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Board of directors

Our Board is responsible for setting the purpose, values, and strategy for the Group and for overseeing the implementation of the behaviours expected of all employees. It sets the ‘tone from the top’ and seeks to ensure there is a strong and effective system of corporate governance across Petrofac.

René Médori, Non-executive Chairman

Appointed to the Board: January 2012

Senior Independent Director: September 2017

Non-executive Chairman: May 2018

Key strengths and experience

René Médori, Non-executive ChairmanRené has extensive international financial experience, with knowledge of balance sheet strengthening opportunities and financing arrangements. He has a well-established knowledge of governance and regulatory matters and a good understanding of operational and strategic management.

René was Finance Director of Anglo American plc from September 2005 to April 2017 and retired from the company in January 2018, after more than 12 years.

Until December 2017 he was a non-executive director of De Beers and Anglo American Platinum Limited. He was a non-executive director of SSE plc until December 2017 and Cobham plc until January 2020.

External appointments

Non-executive director of Vinci SA, Newmont Corp and Puma Energy.

Committees: Nominations committee (Chairman)

Sami Iskander, Group Chief Executive

Appointed to the Board: January 2021

Key strengths and experience

Sami Iskander, Group Chief Executive at Petrofac

Sami has more than 30 years’ international experience in both oilfield services and upstream companies. He was Appointed Executive Vice President for Royal Dutch Shell’s upstream joint ventures in February 2016 until May 2019.

From 2008, prior to joining Shell, he worked in BG Group plc where he held the position of Chief Operating Officer from November 2013. In this role, he was responsible for BG Group’s global upstream operations as well as BG Technical. From 2009, he was Managing Director for Africa, Middle East & Asia, where he was responsible for all upstream, midstream, and downstream activities in the region. Prior to BG Group, he held many key leadership roles with Schlumberger, undertaking assignments in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the USA.

External appointments

Sami does not hold any external appointments.

Afonso Reis e Sousa, Chief Financial Officer

Appointed to the Board: September 2021

Key strengths and experience

Afonso joined Petrofac in 2012 as Group Head of Structured Finance and accumulated a portfolio of increasing responsibility including Group Treasurer, Head of Tax and Group Head of Enterprise Risk. He has a background in investment banking, having begun his career with Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, and has extensive experience in corporate and project finance.

External appointments

Afonso does not hold any external appointments.

Matthias Bichsel, Senior Independent Director

Appointed to the Board: May 2015

Senior Independent Director: May 2018

Key strengths and experience

Matthias Bichsel, Senior Independent DirectorMatthias has more than 40 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry and extensive commercial and strategic capabilities. He has deep understanding of operational, project and technology management, with broad knowledge of sustainable development issues.

Until 2014, Matthias held several senior managerial roles over his 34-year career with Royal Dutch Shell. His last position was member of the Group’s executive committee and director of Capital Projects and Technology. Other positions include director of Petroleum Development Oman; President of Shell International Exploration & Production Inc and MD of Shell deepwater services in Houston; executive vice president global exploration and executive vice president technical of Shell Upstream in The Hague.

External appointments

Matthias is vice-chairman of Sulzer AG. He is also a non-executive director of Canadian Utilities Limited and of South Pole Group and a member of the advisory board of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital.

Committees: Audit Committee, Compliance and Ethics Committee, Nominations Committee, Remuneration Committee (Chairman)

Andrea Abt, Non-executive Director

Appointed to the Board: May 2016

Key strengths and experience

Andrea Abt, Non-executive Director

Andrea has an extensive background in a variety of functional roles, including sales, finance, procurement, and logistics. She has specialist knowledge of the European market.

She started her career at Dornier Luftfahrt, a company of the Daimler-Benz Group, before joining Siemens in 1997. At Siemens, she held various leadership roles, including Head of Supply Chain Management and Chief Procurement Officer for Infrastructure & Cities from 2011 to 2014. She was a Non-executive director of Brammer plc until February 2017, a Non-executive director of SIG plc until February 2020 and a Non-executive director of John Laing Group plc until September 2021.

External appointments

Andrea is a Non-executive director Polymetal International plc and Exide Technology. She is a member of the supervisory board of Gerresheimer AG.

