Management

Meet the team that powers Ascona Group.

Darren Briggs

Managing Director / CEO
Summary

Darren leads the management team. Responsible for implementing strategies that drive unrivalled business performance and substantial growth.

Details

Darren founded Ascona Group in 2011 in his home county of Pembrokeshire, South-West Wales. He began his career in the industry withroles at Elf Oil UK Limited and Total UK Limited, before founding BigOil.net in2004, which he sold to the PRA in 2008.

In 2018, Darren and his team at Ascona embarked on a high-growth strategy and have since taken the Group from two sites in Pembrokeshire to a growing portfolio across the UK.

His strategy of ‘Asconarisation’ sees Ascona forecourts developed into “world-class” roadside retail destinations, with a leading instore retail offerings, concentrating on Food-To-Go, comprised of both commercial retail partnerships and in-house brands.

He has also been instrumental in founding the Ascona management board, which is shaping the future of the organization. His drive, determination and “hands-on” approach to management and business performance has earned Darren and Ascona Group several entrepreneurial and business awards and nominations.

Contact Number
Email
db@asconagroup.co.uk
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Darren Briggs
Managing Director / CEO
Bio
Darren Briggs

Darren leads the management team. Responsible for implementing strategies that drive unrivalled business performance and substantial growth.

Shane Higgon

Group Finance Director
Summary

Shane brings multi-sector experience with financial control and risk management to the team.

Details

Shane is a multi-disciplinary business director with a focus on developing, funding and executing a business’s core strategy.

Prior to joining Ascona in 2018 Shane had been working as an independent financial business consultant/interim FD for 15 years across a wide range of business sectors from start-up through to business sale. He has previously held senior commercial/financial roles in education, leisure & hospitality, technology, retail, construction and waste management.

Shane leads on financial strategy and control and governance.

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Shane Higgon
Group Finance Director
Bio
Shane Higgon

Shane brings multi-sector experience with financial control and risk management to the team.

Duncan Morris

Group Property Director
Summary

Specialising in property and operations management and strategic management of multi-site retail networks.

Details

Duncan has over 30 years’ experience in the fuel industry, having served as Operations Director for the 25 forecourt group MPK Garages and Strategy and Planning Manager for Elf Oil UK & Total UK Ltd.

Duncan leads on portfolio management and acquisitions.

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Duncan Morris
Group Property Director
Bio
Duncan Morris

Specialising in property and operations management and strategic management of multi-site retail networks.

Catherine MacLeod

Chief Legal Officer & Group Company Secretary
Summary

Catherine supports the Board on all areas of law and governance.

Details

Catherine trained at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in the City of London before qualifying into the firm’s Real Estate Development team, advising major transport clients including TfL on the Northern Line Extension to Battersea Power Station and BAA on the £1.5bn sale of London Stansted Airport.

Catherine then joined Teacher Stern LLP in the West End, advising high net worth individuals and private companies on asset management, site assemblies and redevelopments, providing detailed title analyses on sites such as The Ned and The Stage, Shoreditch.

She then moved ‘in-house’ to Network Rail’s legal team in London, overseeing the managed station retail portfolio, freight network and reclassification as a public body, before joining Ascona Group in order to support the Board on all areas of law and governance.

Contact Number
+44 01646 233 123
Email
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Catherine MacLeod
Chief Legal Officer & Group Company Secretary
Bio
Catherine MacLeod

Catherine supports the Board on all areas of law and governance.

Dave Beckett

Retail Operations Director
Summary

Dave oversees the development and transformation of the Group’s existing forecourts, with projects including knockdown-rebuilds and store refits.

Details

Dave has worked in the retail industry for a number of years, holding store management roles at The Co-operative Group and Ebor sites, before progressing to the role of Area Manager at MPK Garages.

Joining the Ascona team in 2017, Dave onboarded the Group’s first site, and has since managed site operations across the Group’s steadily growing portfolio.

Dave’s role is to develop and transform the Group’s existing forecourts, with projects including knockdown-rebuilds and store refits, whilst overseeing the acquisition of new sites. 

Contact Number
+44 01646 233 123
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Dave Beckett
Retail Operations Director
Bio
Dave Beckett

Dave oversees the development and transformation of the Group’s existing forecourts, with projects including knockdown-rebuilds and store refits.

Paul Stoddart

Retail Trading Director
Summary

Provides retail-focussed support to the Operations Director, co-operating with Area and Site Managers.

Details

As the Retail Trading Director at Ascona I manage the retail and commercial partnership relations with suppliers and partners.
I provide retail focussed support and co-operation to our Operations Director, Area and Site Managers.
Along with developing our retail vision, strategy and plan to drive top-line growth and bottom-line profitability.

