Oyster Yachts strengthens crew with announcement of new Board

Oyster Yachts strengthens crew with announcement of new Board.

Ashley Highfield, Eddie Jordan OBE, Ivan Ritossa and Rob Humphreys join Oyster Board as Non-Executive Directors.

Becky Bridgen appointed CFO, and also joins the Board alongside CEO Richard Hadida.

Oyster Yachts, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium sailing yachts, is pleased to confirm the make-up of its new Board.

Oyster was acquired in March 2018 by entrepreneur Richard Hadida, who has the vision and firm commitment to re-establish Oyster as the premium designer and manufacturer of blue water yachts in the world. He has been establishing a new management team and Board to deliver a fast and effective transformation. The re-building of Oyster has already begun – the Company has re-started production at both its Wroxham site in Norfolk and Southampton site. Further announcements are expected shortly.

The Oyster Board will consist of CEO Richard Hadida and CFO Becky Bridgen together with Non-Executives Ashley Highfield (Senior Independent Director), Eddie Jordan, Ivan Ritossa and Rob Humphreys. They will play an active role in facilitating Oyster’s transformation and growth, providing commercial acumen, governance and industry experience.

Richard Hadida, Oyster’s CEO, said:

“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. Getting the right leadership, oversight and governance in place is key to building a sustainable business.

“These appointments fit perfectly. They bring extensive industry expertise and corporate experience. Most importantly, all Board members are a great cultural fit. Their passion for sailing and the Oyster brand is clear. Eddie is a well-known Oyster owner already while Rob’s deep connection to Oyster stretches back many years. I would also like to welcome Becky to the Board. She has brought huge insight to the team as we begin the turnaround. I very much look forward to working with them and accelerating the re-building of this great business”.

Ashley Highfield has been a high-ranking board member for a number of blue chip companies and institutions, including CEO of Johnston Press, one of the UK’s leading publishers, a Non-Executive Director at William Hill for nine years 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, where he was responsible for launching the iPlayer. As Senior Independent Director, Ashley will perform a range of duties from chairing board meetings and ensuring proper governance to advising on hiring, strategy, and operating plan execution.

Eddie Jordan 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. Eddie is a long-time Oyster owner, having circumnavigated the globe on his own Oyster 885 ‘Lush’. He 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, Ivan 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. Ivan led the build out of the Electronic Trading System (BARX) and was responsible for setting up ABSA Capital, ABSA’s investment banking operation. Ivan has held a number of board seats in the UK, Africa and Middle East including a non-executive Director of ABSA Group, EBS Group, Barclays Saudi Arabia Board 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 Ivan 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 Ivan 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).

Rob Humphreys is recognized as one of the world’s leading yacht designers. He founded Humphreys Yacht Design in 1972 and developed the company from its racing yacht roots into one of the leading international design studios. He has been responsible for designing over 20 Oyster models, including the 118, 575 and flagship 885, over the last 22 years and has had a large role in helping to establish Oyster as the premium yacht manufacturer in the world.

Becky Bridgen has been Acting CFO since the change in ownership. She will now take the role on permanently and as a result, joins the Board as one of two Executive Directors, alongside CEO and owner Richard Hadida. Becky joins Oyster following a successful career with PwC, her most recent experience has been as part of the deals team, providing financial advice to FTSE 100 companies and private businesses (including many associated with the marine industry).