The Board currently consists of eight Directors who, between them, have substantial experience of franchising. Stephen Hemsley and Nigel Wray have a longstanding and successful track record in investing in and growing franchise businesses dating back to 1999. The Directors also have considerable experience of operating and growing profitable businesses and of investigating acquisition targets.
Stephen Hemsley, Executive Chairman
Stephen co-founded the business of Franchise Brands in 2008. As Chairman since the date of incorporation, he has overseen the development of the business and steered the Company through the recent IPO. Stephen has long standing experience in franchising. He currently holds the position of Non-Executive Chairman of Domino’s Pizza. Having originally joined the then private company Domino’s Pizza as Finance Director in 1998, he led Domino’s Pizza to an IPO on AIM in 1999, and subsequently as CEO, steered the business through a period of growth. During his nearly 20-year association with Domino’s Pizza, Stephen has taken the company from a market capitalisation of £25 million to around £1.6 billion and membership 19 of the FTSE 250 Index and from around 100 stores to over 1,000 across the UK, Ireland and Europe. Stephen originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1982 and in 1984 joined the venture capital company 3i, rising to the position of Investment Director. He was appointed as a Director of the Company on 15 July 2016.
Tim Harris, Chief Executive Officer
Tim is a seasoned franchise professional with 20 years’ experience of successfully developing automotive, commercial and domestic franchise businesses in both international and UK markets. Tim joined the Group in 2008. Formerly Sales Director, Tim was appointed CEO in 2012 and has led the brands through a period of increased profitability and international reach, with Master Franchises opened in the Americas and across Europe. Prior to joining the Group, Tim held senior sales positions at a number of franchisor companies including Autosheen, Pitman Training and Jani-King. He was appointed as a Director of the Company on 15 July 2016.
Chris Dent, Chief Financial Officer
Chris was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Franchise Brands on 17 July, 2017. Chris previously spent four years as Finance Director of AIM-quoted 7digital Group plc (formerly UBC Media Group plc) and began his career at Deloitte LLP where he spent 10 years within audit, corporate finance and transactional accounting services. Chris is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.
Julia Choudhury, Corporate Development Director
Julia has over 25 years of commercial, finance and investment experience. Julia joined the Group in 2008 and has a particular focus on corporate development, which includes acquisitions. Between 1997 and 2005, Julia held a number of senior management roles with AXA Investment Managers including Strategic Development Director, Head of Marketing, Head of Retail, and latterly Managing Director of AXA Investment Managers’ UK operation. Her early career was spent in Corporate Finance at BZW predominantly in mergers and acquisitions and equity financing. Between 1993 and 1997 she was Product Development Manager and subsequently Assistant Director at BZW Investment Management. She was appointed as a Director of the Company on 15 July 2016.
Robin Auld, Marketing Director
Robin joined Franchise Brands as Group Marketing Director in 2010 and established marketing campaigns for the brands, generating increases in demand and raising brand awareness. Robin has a successful track record of marketing success over nearly 20 years. He is best known for his work at Domino’s Pizza. As Head of Marketing, and then Sales and Marketing Director, working closely with Stephen Hemsley, Robin guided the brand through a period of growth during the period 2004 to 2010. Prior to joining Domino’s Pizza, Robin had a senior role at a WPP group agency working with a range of blue chip clients. More recently Robin has also worked as Head of Marketing for Topps Tiles helping to reposition and re-launch the brand. He was appointed as a Director of the Company on 15 July 2016.
Nigel Wray, Non-Executive Director
Nigel co-founded the business of Franchise Brands in 2008. He is an entrepreneurial investor in both public and private companies. Currently he is a substantial shareholder and director at Prestbury Investment Holdings Limited and many other companies. He is also the chairman and co-owner of Saracens Rugby Club. He is a significant investor in a number of AIM quoted companies including Avingtrans plc, Alliance Pharma plc, Rotala plc, Hunters plc, Tekcapital plc, Reach4Entertainment Enterprises plc and MXC Capital plc, as well as a number of private companies in the domiciliary care, computer network solutions, engineering, hotel and restaurant sectors. He is a former director and significant shareholder in Domino’s Pizza, Carlton Communications plc and Singer & Friedlander plc and a former director of Burford Group plc and Networkers International plc. He was appointed as a Director of the Company on 15 July 2016.
David Poutney, Non-Executive Director
David has extensive finance and investment experience. From 2001 to January 2016 he was Director and Head of Corporate Broking at Numis Securities Limited during which time he helped establish Numis as a leading institutional stockbroker and corporate advisor to companies on both AIM and the Main Market. Between May 2014 and February 2016 he was an Executive Director of Numis Corporation plc. In his 20 years as a corporate broker, David was involved in the listings of over 30 companies and advised many through extended periods of growth. In particular, he advised Domino’s Pizza from 2002 to January 2016. David was recently appointed Executive Chairman of Dowgate Capital and a Non-Executive Director of Be Heard Group plc. He was appointed as a Director of the Company on 15 July 2016.
Rob Bellhouse, Non-Executive Director
Rob is an experienced Company Secretary with strong commercial experience gained over a period of 30 years of working with primarily quoted companies. He is currently Company Secretary for Alliance Pharma plc where he is responsible for all legal, board, governance, compliance and risk management activities. He was previously interim Company Secretary at Domino’s Pizza. Between 2003 and 2015 Rob was Company Secretary of Lonmin plc. He was voted ICSA Company Secretary of the Year in 2014. Rob is also the founder and director of Governance Professionals Limited, which provides corporate governance and company secretarial services to UK listed companies and other corporates. He was appointed as a Director of the Company on 15 July 2016.