Yorkshire’s Top 100: Business leaders

In the second part of our series looking at those who shape Yorkshire, we turn to business.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 10:47 am

This is a celebration of the managing directors, chief executives and entrepreneurs who have not only helped to put the county on the map, but whose continued hard work and dedication are also the reason for our continued success. From the finance sector to retail and from the law to cutting edge technology, it’s these people who are the beating heart of Yorkshire’s economy.

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Prof Diana Anderson: Chief executive, Oncascan

The chair of biomedical sciences at the University of Bradford set up her first company in 2011 at the age of 69, but what a company. Oncascan is developing a unique type of blood test for cancer which, used in conjunction with existing methods of screening and diagnosis, could greatly improve their overall outcomes for patients.

Arif Ahmad: Senior office partner, PwC

Educated at Newcastle University where he gained a degree in economics, Ahmed rejoined PwC in 1996 and spent 11 years in the Leeds office before moving to London in 2007. He returned to the city as a partner in the summer of 2009, with a focus on growing PwC’s presence in the private company sector. A keen sportsman, his favourite sport is cricket and he was recently appointed to the board of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation to promote the sport at a grassroots level.

Liz Barber: Director of finance, Yorkshire Water

Appointed as Yorkshire Water’s Director of Finance and Regulation in 2010, Barber joined the company from Ernst & Young where she held a number of senior roles, including leading the firm’s national water team and the assurance practice across the North of England. Since joining Yorkshire Water she has been one of a number of vocal campaigners in the county calling for increased female representation on the boards of leading companies.

Beth Butterwick: Chief executive, Bonmarche

Appointed to Bonmarche in 2011, Butterwick’s turnaround of the Wakefield-based company has been impressive. She joined Bonmarche just weeks before it collapsed into administration, but she has successfully spearheaded a transformation which has seen sales rocket.

Andy Clarke: President and chief executive, Asda

IT’S Not been an easy time for the country’s supermarket sector, but the chief executive of Leeds-based Asda seems to have ridden the storm. After posting its worst results in its history earlier this year, just a few weeks later it reclaimed the spot as Britain’s second biggest supermarket. Clarke learnt the business from the bottom up. He started his career at 17 stacking shelves in a supermarket and joined Asda in 1992 as a store manager in Edinburgh.

Peter Crook: Chief executive, Provident Financial

Crook joined Provident in September 2005 as managing director of the UK home-credit business. He became chief executive in 2007 following the de-merger of the group’s international business. He describes himself as down to earth, straight-forward and straight-talking.

David Cutter: CEO, Skipton Building Society

While many banks and building societies have suffered in recent years, Skipton Building Society remains in robust health under the leadership of Cutter. The son of tenant farmers, he first studyied economics at Durham University before moving into accountancy. He joined the Skipton as head of audit in 1993, was appointed to the Board in 2000 and became group chief executive in 2009.

Sarah Day: Managing partner, DLA Piper

DAY was the first female Managing Partner of DLA in Leeds and has been described as Yorkshire’s most powerful female lawyer. Born on November 19, 1965 in Middlesbrough, she went on to study French and German at Oxford University and has over 20 years experience in the legal arena. Day acts for UK and US banks and specialises in highly structured and cross-border financial transactions including leveraged and public-to-private transactions.

Roderick Evans: Managing partner, Evans Property Group

The Evans Property Group is one of the country’s largest and most successful property investment and development companies. Founded by the late Fred Evans some 70 years ago, his grandson Roderick Evans was appointed managing director in 2013. The group has some striking assets in its portfolio, including the White Rose Shopping Centre. Customers include blue chip tenants such as Tesco, Leeds University, Whitbread PLC and Rotherham Borough Council.

Jeff Fairburn: Group chief executive, Persimmon

The son of a car mechanic, Fairburn decided against university to train as a quantity surveyor in his home city of York. He now boasts more three decades’ experience in the construction industry, most of them in in the housebuilding sector. Fairburn joined York-based housebuilder Persimmon in 1989. By 2012, he was group managing director and became group chief executive following the AGM in April 2013.

Dominic Gibbons: Managing director, Wykeland Group

Based in Hull, Wykeland has a 45-year reputation for designing, developing and delivering commercial development throughout the country. Gibbons joined the enterprise in 1996 and became managing director in 2009. The 45-year-old is also a governor at Hull’s Hymers College and is a trustee of 
Holy Trinity Church Developments.

Chris Hearld: Senior partner, KPMG

HEARLD was born in York on June 15, 1971 and attended Huntington School, in York. He graduated in economics from Durham University and working at KPMG’s Leeds and London offices he became Leeds office senior partner in 2012. He is responsible for the growth of KPMG’s practice across Yorkshire. He is married and has two children.