I have worked in the Retail Industry for many years in both the Independent and Corporate sectors. My roles have included, Store, Project and Account Management along with Training positions.  These have provided me with the experience and knowledge base to enable me to fully support the Ascona team.

I am married with 2 children and live in Swindon.  As a southerner, of course I support Manchester United! And I enjoy playing Golf.

A Work Achievement: Sales Manager of the Year, Musgrave Retail Partners A Personal Achievement: Skydive from 2 miles up over Salisbury Plain

I enjoy working for Ascona and being part of a rapidly growing business and the challenges it brings.

Contact Number
+44 01646 233 123
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Paul Stoddart
Retail Trading Director
Bio
Paul Stoddart

Provides retail-focussed support to the Operations Director, co-operating with Area and Site Managers.

Colin Russell

Director Valeting and Sales
Summary

Colin has many years of experience in the sales of capital equipment and related service organisations.

Details

With many years of experience within the sales of capital equipment and related service organisations I have gained invaluable experience, building working relationships with key decision makers within multiple organisations, supermarkets, oil companies and major groups as well as the individual operator.

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Colin Russell
Director Valeting and Sales
Bio
Colin Russell

Colin has many years of experience in the sales of capital equipment and related service organisations.

Patrick Hudson

Chairman
Summary

Patrick’s focus is on adapting to change and ensuring future business sustainability (ESG).

Details

An experienced oil executive with experience in both Upstream and Downstream operations. Co-owner of a Consultancy in Downstream oil products markets focusing on Retail. Senior oil company management experience the UK and 6 other European markets, operating in diverse market environments with a variety of business models including JV’s.

Wide network of industry contacts and particular interest in business growth through either organic growth or acquisitions, adapting to change and ensuring future business sustainability (ESG).  

Patrick is married with three children and lives in Hertfordshire. In addition to his work commitments he is charity trustee, school governor, community volunteer and fund raiser. Leisure interests are largely outdoor activities and sport including mountain climbing, skiing, cycling and dog walking.      

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Patrick Hudson
Chairman
Bio
Patrick Hudson

Patrick’s focus is on adapting to change and ensuring future business sustainability (ESG).

Paul Evans

Non-Executive Director
Summary

Focused on shaping Strategy and driving Shareholder value.

Details

Paul's early career was with FedEx where he held a number of Senior Executive positions located around the World. For the past 10 years he has been an active Investor, Advisor and Mentor to a number of early stage Businesses, helping them from launch through to scaling and exit.

He has also held several Board positions, including NED roles where he has been focussed on shaping Strategy and driving Shareholder value.

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Paul Evans
Non-Executive Director
Bio
Paul Evans

Focused on shaping Strategy and driving Shareholder value.

Alex Buchanan

Non-Executive Director
Summary

Alex brings a wealth of experience in finance and equity.

Details

Alex has worked in institutional equities and corporate finance since 1998. After 12 years in institutional equities (initially at JP Morgan Cazenove), he set up an alternative financing group at Lazard before going on in 2010 to build the alternative capital division at Mirabaud & Cie.

In 2015, together with his partners, he acquired Nash & Co Capital Ltd, a UK-focused corporate finance advisory business, and in 2019 established Nash Business Capital, a principal lender to UK SMEs. He has published two books on finance and is a graduate of Oxford University.

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Alex Buchanan
Non-Executive Director
Bio
Alex Buchanan

Alex brings a wealth of experience in finance and equity.

Jonathan Redman

Non-Executive Director
Summary

Details

Jonathan is a Director at Crestline Investors Inc, focusing on European investments. Previously he was an Investment Director at a European private equity firm focusing on small-cap companies and started his career at PWC.

Jonathan has been a non-executive director and board adviser across multiple sectors including sports brands, TV post-production, telecoms, logistics, and marketing services. He has a BSc in Economics and Management from Cardiff University and is a Chartered Accountant.

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Jonathan Redman
Non-Executive Director
Bio
Jonathan Redman

Richard Webb

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Summary

Richard has specialist expertise in highly availability mission critical supply chains.

Details

Richard is an Executive Partner with Gartner, delivering actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams at a variety of FTSE 250 businesses.  He has over 30 years experience of operational management and technology leadership roles in multiple retail and logistics supply chains. 

Richard has specialist expertise in highly availability mission critical supply chains, business re-engineering in digitally disrupted markets, mergers and acquisitions, ERP, cost optimisation, warehouse automation and digital innovation.   

Industry Experience

Supply Chain, