OxSciences Board Update: Some sad farewells and a warm welcome to our new members

December 1, 2021

Our Board plays a vital role in ensuring that Oxford Science Enterprises delivers on its vision, mission and the scale of the opportunity here in Oxford, providing appropriate guidance and support, whilst also challenging as required to ensure we always meet the highest standards of corporate governance.

A number of our Board members have supported Oxford Science Enterprises right from its foundation and have played instrumental roles in not only setting out the vision for the company, but also holding the team to account in the way that they deliver upon it. Under their watch, Oxford Science Enterprises has grown from just an idea to an ambitious business with a valuation of over £1 billion.

As we have now passed our sixth-year anniversary, and graduated from start-up to mature business, it is important that we evolve not only our team but also our Board. This is vital to ensure we continue to introduce diversity of thought and a wider breadth of experience and background.

As such, it is with great sadness and immense gratitude that we say a fond farewell to three of our founding Board Directors: Peter Davies, Alan Aubrey, and Giles Kerr. Separately, we are also sad to say goodbye to Aneeqa Khan, who joined the board in 2019 and will step down from the Board at the end of this calendar year, due to her relocation to the USA.

Peter Davies has sat on the Board of Directors for Oxford Science Enterprises since our foundation. A consistent wise counsel and loyal supporter of our company from our earliest days, both as a Board Director and via Lansdowne Partners’ significant shareholding in the Group. Peter has performed several instrumental non-executive roles over the six years including Non-Executive Chair of the Group from 2015 to 2019. He has always believed passionately in the potential for Oxford science to have a positive impact on the world and we owe him a considerable debt for his vision and dedication to ensuring that this has become a reality. 

Alan Aubrey has also sat on our Board of Directors since our inception. Alan has played an active role in both our Investment Committee and our Audit Committee. IP Group has also been a shareholder in the business from our early days. Alan’s knowledge of the University ecosystem and early-stage investing is second to none. As such his support has been invaluable in setting up both Oxford Science Enterprises and our enterprises for long-term success.

Giles Kerr has represented the University on our Board of Directors since the Group’s foundation and headed up the Group’s Audit Committee from 2015 to 2021. A loyal and wise sounding board for management, his considerable experience of finance and technology, and knowledge of the University, has been invaluable. He has played a vital role in fostering collaboration with the University to help create the phenomenal science ecosystem that now exists, where the average number of university spinouts has increased from 5 per year back in 2015 to closer to 20 per year today.

Aneeqa Khan joined the Board as Non-Executive Director in 2019. Aneeqa has been a collaborative and incredibly supportive board member. She has always been extremely generous with her time, both at a Board level but also across our broader team and we are truly grateful for all her hard work.

In their place, we are delighted to welcome two new members to our Board: Heather Preston and Simon Boddie.

Heather Preston joins the Board as a Non-Executive Director and has 30 years of experience in healthcare as a scientist, physician, and management consultant. She has been an investor in life sciences and biotechnology for the last 19 years and is a Senior Advisor to TPG Biotech. She knows the Oxford ecosystem having graduated from Oxford in Medicine. Her considerable and highly relevant experience will be invaluable to us as we continue to scale and grow our Enterprises.

Simon Boddie joins the Board as the University’s representative and is Chief Financial Officer for a University. He has served as Finance Director of both Electrocomponents PLC and Coats Group. His considerable experience as Finance Director of more than one FTSE 250 company, will be invaluable on our Board as more of our enterprises advance towards later stages.

We plan to continue to evolve our Board to ensure we match the needs and requirements of our fast-growing business. We look forward to introducing new members as they join.

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