Simon Escott (aged 69) - Executive Chairman
Simon has over 35 years of management experience in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries. He is a qualified Petroleum and Mechanical Engineer and has worked in a senior capacity for ESSO GmbH, BP Brazil, Phillips Petroleum Incorporated, Elf Aquitaine S.A., Pennzoil/Cities Services (Brazil), Norsk Hydro A/S, Saga Petroleum A/S, Zhetybay Quest Petroleum GmbH, Reliance Industries Limited and the Mannai Corporation WLL. He has run major construction projects for Brown & Root Incorporated in the North Sea and for ABB Lummus Crest Incorporated in India. In 1992, Simon was a Project Director for the Russian World Bank Oil Rehabilitation Loans 1 and 2, based in Moscow and Siberia. He co-founded Pan European in 2004.
Reg Eccles (aged 68) - Senior Independent non-Executive Director
Reg has sat on the boards of a number of public and private companies over the past 13 years, including Toledo Mining Corporation plc and Belitung Zinc Corporation plc, where he acted as Chairman. He began his career at Anglo American Corporation of South Africa as a business analyst, deputy Chief Economist and finally Corporate and Financial Planning Director in Johannesburg. In 1979, he co-founded and acted as Chairman of Claspbourne Ltd, a consultancy and publishing company, sold in 1988. He has also held senior positions at a number of investment banks, including, James Capel, where he was a Director of Research and SBC Warburg, Ord Minnett and ABN Amro, where he was Global Head of Mining Equities.
Professor Francesco Gardin (aged 58) - Non-Executive Director
Professor Gardin, 58, graduated in Theoretical Physics at Padova University in 1979, before undertaking a UK Government research project at Exeter University from 1980 to 1982. In 1983 he was employed by the Italian National Research Council and from 1984 to 1985 he worked at the European Union Research Centre in Ispra, Italy as Co-ordinator of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
In 1983, Professor Gardin founded AISoftw@re SpA to develop and distribute Artificial Intelligence systems within Italy, which he took public on NASDAQ Europe in 1999 and the Milan Stock Exchange in 2000. He sold the company in 2005 through a merger, remaining as non-Executive Chairman until March 2008, at which time it employed more than 1,400 people with revenues in excess of £70m.
Between 2002 and 2011 Professor Gardin was Chairman and major shareholder of Brainspark plc, an AIM quoted investment company. Since 2006 he has worked extensively in China, and in March 2007 became CEO of China IPO Group plc, wholly owned by Brainspark plc, focusing on investments in China. In March 2008 he became a Board Member of IPO Beijing Investment Consulting Company Ltd., the China IPO Group plc Chinese subsidiary, with offices in Beijing and Xi'an. The company was subsequently demerged from Brainspark in December 2009.
Between December 2008 and July 2013 he was an executive Director of London Asia Capital plc, a UK company investing in Asia, with a mandate to review and maximise the returns of the investment portfolio.
During the last twenty years, he has been Director of almost fifty companies in Italy, UK, USA, Israel, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Mauritius and Jersey.
Since 1984 to date, he has been Research Associate Professor at Udine, Milano and Siena University lecturing in Artificial Intelligence, Theory and Application of Computation, and Virtual Reality. His academic papers include more than 50 individual and joint publications and three books on the subject of Artificial Intelligence as editor.