John O'Higgins


John was appointed a Non-Executive Chairman and Chair of the Nomination Committee on 1 September 2021.  John joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director on 4 February 2020 and was appointed Senior Independent Director on 29 April 2020 prior to his appointment as Chairman.

Skills, experience and contribution

John served as chief executive of Spectris plc from January 2006 to September 2018, leading the business through a period of significant strategic transformation and development. Prior to Spectris plc, John spent 14 years at Honeywell International in a number of senior management roles including Chairman of Honeywell Automation India and President of Automation & Control for Asia- Pacific. His early career was spent at Daimler Benz A.G. as a research and development engineer.

Previous non-executive director roles include Exide Technologies, a US based supplier of battery technology to automotive and industrial users (from 2010 to 2015).

John holds a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University (USA) and an MBA from INSEAD.

Committee membership

Chairman of the Nomination Committee and member of the Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee

External appointments

  • Trustee of the Wincott Foundation
  • Non-executive director of Oxford Nanopore Technologies plc
  • Senior independent director of Johnson Matthey plc and a member of the audit, nomination and remuneration committees
  • Advisor to Envea Global, a market leader in environmental air and emissions measurement and majority owned by The Carlyle Group

Paul Waterman

Chief Executive Officer

Joined Elementis: February 2016

Paul has a proven track record in developing markets, products and opportunities for creating value, business optimisation and transformation. Paul’s global experience provides the skill set required to deliver the Company’s strategy and provide inspiring leadership. Prior to joining Elementis, Paul was global CEO of the BP Lubricants business in 2013 after having overseen the BP Australia/New Zealand downstream business. In 2010, Paul was country president of Australia. Prior to this he was CEO of BP’s global aviation, industrial, marine and energy lubricants businesses (2009 to 2010) and CEO of BP Lubricants Americas (2007 to 2009). He joined BP after it acquired Burmah-Castrol in 2000, having joined the latter in 1994 after roles at Reckitt Benckiser and Kraft Foods. Paul holds a BSc degree in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State University and an MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University, Stern School of Business.

Ralph Hewins

Chief Financial Officer

Joined Elementis: September 2016

Ralph was appointed CFO-Designate and Executive Director on 12 September 2016 and became the Elementis Group CFO on 1 November 2016.

Ralph is an accomplished CFO who has a strong track record in finance, strategy development and implementation, and M&A which enables him to provide effective financial leadership to underpin the delivery of the Reignite Growth strategy.

Ralph had a 30 year career with BP, where he held a number of significant leadership positions, including roles in financial management, sales and marketing, corporate development, M&A, strategy and planning. In 2010, Ralph was CFO of BP Lubricants and served on the board of Castrol India Limited from 2010 until 2016. 

Ralph holds an MA degree in Modern History and Economics from the University of Oxford and an MBA from INSEAD.

Steve Good

Senior Independent Director

Steve was appointed Senior Independent Director on 1 September 2021.  Steve joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director on 20 October 2014 and became Chair of the Remuneration Committee on 25 April 2017.

Skills, experience and contribution

Steve has strong and relevant international experience in specialty chemicals businesses, manufacturing and diverse industrial markets which enables him to provide guidance and challenge to management. Steve’s involvement with remuneration committees in other organisations enable him to provide judgement and knowledge of topical remuneration matters in his capacity as Remuneration Committee chair.

Steve was chief executive of Low & Bonar plc between September 2009 and September 2014. Prior to that role, he was managing director of its technical textiles division between 2006 and 2009, director of new business between 2005 and 2006, and managing director of its plastics division between 2004 and 2005. Prior to joining Low & Bonar, he spent 10 years with BTP plc (now part of Clariant) in a variety of leadership positions managing international specialty chemicals businesses. Steve served as non-executive director and chairman of the remuneration committee of Cape plc from July 2015 to September 2017, non-executive director of Anglian Water Services and member of the audit committee, nomination committee and remuneration committee from April 2015 to October 2018 and non-executive director of Dialight plc from June 2018 to March 2020.

Steve holds a degree in Economics and Financial Management from Sheffield University. He is a chartered accountant.

Committee membership

Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Nomination Committee

External appointments

  • Non-executive chairman of Zotefoams plc (non-executive director from October 2014 and chairman from April 2016) and chairman of the nomination committee and member of the remuneration committee
  • Non-executive chairman of Devro plc (from June 2019)
  • Director of Low & Bonar Pension Trustee Ltd (from July 2018)

Anne Hyland

Non-executive director, Chairman of the Audit Committee

Anne was appointed a Non-Executive Director on 1 June 2013 and became Chairman of the Audit Committee in August 2013.