Committees: Compliance and Ethics Committee, Nominations Committee, Remuneration Committee

Sara Akbar, Non-executive Director

Appointed to the Board: January 2018

Key strengths and experience

Sara Akbar, Non-executive DirectorSara has more than 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, with a unique insight into the Middle Eastern environment. She has wide-ranging international experience and significant operational and project management capabilities.

Until the end of 2017, Sara was Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Energy KSC, which she founded in 2005 to leverage the opportunity for an independent engineering and production company in the Middle East and North Africa and Eurasia regions. She served in various positions in the oil and gas industry in Kuwait and internationally from 1981 to 1999. Sarah holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering.

External appointments

Sarah is the Chairman and CEO of Oil Serve and Chairperson of the Advisory Board to the American University of Kuwait. In addition, she is a member of the Kuwait Supreme Council for Planning and Development and an active member of the Board of Trustees of Kuwait’s Silk Territory project.

Committees: Nominations Committee, Remuneration Committee

Ayman Asfari, Non-executive Director

Appointed to the Board: January 2002 

Non-executive Director: January 2021

Key strengths and experience 

Ayman Asfari, Non-executive DirectorDistinguished record with strong operational leadership skills and international focus. Extensive entrepreneurial and business development skills, a clear strategic vision, and an in-depth knowledge of the oil and gas industry.

Joined the Group in 1991 to establish Petrofac International, of which he was CEO. Following a corporate reorganisation in 2002 and acquiring the original US business and subsidiaries, became Group Chief Executive. In 2005, he led the successful initial public listing of the Company. He has 40 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry. Formerly worked as MD of a major civil and mechanical construction business in Oman. Stepped down as Group Chief Executive with effect from 31 December 2020.

External appointments

Ayman is the founder and Chairman of the Asfari Foundation. He is a member of the board of trustees of the American University of Beirut and member of the board of trustees for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and member of the Chatham House Panel of Senior Advisors.

He is the Executive Chairman of Venterra Group Plc.

Committees: Nominations Committee

David Davies, Non-executive Director

Appointed to the Board: May 2018

Key strengths and experience

David Davies, Non-executive DirectorExtensive international financial experience, including capital and debt raising as well as managing companies exposed to substantial and rapid change. Chartered Accountant with an MBA from the City University Business School. Served on the boards of listed companies in seven different countries.

David has more than 35 years’ experience as a financial professional with a successful career as CFO and deputy chairman of the executive board at OMV Aktiengesellschaft, as well as serving as group finance director for both Morgan Crucible Company plc and London International Group plc. Was formally a Non-executive director of Ophir Energy Plc until May 2019 and of Uniper SE until April 2020.

External appointments

David is a Non-executive Director of Wienerberger AG.

Committees: Audit Committee (Chairman), Nominations Committee

Francesca Di Carlo, Non-executive Director

Appointed to the Board: May 2019

Key strengths and experience

Francesca Di Carlo, Non-executive DirectorFrancesca has an extensive background in various senior positions, specialising in corporate finance operations, strategy, audit and human resources. She holds a BA in Economics from La Sapienza University in Rome.

Currently, Francesca is the Head of Global Procurement at ENEL S.p.A, leading a significant reorganisation of the group with the aim of integrating ENEL’s largest subsidiary, as well as its wide Latin America portfolio, into a single group. Over the course of her career, she covered a wide range of roles at the Telecom Italia Group, including Head of Investor Relations, Head of Financial Planning and Head of Corporate Development and Mergers & Acquisitions. She is the former Chairperson of Stream and Telespazio, as well as a former director of Sky Italy.

External appointments

Group Executive Vice President of Procurement at ENEL S.p.A and director of Open Fiber, Italy’s largest broadband operator.

Committees: Nominations Committee, Remuneration Committee

George Pierson, Non-executive Director

Appointed to the Board: May 2016

Key strengths and experience

George Pierson, Non-executive DirectorGeorge is a qualified lawyer and engineer with an extensive background in risk management, contracting, construction law, compliance, and cost efficiency. He has an excellent understanding of operational and engineering management.

George was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Parson Brinckerhoff between 2010 and 2014 having been General Counsel and Secretary from 2006 and COO of its Americas operations from 2008. Previously, he was Non-executive director of WSP Global Inc, Terracon Consultants, Inc. and Railworks LLC. Joined The Kleinfelder Group Inc. in August 2016 and served as President and Chief Executive Officer until becoming Executive Chairman in September 2019.

