Transpire Non-Executive Director & Trustee Network

Meet Us

Transpire exists to bridge the gap between a successful executive career and serving on the Board. The people who run the organisation, who provide the coaching and training and who speak at Transpire sessions are all experts in their field. Here you’ll find introductions to them and some selected Members. There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ Transpire member, as you’ll see.

Tony Stubbs
Transpire’s Founder and CEO

Tony is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants who has served as FD/CFO for businesses in a broad range of sectors including manufacturing, staffing and software both in the UK and in Europe

Tony Stubbs

Tony is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants who has served as FD/CFO for businesses in a broad range of sectors including manufacturing, staffing and software both in the UK and in Europe, North America and South East Asia. He leads Transpire – The Director Network, connecting great Directors with Growing Companies. He is a Tutor on the Financial Times NED Diploma Programme, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has served on a number of fast growth company and charity boards.

Sarah Frost
Coach/Mentor

A Non-Executive Director of Alliance Homes Group , Sarah also sits on their Audit & Risk Committee. She is a Treasurer and Trustee for the Abbey field Gerrards Cross charity is a Trustee for Calibre Audio 

Sarah Frost

A Non-Executive Director of Alliance Homes Group , Sarah also sits on their Audit & Risk Committee. She is a Treasurer and Trustee for the Abbeyfield Gerrards Cross charity, is a Trustee for Calibre Audio Library and has volunteered for several years with the Lindengate mental health charity. 
Her background is in Banking with 16 years’ experience of large-scale IT transformation change programmes. She has expertise in Digital, Change Management, Operational Risk Management, Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting.
She has an MBA from Cass Business School and in 2018 she was awarded the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma. 
“The Transpire premium networking service was pivotal to me landing my first paid NED role, since the advice I received from two experienced portfolio NEDs was worth its weight in gold.”

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-frost-5659141/

Neil Baines-Thomas
Coach/Mentor

Neil is an independent consultant specialising in regulatory change and performance development mainly within the financial services industry.

Neil Baines-Thomas

Neil is an independent consultant specialising in regulatory change and performance development mainly within the financial services industry.  Neil is a C-suite experienced mentor and coach who has worked with various organisations including Women Ahead.  Neil has sat on a number of committees and has charity Executive Chair experience.

Meet Transpire Members

Peter Stevens
Founder and CEO

Head of Credit for SME Capital, a fintech lender to SME businesses unable to access high street lenders, since 2016 where Peter helped build business

Peter Stevens

Head of Credit for SME Capital, a fintech lender to SME businesses unable to access high street lenders, since 2016 where Peter helped build business from scratch to team of 30. Member of Investment committee since 2017 for Gulf Capital Credit Partners. 40 years’ banking experience in senior roles at Barclays, Credit Agricole and most recently Head of Credit for the EMEA region at Credit Suisse. Since leaving that role in 2013 have served as a NED for 3 years on the Board of Essar Oil (UK) limited, the second largest oil refinery in the UK. NED of Digital Drama, a Trustee of 2 charities, Childnet international and the Marie Collins Foundation and recently appointed Chair of the Advisory Board of Revolut, a fast-growing fintech business. President of the UK Chapter of the Turnaround Managers Association (TMA) 2019 - 2020.

Vivienne Aiyela
Sr. Diversity Professional

Vivienne is a Senior Diversity and Inclusion Professional with over 15years experience across different sectors. She takes a creative and innovative approach,

Vivienne Aiyela

Vivienne is a Senior Diversity and Inclusion Professional with over 15years experience across different sectors. She takes a creative and innovative approach, bringing new thinking, new ideas and possibilities to address the Diversity and Inclusion agenda which some people are uncomfortable to discuss. Vivienne is also a Non-Executive Director for London FA, the first black woman in the history of Football and Chair of Footballers Anti-Discrimination Disciplinary (arbitration) Panels.

Azir Razzak
Founder and CEO

Azir founded A2Z 14 years ago. The company has experienced steady growth, as during this time Azir worked both as a company director and in the Civil Service.

Azir Razzak


Azir founded A2Z 14 years ago. The company has experienced steady growth, as during this time Azir worked both as a company director and in the Civil Service. Since 2015 the company has been developing its first cloud-based software platform that addresses HR requirements of businesses.
Through multiple roles, he has gained a rounded knowledge of the vast aspects of IT and has sound advisory capabilities within the IT industry. Success has not come easy, especially as Azir has persevered many adversities, relying on a strong determination and tenacity to never give up.
Applying best practices through knowledge, Azir and his team have identified cybersecurity as a priority this year, advising businesses on the risks and mitigation. Given threats are rising and the landscape is evolving at pace it is vital Business leaders understand the risks posed.

