Board of directors



Chief Executive Officer

Giulio Cesareo is one of the founders of Directa Plus. He began his professional career in 1982 in Italy working for Falck and Techint. From 1986 to 2004, he worked in the carbon and graphite business for Union Carbide, UCAR and Graftech, reaching the positions of the President and CEO of the Italian company and Vice President and General Manager of the worldwide Advanced Carbon and Graphite business unit. In his role at Union Carbide, Giulio managed business units in USA, France and Italy. Giulio is Advisory Board member and member of the Industry Council of the US National Graphene Association

Giulio Cesareo was awarded a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Milan, an MBA and an Executive MBA from Bocconi University of Milan and attended Strategic and Financial Management Programs at Stanford University (USA). He serves as a board member of Fondazione Quarta, a non-profit organisation focused on scientific research in areas of social activity and was also Board Member of: Centro di cultura scientifica “Alessandro Volta”, an organisation aimed at promoting the practical applications of a scientific culture.

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Non-Executive Chairman

Sir Peter Middleton GCB is Chairman of Burford Capital. He was Chairman of Marsh Ltd between 2005 and 2013, UK Chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies between 2007 and 2014 and Chairman of Mercer Ltd between 2009 and 2014. He was also previously Chairman of Camelot Group plc and Chairman of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. He was a Director, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of United Utilities from 1994-2007, a Board member of OJSC Mobile Telesystems from 2005-2007 and a board member of Bass plc from 1992-2001 and General Accident (later CGU) from 1992-1995.

Sir Peter spent nearly 30 years at HM Treasury, working closely with nine Chancellors, and was Permanent Secretary from 1983 to 1991. Sir Peter became Group Chairman of Barclays Bank plc in April 1999 and retired in August 2004. He joined Barclays in 1991 as Group Deputy Chairman and Executive Chairman of BZW, became Chairman of Barclays Capital following the reorganisation of BZW in October 1997 and was Group Chief Executive from November 1998 until October 1999. He was also President of the British Bankers Association from 2004-2006 and a member of the National Institute for Economic Research from 1996-2007.

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Non-Executive Director

Neil Warner has strong financial and managerial experience in multinational businesses. He recently served as the senior independent director and chairman of the audit committee at Trifast plc and as a non-executive director and audit committee chairman of Vectura Group plc. He previously served as the senior independent director and audit committee chairman of Dechra Pharmaceuticals plc, and was non-executive chairman of Enteq Upstream plc.  He was Finance Director at Chloride Group plc, a position he held for 14 years until its acquisition by Emerson Electric. Prior to this, Neil spent six years at Exel plc (formerly Ocean Group plc and now part of DHL following its acquisition by Deutsche Post) where he held a number of senior posts in financial planning, treasury and control. He has also held senior positions in Balfour Beatty plc (formerly BICC Group plc), Alcoa and PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

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Non-Executive Director

David Gann CBE CEng FICE FCGI is a renowned expert on technological innovation and an accomplished business and academic leader. He is Chairman, UK Atomic Energy Authority. He is Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Development and External Affairs, at Oxford University. He was Professor of Innovation & Technology Management, Imperial College London and was Vice-President (Innovation) and member of the College’s Executive Board. He has deep experience mentoring start-ups, supporting fast growth technology businesses and developing long-term strategic partnerships with multinational technology corporations. He has a PhD in Industrial Economics and is a Chartered Civil Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and Fellow, City & Guilds Institute. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to engineering, and received the 2014 Tjalling C. Koopmans Asset Award for extraordinary contributions to the economic sciences. David is a senior government advisor. His industrial experience includes serving as Laing O’Rourke plc’s Group Executive for research and innovation between 2007 and 2011. He advises executives and boards on innovation and technology management, including Citigroup, IBM, McLaren, NEC and Tata Group.



Non-Executive Director

Richard Hickinbotham is an experienced City professional and Head of Equity Research at N+1 Singer, having served previously as Head of Equity Research at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe and Charles Stanley. He has also held a number of senior positions at Investec, including Global Head of Research and Co-Head of UK Investment Banking and as Head of Pan-European Small and Midcap Research at S.G. Warburg & Co. (acquired by UBS). Richard is a non-executive director of AB Dynamics Plc where is chairman of the nomination committee and a member of the audit and remuneration committees. Richard holds a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.