directors & Company secretary

  • R Remuneration Committee
  • A Audit Committee
  • N Nomination Committee
  •   Chairman

Nick Prest CBE



Term in office

Nick became Chairman of Cohort on flotation in March 2006.

Background and experience

After graduating from Oxford in 1974 Nick joined the UK MOD. In 1982 Nick moved to Alvis, the defence contractor, undertaking a variety of roles before becoming Chief Executive in 1989 and Chairman and Chief Executive in 1996. Nick left Alvis following its acquisition by BAE Systems in 2004, by which time the company had become a leading international business in military land systems.

Nick was also Chairman of Aveva Group plc from 2006 until 2012 and Chairman of Shephard Media until 2020. 


Andrew Thomis

Chief Executive

Term in office

Andrew took over as Chief Executive of Cohort in May 2009.

Background and experience

Andrew graduated with an MEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London in 1987. He spent nine years in science, technology and policy roles in the UK MOD. He left in 1996 and, after a period working with public and private sector clients at Capita plc’s management consultancy arm, he joined Alvis in a role covering strategy, M&A and business development. Following the acquisition of Alvis by BAE Systems in 2004, Andrew worked with Nick Prest and Stanley Carter on the creation of Cohort plc, acting as Finance Director during the flotation and subsequently Corporate Development Director. From 2007 to 2009 he was Managing Director of MASS. Andrew is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.


Simon Walther

Finance Director

Term in office

Simon joined Cohort as Finance Director in May 2006.

Background and experience

After graduating with a BSc in Toxicology and Pharmacology from University College London, Simon went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant with Touche Ross in 1992. Simon moved to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) in 1993 where he was appointed as Chief Accountant for P&O European Ferries in 1995. He has over 25 years’ industry-relevant experience, with previous senior finance roles at Alvis and BAE Systems.

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Edward Lowe

Independent Non-executive Director


Term of office

Edward was appointed to the Board on 1 July 2019 and became Chair of the Remuneration Committee on 23 July 2019.

Background and experience

Edward joined Racal Electronics in 1980 and, over a 20-year period, undertook a variety of commercial, sales and managerial roles. In 2000, he was appointed Vice President within Thales UK with responsibility for the commercial, sales and strategy functions. In 2005 he was appointed Managing Director of the Thales UK naval activities and led the international business line for naval platforms and services. In 2010 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Thales UK with operational responsibility for all Thales UK activities.


Jeff Perrin

Independent Non-executive Director and Senior Independent Director


Term in office

Jeff joined Cohort in July 2015. He is Chair of the Audit Committee and was appointed Senior Independent Director on 23 July 2019.

Background and experience

A Chartered Certified Accountant, Jeff has held a number of senior financial positions including roles within Unilever, Oriflame and the defence businesses of GEC and Radstone Technology Plc. In the latter company, he was also Chief Executive for four years until his departure a year after its acquisition by the General Electric Company in 2006. He was Chairman of the private equity-backed defence company Chess Technologies Limited from 2008 until the acquisition of a majority share by Cohort on 12 December 2018.

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Beatrice Nicholas

Independent Non-executive Director


Term in office:

Dr Beatrice Nicholas joined Cohort on 1 September 2021.  

Background and experience

Beatrice started her career at the GEC Hirst Research Centre in 1984, moving to GEC Marconi Avionics in 1995, where she held several senior management positions. As part of the wider consolidation in the sector, GEC Marconi Avionics became part of BAE Systems in 1999 and then Selex Galileo Limited in 2012, subsequently part of the Leonardo Group.

In 2010 she was appointed Senior Vice President with responsibility for leading the electronic warfare business. In 2013, she was appointed Director of Engineering for the Airborne and Space division of Leonardo UK Limited, with responsibility for the execution of all engineering projects within the division.

Between 2017 and early 2022, she established and operated an independent consultancy, Beatrice Nicholas Consulting Limited, advising on diversity and inclusion.


Peter Lynas

Independent Non-executive Director


Term of office

Peter was appointed to the Board on 2 January 2024. He is a member of the Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees.

Background and experience

Peter is a qualified Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA) who spent the early part of his career in a variety of financial roles, primarily with GEC Marconi. From 2000 he was at BAE Systems, first as Group Controller and then as Group Finance Director from 2011 until his retirement in 2020.

Peter brings with him a wealth of expertise across all aspects of finance within the international defence and aerospace sector, encompassing financial control and reporting, treasury, tax, risk management, mergers and acquisitions, and investor relations. He also brings considerable experience of programme management and strategy development and execution.

Peter is also a Non-executive Director of FirstGroup plc and he served as a Non-executive Director of SSE plc from 2014 until 2023.

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Raquel McGrath

Company Secretary and General Counsel

Term in office

Raquel was appointed as Company Secretary and General Counsel from 1 October 2020.

