Board of Directors

Alan Hughes

Non-Executive Chairman

Skills brought to the Board: retail banking & finance; successful innovation; fintech; marketing; non-executive and chair experience.

Alan had 35 years with HSBC, rising to its UK executive board as General Manager. One of his HSBC roles was CEO of FirstDirect Bank where he introduced its digital services, significant product innovation and quadrupled its size and returns. He was responsible for all HSBC UK's products, pricing and marketing. His non-executive roles have included Chairman of RateSetter the Peer to Peer platform, non-executive director of NewDay Cards and of Capital One Bank. He is currently Chairman of Unity Trust Bank plc and Senior Independent Director of Hitachi Capital (UK) plc. He has taught banking and lectured at Warwick and Oxford Universities on service and innovation. He is Pro-Chancellor and deputy Chair of Council at Loughborough University. He has an MBA from Henley and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.


Ian Alexander Irving Strafford-Taylor

Chief Executive Officer

Skills brought to the Board: Investment Banking, Finance and Operational Expertise

Mr. Strafford-Taylor is one of the Founders and has been a Director since 2007. Mr Strafford-Taylor has held a number of senior banking roles, including Business Unit Controller and Head of International Securities Lending at Morgan Stanley, where he worked from 1985 to 1992. Following this, Mr. Strafford-Taylor moved to UBS where he worked for 13 years as Managing Director and Global Head of Securities Borrowing & Lending, Fixed Income Repo and Prime Brokerage. Mr. Strafford-Taylor is a chartered accountant, qualifying with Arthur Andersen in 1985


Richard Q M Cooper

Group Finance Director

Skills brought to the Board: Finance, Corporate Finance, M&A, Tax

Richard joins the Board with extensive public market and growth company experience. He was the CFO of GVC Holdings plc, one of the world's largest sports betting and gaming groups, from 2008 to 2017. Whilst at GVC, Richard played a key role in the implementation of the Company's acquisition strategy during that period, together with its move from AIM to the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange's Main Market. GVC is currently included within the FTSE 250 index. He was also a non-executive director and chairman of the Audit Committee of Sportech Plc from May 2017 to October 2018.

Richard, a Chartered Accountant, is currently a non-executive director of VR Education Holdings plc, a technology focused education company quoted on AIM.


Sian Herbert

Non-Executive Director

Skills brought to the Board: Audit, Financial Crime and Risk and Regulation

Sian Herbert has had an extensive City career spanning 35 years within audit, financial crime, risk and regulation, focusing on the financial services and technology sectors.  She gained 25 years’ experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (‘PwC’), including fifteen years as Partner, stepping down in June 2020.  At PwC, Sian was a partner within the forensic services group, becoming an established expert in financial services, e-money and payment services, advising on financial crime, risk, regulatory change and the impact of technology.

As well as being a member of the ICAEW, Sian is also a Member of the Hong Kong Society of Accountants.  Since July 2020, Sian has held a position as a Non-Executive Director of HBL Bank UK Limited.

Christopher Bones

Non-Executive Director

Skills brought to the Board: Branding, digital growth and business consultancy

Chris has held senior executive positions at major companies including Diageo and Cadbury. Chris co-founded Good Growth Ltd (‘Good Growth’), a successful e-commerce consulting business whose clients include Diageo, Kraft Heinz, WH Smith, Pets at Home, ITV, Boohoo, Channel 4, and others. Good Growth has grown into a successful SME powering rapid digitally-fueled growth in both B2C and B2B businesses across Europe and North America and he will be bringing this experience to the Board in support of Equals’ growth.