Llandarcy Park (Ospreys) Ltd, the holding company of Ospreys Rugby, has announced the appointment of Chris Richards as Vice Chairman of both LPOL and the Ospreys.
The appointment is the latest boardroom change following a full review of LPOL’s corporate governance structure earlier this year aimed at enabling the business to remain at the forefront of the European game.
Initially appointed to the board in October 2013, Mr Richards trained as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, going on to become a senior manager at their Cardiff office in the eighties.
After working as a Personal Advisor to the Chairman of the Welsh Development Agency, he joined the newly privatised Welsh Water Group, subsequently being appointed to the Executive Board of the renamed Hyder Group and also becoming Managing Director of its renewable energy business.
In 2002, he was a founder member and Director of the newly formed renewable energy development company Eco2 Ltd, based in Cardiff, later becoming Chairman.
Among a number of other projects, Mr Richards currently spends some of his time acting as an advisor to student groups and senior management at Southampton University, assisting on a range of social enterprise projects.
As the first Vice Chairman of both organisations, he will deputise for Roger Blyth, Chairman, in his absence, as well as providing expert advice where required, enabling the business to function more effectively on a day-to-day basis.
Commenting on the appointment, Mr Blyth said:
“As with the recent addition of a non-exec Finance Director to the board, this appointment is the result of an in-depth review of our corporate governance. The new structure that we have put in place will ensure that we are more business like in what we do on a day-to-day basis, with firm corporate guidelines in place that will underpin our core values as an organisation, allowing what is already a strong culture to thrive further.
“In the newly created Vice Chairman role, Chris will bring his strong and innovative commercial outlook with strategic planning being a particular area of expertise that will benefit the organisation. This is a key appointment in terms of the support he will provide to the board on a day-to-day basis, as we continue striving to ensure long term sustainable success, on and off the field.
““Professional rugby is a dynamic, fast changing business environment and it is crucial that we continue to adapt and evolve to meet the challenges we face. If we want to exploit the new commercial opportunities that lie ahead, then we have to have team players in the boardroom who are not only passionate about rugby and the Ospreys, but who are innovative and think differently.
“While we have come a long way in terms of our corporate governance and how we operate as a business over the last few years, and now operate off a far more stable platform than ever before, there will still be challenges that we have to overcome. Issues such as television deals and competition structures are at the top of that list, so it is essential that we remain number one in Wales, allowing us to stay at the forefront of world rugby as the game continues to evolve and change.
“There will be further changes still to take place behind the scenes, but with a forward thinking board and a young, dynamic and talented management team in place to drive both the rugby and commercial arms of the business forward, the outlook for the Ospreys is positive.”