Chris Ingram has been appointed as Non-Executive Chairman of Vitesse Media, succeeding company founder Sara Williams, who will retire from the board on 15 October 2014 after 14 years as Executive Chairman. In addition, Alan Mearns will join the board as a Non-Executive Director.
Chris spent the early years of his business career in the media communications and marketing industry. He is regarded as the inventor of the modern media agency, having started The Media Department (TMD) in 1972 and Chris Ingram Associates (CIA) in 1976, which he built into an international, publicly quoted business (Tempus Group), with offices in 29 countries and a turnover of £2 billion. The business was sold to WPP in 2001 for £430 million and is now MEC.
Chris was awarded the Ernst & Young UK Business to Business Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2000. In 2003-04, he was Entrepreneur in Residence at Wharton Business School. In July 2007, Ingram was made a Fellow of London Business School, where he is closely involved with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty. He was Deputy Chairman of London Business School’s Foundation for Entrepreneurial Management until 2007, and from 2002 to 2008 was Chairman of the Centre for Creative Business, a joint venture between London Business School and the University of the Arts London to help principals in the creative industries improve their general business skills. His partnership, Ingram Enterprise LLP, was set up in 2008. It invests in and actively assists ambitious entrepreneurs and SMEs in the digital sectors in London and New York. In 2013, Chris became involved with The Prince’s Trust and since 2014 has acted as an Enterprise Fellow.
Alan Mearns has over 27 years’ experience in the investment management industry, both in the UK and overseas, with a career focused on distribution, marketing, branding and new market and product development. From 2006 to 2012, Alan was Chief Executive of BNY Mellon Asset Management International, the international asset management distribution division of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, and a member of the bank’s Operating Committee.
Before joining BNY Mellon, Alan was Marketing Director at Threadneedle Investments and Scudder Investments International, with responsibility for UK and European markets, and previously with Fidelity Investments, latterly as Marketing Director with responsibility for the firm’s UK investment advisor business. Since February 2014, Alan has been working with Vitesse on the development and launch of its new crowdfunding business.
Sara Williams said: “I am pleased to welcome Chris and Alan to the board, and I am delighted that Chris is succeeding me as Non-Executive Chairman. Chris has extensive experience of the media and marketing industries and latterly with SMEs and entrepreneurs, notably in digital, which are core markets for Vitesse as we develop our crowdfunding business. His extensive experience and understanding of Vitesse and its core markets will be a considerable asset to the board as Vitesse delivers on its strategy.”
Niki Baker, Chief Executive of Vitesse Media, said: “Sara has worked tirelessly for the Group since founding the company. In recent years, she has driven the migration to digital delivery, against a challenging market backdrop, and latterly initiated the development of our crowdfunding business. The board wishes her well in her retirement. I look forward to working with Chris and harnessing his considerable experience in growing Vitesse.”
Chris Ingram said: “I’ve been a shareholder in Vitesse for some time, and the past few years have certainly been tough. But the cost base has been much reduced. Now we look to grow the top line and, given sufficient agility, the opportunities are certainly there. I look forward to working with the Vitesse team and helping them achieve this aim.”
For further information:
Vitesse Media Plc
Chief Executive: Niki Baker – 020-7250 7010
Non-Executive Chairman: Chris Ingram
Westhouse Securities Ltd
Martin Davison – 020-7601 6100
Kreab Gavin Anderson
Robert Speed – 020-7074 1800
Appendix – AIM Rule 17 and Schedule Two (g) of the AIM rules for companies
Christopher John Ingram, aged 71, holds 2,886,306 ordinary shares in the Company, representing 5.77% of the company’s issued share capital.
Mr Ingram holds, or has held, the following directorships within the last 5 years:
Genesis Investments Limited
Ingram Enterprise Investors LLP
Inside Track 3 LLP
Investors in Media Limited
Kingfield Community Sports Centre Limited
Sn&ck Media Limited
Sports Revolution Digital Limited
Sports Revolution Limited
St James Parade (110) Limited
Stadia Solutions Limited
Azzurri Fives Limited †
IIM (London) LLP
KCS Centre Limited
KCS Events Limited
SRD Investments (London) LLP
The Ingram Partnership Group Limited*
The Ingram Partnership Limited*
Unity Three Limited
Woking Football Club
Woking Ladies Football Club
*Mr Ingram was a director of these companies when they underwent a creditors’ voluntary winding up. There was no deficit to creditors.
†Mr Ingram was a director of Azzurri Fives Limited when it was dissolved. There was no deficit to creditors.
Alan Mearns, aged 54, holds 3,914,142 ordinary shares in the Company, representing 7.83% of the company’s issued share capital.
Mr Mearns has held the following directorships within the last 5 years:
Blackfriars Asset Management Limited
BNY Mellon Asset Management International
Save for the information above, there are no further disclosures to be made in accordance with Rule 17, Schedule Two (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies in respect of Mr Ingram and Mr Mearns.