Board of directors

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Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc

Home > Funds > Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc > Board of directors

Like all listed companies, investment trusts have an independent board of directors, which provides a critical governance function and is independent of the appointed investment manager. This separation of responsibilities can act in shareholders’ best interests as the fund manager is more publicly ‘held to account’. The board constantly seeks to ensure that the investment trust is managed in the best interests of its shareholders by scrutinising the activities of the investment manager, challenging decisions made and taking whatever action necessary to ensure that the interests of shareholders are protected at all times.

The board of directors for the Patient Capital Trust comprises the following highly-experienced individuals, with a broad range of complementary skills and expertise.

Susan Searle

Chairman of the Board and the Management Engagement Committee and a member of the Audit Committee

Susan served as the Chief Executive of Touchstone Innovations plc (formerly Imperial Innovations plc) from January 2002 to July 2013, where she led funding rounds totalling circa £250m. During her tenure, Touchstone Innovations invested £121m in a portfolio of healthcare, engineering and software businesses linked to major universities.

Previously she worked at Montech in Australia (science commercialisation), Signet Group plc, Bank of Nova Scotia and Shell Chemicals in a variety of business development and commercial roles. Susan currently serves as non-executive director of Horizon Discovery Group plc, Benchmark Holdings plc and QinetiQ Group plc. She is also Chair of Mercia Technologies plc, an investment business that invests in high-growth technology businesses with a focus on the Midlands, North and Scotland. Susan has an MA in Chemistry from Oxford University.

Steven Harris

Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Management Engagement Committee

Steven is Chief Executive of Circassia Pharmaceuticals plc.

He is a bioscience entrepreneur with extensive experience of founding and leading specialty pharmaceutical companies. Prior to co-founding Circassia in 2006, he was a founding member of the team that grew Zeneus Pharma Ltd into a leading specialty pharmaceuticals company.

Prior to Zeneus, he spent seven years at PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc as Chief Financial Officer, where he was a key member of the team that grew the early-stage private biotechnology organisation into an integrated, profitable public company, which became the world’s fifth largest vaccines business before being acquired by Chiron Corporation in 2003. Steven holds a BSc from Southampton University and is a Chartered Accountant and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

Scott Brown

Member of the Management Engagement and Audit Committees

Scott is Chief Executive of Nexeon Limited, an Imperial College spin-out focused on developing silicon anode technology for next generation Li-ion battery technology. During his tenure, he has led the change in the company’s strategy to successfully move from an IP licensing business model to one of material production and supply. Previously, Scott was Executive Vice President at Cambridge Display Technology (CDT), responsible for commercial and IP activities of the company. Prior to CDT, Scott was Global R&D Director for the Electronic Materials Business at Dow Corning, a US headquartered multinational corporation with over US$6bn in annual revenues. Scott holds a PhD in Chemistry and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dame Louise Makin

Member of the Management Engagement and Audit Committees

Louise joined BTG plc, a growing global specialist healthcare company in the FTSE 250, as Chief Executive in October 2004. During her time with the company, Louise has overseen a strategic business review leading to a focus on life sciences, expansion into the US and a series of acquisitions. Prior to joining BTG, Louise was with Baxter Healthcare – initially as Vice President, Strategy & Business Development Europe and then as President, Biopharmaceuticals Europe, where she was responsible for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Louise’s previous roles include director of Global Ceramics at English China Clay and a variety of positions at ICI between 1985 and 1998. Louise is a non-executive director of Intertek Group plc, and a trustee of the Outward Bound Trust. Louise holds an MA and PhD in Materials Science and is an Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge.

Alan Hodson

Member of the Management Engagement and Audit Committees

Alan Hodson is the senior independent director of JPMorgan Elect plc and non-executive director HarbourVest Global Private Equity Limited. He joined Rowe and Pitman (subsequently SG Warburg, SBC and UBS) in 1984 and worked in a range of roles, all related to international equity markets. He became Global Head of Equities in April 2001 and was a member of the Executive Committee of UBS Investment Bank and of the UBS AG Group Managing Board.

Alan retired from UBS in June 2005 and has since held positions on a variety of financial and charity boards. He joined BlackRock Commodities Income Investment Trust plc in 2005, as Chair of the Board, a role he held until 2015, on completion of his nine-year tenure. He was a partner at Mill Street Asset Management from 2006 to 2014, and a member of the Advisory Board of Norges Bank Investment Management between 2006 and 2011.

In addition to his commercial board roles, Alan has served on the boards of a number of charities, including as Chairman of Trustees of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (2007-2015).

Carolan Dobson

Member of the Management Engagement and Audit Committees

Carolan Dobson has a background in fund management and is an experienced non-executive director in public and private sector organisations, including a diverse portfolio of investment trust roles. She spent her executive career at Murray Johnstone Ltd, where she managed Murray Income plc and was a main board director, and later joined Abbey National Asset Management as head of UK.

Carolan is currently the Chair of JP Morgan European Smaller Companies Trust plc, The Brunner Investment Trust plc, Schroders UK Growth plc and Blackrock Latin American Investment Trust plc. She retires from her position as Chairman of Aberdeen Smaller Companies Income Trust plc on 28th April 2017 having served for a number of years. She is also a non-executive director of Nest Corporation.

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