Background & Experience: 

Raquel graduated from the University of Bristol in 1991 with a Bachelor of Laws LLB (Hons) followed by Law Society Finals at the College of Law, Chester, in 1993. She started her career as a Solicitor and Articled Clerk with Slaughter and May in London before moving to Melbourne to work with Allens as a Senior Associate. Raquel has held the role of General Counsel and Company Secretary at a number of UK AIM listed and large private companies. Raquel joined Cohort plc in November 2019 before taking over the role of Company Secretary from Simon Walther in October 2020, in addition to being appointed General Counsel for the Cohort Group.

Executive Management Team

Communications and Intelligence

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Martin Bennett

Managing Director of EID

Term in office

Martin Bennett was appointed as EID's Executive President in May 2023.

Background and experience

With 40 years of experience in the sector and a background in electronic engineering, Dr Martin Bennett has an extensive knowledge of the international defence industry. His professional experience includes management positions based in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia. He has held senior executive positions at companies including BAE Systems, Honeywell and Unipart. He began his professional career at GEC-Marconi Avionics as an electronic engineer. Prior to taking on his role Martin was EID's Head of Sales and Marketing.

Martin has an MBA from the University of Leicester, including a dissertation on International Technology Transfer, and a DBA from the University of Liverpool where his thesis was on International Defence Industrial Alliances.

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Chris Stanley

Managing Director of MASS

Term in office

Chris was appointed as Managing Director of MASS in April 2017.

Background and experience

After graduating from the University of Leicester with a BSc in Astrophysics and obtaining a master’s degree in Microwave Solid State Physics from the University of Portsmouth, Chris started his career designing radar systems and antennas for Racal Defence before spending six years developing radar and IR countermeasures for the RAF at the Electronic Warfare Operational Support Establishment. Chris then spent four years as the Mathematical Modelling Group Manager at GEC Avionics, designing and developing advanced radar systems. During this time, he also gained an MBA from Henley Management College.

Chris managed and directed the Technical Services business unit within the VT Group before moving to MASS in December 2007 as Director of the EWOS division and most recently filling the position of Managing Director.

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Claire King

Managing Director of MCL

Term in office

Claire was appointed as Managing Director of MCL in May 2024.

Background and experience

Claire has over 20 years’ experience in the defence sector. She joined MCL from Leonardo in 2012 as MCL’s Sales Director. Throughout her career she has taken on supply chain, commercial, sales and marketing roles, primarily within the C4ISR land and maritime domains, both within the UK and international defence and security markets. Claire has drawn on her experience in larger defence organisations to great effect within her roles as Head of Business Development and Sales and Marketing Director. 

Sensors and Effectors

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David Tuddenham

Managing Director of Chess Technologies

Term in office

David was appointed to the role of Group Managing Director Chess Technologies (incorporating Chess Dynamics Ltd, Chess Dynamics Inc and Vision4ce Ltd) in June 2021.

Background and Experience

David studied at Loughborough University gaining a BEng in Manufacturing Engineering and Management. He is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the IET. In his early career he worked for large international companies including Honeywell, Teledyne, TRW and IDEX, initially in site leadership roles, ultimately taking on senior management positions. During this time, he gained experience of delivering low-volume, high-technology solutions within regulated industries including aerospace and oil & gas.

In 2011 David left Teledyne to join Chess Dynamics as Operations Director, helping to deliver operational excellence in support of the rapid and sustained growth of the business. David was promoted to Deputy Managing Director in 2014, becoming Managing Director of Chess Dynamics Ltd in 2016 before being appointed Group Managing Director of Chess Technologies in June 2021.

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Bernd Szukay

Managing Director of ELAC SONAR

Term in office

Bernd was appointed as Joint Managing Director of ELAC Sonar in 2020.

Background and experience

Bernd served in the German Navy leaving as a Lieutenant Commander. During this time, he was mainly involved in naval procurement and testing, and graduated in communications engineering and business administration. Bernd has since gained over 20 years’ experience in the commercial sector, both in IT/telecommunications and defence. He has held roles in product management, strategy and key account management with Siemens, T-Systems, and Raytheon Anschütz.

In 2012, Bernd joined L-3 Communications ELAC Nautik, as Director for Sales and Marketing. In recent years, he has been working with Ole Schneider to drive the realignment of the product portfolio, strategy, and go-to-market approach.

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Richard Flitton

Managing Director of SEA

Term in Office

Richard was appointed as Managing Director of SEA in January 2021.

Background and Experience

Richard graduated from the University of Brighton with a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical & Control Systems Engineering. He also holds an MBA from the University of Warwick.

Richard’s early career was as an engineer working on high-performance visualisation and simulation products in both commercial and defence markets at Hughes Rediffusion. He moved on to take senior technical and leadership roles at Evans and Sutherland (E&S) in both the UK and US. He was ultimately appointed to a board level position at E&S in the US and was Managing Director of E&S UK, heading a division delivering real-time computer graphics systems for customers in the aerospace, defence, simulation, training, entertainment and scientific sectors.

Subsequently Richard moved to EADS Astrium where he led a business unit delivering military satellite ground systems. In 2008 he joined TRL Technology, now a subsidiary of L3 Harris, delivering high-grade cyber security solutions, integrated C2 and sensors and effectors in the Electronic Warfare and ISR domain. After taking on several senior roles at TRL, his most recent appointment there was as Managing Director.

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