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Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Executive Leadership Team
Mr Ryan Stokes was appointed Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Seven Group Holdings Limited (SGH) with effect from 1 July 2015. He was previously Chief Operating Officer of SGH from 28 August 2012 until 1 July 2015 and an Executive Director of the Company since February 2010. Mr Stokes is a Director of Seven West Media Limited (SWM) which owns the Seven Network, The West Australian Newspaper, Pacific Magazines and 50% of Yahoo7. Mr Stokes has been a Director of SWM since 2012 and was an Executive Director and then Chairman of Pacific Magazines from 2004 to 2008 and a Director of Yahoo7 from 2005 to 2013. As a Director of WesTrac Pty Limited, Mr Stokes has extensive experience in China, having developed relationships with various mining and media companies over the past fifteen years. He led the restructuring of the Group’s China operations, returning the business to profitability. He is also a Director of Coates Hire Pty Limited. Mr Stokes was appointed Non-Executive Director of Beach Energy Limited in July 2016. Mr Stokes is a Non-Executive Director of Coates Hire. Mr Stokes is Chief Executive Officer of Australian Capital Equity Pty Limited (ACE), being appointed an Executive Director in 2001 and CEO in April 2010. ACE is a private company with its primary investment being an interest in SGH. Mr Stokes was a Director of Iron Ore Holdings Limited from 1 November 2011 to 7 October 2014. Between 10 September 2009 and 19 November 2012, Mr Stokes was a Director of Consolidated Media Holdings Limited. Mr Stokes is Chairman of the National Library of Australia. He is also a member of the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Veterans Mental Health established in 2014. In 2015, he became a Committee member of innovationXchange (within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), which provides strategic guidance on innovation in aid programs. He is also a member of the IOC Olympic Education Commission. Mr Stokes is the former Chairman of Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation (Headspace), a Federal Government initiative established in 2006. Mr Stokes holds a BComm from Curtin University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM).
Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director
Jeff was appointed CEO of Coates Hire in July 2016. He joined Coates Hire in July 2015 as a director and Chief Financial Officer. Jeff’s broad business experience includes a well-developed commercial acumen across a wide range of industries, including services and infrastructure. Prior to joining Coates Hire Jeff spent six years with Downer EDI where he held the position of Chief Financial Officer – Specialist Services. This preceded various senior positions Jeff has within Downer EDI group. Jeff held roles with Tabcorp and Nemmco as well as various roles within BHP in both the US and Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Newcastle University
Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director
Paul Brittain was appointed Chief Financial Officer in February 2017. Prior to joining Coates Hire, Paul held the position of CFO and more recently acting CEO of Ashley Services Group Limited, a listed Australian company in the labour hire and educational sectors. Paul previously held senior finance, strategic and M&A roles in both Australia and the USA, in industries spanning construction materials and the manufacturing and distribution of building materials, to outsourced engineering, property services, asset management and maintenance. His career has included roles in companies including UGL Limited, CEMEX, Rinker Materials, CSR Limited and Deloitte. Paul is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience and has a Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences), University of Exeter, UK and has completed the Wharton Advanced Management Programme, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Chief Legal Counsel and Company Secretary
Bronwynne has more than twenty years’ experience in corporate and commercial law. She was appointed Chief Legal Counsel and Company Secretary in February 2015 following a 3 year role as Senior Legal Counsel. Before joining Coates Hire, Bronwynne held a number of senior legal positions, including Chief Legal Counsel, AMP Investments. Bronwynne was also an active participant in the AMP Shareholder Relations Committee and the Corporate Services team and represented AMP on a number of industry boards. Bronwynne holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws as well as a Graduate Diploma, Psychology from the University of Sydney and is an accredited mediator. She has also tutored in Business Law (Banking & Finance, Bankruptcy & Insolvency) at the University of Sydney and co-authored legal conference papers.
Warwick Smith is Chairman, New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory and a senior executive of International & Institutional Banking of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (‘ANZ’); Chairman of the Board, ANZ Greater China; Chairman of the Advisory Board of Australian Capital Equity: holders of interests in Seven Group Holdings Limited and Coates Hire (on which Boards he is also a Director), West Australian News, WesTrac and Caterpillar industrial services and equipment in Western Australia, New South Wales and North East China; Chairman of the Flagship Property Group and a range of companies in Hong Kong and China. He is Chairman of the Australia–China Council and Global Trustee of the Asia Society; Deputy Chair of Committee for Sydney and Chairman of the Financial Services Knowledge Hub for NSW. Recently, Warwick completed a review of the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and is currently chairing a review of the Federal Department of Finance and a review of the Contestability of Members of Parliamentary Services. Formerly, he was National President of the Australia China Business Council; Chairman of E*TRADE Limited, the Australian Sports Commission and an Executive Director with Macquarie Bank for 10 years; and a Federal Government Minister with a parliamentary career spanning 15 years. He was Australia's first Telecommunications Ombudsman and has received a Centenary Medal and an Order of Australia.
Richard Richards is Chief Financial Officer of Seven Group Holdings Limited (SGH) (since October 2013) and a Director of Beach Energy Ltd. He is responsible for Finance across diversified conglomerate (equipment manufacture, sales and service, equipment hire, investments, property, media and oil and gas) and is a member of the Board of Directors of WesTrac, SGH Energy; and is a Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of Coates Hire; as well as a member of the Audit and Risk Committee at Beach Energy Ltd. Mr Richards joined SGH from the diverse industrial group, Downer EDI, where he was Deputy Chief Financial Officer responsible for group finance across the company for three years. Prior to joining Downer EDI, Mr Richards was CFO for the Family Operations of LFG, the private investment and philanthropic vehicle of the Lowy Family for two years. Prior to LFG, Mr Richards held senior finance roles at Qantas for over 10 years. Mr Richards has a Bachelor of Commerce/ Laws (Hons) from Bond University, a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney and a Master of Applied Finance from Macquarie University; and is both a Chartered Accountant and admitted solicitor in NSW. Mr Richards is also a Director and the Chair of Audit and Risk Management Committee of KU - established in 1895 as the Kindergarten Union of New South Wales, KU is one of the most respected child care providers in Australia; and a member of the Marcia Burgess Foundation Committee (DGR).
Murray joined Seven Group Holdings (SGH) in June 2017 as Chief Operating Officer for the Group, working across the portfolio of industrial businesses within SGH. In this capacity, Murray’s focus is on driving the operational and financial performance of the businesses across the Group portfolio, contributing to the development and delivery of key strategic initiatives for SGH, and supporting Group level relationships with key partners and customers. Murray is a member of the Board of Directors of WesTrac Australia, Coates Hire, SGH Energy and AllightSykes, and previously held senior operational roles at Asciano Limited, UGL Limited and Wesfarmers Limited. Murray holds a Bachelor of Business, Financial Management and Economics, from the Western Australia Institute of Technology.
Gitanjali Bhalla is an accomplished Business Services and Human Resources leader with over 19 years’ experience across global and Australian professional services firms and corporates. She has delivered strategic, high-impact solutions in complex and fast paced environments to increase shareholder value in organisations varying in size from 100 to over 50,000 people across up to 70 countries. Currently a Group Executive at Seven Group Holdings Limited, she had a long standing career in consulting at Ernst & Young and more recently held senior businesses services roles at Cushman & Wakefield and UGL Limited. She is Director of the WesTrac Group. Gitanjali is an Ambassador for Good Return, a not for profit organization committed to empowering women through microfinance.