Skills, experience and contribution

Anne brings significant financial, internal controls, audit and tax expertise to the Board which enables her to be effective in her role as Audit Committee chair. Anne’s background with global companies enables her to effectively contribute in the context of Elementis’ existing markets and new business opportunities.

Anne is currently CFO of Kymab Group Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Sanofi in April 2021 for an upfront payment of US$1.1 billion and up to US$350 million in deferred consideration.

Prior to her current executive role, she was CFO and company secretary of both BBI Diagnostics Group Ltd and Vectura Group plc. Previous senior finance positions held include director of corporate finance at, the then FTSE 100, Celltech Group plc, Medeva plc and KPMG. 

Anne holds a degree in Business Studies from Trinity College, Dublin and is a chartered accountant (FCA) and a corporate tax adviser (CTA-AITI).

Committee membership

Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Nomination Committee 

External appointments

  • Non-executive director of Clinigen Group plc (from January 2018) and chairman of the audit committee
  • CFO of Kymab Group Ltd (a Sanofi company) (from March 2015)

Christine Soden

Non-executive Director

Christine was appointed a Non-Executive Director on 1 November 2020 and is the Designated Non-Executive Director for workforce engagement.

Skills, experience and contribution

Christine brings significant experience of innovation and the commercialisation of technology to the Board. Christine is an experienced CFO with a strong track record from leading a range of private and public companies rooted in innovation with a particular focus on biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceutical products.

From 2015 until February 2020 she was CFO and Company Secretary of Acacia Pharma Group plc, a public quoted provider of pharmaceutical products designed to improve the outcomes and recovery for surgical patients. Prior to Acacia Pharma Group plc, Christine served as CFO and then non-executive Director of AIM-listed Electrical Geodesics, Inc., which was acquired by Philips NV in 2017. Other CFO and finance leadership roles include Optos plc, BTG plc (former FTSE250 constituent), Oxagen Limited and Celltech Chiroscience Group plc, having started her life-sciences career as Financial Controller of Medeva plc.

Christine has previously served as chair of the audit committee at e-therapeutics plc, an AIM listed technology based drug discovery platform from 2017 to February 2020 and at Provalis plc, a quoted healthcare business from 2000 to 2005. She was also non-executive director of Futurenova Limited, a provider of antimicrobial cases for ipads and iphones from 2017 to 2021.

Christine is a chartered accountant and holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of Durham.

Committee membership

Audit Committee, Nomination Committee and Remuneration Committee 

External appointments

  • Non-executive director of Fertility Focus Limited (since 2013)
  • Non-executive director of Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (since October 2020)
  • Non-executive director of Arecor Therapeutics plc (since May 2021)

Dorothee Deuring

Non-executive Director

Dorothee was appointed a Non-Executive Director on 1 March 2017.

Skills, experience and contribution

Dorothee provides the Board with valuable insight into the wider European chemicals sector as well as sector specific acquisition expertise. 

Dorothee manages her own corporate advisory consultancy serving a number of European clients in the pharma/biotech sector. She is active in various industry bodies. Her previous executive roles included managing director and head of Corporate Advisory Group (Europe) at UBS in Zurich, head of M&A chemicals and healthcare at a private investment bank in Germany and as a senior executive in the corporate finance department at the Roche Group. Dorothee served as non-executive director of the supervisory board of Bilfinger SE and member of the audit committee (May 2016 - May 2021).

Dorothee holds a master’s degree in Chemistry from the Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg and an MBA from INSEAD.

Committee membership

Audit Committee, Nomination Committee and Remuneration Committee

External appointments

  • Non-executive director of AXPO Holding AG (from March 2017)
  • Non-executive director of Lonza Group (from April 2020)

Laura Higgins

Group Company Secretary

Joined Elementis: January 2018

Laura is the Group’s Company Secretary and is responsible for providing full Board and Committee support and advice on corporate governance, UK listing obligations, corporate transactions, corporate reporting, shareholder services and share schemes. 
Laura is a member of the Elementis Leadership Team and serves on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and Sustainability Council. Prior to Elementis, Laura has gained over 15 years of company secretarial experience across a wide range of sectors, including FMCG, Media and Communications, Leisure, Mining and Publishing.
Laura holds a BA (Honours) degree in Law and Legal Studies with History and a postgraduate diploma in Legal Practice. Laura is a Chartered Secretary and is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute. Laura is a member of the Association of Women Chartered Secretaries and serves as a mentor for other company secretaries or professionals seeking to enter the profession.