Water and wastewater services for Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
About us
You are here: About us » Our governance

Our Board of Directors

The day-to-day running of our company is led by an Executive Management Team, which reports to our Board of Directors.

Southern Water Chairman, Bill TameBill Tame


Bill Tame joined the Board in January 2015 and was appointed Chairman on 1 March 2017.

A chartered accountant by training, Bill held a number of senior finance roles at Courtaulds plc, the UK FTSE 100 chemicals company, both in the UK and overseas, operating as chief financial officer in Europe, based in France and then as finance director in Asia Pacific, based in Singapore.

He subsequently worked as finance director for Scapa Group plc before joining the board of Babcock International Group plc in 2002 as group finance director, a role he held during Babcock’s development from a small cap company to its position as a member of the FTSE 100.

Following the acquisition by Babcock of the international aviation services business, Avincis, in 2014, Bill assumed the role of chief executive officer of Babcock’s Global Growth & Operations with responsibility for the integration, business development and operations of its international businesses.

From 2006 he was senior independent director and chairman of the audit committee of Carclo plc, a quoted small cap company, before joining Southern Water Services Limited as a non-executive director and Chairman of the Audit and Risk Review Committee in 2015.


Southern Water Chief Executive Officer, Ian McAulayIan McAulay

Chief Executive Officer

Ian joined Southern Water as CEO in January 2017 and was appointed to the Board from 1 February.

Ian has more than 30 years of global water and environmental experience and a significant record of achievement operating in both publicly quoted FTSE 100/250 companies and privately held enterprises.

Ian holds an honours degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and is a Chartered Member of the ICE, CIWEM.

Throughout his career he has managed major utility, construction and consulting businesses in the UK, Belgium, India and the USA. He has enhanced this practical experience with professional executive education, most notably at Harvard Business School. He has extensive experience in the UK regulated utility, construction and environmental services sectors, holding board positions across a broad range of commercial and statutory organisations.

In his previous role he served as an executive director of the Pennon Group plc and chief executive of its subsidiary company, Viridor, one of the largest renewable energy and recycling companies in the UK.

In a non-executive capacity, he serves as an independently appointed member of Greater Manchester Authorities Low Carbon Hub Board and Scottish Government’s 2020 Climate Change Board. He has also provided expert input to Government Review Groups and Industry Partnerships with particular emphasis on the UK skills agenda and development of future smarter regulation and environmental policy.


Chief Financial Officer, Sebastiaan BoelenSebastiaan Boelen

Chief Financial Officer

Sebastiaan joined us in December 2018 and was appointed to the Board in the same month.

He started his career with more than 10 years in the Royal Navy where he attended the Dutch Royal Naval Academy, and the University of Technology Delft, specialising in Operations (Artillery) and Information Technology.

After completing an MBA at the INSEAD business school, he worked for listed companies - as well as private and private equity portfolio companies - in management consulting. This was followed by a number of senior finance roles in telecoms (infrastructure), consumer goods, business services and financial services.

He was also with Electricity NorthWest (previously a division of United Utilities) in Warrington. Sebastiaan has worked and lived in the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and the UK.


Non-executive Director, Paul SheffieldPaul Sheffield

Senior independent non-executive director

Paul Sheffield joined the Board in June 2014.

In his executive career, he spent over 32 years with Kier Group plc — the construction, services and property group — serving as its chief executive officer between 2010 and 2014.

Between 2014 and 2017 he headed up the construction operations for the European and Middle Eastern business for Laing O’Rourke Services, delivering some of the biggest capital projects under way in the region today.

Graduating as a Civil Engineer in 1983, Paul spent 15 years working on major capital projects around the world and has over 19 years of board level experience, where he has gained significant exposure and experience of strategy, productivity and efficiency – key facets of any successful organisation.


Independent Non-executive Director, Rosemary BootRosemary Boot

Independent non-executive director

Rosemary Boot joined the Board in March 2015.

In March 2017 she was appointed as a non-executive director of Impact Healthcare REIT plc, a UK care home real estate investment trust that recently undertook a £160 million IPO and listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Previously Rosemary was the chief financial officer of Future Cities Catapult, one of a network of technology and innovation centres established by the UK Government. She has also worked at Circle Housing Group and was involved in setting up the government-owned Low Carbon Contracts Company and Electricity Settlements Company.

From 2001 to 2011 she was group finance director of the Carbon Trust, the independent company set up in 2001 to work with business and the public sector to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. Prior to that, she worked for 16 years as an investment banker, primarily advising large listed UK companies on mergers and acquisitions.

