City briefs: Provident Financial and Powerhouse Energy

The Board of Provident Financial has confirmed the appointment of ex Minister Margot James as an independent non-executive director of the company, with effect from 27 July 2020.

On her appointment, she will become a member of the Nomination, Remuneration and Customer, Culture and Ethics Committees.

Patrick Snowball, chairman of Bradford-based Provident Financial, said: “I am delighted to welcome Margot to the Board and look forward to working with her.

“Her appointment brings a great balance of skills and experience to the Board, with her wide ranging career as a commercial and entrepreneurial business owner and her work in the UK Government.

“Margot’s experience of working in consumer policy, citizens advice and advising on labour markets will enable her to understand and promote the interests of our customers and wider stakeholders, as we seek to deliver our purpose of helping put people on the path to a better everyday life.”

James served as a Member of Parliament between 2010 and 2019 and has held a number of ministerial offices, latterly as Minister of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport where she championed the interests of both industry and consumers in the digital world.

In her role as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, she had responsibility for small businesses, consumers and corporate governance, including labour markets and the retail sector.

Prior to serving as an MP, Margot founded Shire Health Group in 1985 and led its  successful transition into the multinational WPP in 2000. She subsequently joinied the Board of Ogilvy & Mather, one of WPP’s larger advertising-led networks, between 2003 and 2006.

She said on her new role: “I am very excited to be joining Provident Financial plc as non-executive director.

“The company has a strong social purpose and I look forward to working with the Board as we continue to make progress on the Group’s strategy, delivering for our customers and our shareholders.”


Bingley-based waste to energy business, Powerhouse Energy, has announced the appointment of Allan Vlah as a non-executive director of the company with immediate effect.

With 20 years’ experience in the investment industry, Vlah is a director in Aviva Investors’ infrastructure group where he started and continues to lead Aviva Investors’ Energy from Waste equity strategy.

Prior to joining Aviva Investors in 2012, he was a vice president at the Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund with a focus on transportation and renewable energy.

He was previously a research analyst and portfolio manager covering energy and infrastructure trusts for TD Waterhouse Investment Advice.

Vlah holds an MBA from the Saïd School of Business at Oxford University and is also a CFA charterholder.

He said: “It’s not every day in the infrastructure space you come across a company that has the potential to meaningfully change the world.

“The DMG technology sits at the nexus of converting a harmful waste product into an essential feedstock with industrial, transportation and power generation applications.

“I am more than excited for the opportunity to support Powerhouse realising this grand ambition.”

Cameron Davies, chairman of Powerhouse, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to express how pleased we are to have Allan join as a non-executive director.

“His wide experience and specialist knowledge of the energy sector and infrastructure financing will be of immense benefit to the company in terms of developing a strong and solid presence for our DMG waste to energy conversion technology across the UK and its roll out in selected international markets.”