Foundation Members

Francesca Ecsery
Non-Executive Director

Francesca is a Portfolio Non-Executive Director with expertise in Marketing and 23+ years’ experience in directing in both blue-chip companies and start-ups in the Digital / Retail / FMCG / Leisure

Francesca Escery

Francesca is a Portfolio Non-Executive Director with expertise in Marketing and 23+ years’ experience in directing in both blue-chip companies and start-ups in the Digital / Retail / FMCG / Leisure Travel industries.
Currently, Francesca is a Non-Executive Director on 5 boards, Air France, Foreign Colonial Investment Trust plc., Marshall Motor Holdings plc., Share plc. and VISTA Ltd. She Chairs the ‘NED Talks’ workshop program for Senior Women at WACL ltd and in 2016 was a finalist for the Financial Times NED Awards. Francesca is an investor in several start-ups, acts as an advisor in the leisure travel, retail and digital marketing sectors and works as a mentor to several digital entrepreneurs. 
“I really enjoyed the Board Diversity panel discussion and felt energised by both the diversity of the attendees and the people sharing the panel with me. Thank you for inviting me to speak”

Alice Chapman
Founder and CEO

Alice is the founder of Practice providing non-executive director, consultancy and training services to privately run, entrepreneurial businesses. Her background is in private equity and venture capital.

Alice Chapman

Alice is the founder of Practice providing non-executive director, consultancy and training services to privately run, entrepreneurial businesses. Her background is in private equity and venture capital. She has been Investment Director for 3i plc; Investment and Managing Director of Catalyst Fund Management; Chair of Investment Committee for South West Ventures; as well as Board Director and mentor for many entrepreneurial businesses. Her investment track record includes Parragon Book Service, Marlborough Stirling Group, Select Software, and Cotswold the Outdoor People and whilst at 3i she delivered an IRR in excess of 53%. Alice now works with a number of businesses on the M4 corridor but feels particularly committed to Bristol when she lives with her family. She won Mentor of the Year in the Bristol & Bath Women in Business Awards, 2016.
“Tony, just to say thank you and congratulations for another excellent Transpire evening. You somehow manage to get the atmosphere just right which makes for a high quality discussion and then a really relaxed bit of networking afterwards. I’m always sorry to leave.”

Tom Wood
Managing Director

As MD I have delivered significant growth to an SME business in highly competitive sector (100% increase to £17 million). My skills and leadership style 

Tom Wood

As MD I have delivered significant growth to an SME business in highly competitive sector (100% increase to £17 million). My skills and leadership style have been developed working for blue chip companies like Unilever and Cathay Pacific as well as a global management consultancy in Asia and across Europe and this has been applied to the SME sector.
My passion is for transformational leadership roles which leave effective management teams and sustainable business growth in place.
I’m now starting to think about NED roles as part of the next stage of my career

Testimonials

  • Tony, it was a good group so they were a joy to help.

    Bryan Foss - Non-Exec Director

  • Dear Tony,  many thanks for a great evening – enjoyed the atmosphere, discussion and the advice.

    Jane Williams - Non-Exec Director

  • Good session yesterday and interesting speaker as always.

    Paul Williams - Transpire Member

  • Chair as Mentor was the best session I have attended so far. Very insightful.

    Sarah Frost - Coach/Mentor

  • The Board Assurance session I found the most useful as, really for the first time, it introduced me to the Corporate Governance Code and the FPC. I felt David Styles really brought the subject to life.

    Neil Baines Thomas - Coach/Mentor

  • Great topics of interests (plus I was on the panel) – diversity and inclusion are current topics which many organisations are failing to address properly. Some are still uncomfortable talking about the subject with faces like they are sucking lemons.

    Vivienne Aiyela - NED/Transpire Member

  • Thanks for this, an excellent upgrade to my CV.

    Domenico Traverso - President - Danfoss Power Solutions

  • Thanks, I enjoyed last night and found it very interesting and thought-provoking. 

    Cheryl Watts - Transpire Member

  • Hi Tony, It was a real pleasure to meet you on Tuesday…..you led a great session, which was thoroughly informative! Thanks so much for the introductions. Keep in touch 🙂

    Rav (Bumbra) - Transpire Member

  • Hi Tony Great to meet you today. Really informative and useful session. Looking forward to learning more in the future about NED roles and maybe taking one up!

    James Mcnamara - Natwest

  • Thank you very much for inviting us and hosting a great session. The audience were very engaging and their feedback was very valuable.

    Vipul Mishra - CEO/Founder - Neotas

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