The UK’s leading multi-redemption voucher and prepaid gift card business

The Board

New board July 14
Chris Houghton

Chris Houghton

Chief Executive Officer

Chris was appointed to the board on 11 October 2000 and became chief executive officer on 11 April 2012. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and joined the group as group accountant in 1986. He became group finance director on 29 March 2001 and up to his appointment as chief executive officer was previously group managing director. He has a service agreement with the company entered into on 29 June 2001 which requires 12 months’ notice of termination by either party.

Martin-Stewart

Martin Stewart

Group Finance Director

Martin was appointed to the board on 1 November 2004 and is the group finance director. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and joined the group from Eddie Stobart Group, where he was group finance director. Prior to this he was with UK Waste Management Limited from 1992 to 2000, from 1997 as finance director, and earlier in his career held financial positions with The Littlewoods Organisation, ICI PLC and Price Waterhouse. He has a service agreement with the company entered into on 1 November 2004 which requires 12 months’ notice of termination by either party.

Gary-Wood

Gary Woods

Managing Director, Park Retail Limited

Gary was appointed to the board on 29 March 2001. He joined the group with the acquisition of Chrisco Hampers in 1980 and has gained wide experience in divisional roles. He is managing director of Park Retail Limited. He has a service agreement with the company entered into on 29 June 2001 which requires 12 months’ notice of termination by either party.

Laura Carstensen photo 100x126

Laura Carstensen

Non-Executive Chairman

Laura was appointed to the board as a non-executive director on 23 September 2013 and became Non-Executive Chairman on 3 June 2016. She has a service agreement with the company entered into on 13 September 2013 which requires three months' notice of termination by either party. Laura is a former partner in City law firm Slaughter and May and a former member and deputy chairman of the UK Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets Authority). She is a non-executive director and chair of the values and ethics committee of The Co-operative Bank plc. She holds two ministerial appointments, as a Commissioner of the Equality & Human Rights Commission and as a trustee of National Museums Liverpool. She was educated at Withington Girls School in Manchester, and read English at St. Hilda's College, Oxford. Laura is chairman of the group's nominations committee and a member of the audit and remuneration committees.

Michael de Kare-Silver

Michael de Kare-Silver

Non-Executive Director

Michael was appointed to the board as a non-executive director on 23 September 2013. He has a service agreement with the company entered into on 14 September 2013 which requires three months' notice of termination by either party. Michael is an advisor and business consultant to the digital, e-commerce and mobile communications sectors. He is also chairman of Coats plc Global Services. He has previously served as a main board director at a number of companies including FTSE 100 GUS plc and FTSE 250 Thus Group plc. He headed up Argos.co.uk, Experian.com and Burberry online as CEO of GUSco.com and founded successful start-ups born2learn.com and MyFaveShop.com. Michael was chairman at WIN plc and Breeze Tech Mobile. Early in his career he gained valuable experience at both Procter & Gamble and McKinsey & Company. Michael is chairman of the group's remuneration committee and a member of the audit and nominations committees.

John_Gittins

John Gittins

Non-Executive Director

John was appointed to the board on 22 September 2016. He has a service agreement with the company entered into on 22 September 2016 which requires three months' notice of termination by either party. He serves as independent non-executive director and Chairman of the Audit Committee on the Board of Nichols plc, the AIM listed international soft drinks business and in July 2016 was appointed finance trustee of Claire House Children's Hospice. His previous executive roles include Group Finance Director of Fairpoint Group plc, an AIM listed provider of consumer financial and professional services, Begbies Traynor Group plc and Spring Group plc. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics, and is a Chartered Accountant. John is chairman of the group's audit committee and a member of the remuneration and nominations committees.