Rosemary is also a Governor of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, the higher education institution for the performing arts, and a Trustee of Green Alliance, the environmental think tank.


Independent Non-executive Director, Mike PutnamMike Putnam

Independent non-executive director

Appointed in September 2017, Mike has spent the majority of his executive career leading and managing multiple businesses across development, construction and services sectors and is now concentrating on a new chapter, building a portfolio of Non-Executive Directorships.

A Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of both the Institution of Civil Engineers and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, he has over 25 years’ experience at senior management level and is known for his values based approach to leadership.

Until recently, Mike was President and CEO of Skanska UK, a position he held for nearly eight years, a business with circa £1.8 bn revenues and 6000 employees. Prior to this he was Executive Vice President and main Board Director since 2001, responsible for leading the infrastructure and then building and construction businesses.

Throughout Mike’s career he has been closely involved with the successful delivery of many high profile projects and programmes. Over the last ten years, Mike has been active as a Non-Executive Director of a number of the independent, decentralized international business units including: Sweden (Deputy Chairman); Poland; USA & Norway and recently Skanska UK.

Externally Mike is also a member of the Construction Leadership Council, working with government to provide leadership and direction on the Industrial Strategy. He has also been chair of the Green Construction Board; a member of the CBI Construction Council influencing the future direction of the industry and linking into government; and a non-executive director of the Association of consulting Engineers.

With proven all-round business and operations capability, Mike has particular strengths in: strategy development and deployment; results delivery; inclusive people & values leadership and transformational change.


Independent Non-executive Director, Ian FrancisIan Francis

Independent non-executive director

Ian joined the Board in September 2018. He has extensive listed board experience from his career as a senior audit partner with Ernst & Young and from his subsequent non executive roles. He was appointed to the board of OnTheMarket plc in October 2017 as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee.

He was appointed to the board of Paysafe Group plc (previously Optimal Payments plc) in 2010 as a Non-Executive Director and served until its sale in December 2017 as Chairman of the Audit Committee. Prior to this, he was a senior audit partner with Ernst & Young London until 2009, specialising in FTSE-listed and multinational companies.

He also served, from 2009 to 2014, as a Non-Executive Director of Umeme Limited, the privatised national power distribution company of Uganda, which was listed on the Uganda and Nairobi Securities Exchanges in 2012. Ian established and chaired Umeme’s Audit Committee. Ian is also an active mentor at Board Mentoring, supporting executive and non-executive directors stepping into new situations and roles.


Non-executive Director, Wendy BarnesWendy Barnes

Non-executive director

Appointed in September 2017, Wendy, a portfolio non-executive and an independent consultant in cyber security, has wide experience in utilities, security and defence sectors.

Formerly a Mathematical Services Manager at BNFL and  Customer Services Director in United Utilities, Wendy has been a Director General (DG) in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and a non-executive director in the MOD, government security departments, Met Office and Ofwat. 

She is currently a non-executive director at the National Crime Agency, OCS Group, BMT Group and Scottish Power Networks and an Associate Director of Templar Executives.  Wendy has chaired and been a member of several Audit and Remuneration Committees and has a particular focus on developing risk management and good governance, as well as helping  organisations take on change in challenging environments.

Wendy also advises Boards on cyber resilience and information risk management. When a DG in DECC Wendy was responsible for all Corporate Services and for the policy on the civil legacy nuclear sector, working with NDA, ONR and Shareholder Executive (now UKGI) and policy lead for the potential sale of the UK Share of Urenco.


Non-executive director, Sara SulaimanSara Sulaiman

Non-executive director

Appointed in September 2017, Sara Sulaiman is an investment principal at the Infrastructure Investments Group of J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Before joining J.P. Morgan, Sara was an Investment Director at Arle Capital Partners, a London based mid-market private equity firm. Prior to that she worked on corporate finance transactions both within Simmons & Company International, a specialist energy investment bank, and KPMG’s Global Infrastructure and Projects Group (within the Energy & Natural Resources team).

Sara started her career in industry working as a finance analyst in Petroleum Development Oman and Shell Chemicals in London. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Yale University, an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

In addition to her board role on Southern Water, Sara currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the board of Nature Investments S.A.R.L.


General Counsel & Company Secretary, Richard ManningRichard Manning

General Counsel & Company Secretary

Richard joined SW in July 2018 as General Counsel and Company Secretary.

He has held similar roles in a number of listed and private companies and brings a wide experience of legal and governance matters. He holds a law degree and a MBA and is a qualified solicitor.

  Close box