Peter Hill: Chief executive, Leeds Building Society

A chartered banker with 32 years’ experience in financial services, Hill first joined the building society in 2001 as a senior manager and was appointed to the board five years later. He took up the post of CEO in the summer of 2011, replacing the long-serving CEO Ian Ward, who stepped down after nearly 16 years. Outside work his interests revolve around golf, cycling and follow the Leeds Rhinos. He is also deputy chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Nicholas Hobson: CEO, Fenner

The 56-year-old was appointed to the board in 2011 after being with the group for more than 20 years. His career with the industrial group has seen him emigrate between the US and UK four times, and he thinks he has crossed the Atlantic about 400 times. An engineering graduate, he worked in various engineering roles after leaving the University of Bristol, and worked in America before joining Fenner in 1987 when he became the director of engineering for Fenner Fluid Power.

Martin Jenkins: Partner, Deloitte

JENKINS is the practice senior partner of Deloitte’s practice in Yorkshire and the North East. He also leads its corporate finance advisory practice in the region. He has over 25 years’ experience with Deloitte and has specialised in corporate finance for the past 18 years. His transaction experience comprises of more than 100 completed deals worth in excess of £6.5bn.

Jennifer Kerfoot: CEO, Kerfoot Group

The Kerfoot Group produces oils for the food and beauty industries, and was founded by Jennifer’s father David. She joined the group in 2009 following a career in finance based in London. She was promoted to director of the Kerfoot Packed Oils division in 2011 and became group people director, responsible for the welfare of the 100 employees across the group. She became chief executive, succeeding her father, in April 2013.

Sir Ken Morrison: Life president, Morrisons

These are testing times for Morrisons, but if there is one thing that will see the supermarket group through, it’s the guiding hand of Sir Ken. The former chairman of the Bradford based company is now life president and has never been afraid about voicing his concerns about the direction the firm has taken.

Juergen Maier: CEO, Siemens UK

Maier is the man responsible for driving forward the £310m Green Port development in Hull, which is set to revolutionise the city’s economy. The £310m site at Alexandra Dock £310m will be a state of the art hub providing secure, sustainable and low-carbon energy.

Steve Parkin: Executive chairman, Clipper Group

The man behind the £100m Central Square office building in Leeds, launched Clipper in 1992. The company began as a team of three people and a single driver, and has evolved into one of the UK’s leading logistics providers, with a turnover of £200m. Parkin is a former miner who left school with no qualifications, before becoming an HGV driver and branching out into the delivery business.

Chris Pilling: Chief executive, Yorkshire Building Society

THE MARKETING man who made Sharon Osbourne the face of Asda has the top job at Britain’s second biggest building society. Pilling began his career with Procter & Gamble as a brand manager before taking on roles at Kraft as Middle East and Africa group brand manager. Under his leadership, the building society has begun a five-year investment programme to enhance its products and services.

David Richards: Chief executive, WANdisco

AGED 43, Richards was educated through the state system in Sheffield, before graduating from Huddersfield University with a degree in Computer Science. He set up software company WANdisco which has gone from strength to strength since its flotation on the London Stock Exchange in 2012 and Richards has started and run several companies based in California’s Silicon Valley.

Paul Sewell: Managing director, Sewell Group

From his beginnings in his father’s fruit and vegetable business, he gained a first class degree in construction and then went on to work for a national construction company. He returned to East Yorkshire in 1978 to join what was then F Sewell & Son Ltd in 1978 and over the past 30 years has transformed the firm into a nationally recognised, award winning, multi-disciplined group of companies .

Dorothy Thompson: Chief executive, Drax

Thompson joined Britain’s largest coal-fired power station as chief executive in 2005 from US power group InterGen, where she headed up its European business. In her previous role, she managed four gas-fired power plants in the UK and the Netherlands. In 1993 she joined Powergen’s international arm to develop power stations in Portugal, Indonesia, Australia and India.

Lawrence Tomlinson: Chairman, LNT Group

The LNT Group which employs more than 2,000 people across its five core businesses; Ideal Care Homes, LNT Construction, LNT Software, LNT Solutions and the racing company Ginetta. In 2011 he was awarded two separate honorary doctorates by Yorkshire universities, that year also saw Lawrence recognised as one of the top 10 most influential leaders within the healthcare industry.

Anne Wilson: Managing director, Nunmill

In a former life Wilson was a bookeeper, who went to work for a tool reclamation business. She ended up buying the company and last year, the Sheffield-based firm saw its exports grew from 19 per cent to 50 percent, which proved crucial to its continued success during the downturn.