Group Chief Executive Officer
Philip Walker (43) is the Group’s Chief Executive Officer. He joined Pennant in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer, being promoted to CEO in February 2017. Mr Walker is a chartered accountant and qualified corporate finance professional.
Prior to joining the Company, Mr Walker worked for Grant Thornton UK LLP and Barclays Bank Plc. At Grant Thornton, he led numerous corporate finance transactions (both buy side and sell side) and developed and implemented strategic plans for a number of businesses.
While at Barclays, Mr Walker worked with businesses with a turnover of between £5 million and £50 million, focusing on debt structuring, including working capital, investment, trade finance and the restructuring of facilities. He provided structuring advice on various types of corporate transactions.
Since joining Pennant, Mr Walker has brought this experience to bear in driving the review, renewal and implementation of Group strategy while successfully leading two equity fund-raisings and the acquisition of Absolute Data Group.
Mr Walker is responsible for the day-to-day running of all Group businesses and the execution of Group strategy. He is a member of the Strategy Committee.
Mr Walker was appointed to the Board on 3 November 2014.
Commercial & Risk Director
David Clements (43) is the Commercial & Risk Director. He joined the Group in June 2017 and was appointed to the Board on 11 October 2017.
He is a practising solicitor with extensive experience in corporate and commercial law and practice, gained advising AIM-quoted and private companies particularly in the engineering, manufacturing and software sectors. Prior to joining Pennant, he was with the law firm Charles Russell Speechlys.
As Commercial & Risk Director, Mr Clements is responsible for commercial, risk management, administrative and information systems functions across the Group, seeking to ensure the Group’s legal and commercial position is appropriately protected.
Mr Clements also acts as Company Secretary to all Group companies, advising the Chairman on corporate governance matters and being available as a ‘sounding board’ for other Directors. Mr Clements works closely with the Company’s nominated adviser to ensure proper management of investor relations, company law and AIM compliance. He is experienced on public company regulatory compliance and Takeover Code matters.
Philip Cotton (65) is an independent Non-Executive Director. He also chairs the Remuneration Committee.
Mr Cotton, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, is a former KPMG partner with extensive experience of working with businesses in the defence and aerospace sectors (with audit clients including various BAE Systems group companies, Agusta Westland (now Leonardo Helicopters), Airbus UK, Eurocopter UK (now Airbus Helicopters), Rotork and VT Group).
Mr Cotton is also the Chair of Governors of Solent University and chairs the Audit Committee of World Sailing.
Mr Cotton was appointed to the Board on 14 June 2019.
Group Chief Financial Officer
Michael Brinson (36) is the Group’s Chief Financial Officer. He joined Pennant in February 2020 as Head of Finance and was appointed to the Board on 1 January 2023.
Mr Brinson is a chartered accountant with significant financial experience of the engineering, manufacturing, defence, and training industries. Prior to joining Pennant he was the Financial Controller responsible for Customer Support and Training at Leonardo Helicopters UK.
Since joining Pennant, Michael has led an improvement initiative of the Groups financial function including refinancing the groups banking arrangements, implementing a new accounting system across all entities, and executing a new global tax strategy.
Mr Brinson is responsible for the day-to-day financial management of the Group and leads the relationships with its auditors, bankers and tax advisors.
Deborah Wilkinson (48) is an independent Non-Executive Director and chair of the Audit & Risk Committee. She is also a member of the Remuneration Committee.
Ms Wilkinson is a chartered accountant (FCA) who trained with Deloitte and holds a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering. She has held various financial and commercial leadership roles with a range of businesses and has extensive experience in the defence aviation sector with Airborne Systems Group and IrvinGQ Limited.
Deborah is currently a non-executive director of Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult Limited.
Ms Wilkinson appointment to the Board is with effect from 1st February 2023.
Non-Executive Director – Chair
Ian Dighé (68) is an independent Non-Executive Director (Chair Designate). Ian will assume the Chair role immediately following the Company’s next Annual General Meeting, which is expected to be held in May 2024. Ian was appointed to the Board on 7th February 2024.
Ian has significant listed company and City experience, gained throughout his executive career with a particular focus on the investment banking, corporate broking, asset management and closed-end funds sectors. In addition, he is experienced in developing boards and senior management teams.
Directors’ interests in the Company