Industry experts appointed to guide Bristol City Council’s commercial enterprises

The first joint annual general meeting of Bristol City Council’s companies was held on July 14 2016. Bristol Waste, Bristol Energy and Bristol Holding Company presented their annual reviews and financial statements to their shareholder, Bristol City Council.The meeting also saw the appointment of industry experts to the positions of Independent Shareholder Advisors, providing independent guidance to the Mayor and the Shareholder Group, as well as Non-Executive Directors and Board Chairs, able to offer expert guidance to the companies:

Elaine Holt - Independent Shareholder Advisor
Fiona Ross - Independent Shareholder Advisor
Nick Jordan - Chair, Bristol Energy
Merlin Hyman - Non-Executive Director, Bristol Energy
Alex Wiseman - Finance Non-Executive Director, Bristol Energy
Tom Spaul, Chair, Bristol Waste
Frank Rodriguez - Non-Executive Director, Bristol Waste
Mike Kinski - Non-Executive Director, Bristol Holding Company

The AGM is an opportunity for the council’s companies to present and to discuss the performance and direction of their businesses with their shareholder.
A showcase event was held directly after the AGM, giving councillors as well as members of the public the opportunity to learn about the companies, their ethos and what they plan to deliver to the city. Participants took the opportunity to put questions to the Managing Directors of the companies, also contributing helpful ideas and suggestions for how to achieve their social value aims.

There will be a second chance to find out more about Bristol Energy through a public event to be held this summer. Details will be published on the company’s website in the coming weeks.  



Elaine Holt, Independent Shareholder Advisor

Elaine has extensive board level experience and a track record of business turnaround and sustained commercial success in a wide range of organisations including PLCs and a major Government Department. Elaine spent 13 years at British Airways where she held a number of roles in their commercial and distribution departments before joining FirstGroup in 1998, initially working in a variety of senior roles in the company’s rail and bus divisions in the South West, including Bristol. In July 2009, Elaine was appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport as Chief Executive of Directly Operated Railways, assembling a group of rail industry experts to manage the transition of the former privately run East Coast franchise to temporary public ownership. Most recently Elaine was Executive Vice President of Guest Experience for Carnival UK’s Cunard and P&O Cruises fleets. Elaine is currently a Non-Executive Director of Highways England.


Fiona Ross, Independent Shareholder Advisor

Fiona is an experienced Director and Non-Executive Director. Following two terms as Director/CEO of the National Library of Ireland, Fiona became the founding Director of EPIC Ireland, Dublin's newest museum, among a wider portfolio. Fiona also co-founded MyndServ, a digital health care company.

An experienced board member, Fiona brings over 25 years of financial services experience to her roles on UK and Irish Boards, including the National Transport Authority (NTA), the Registers of Scotland, DVSA and JK Funds. Fiona served as Chair of the Council of National Cultural Institutions and on the Board of the Association of Chief Executives of State Agencies in Ireland. Fiona is also a qualified lawyer with expertise in the area of leadership and governance and combines extensive international experience with contemporary public/private sector knowledge. She recently completed a governance fellowship at George Washington University in Washington DC and is listed in Cranfield University's FTSE 100 Women to Watch list. She is currently studying for a Masters in CyberPsychology.


Nick Jordan M.A., Chair of the Board, Bristol Energy

Nick Jordan is a graduate of Oxford University, and pursued a career in banking for over 30 years. He initially joined the Royal Bank of Canada, where he was a Senior Banker responsible for the origination and execution of corporate and investment banking business in the Energy, Utilities and Natural Resources sectors, as well as Fixed Income, Equity and M&A assignments and latterly as Partner of RBC Dominion Securities and Head of the RBC European Energy practice. Subsequently he joined The Royal Bank of Scotland and worked in a variety of leadership roles, most recently in Risk Management, as a member of the senior management team of the RBS Corporate Banking business, and of which he was the Chief Credit Officer.


Alex Wiseman, Finance Non-Executive Director, Bristol Energy

Alex has significant experience within the utility sector specialising in regulation and strategy. He is currently Non-Executive Director at the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation and for Nexus Infrastructure (which provides infrastructure services primarily to house builders). He has previously held directorships across both public and private sector organisations, including Open4Energy, Xoserve and the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust. His last full time roles were as Regulation Director at Northern Gas Networks and Head of Strategic Planning at United Utilities.


Merlin Hyman, Non-Executive Director, Bristol Energy

Merlin is Chief Executive of Regen SW, an independent not-for-profit that works with industry, communities and the public sector to revolutionise the way we generate, supply and use energy. Merlin is recognised as a leading figure in the development of renewable energy policy and its role in economic and social development. He is regularly called upon by the media and the industry to speak about the sector as well sitting on several government advisory groups.

Merlin was previously Director of the Environmental Industries Commission, where he worked to ensure British companies succeed in the rapidly growing worldwide market for low-carbon products and services.


Tom Spaul, Chair of the Board, Bristol Waste

Tom has enjoyed a long and successful career as an Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer and Board Member with Veolia Environmental Services, the UK listed £1.5bn turnover subsidiary of Veolia Environment, and its forerunners. His non-executive portfolio is focused on roles to which Tom is transferring relevant skills and experience gained during a career dealing with both the private and public sectors within the environment and waste management arenas of governance, compliance, strategy, operations, acquisitions, integrations, disposals, increasing shareholder value and providing independent and objective advice.


Frank Rodriguez, Non-Executive Director

An executive with over 30 years of experience in the management and delivery of integrated facilities services, working with leading UK and International service organisations. Frank was the co-founder of Covion Limited, a highly successful Integrated Service Business, which was ranked as the 4th fastest growing business in the UK by the Sunday Times Fast Track and 39th fastest growing by the European Hot 100 in 2005. The business also won Frank the prestigious national Entrepreneur of the Year (EoY) award.Having successfully sold Covion in 2009, Frank established a leading sports and education business which concentrates on building and operating a national network of indoor sports arenas with associated scholarship programmes, to mentor and develop over 2000 young people in the leisure sector.

Currently, Frank sits on the board of a number of organisations that range from next generation renewable energy through to education and training of young people using apprenticeships and various study programmes at every level. Frank has a first class track record of working in both the private and public sectors. He has a passion for the service sector, using a hands-on and practical approach for resolving challenging issues, motivating and leading teams to high levels of performance.


Mike Kinski, Non-Executive Director, Bristol Holding Company

Following his retirement in 2015, Mike Kinski now operates on a plural basis as a Non-Executive Director for a number of organisations internationally.

Mike is a Director of Lake Woods Holdings, which is the holding company for CPC (one of the largest cattle businesses in Australia). He also sits on the boards of Infinis (a leading renewable energy company in the UK), Trireme Energy (a large US wind business) and AWAS (a worldwide aircraft leasing company based in Dublin). Prior to retiring, Mike was a Managing Director at Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd, where he was involved in a large number of the group’s investments from 2000.

Previously Mike was Chief Executive of Stagecoach Plc., and Chief Executive of Power Distribution and Water Operations for Scottish Power Plc., which included being Chairman and Chief Executive of Manweb Electricity Plc. and Chairman and Chief Executive of Southern Water Plc. Prior to this, he was a main Board Director of Jaguar Cars Ltd. and a Government appointed Non-Executive Director of the UK Post Office. He has recently been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in the Midlands. He is an honorary Doctor and a Professor in Business Change at Middlesex University Business School.