CHAIRMAN - Andrew Brode

Key Experience

Andrew entered the business publishing arena as Managing Director of Croner Publications which he built up and sold to Wolters Kluwer. He was subsequently appointed CEO of Wolters Kluwer (UK) plc and expanded this to UK sales of £80 million in the 1980s. 

He acquired Eclipse Publications via an MBI in 1990 which became a leading subscription-based journal and conference organizer, being sold to Reed Elsevier in 2000. He was appointed as Non-Executive Chairman of Axco Insurance Information Services by 3i and sold it to Wilmington plc in 2010. 

In June 2008 he negotiated the purchase of Epic Group plc, the UK market leader in e-learning from Huveaux plc. Epic listed on AIM in November 2013 as part of Learning Technologies Group plc and named Andrew as its Non-Executive Chairman. He occupied a similar role at Electric Word plc, also AIM listed, until its sale in August 2017. In late 2012 he became a Non-Executive Director and investor in IT Governance Ltd (now GRC International plc after its flotation in March 2018), the leading provider of information in the cyber security space. 

In 2019 he was appointed as a non-executive director of Cera Care Ltd, a leading, tech-enabled domiciliary care provider. 

Today, he is the Executive Chairman and major shareholder in RWS Holdings plc, which he acquired together with 3i in 1995 and floated on AIM in late 2003.

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Key Experience

Experienced at leading and shaping global organizations: Ian El-Mokadem joined RWS Group as CEO in July 2021. He has over thirty years’ experience of working in and leading large, multinational service businesses. His past roles span a range of functions from strategy and marketing to holding full profit and loss accountability in both CEO and Managing Director positions.

Focused on delivering growth: Ian brings a keen focus on meeting and exceeding the needs of customers. He has extensive experience of delivering organic growth and completing a large number of successful acquisitions through his past leadership roles at V.Group, Exova Group, Compass Group and Centrica. His previous positions have often involved the delivery of large, complex, technology-enabled business transformations.

Passionate about building high-performing teams and companies: Ian is committed to diversity and the wellbeing of colleagues and is focused on setting and maintaining high standards of business conduct across an organization.

Broad experience of interacting with a wide range of shareholders: Ian has held Board and Executive level positions in both UK listed and private equity backed businesses.

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Key Experience

Highly experienced leader: Desmond has almost 20 years’ experience in senior finance roles across a range of sectors in UK and US headquartered businesses with international operations. He had a central role in GAN’s development from internet start-up to its IPO in November 2013, and subsequently increasing the company’s market profile with both existing shareholders and the wider investment community.

Alternative Investment Market (AIM) experience: as CFO for GAN plc, Desmond was instrumental in preparing the company for its successful AIM public listing in November 2013, and subsequently expanding the company’s operations and delivery capability across the US and Europe.

Finance strategy design and delivery: at GAN plc Desmond took the financial lead in driving the US market entry strategy and played a key role in expanding the company’s operations and delivery across the US and Europe. During his time at Rodale International, Desmond took on the role of shaping and delivering the financial strategy of the international portfolio of joint ventures and licensees of this market leading health and wellness media company.

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Key Experience

Wide ranging knowledge of the language services market: David joined SDL as a Non-Executive Director in December 2009 and has served as Senior Independent Director and, for nine months through 2015/2016, interim Executive Chairman. 

Proven business acumen: David was Managing Director and Head of European Technology Research at CSFB from 1997 until 2004. In June 2004, David joined The Sage Group plc Board as a Non-Executive Director and took up an executive role as Director of Strategy and Corporate Development from October 2007 to February 2012. He is currently Chairman of Forensic and Compliance Systems and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the charity Changing Faces. David is also on the boards of FCS (UK) Limited, Solar Archive Ltd, Albora Technologies Ltd and a trustee of Changing Faces and Dixons Academies Charitable Trust Ltd.

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Key Experience

Experienced leader in HR and recruitment: Frances was a Managing Director at Accenture and held a number of senior HR Director positions both locally, UK and Ireland, and globally. She served on Accenture UK and Ireland Executive Board, Products Operating Group Executive Board and Financial Services Operating Group Executive Board as HR Director. She was Global Recruitment Director for all Executive and Partner Recruitment across 20 countries. 

Strong HR skills: Frances has deep understanding across all areas of talent including leadership development, compensation, succession planning, performance management, employee experience, diversity, organization design, recruitment and learning. She played a key role in advising, designing and implementing key HR change programs for a number of Accenture businesses across multiple countries. 

Strategic and leadership capability: Frances led initiatives identifying and hiring external senior talent for various Accenture Executive Boards to drive growth for the business. In particular, she spearheaded and delivered programs focused on senior diversity appointments. Frances played a key role in the integration of senior executives and people as part of various acquisitions for Accenture. She also acted as the HR Director for a new operating model implementation in countries where formal employee consultation was required.

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Key Experience

Experienced leader: Gordon currently serves as the CFO of Unit4, a global provider of people-centric enterprise cloud applications for ERP and HCM to midmarket service sector organizations. He has led Finance, Corporate Services and Operational functions as an executive director for over 20 years. 

Proven business acumen: Gordon’s early career in professional services and strategy consulting created a strong base and understanding of business economics and finance. In his executive roles he has led all aspects of corporate activity ranging from commercial negotiations, dispute resolution, restructuring and transformation management, mergers and acquisitions, integration of acquired businesses and capital markets activities. 

International experience: Over his career Gordon has had extensive international exposure to European, North American, LATAM and APAC business environments. Through leading global functions, he has an acute awareness of different business cultures, operating norms and customs. 

M&A leadership: Gordon has extensive international acquisition and integration experience across European, Asian and LATAM markets. 

Corporate Governance: Previous roles include CFO of TMF Group and CFO at Alexander Mann Solutions. He has held senior positions with several UK listed businesses including Group Finance Director of Xansa plc and Group Finance Director of London Bridge Software Holdings plc. He has also held non-executive roles at Sepura plc, Intec Telecom Systems plc and most recently, prior to its acquisition by RWS, SDL plc. In each instance he served as Chair of the Audit committee. Gordon currently serves as the CFO of Unit4.

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Key Experience

Proven leader in commercial development: Lara joined The Economist Group as Chief Executive in September 2019 where she is focused on driving continued growth in both the core Economist business, as well as the business to business offerings of the Economist Intelligence Unit. Prior to that, Lara was CEO of Informa Plc's Intelligence division with full P&L responsibility for a £200m portfolio of business intelligence and data assets. 

International expertise: Lara currently manages over 1000 colleagues based in Europe, the USA and APAC. During her time at Ascential Plc she led international expansion into MENA, China, India and Brazil. 

M&A leadership: Lara has experience of large scale acquisition and integration (Penton and UBM acquisitions at Informa). Prior to Informa, Lara held strategy, M&A and commercial development roles for CPA Global (IP services), Pearson (the FT), MasterCard (Mondex electronic cash) and Lloyd’s of London (Equitas project).

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