Unique to Tovera, The Board of Experts is a group of leading practitioners that provide advice to Tovera clients in two ways. First, on specific projects, the Board can give expert advice on the implications of recommendations arising from our research. Secondly, they are available to provide external, informed view points on specific questions from clients, providing a confidential place for sound advice on anything that might be likely to affect reputation or brand.

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Peter Thomas

EXPERT: Corporate Communications, Public Affairs.

Peter Thomas is Corporate Communications and Public Affairs expert with more than 30 years of senior level global experience. Peter was Director of Corporate Communications at Reuters for over 20 years, with international responsibilities for Public Relations, Investor Relations and Staff Communications as well as strategic adviser to the Board on reputation and communication issues. Before that, Peter held a number of senior management posts at Reuters in Marketing, Strategic Planning and Product Management with postings in London, Brussels, Toronto and New York.

After leaving Reuters, Peter held several non-executive roles in the public and voluntary sectors. He was a member of the Board of Kingston Hospital, where he chaired both the Audit and Strategic Risk Committees. He has worked with large and small charities and was a Trustee of the Richmond Council of Voluntary Services.

Peter is able to bring a unique viewpoint to Tovera projects, providing advice founded on many years of experience.

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Ann Binnie

EXPERT: Brand; Research Design.

Ann is a highly regarded brand and research expert. She previously worked as Board Planning Director in three top London advertising agencies before setting up her own business, latterly in partnership with a fellow ex-planner. Client experience is extremely wide: Mars, E & J Gallo, News International , BBC Radio, Charities Aid Foundation, Barclays Wealth, Landor, The Reputation Institute, Ogilvy, and JWT are just a few examples. As an independent consultant she applies planning principles, consultancy, research and facilitation skills to strategy, positioning and communications development in the wider branding and design world, across sectors that include charities as well as commercial, international as well as UK. Ann has an MSc in Business and is a qualified Enneagram teacher. She is a full member of the Market Research Society, a member of the Marketing Society, a Fellow of the RSA and has made contributions to books on Design Agency management, acted as a judge on APA (now CMA) annual awards, taught on MRS Summer School and since 1995 has had an entry in Debrett’s People of Today.

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Spencer Fox

EXPERT: Brand and Reputation Measurement, Strategy.

Spencer has more than 20 years of experience in brand and reputation strategy and is a passionate advocate of the power of a highly differentiated brand and reputation. The early part of his career was spent in advertising and it was during his time at JWT that he first used the Thompson Total Branding protocol. He later founded Axis Communications, a consumer brand and advertising agency where he developed The Foundry, a brand positioning methodology working with clients such as Levi’s, ITV and Morgan Stanley. This work led him to pursue his last role at Reputation Institute where he established the UK business and led major corporate reputation research projects for organisations such as IHG, Samsung, Tesco, AstraZeneca, Kellogg’s and British Gas. Spencer has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Cass Business School in London where he graduated with merit. He is a member of the Market Research Society (MRS).

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Seamus Gillen

EXPERT: Governance; Reputation Risk.

Seamus Gillen is the founder of Value Alpha Limited, a firm offering specialist governance advisory services.

He was formerly Policy Director at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), the international qualifying and representative body for company secretaries. He authored ICSA’s 2010 guidance on 'Boardroom Behaviours', and led the working group which produced the Financial Reporting Council’s 2011 ‘Guidance on Boardroom Effectiveness’. He oversaw the production of ICSA’s technical output, including its best practice Guidance Notes on boards and directors, and has been responsible for a range of initiatives relating to the NHS and not-for-profit sectors.

Seamus has been at the forefront of thinking on governance issues, in the UK and internationally, as a public speaker and author. He has been a trainer and coach, including for the Institute of Directors, on ‘The role of the company director’, ‘Directors’ duties and the law’ and ‘The Director’s Role in Managing Reputation’. He has worked with boards and directors in the UK, as well as in the UAE, India, Malaysia, South Africa and the Baltic States.

Seamus has executive management experience gained in senior roles. He was previously the Group Company Secretary and Director of Regulation at Anglian Water (later AWG) plc, and Head of Public Policy and Regulation at O2 plc. Originally a senior policy adviser in Whitehall, he was Private Secretary to John Gummer MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, and John Prescott MP, Deputy Prime Minister. He has also served as an adviser to the French Government.

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Dr. Dominik Heil

EXPERT: Organisational Culture; Strategy.

Dr Dominik Heil has recently founded the research and consulting firm Works Access Ltd in Oxford/UK He is a Director of Reputation Institute South Africa, a sessional lecturer in strategy and leadership at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg and a tutor at Cranfield School of Management

He has extensive consulting experience and has worked with most of South Africa’s largest corporations and a number of multination

John Ludlow

John Ludlow

As Chairman and Director of Lead-in Risk Limited, John is working to enhance corporate reputations through responsible management of risk.

John has 15 years of risk leadership experience and 15 years of leadership experience in hospitality multi-site operations.

John is Deputy Chairman of Airmic, Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management and Visiting Fellow at Oxford Brookes University.  Previously John was SVP and Global Head of Risk Management at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

Most recently at IHG he:

  • Established a world-class global Risk Management team at IHG who have built significant corporate trust and protected brand reputation.
  • Developed global crisis and risk management capabilities which include; Enterprise Risk Management, Safety, Security, Risk Training and Risk Financing.
  • Won a number of awards for leadership, innovation, partnership and training, including Risk Manager of the Year and IHG’s Knights Award for the MEA Crisis Management team.








Expert: Strategy: innovation, legal and compliance 

Richard was on the founding team of MyCityDeal which after 3 months of trading was sold to Groupon. Richard is a highly enterprising digital business leader who worked across various aspects of the business finishing up as Head of National Sales for Northern Europe. He has front line experience in developing a business from idea through to a scaled mass market public organisation. He specialises in reviewing market opportunity, and defining actionable go to market strategies and relaunch strategies for digital organisations. Since leaving Groupon, Richard has been working with a number of different digital businesses defining go to market strategies, and growth strategies national and international. Richard has a hands on approach to all work tasks, is a self defined ‘player-coach’ who has run large teams cross borders (sales, partnerships, account management, legal and compliance). Richard is also a skilled legal and compliance operator having run legal and compliance matters across Northern Europe for Groupon; including regulatory negotiations with the Office of Fair Trading and the ASA. Richard is a qualified corporate lawyer who has worked for Baker & McKenzie, has an MBA from Cass Business School. 



Expert: Internal Communications

Jane Gardiner is an Internal Communications specialist with 15 years experience across global, independent and start up businesses in a range of industries including Consumer Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Banking, Beverages, Advertising and Media. With a Masters in Strategic Communication from Universita della Svizzera Italiana including MBA modules undertaken at Berkeley Business School, UCLA Jane’s focus is on evidence based, strategic internal communications that partner with the business to drive strategic alignment, engagement, change and capability as required. Her experience includes working with Senior executives and leadership teams from individual messaging and delivery capability to large scale change and mergers. Jane also works with brands to develop in house communications style including look and feel and tone of voice. New launch consumer brand work includes brand personality development, copy writing / visual development and guidance.