering the entire commercial property spectrum with a turnover in excess of $700m.
Paul was previously President of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Chairman of Slough Estates (now Segro plc) and executive chairman of the Falcon Property Trust. He is Chairman of Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust and a Director of Powerleague Limited, as well as Chairman of Apache Capital LLP and a Senior Advisor to Patron Capital.
Appointed to the Stobart Group Board on May 23rd 2011.
Rodney Baker-Bates served as Non Executive Chairman of Stobart Group from September 2007 to January 2013. Rodney remains on the Board as Non Executive Director.
Michael is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and has extensive experience in major corporate transactions, both in quoted and private markets internationally.
He has held a variety of Board level finance appointments at Laporte plc, Doncasters Ltd, Amey plc, Lloyd’s Register and Guiness Brewing Worldwide. In addition to his role as a non-executive director on the Board of Stobart Group, Michael also serves on the Board of Biome Technologies and holds a number of positions with private and charitable organisations.
Andrew Wood has been appointed to the Stobart Group Board as a Non-Executive Director, effective 1 November 2013.
Andrew also holds Non-Executive Directorships and the positions of Audit Committee Chairman at Berendsen plc, Lavendon plc and Air Partner plc (where he is also Chair of the Remuneration Committee).
He was previously Group Finance Director of BBA Aviation plc, a position he held from 2001 until 2011, when he retired from the role. Throughout his career Andrew has held numerous finance director and financial controller positions across the electronics and aviation sectors and he has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants since 1975.
At Stobart Group Andrew will serve as the Board’s Senior Independent Director.