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Adrian Whitfield

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Adrian Whitfield, Chief Executive Officer

Adrian is an experienced chief executive with 35 years of industrial and international business experience. He recently spent eight years at Synthomer plc (previously called Yule Catto & Co plc), the FTSE 250 specialty polymer operator, where he successfully implemented a turnaround and growth strategy. Synthomer is a global manufacturer of specialty polymers for the coatings, construction, textiles, paper and healthcare industries.

Adrian was appointed chief executive officer of Synthomer in 2006 and led the transformation of a traditional chemical conglomerate into a segment-leading specialty polymer chemical business. In doing so, he grew revenue from £340 million to nearly £1 billion, while also improving profit before tax margins from 5.7 per cent. to 8.7 per cent. During Adrian’s tenure, Synthomer’s market capitalisation increased 13 times from turnaround lows.

As part of the transformation of Synthomer, Adrian led a number of successful non-core disposals and strategic acquisitions, including the acquisition and integration of PolymerLatex, a major competitor of Synthomer, in 2010 for £376 million, extracting annual cost synergies of over £20 million per year. In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded Turnaround of the Year at the 2011 UK PLC Awards.

Prior to his role at Synthomer, Adrian was a divisional chief executive at DS Smith, a manufacturer of paper and packaging products, for seven years. There he set-up a new plastics division, growing its turnover to £200 million organically and through the acquisition of six international businesses.