External appointments

Executive Chairman of The Kleinfelder Group Inc. and The Vertex Companies, Inc., and Non-executive director of Citadel Systems Integration Holdings LLC.

Committees: Audit Committee, Compliance and Ethics Committee (Chairman), Nominations Committee

Alison Broughton, Head of Company Secretariat and Secretary to the Board

Key strengths and experience

Alison Broughton, Head of Company Secretariat and Secretary to the BoardAlison joined Petrofac in August 2011, and is responsible for the Group’s regulatory, governance and listing rule compliance framework. She is a Fellow of ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute, with 24 years’ experience in a UK listed environment. She is Secretary to the Board and its Committees.

Prior to joining Petrofac, she spent eight years with Wolseley plc (now Ferguson plc) as Deputy Company Secretary. In 2002, she joined the company secretariat of Shell Exploration & Production Limited, part of the Royal Dutch Shell group, following the takeover of Enterprise Oil plc, where she started her company secretarial career in 1997.

Board priorities

The main priorities of the Board are primarily:

  • to provide leadership and guidance to support the Group’s strategic priorities, with consideration to the Group’s financial performance
  • to concentrate on compliance and risk management processes and procedures to ensure they are fully embedded across the Group
  • to focus on flawless execution, maintaining our bidding discipline in order to secure new orders;
  • and to ensure succession plans are in place throughout the organisation.

Board roles

Each of our Directors has a varied career history and considerable effort has been taken to ensure that the Board retains the right balance of skills, capabilities, diversity, and industry expertise.

The Petrofac Board has been structured to ensure that no single individual can dominate decision-making processes and we believe all Directors are able to work together in an atmosphere of openness, trust, and mutual respect. There is a clear definition of Board responsibilities, with Directors collectively responsible for the development of strategy and the long-term success of the Company.

Annual report - board roles

Training, skills, and diversity on our Board

We invest a great deal of time and effort in appointing our Board members to ensure the right balance and mix of directors can be obtained. We consider experience, skills, diversity, and existing time commitments.

Upon appointment to the Board, the Chairman ensures that all new Directors undertake a comprehensive induction programme. This programme, developed by the Secretary to the Board, is intended to provide a broad introduction to the Group and allows the Company to account for Individuals’ differing requirements and to concentrate on key focus areas.

Board skill set in 2020

Years

6

Oil and gas experience

Years

8

Engineering experience

Years

5

Finance experience

Years

10

Leadership experience

Years

7

Regulatory and governance experience

Years

8

International experience

Years

8

HSE experience

Years

10

Operational and strategic management experience

Years

6

Digital experience

Although our Board gender diversity objectives have been met, the Board recognises that much work remains to be done in terms of diversity, both within our senior leadership positions and across the organisation, and remains committed to improving diversity as a key factor in our strategic success.

You can find out more about our Director induction in our Nominations Committee report 2020.

Annual Report – Nominations Committee report

BOARD

30%

Female headcount as % of overall headcount

GROUP EXECUTIVE

14%

Female headcount as % of overall headcount

SENIOR MANAGEMENT

8%

Female headcount as % of overall headcount

GRADUATES

45%

Female headcount as % of overall headcount

Effectiveness and evaluation

Our Board understands the benefits of annual performance evaluations, both for Directors on an individual basis, as well as for the Board as a whole. It continually strives to improve its effectiveness and believes these evaluations can provide a valuable opportunity to highlight recognised strengths and identify any weaknesses, thereby driving continuous improvement.

To find out more about our approach to Board evaluation and the outcomes of last year’s evaluation process, visit the dedicated section in our Annual Report.

Annual Report – board evaluation

Meetings and matters discussed

Each year the Board has a full programme of scheduled meetings, which are supplemented with ad-hoc meetings to review any items of business that need to be addressed before the next scheduled meeting. Dedicated strategy days and site visits also form part of our usual programme of events.

In a year as unique as 2020, the Board had to adapt to the circumstances brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. All physical meetings were cancelled from March 2020, but with the help of secure virtual meeting technology, the Board continued to deal with matters efficiently with the appropriate level of oversight and rigour.

You can find out more about our Board’s meeting attendance and matters discussed during the year in our Annual Report.

Annual Report – division of responsibilities