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Paul Lester

Non-Executive Chairman

London, UK

Paul Lester
Dominic Lester
Ivan Levy
EEA Helicopter Operations B.V.

Paul Lester’s Biography

Paul Lester is Chairman of Essentra Plc, a FTSE 250 manufacturing company.

A highly experienced leader, Paul also serves as Chairman of several Private Equity backed companies. These include McCarthy Stone, a retirement developments company, Readypower, a rail engineering services provider, Marley, a tiles and roofing systems firm, FirstPort, a residential property management company, and Appello, a technology-enabled care services provider.

Paul is also Chairman of Signia, a private investment office.

Since 2005, he has served as a Member of the UK Government Major Projects Review Group.

From 2002 until 2010, Paul held the position of Chief Executive of VT Group plc, the support services company, and from 1997 to 2002, he served as Group Managing Director at Balfour Beatty plc. Following senior managerial positions at Schlumberger and the Dowty Group plc, Paul led Graseby plc, the British engineering firm, as Chief Executive between 1990 and 1997.

Paul has previously served as Non-Executive Director of Invensys, a FTSE 100 company, and as Chairman of a number of public and PE backed businesses. He was also President of the Society of Maritime Industries, the British Services Association (BSA) and Make UK (EEF).

In addition, he is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws. Paul became a Freeman of the City of London in 2006 and was awarded a CBE for his services to Engineering in 2007.

Paul is a lifetime West Bromwich Albion Supporter.

Paul Lester’s Newsfeed

Construction News
UK’s ‘largest’ roof-tile supplier prepped for IPO

Paul Lester, Chairman of Marley Group, is mentioned in an article regarding Marley's plan for a stock-market flotation.

Paul Lester’s Background

VT Group
Chief Executive
2002 - 2010
London, UK
VT Group (formerly Vosper Thornycroft) plc had annual sales of £1.6 bn, with profits of £120m and 16,000 employees. VT provided support services to the Governments of the UK, US & Middle East. It is best known for the shipbuilding activity which was divested to BAE Systems for £380m. Paul was also Non-Executive Director of Vosper Thornycroft plc (before it became VT Group) from 1998 - 2002.
Balfour Beatty plc
Group Managing Director
1997 - 2002
London, UK
Balfour Beatty is a leading international engineering & construction group with sales of over £10bn. Paul was responsible for the UK building, civil engineering, M & E, Facilities Management and the USA controls business. During the five year period Paul managed, Company profits for the Group increased from £15m to £112m. The market value of the company increased from £200m to £1bn.
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Current Board Positions

Marley Limited
Non-Executive Chairman
Feb 2020 - Present
Burton upon Trent, UK
Founded in 1934, Marley Limited is a leading roofing manufacturing company and provides market-leading and innovative products. The roofing specialist is the only UK manufacturer to offer all components of a roofing structure.
Non-Executive Chairman
2019 - Present
Winnersh, UK
Readypower is a specialist railroad manufacturer that provides services and rail fleet solutions for all rail constructions in the UK.
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Previous Board Positions

Non-Executive Chairman
2017 - 2019
London, UK
Algeco, owned by TDR, is the largest provider of modular accommodation world wide aiming for an IPO at the end of 2019 with a market value in the order of £3.5 bn.
Forterra plc
Non-Executive Chairman
Apr 2016 - May 2019
London, UK
Forterra plc are organised to focus on core, complementary growth markets as a leading producer of manufactured masonry products, for the UK market. A successful IPO of the ‘old’ Hanson Brick company. The second largest brick company in the UK trading in the FTSE 350.
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UK Government Major Projects Review Group
2005 - Present
London, UK
The Major Projects Authority (MPA) works with HM Treasury and other government departments to provide independent assurance on major projects.

Awards & Endorsements

New Year Honours
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
London, UK
Paul was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to Engineering.

Academic Appointments

Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Fellow & Honorary Doctor of Laws
2011 - Present
London, UK
Established in 1847, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is a professional association and learned society that represents the engineering profession. IMechE is one of the fastest-growing professional engineering institutions in the world and has over 115,000 members in over 140 countries.
University of Portsmouth
Honorary Doctor of Laws
2008 - Present
Portsmouth, UK
The University of Portsmouth is an award-winning university. It is recognised as one of the Top 20 in the UK for graduate prospects by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, as well as the top university for boosting graduate employability by The Economist.
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Paul Lester’s Education

Nottingham Trent University
Diploma in Management Studies (Distinction)
1973 - 1975
Nottingham Trent University
BSc (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
1968 - 1972

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