Oyster Yachts, the UK sailing yacht builder that was acquired by entrepreneur Richard Hadida in March, has confirmed its new board members.
Hadida has taken the role of CEO, while acting CFO Becky Bridgen is now performing her role on a permanent basis. She previously worked for Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) as part of the deals team, providing financial advice to FTSE 100 companies and private businesses – including many associated with the marine industry.
The rest of the Oyster board is comprised of non-executives Ashley Highfield as senior independent director, motoracing expert Eddie Jordan, investment banker Ivan Ritossa, and yacht designer Rob Humphreys.
“We are committed to building the best possible team here at Oyster which we believe will put us in the strongest position to deliver an effective turnaround and get Oyster back to where it should be – the absolute pinnacle in yacht design,” says Hadida. “Getting the right leadership, oversight and governance in place is key to building a sustainable business.
“These appointments fit perfectly,” he adds. “They bring extensive industry expertise and corporate experience.
As senior independent director, Ashley Highfield will perform a range of duties from chairing board meetings and ensuring proper governance to advising on hiring, strategy, and operating plan execution. He has been a high-ranking board member for a number of blue chip companies and institutions, including CEO of Johnston Press, a non-executive director at William Hill, and governor of the British Film Institute.
Previous roles include managing director of Microsoft’s UK operations, and director of New Media & Technology of the BBC.
Non-executive director Eddie Jordan is a long-time Oyster owner who has circumnavigated the world on his own Oyster 885 Lush. He has decades of experience in motor racing and Formula 1 – in particular his role as founder and CEO of Jordan Grand Prix and through TV coverage over the past 10 years with the BBC and Channel 4, as well as the BBC’s Top Gear.
Jordan is also a highly experienced non-executive director, with roles at Clareville Capital Partners and Citibank Private Bank, as well as serving as an advisor to Lloyds Development Capital and Aspinall Capital Advisers.
Ivan Ritossa has worked for over 30 years in investment banking and has been successful in building numerous diverse and global businesses over this period. At Barclays Capital, he was an executive committee member, managing director and head of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa across all units of the investment bank.
Ritossa has held a number of board seats in the UK, Africa and the Middle East including a non-executive director of ABSA Group, EBS Group, Barclays Saudi Arabia Board and was on the NY Federal Reserve Foreign Exchange Committee, The Bank of England Foreign Exchange Joint Standing Committee and the Singapore Foreign Exchange Markets Committee.
Prior to Barclays he held various senior roles at Bankers Trust and Lehman Brothers. Most recently, he founded J4 Investments, an investment firm focused on principle investment and secured lending across a number of asset classes. In 2016 Ritossa became a non-executive director of NEX Plc, a board member of NEX SEF Limited and is a member of the Audit, Risk, Nominations and Remunerations Committees.
Previously he was a non-executive director of ICAP Plc from 2013-2016 and a member of their Remuneration, Risk, Operational Risk Framework Implementation Committees and a board member of ICAP SEF (US) LLC and ICAP Global Derivatives Ltd (EMEA SEF).
One of the world’s leading yacht designers, Rob Humphreys founded Humphreys Yacht Design in 1972 and developed the company from its racing yacht roots into a leading international design studio. He has been responsible for designing over 20 Oyster models, including the 118, 575 and flagship 885, over the last 22 years.
Since acquiring Oyster in March, Richard Hadida says production has alread restarted at both its Wroxham and Southampton sites. Further announcements are expected shortly.