The Board of Directors

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer

Duncan joined the company in October 2011 as Chief Executive Officer. Following four years of turnaround of the business and growth, Top Right Group (previously known as EMAP) was rebranded Ascential and successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange in February 2016.

As CEO, Duncan has a relentless focus on improving our products and services to ensure this drives greater customer retention. Ensuring our customers get improved value every year from our products and empowering our experts to be champions of insight or access to the markets we serve; have been the core ingredients of our strong growth over the last few years.

Before joining the Group, Duncan was an Executive at BskyB, where he supported their growth objectives to ten million customers. Prior to that, he was Global Product Leader at Experian plc, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of consumer intelligence company ClarityBlue, which was acquired by Experian in 2006, and European Systems Integration Director for Hitachi Data Systems.

Duncan is also a director of the Professional Publishers Association, a non-executive director at Investis Limited and a non-executive advisory board member to ThoughtRiver Limited.

Mandy Gradden, Chief Financial Officer

Mandy Gradden joined the company as CFO in January 2013. As part of her role, Mandy manages all Group financial reporting and leads the IR, central finance, technology and procurement teams. Mandy also works closely with the CEOs and finance leaders within the business operating units.

Before joining Ascential, Mandy was CFO at Torex, the retail technology firm, and was a key member of the team that managed the successful turnaround of the business. Prior to that, she was CFO at the FTSE 250 business and technology consultancy, Detica Group plc, where she was instrumental in managing the company's growth from £39 million to £203 million during her six-year term.

Earlier, she was Director of Corporate Development at Telewest Communications and Group Financial Controller at Dalgety. She began her career at Price Waterhouse, where she spent eight years and where, in 1992, she qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

She also sits as a non-executive director on the board, and is chairman of the audit committee, of SDL plc.

Scott Forbes, Chairman

Scott was appointed as an adviser to the Board in November 2015 and became Chairman in January 2016. Scott currently serves as Chairman of Rightmove Group plc and Innasol Group Limited and as a non-executive director of Travelport Worldwide Limited, a leading travel commerce platform providing distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the global travel and tourism industry. He previously served as the Chairman of Orbitz Worldwide through September 2015.

Scott has over 35 years’ experience in operations, finance and mergers and acquisitions including 15 years at Cendant Corporation, which was formerly the largest provider of travel and residential property services worldwide. Scott established Cendant’s international headquarters in London in 1999 and led this division as Group Managing Director until he joined Rightmove. Scott chairs the Nomination Committee.

Rita Clifton, Independent Non-Executive Director

Rita joined the Board in May 2016. She is also currently a non-executive director of ASOS plc and of Nationwide Building Society, and is a past non-executive director of Dixons Retail plc. Her background is in branding, customer insight and marketing communication and she was a former Vice Chairman and Strategy Director at Saatchi & Saatchi and London CEO and then Chairman at Interbrand. She currently also chairs BrandCap, the brand consultancy and Populus, the research consultancy. Rita is a member of the company’s Audit and Nomination Committees.

Paul Harrison, Independent Non-Executive Director

Paul joined the Board in January 2016. Since September 2013, he has been CFO for WANdisco plc, a software company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Prior to this, Paul spent 16 years with The Sage Group plc, a FTSE 100 software company, serving on its board for 13 years as CFO. Since 2007, Paul has served as an independent non-executive director on the board of Hays plc, chairing its audit committee from 2007 to 2011 and its remuneration committee from 2011 to present. A chartered accountant, Paul worked for Price Waterhouse before joining The Sage Group plc. Paul also sits on the advisory panel for Tech City’s Future Fifty programme. Paul chairs the Group’s Audit Committee and is also a member of the Remuneration Committee.

Judy Vezmar, Independent Non-Executive Director

Judy joined the Board in January 2016. Judy was Chief Executive Officer of LexisNexis International, a division of Reed Elsevier plc, from 2001 until February 2014. LexisNexis, is a leading provider of content enabled workflow solutions, employing 3200 people. Judy was responsible for the successful expansion of online services to over 100 countries. Prior to LexisNexis she held executive roles within the Xerox Corporation in the United States and Europe. Judy was a non-executive director for Rightmove plc from 2006 to 2015 and served on the Audit, Remuneration and Nominations committees. She was on the board of Blinkx plc, the online advertising business, from 2014 to 2015. Judy chairs the company’s Remuneration Committee and is a member of the Nomination Committee.

Gillian Kent, Independent Non-Executive Director

Gillian joined the Board in January 2016 following an executive career of over 25 years in software, internet, digital media and mobile technologies. Previously, Gillian held various senior roles at Microsoft including Managing Director of MSN UK, creating one of the UK’s largest online services businesses. Both at Microsoft and in a range of other businesses, including media, fashion and as CEO of, she established her expertise in building markets and brands for products and services. Gillian is also an independent non-executive director at Pendragon plc and NAHL Group plc. Gillian is a member of the company’s Remuneration and Audit Committees.