Board of Directors

Our Board provides oversight to ensure that the highest Corporate Governance standards are maintained, applies internal financial controls and approves the Company’s policy and strategy.

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Ali Mortazavi

Chief Executive Officer

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David Ellam

Chief Financial Officer

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Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, FRCP

Non-Executive Chair

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Dr. Stephen Parker

Non-Executive Director

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Alistair Gray

Non-Executive Director

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Dr. Andy Richards CBE

Non-Executive Director

Ali Mortazavi

Chief Executive Officer

Ali joined Silence in 2012, initially serving as Head of Strategy, and led the refinancing and refocusing of the business. He has extensive expertise in UK small companies, particularly in biotechnology and technology investments and ventures. Ali has over 17 years’ experience in finance having co-founded Evolution Securities in 2001, heading up the Group’s principal trading division. Ali is an International Master of chess and has written numerous books and publications on chess openings and strategies.

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Appointed

May 2013

Areas of expertise

Corporate finance, algorithmic trading, investment research and computer programming.

Current external roles

None

David Ellam

Chief Financial Officer

David was appointed Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary of Silence in July 2016. David holds a B.A. in English & Philosophy from Birmingham University, and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Prior to joining Silence, David’s relevant Biotech experience includes several senior finance roles within both UK and US publicly owned life science companies, most recently as Senior EUMEA Finance Director for BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc. from 2010 to 2016. Prior to that he was CFO at Plethora Solutions plc (2008-2009), and Group Financial Controller at Ark Therapeutics from 2001 to 2008, during which time Ark undertook an IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

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Appointed

July 2016

Areas of expertise

Finance, applied to the biotechnology industry.

Current external roles

None

Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, FRCP

Non-Executive Chair

Dr. Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer at leading gene therapy company Dimension Therapeutics, is a biopharma thought leader with 20 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Dimension in September 2014, Annalisa served as head of global research and development at Merck Serono Pharmaceuticals from 2013 to 2014, where she also served as executive vice president global development and medical from 2011 to 2013. Prior to this, Dr. Jenkins held several leadership roles at Bristol Myers-Squibb from 1997 to 2011, most recently serving as senior vice president and head of global medical affairs. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jenkins was a medical officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Dr. Jenkins is a member of the board of directors of Ardelyx, Inc., iOX Therapeutics Limited, MedCity, TSI, Cocoon Biotech Inc, and Vium (elected to Executive Chair in 2017), and previously served as a board member of Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Prosensa Holding N.V. (acquired by BioMarin Pharmaceutical), and Viventia Bio, Inc. (acquired by Eleven Bio). Dr. Jenkins graduated with a degree in medicine from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London and subsequently trained in cardiovascular medicine in the U.K. National Health Service.

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Appointed

October 2017

Areas of expertise

Drug development, R&D, regulatory approval and commercialisation

Current external roles

Committee member of the Science Board to the FDA, Advisory Board of the Center for Talent Innovation (U.K.) and Advisory Panel of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

Dr. Stephen Parker

Non-Executive Director

Dr. Parker served as Non-Executive Chairman from September 2015 to October 2017, having first joined the Board in November 2013. He brings substantial Board experience, with over thirty years’ experience in the healthcare sector. Stephen was previously a Partner with the Celtic Pharma funds, Chief Financial Officer of Oxford GlycoSciences plc and a senior investment banker with Barings, Warburg’s and Apax Partners.

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Appointed

September 2015

Areas of expertise

Healthcare, finance, investment banking.

Current external roles

Chairman of Sareum Holdings plc and Non-Executive Director of GammaDelta Limited and Sp2 Consulting Limited

Alistair Gray

Non-Executive Director

Alistair brings a wealth of strategic consultancy and business experience. Having trained as an accountant, his early career was in senior management positions with Unilever and John Wood Group PLC. Alistair was a Director of Arthur Young (now Ernst and Young) Management Consultants and PA Consulting Group for over ten years. Alistair previously chaired the Audit and Remuneration committees of AorTech International PLC and Highland Distillers PLC, as well as the Pension Trustee Board. Alistair also served as a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and Institute of Consultants. His key role at Silence is to chair the Audit and Risk Committee.

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Appointed

November 2015

Areas of expertise

Strategy, management consulting.

Current external roles

Non-Executive Director with other organisations, serving on the board of one and chairing three Pension Trustee Boards.

Dr. Andy Richards CBE

Non-Executive Director

Dr. Richards has an established track record in founding and scaling up innovative Biotech and Healthtech companies in the UK. His early career spanned positions with ICI (now AstraZeneca) and PA Technology, and he was a founder and executive director of Chiroscience plc. Since 1999 he has founded, invested in and helped to scale more than 25 innovative ventures including companies such as Vectura, Arakis, Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd and Geneservice. Andy is also a founder member of the Cambridge Angels and a trustee of the British Science Association.

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Appointed

October 2014

Areas of expertise

Business building, venture investment, biotechnology.

Current external roles

Director of Ieso Digital Health, Cancer Research Technology, Sensiia Ltd, and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is also Chairman of Arecor, Congenica, Abcodia, and the Babraham Research Campus, and an advisor to Cambridge Innovation Capital and the UCL Technology Fund.