Meet our board

United Utilities is led by a board of directors and executive team. Each individual has been chosen on the basis of their experience and expertise, as well as their commitment to achieving the very best results for United Utilities and its customers. Together, members of the board of directors develop policies and strategies for implementation by the executive team.

  • Sir David Higgins - Chairman

    David Higgins

    Responsibilities: Responsible for the leadership of the board, setting its agenda and ensuring its effectiveness on all aspects of its role.

    Qualifications: BEng Civil Engineering, Diploma Securities Institute of Australia, Fellow: the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

    Appointment to the board: May 2019; appointed as Chairman in January 2020.

    Committee membership: Nomination.

    Skills and experience: Sir David has spent his career overseeing high profile infrastructure projects, including: the delivery of the Sydney Olympic Village and Aquatics centre; Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent; and the delivery of the 2012 London Olympic Infrastructure Project.

    Career experience: Sir David was previously chief executive of: Network Rail Limited; The Olympic Delivery Authority; and English Partnerships. He has held non-executive roles as chairman of both High Speed Two Limited and Sirius Minerals plc. In December 2019 he stepped down as non-executive director and chair of the remuneration committee at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

    Current directorships/business interests: Chairman of Gatwick Airport Limited and a member of the Council at the London School of Economics. He is Chairman of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Sir David’s experience of major infrastructure projects and his knowledge and understanding of the role of regulators will be invaluable in meeting the challenges of the current regulatory period and beyond. As chairman of the nomination committee, he is responsible for ensuring the succession plans for the board and senior management identify the right skillsets to face the challenges of the business.

  • Steve Mogford - chief executive officer

    Steve Mogford

    Responsibilities: To manage the group’s business and to implement the strategy and policies approved by the board.

    Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Astrophysics/Maths/Physics.

    Appointment to the board: January 2011.

    Skills and experience: Steve’s experience of the highly competitive defence market and of complex design, manufacturing and support programmes has driven forwards the board’s strategy of improving customer service and operational performance at United Utilities. His perspective of the construction and infrastructure sector provides valuable experience and insight to support United Utilities’ capital investment programme.

    Career experience: Steve was previously chief executive of SELEX Galileo, the defence electronics company owned by Italian aerospace and defence organisation Finmeccanica, chief operating officer BAE Systems PLC and a member of its PLC board. His early career was spent with British Aerospace PLC. Steve ceased to be a non-executive director of G4S plc following its takeover in April 2021.

    Current directorships/business interests: He is Chief Executive Officer of United Utilities Water Limited and a non-executive director of Water Plus, a joint venture with Severn Trent serving business customers.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: As the Chief Executive Officer, Steve has driven a step change in the company’s operational performance, and has implemented a Systems Thinking approach to underpin future operational activities and improved performance.

  • Phil Aspin - chief financial officer

    Phil Aspin

    Responsibilities: To manage the group’s financial affairs, to contribute to the management of the group’s business and to the implementation of the strategy and policies approved by the board.

    Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Mathematics, Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales (ACA), Fellow of the Association of Corporate Treasurer’s (FCT).

    Appointment to the board: July 2020.

    Committee membership: Treasury.

    Skills and experience: Phil has extensive experience of financial and corporate reporting, having qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG and more latterly through his role as group controller. He has a comprehensive knowledge of capital markets and corporate finance underpinned through his previous role as group treasurer and his FCT qualification. Having been actively engaged in the last four regulatory price reviews he has a strong understanding of the economic regulatory environment.

    Career experience: Phil has over 25 years’ experience working for United Utilities. Prior to his appointment as CFO in July 2020, he was group controller with responsibility for the group’s financial reporting and prior to that he was group treasurer with responsibility for funding and financial risk management. He has been a member of EFRAG TEG and chaired the EFRAG Rate Regulated Activities Working Group.

    Current directorships/business interests:Phil was appointed as a member of the UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board in March 2021. He is chair of the 100 Group pensions committee and a member of both the 100 Group main committee and the stakeholder communications and reporting committee. He is Chief Financial Officer of United Utilities Water Limited and a non-executive director of Water Plus, a joint venture with Severn Trent serving business customers.

    Specific contribution to the company’s long-term success: Phil has driven forward the financial performance of the group and delivered the group’s competitive advantage in financial risk management and excellence in corporate reporting.

  • Mark Clare - senior non-executive director

    Mark Clare

    Responsibilities: Responsible, in addition to his role as an independent non-executive director, for discussing any concerns with shareholders that cannot be resolved through the normal channels of communication with the Chairman or Chief Executive Officer.

    Qualifications: Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA).

    Appointment to the board: November 2013.

    Skills and experience: Through his previous roles at British Gas and BAA Mark has a strong background operating within regulated environments. His extensive knowledge of customer-facing businesses is particularly valuable for United Utilities in the pursuit of our strategy to improve customer service.

    Career experience: Mark was previously chief executive of Barratt Developments plc. He is a former trustee of the Building Research Establishment and the UK Green Building Council. Mark held senior executive roles in Centrica plc and British Gas. He is a former non-executive director at BAA plc, Ladbrokes Coral PLC and Aggreko plc.

