directors & Company secretary

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

Nick Prest



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 M.Eng 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, he 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 a Chief Accountant for P&O European Ferries in 1995. He has 20 years’ industry-relevant experience, with previous senior finance roles at Alvis and BAE Systems.


Stanley Carter

Non-executive Director


Term in office

Stanley has been with Cohort since its formation, initially as its Chief Executive before becoming Co-Chairman in 2009. In 2015, Stanley stepped down from Co-Chairman to become a Non-executive Director.

Background and experience

Stanley jointly founded Cohort with Nick Prest in 2006 with SCS as the launch vehicle on flotation. Prior to that he was Managing Director of SCS, which he founded in 1992 on leaving the Regular Army. During his military service as a Royal Artillery Officer he held a wide range of posts in the MOD’s central staff, in procurement and at government research establishments, and represented the UK on NATO technical committees. He received an award for the invention of a missile launcher from the UK MOD. He has held a number of directorships in technology companies and has degrees in Technology and Behavioural Science and an MSc in Information Systems.


Jeff Perrin

Independent Non-executive Director and Senior Independent Director


Term in office

Jeff joined Cohort on 1 July 2015.  He is Chairman of the Audit Committee.  Jeff 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 its acquisition by Cohort on 12 December 2018.

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Edward Lowe

Independent Non-executive Director


Term of office

Ed was appointed to the Board on 1 July 2019, and became Chairman of the Remuneration and Appointments Committee on 23 July 2019.

Background and experience

Ed joined Racal Electronics in 1980 and, over a twenty-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.

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Raquel McGrath

Company Secretary and General Counsel

Term in office

Raquel took over 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 (LL.B. 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 Arthur Robertson as a Senior Associate. After returning to the UK, she took on the role of Head of Legal and Company Secretary at the AIM listed logistics business DX (Group) plc.  Most recently Raquel was General Counsel and Company Secretary at Oxford Policy Management.  Raquel joined Cohort plc as Interim Group Legal Counsel and Deputy Company Secretary 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.

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Dr Beatrice Nicholas

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. 

Following her retirement from Leonardo UK Limited in 2017 she established an independent consultancy, Beatrice Nicolas Consulting Limited, advising on diversity and inclusion.

Subsidiary Managing Directors

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David Tuddenham

Managing Director, Chess Technologies

Term in office

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

Background and Experience

David studied at Loughborough University gaining a BEng in Manufacturing Engineering and Management.  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 in 2016.

During this time the business has taken on high profile projects such as the C-UAS system for London Gatwick Airport, a naval fire control system for a major European multinational programme, and a vehicle-based long range surveillance and targeting system for a NATO customer.


Frederico Lemos

Managing Director of EID

Term in office

Frederico was appointed as Executive President of EID in December 2020.

Background and experience

Frederico has more than 20 years’ experience in defence both in the public and private sectors. Before joining EID, he was based in the UAE as Embraer’s Vice President for Defence for the Middle East and Asia regions. Prior to that he occupied different positions in Defence Business Development with Embraer and OGMA (Embraer group), as well as Project and Programme Manager at the Portuguese Air Force HQ, where he served as a career officer.

Frederico graduated as an aerospace engineer at the Portuguese Air Force Academy and Lisbon University IST in 2003, and holds post graduate qualifications in Business, Innovation and Leadership from Catolica Lisbon and ISEG business schools.

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Ole Schneider

Joint Managing Director of ELAC SONAR

Term in office

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

Background and experience

After graduating with a BA in business administration from the University of Applied Sciences Kiel, Ole joined L-3 Communications ELAC Nautik in 2007 as Project Controller.  He was appointed as Finance Director in 2013, and in 2015 he managed the transition of ownership from L-3 to Wärtsilä. Since 2018 he has worked alongside Bernd Szukay at a top management level.

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Bernd Szukay

Joint Managing Director of ELAC SONAR

Term in office

He 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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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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Shane Knight

Managing Director of MCL

Term in office

Shane was appointed as Managing Director of MCL in January 2019.

Background and experience

Shane served in the Army until his final appointment as a Captain in the Royal Signals. Throughout his Army career he worked in a range of posts within the Electronic Warfare arena.  He joined MCL in 2003 as Business Development Management (Communications) and became Sales and Marketing Director in 2011 before his appointment to Managing Director in 2019.  Shane has over 15 years business experience in the international defence sector.

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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, 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, now a subsidiary of L3 Harris, delivering high grade cyber security solutions, integrated C2 and sensors and effectors in the Electronics 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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