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: To challenge constructively the executive directors and monitor the delivery of the strategy within the risk and control framework set by the board and, in time, assume the role and responsibilities of Chairman.

    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: 13 May 2019.

    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. He joined Network Rail in 2011, overseeing the operation of the rail network during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the major redevelopment of stations including Birmingham New Street and London King's Cross.

    Career experience: Former chief executive of: Network Rail Limited; The Olympic Delivery Authority; and English Partnerships. Previous non-executive roles: chairman of High Speed Two Limited and Sirius Minerals plc. Former non-executive director of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and chair of the remuneration committee and a member of the risk committee.

    Current directorships/business interests: Chairman of Gatwick Airport Limited. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Sir David's experience of major infrastructure projects will be invaluable in meeting the challenges of the next regulatory period and beyond. 

  • 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.

    Committee membership: Corporate responsibility.

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

    Career experience: Previously chief executive of SELEX Galileo, the defence electronics company owned by Italian aerospace and defence organisation Finmeccanica, and chief operating officer at BAE Systems PLC and a member of its PLC board, he spent his earlier career with British Aerospace PLC.

    Current directorships/business interests: Non-executive and senior independent non-executive director G4S PLC. He is also Chief Executive Officer of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: As chief executive, Steve has driven a step change in the company's operational performance, leading to fast-track status in the PR19 price review process for the 2020–25 asset management period.

  • 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 and his five years of EFRAG activity. He also has a comprehensive knowledge of the capital markets and corporate finance underpinned through his role as group treasurer and his qualification as a fellow of the association of corporate treasurers. 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 Group. He was appointed as Chief Financial Officer designate in February 2020, and joined the board as CFO in July 2020. Prior to his appointment as CFO he was group controller leading a team responsible for all aspects of the group’s financial reporting, before which he was group treasurer with responsibility for all aspects of funding and financial risk management. He was a member of EFRAG TEG from 2015 to 2017 and went on to Chair the EFRAG Rate Regulated Activities Working Group from 2017 to 2020. 

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

    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.

    Committee membership: Nomination and remuneration.

    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 with the implementation of greater competition in the industry and in pursuit of our strategy to improve customer service.

    Career experience: Previously chief executive Barratt Developments plc. A former trustee of the Building Research Establishment and the UK Green Building Council. Senior executive roles held in Centrica plc and British Gas. Former non-executive director: BAA plc and Ladbrokes Coral PLC.

    Current directorships/business interests: Non-executive chairman Grainger plc and non-executive director Premier Marinas Holdings Limited. He is also 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 has led a robust selection process culminating in the appointment of Sir David Higgins as the next Chairman of the company.

  • 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.

    Appointment to the board: September 2014.

    Committee membership: Nomination, audit and corporate responsibility (chair).

    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: 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. Former chairman Ashridge Business School. A Life Peer since 2008.

    Current directorships/business interests: Group chief executive at Informa plc and a non-executive director of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He is also 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 work in the public sector and government provides valuable insight.

  • 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.

    Committee membership: Nomination and remuneration.

    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: Previously 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.

    Current directorships/business interests: Kath is a non-executive director at: RSA Insurance Group plc and chair of the remuneration committee; Brewin Dolphin Holdings plc and chair of the risk committee; and Columbia Threadneedle Investments and chair of the TPEN audit committee. She is also a non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company’s long-term success: Kath’s broad board experience enable 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.

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

    Appointment to the board: August 2016.

    Committee membership: Nomination, remuneration and corporate responsibility.

    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), her 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: Non-executive director Meggitt PLC, part-time executive chair Silixa Ltd and a board member of Edinburgh Business School. She is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Alison's understanding of large capital projects and operational challenges provides valuable insight into 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 first-hand understanding of the views of employees and the culture of the company.

     

  • Brian May - non-executive director

    Brian May

    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 audit committee.

    Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science, Chartered Accountant FCA.

    Appointment to the board: September 2012.

    Committee membership: Nomination, audit (chair), treasury (chair) and remuneration (with effect from May 2017).

    Skills and experience: Brian joined Bunzl plc in 1993 as head of internal audit before becoming group treasurer, then finance director (Europe and Australasia), and is currently finance director. Brian’s background and the various finance roles that he has held are major assets to the board in chairing both the audit and the treasury committees. Brian has been chair of the audit committee for nearly five years and has considerable knowledge of the company and the specifics of the utilities sector.

    Career experience: Finance director Bunzl plc, since 2006. Prior to joining Bunzl, Brian qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG.

    Current directorships/business interests: Finance director at Bunzl plc, he intends to retire from this role on 31 December 2019. He is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Brian contributes his considerable expertise in finance to the company primarily through the important position of chair of the audit committee. The industry knowledge he has gained during the six years as a board member, and his involvement in the second regulatory price review of his tenure, have provided continuity and knowledge to this vital long-term decision-making process.

  • 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 (Hons) Mechanical Engineering and Management, MBA.

    Appointment to the board: July 2017.

    Committee membership: Nomination and audit.

    Skills and experience: Paulette has spent most of her career in the regulated finance industry providing 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 roles include: managing director Barclaycard Payments Solutions; strategy director NBNK Investments plc; commercial and marketing director Tesco Personal Finance; chief executive, European Consumer Finance and managing director Royal Bank of Scotland. Former board member Prince's Youth Business Trust and former trustee and chair of children's charity The Mayor's Fund for London.

    Current directorships/business interests: EMEA Executive Facebook Inc. since July 2018. She is also an independent non-executive director of United Utilities Water Limited.

    Specific contribution to the company's long-term success: Paulette shares her experience as a senior leader in financial services, and her current role in the technology sector, where technological innovations have driven improved customer service.

  • 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.