    Current directorships/business interests: Mark was appointed as senior independent non-executive director at Wickes Group plc and as chair of the remuneration committee in April 2021. He is non-executive chairman at Grainger plc and a non-executive director at Premier Marinas Holdings Limited. He is an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: As senior independent non-executive director, Mark applies his own considerable board experience gained during his career to United Utilities and provides a sounding board to the executive in many areas.

  • Stephen Carter - non-executive director

    Stephen Carter

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board and to lead the board’s agenda on acting responsibly as a business.

    Qualifications: Bachelor of Law (Hons).

    Appointment to the board: September 2014.

    Skills and experience: As the chief executive of a FTSE 100 listed company, Stephen brings current operational experience to the board. His public sector experience provides additional insight in regulation and government relations. His day-to-day experience in the information and technology industries ensures that the board is kept abreast of these areas of the company’s operating environment.

    Career experience: Stephen previously held senior executive roles at Alcatel Lucent Inc. and a number of public sector/service roles, including serving a term as the founding chief executive of Ofcom. He stepped down as a non-executive director at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy in December 2020. Former chairman Ashridge Business School. A Life Peer since 2008.

    Current directorships/business interests: Group chief executive Informa plc. He is an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Stephen’s experience as a current chief executive and his previous work in the public sector and government provides valuable insight for board discussions on regulatory matters.

  • Kath Cates - non-executive director

    Kath Cates

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board.

    Qualifications: Solicitor of England and Wales.
    Appointment to the board: September 2020.

    Skills and experience: Kath has spent most of her career working in a regulated environment in the financial services industry. Since 2014, she has focused on her non-executive roles, chairing all the main board committees and undertaking the role of senior independent director.

    Career experience: Kath previously was chief operating officer at Standard Chartered plc before which she held a number of roles at UBS Limited over a 22-year period, prior to which she qualified as a solicitor. She stepped down as a non-executive director at Brewin Dolphin Holdings plc in February 2021 and from RSA Insurance Group plc, where she chaired the remuneration committee, in June 2021.

    Current directorships/business interests: Kath is a non-executive director at Columbia Threadneedle Investments where she chairs the TPEN audit committee and a non-executive director of TP ICAP Group Plc. She is an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company’s long-term success: Kath’s broad board experience enables her to contribute to board governance and risk management at United Utilities.

  • Alison Goligher - non-executive director

    Alison Goligher

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board and to lead the board’s activities concerning directors’ remuneration.

    Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Mathematical Physics, MEng Petroleum Engineering.

    Appointment to the board: August 2016.

    Skills and experience: Alison has strong technical and capital project management skills, having been involved in large projects and the production side of Royal Dutch Shell’s business. This experience of engineering and industrial sectors provides the board with additional insight into delivering United Utilities’ capital investment programme.

    Career experience: Royal Dutch Shell (2006 to 2015), where Alison’s most recent executive role was Executive Vice President Upstream International Unconventionals. Prior to that she spent 17 years with Schlumberger, an international supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to the oil and gas industry.

    Current directorships/business interests: Alison is a non-executive director and chair of the remuneration committee at Meggitt PLC and a part-time executive chair at Silixa Ltd. She was appointed as a non-executive director of Technip Energies NV in February 2021. She is an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Alison’s understanding of the operational challenges of large capital projects and the benefits of deploying technology provides valuable insight into addressing the longer-term strategic risks faced by the business. Her role as the designated non-executive director for workforce engagement will provide the board with a better understanding of the views of employees and greater clarity on the culture of the company.

     

  • Paulette Rowe - non-executive director

    Paulette Rowe

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board.

    Qualifications: MEng + Man (Hons), MBA.

    Appointment to the board: July 2017.

    Skills and experience: Paulette has spent most of her career in the regulated finance industry and so provides the board with additional perspective and first-hand regulatory experience. Her experience of technology-driven transformation will contribute to United Utilities’ customer experience programme and its Systems Thinking approach.

    Career experience: Previously held senior executive roles in banking and technology at Facebook, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest. Former trustee and chair of children’s charity The Mayor’s Fund for London.

    Current directorships/business interests: CEO of Integrated and Ecommerce Solutions and member of the Paysafe Group executive since January 2020. Paysafe, a former FTSE 250 company, is now privately owned by PE firms CVC and Blackstone. She is an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Paulette’s wide-ranging experience in regulated sectors, profit and loss management, technology and innovation enables her to provide a first-hand contribution to many board topics of discussion. In her current executive role she often faces many of the same issues, and has been able to provide support to senior management at United Utilities.

  • Doug Webb - non-executive director

    Doug Webb

    Responsibilities: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board.

    Qualifications: MA Geography and Management Science, Chartered Accountant FCA.

    Appointment to the board: September 2020.

    Committee membership: Nomination and audit.

    Skills and experience: Doug has extensive career experience in finance from qualifying as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse, his executive roles as CFO of major listed companies and more recently thorough his non-executive positions and focus on audit committee activities.

    Career experience: Previously chief financial officer at Meggitt plc from 2013 to 2018 and prior to that chief financial officer London Stock Exchange Group plc and QinetiQ Group plc. He is a former non-executive director and audit committee chair at SEGRO plc, stepping down in 2019. 

    Current directorships/business interests: Doug currently serves as a non-executive director and audit committee chair at Johnson Matthey plc, BMT Group Ltd and the Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd. He is also a non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company’s long-term success: Doug’s financial capabilities and his experience as an audit committee chair strengthen the board’s financial expertise.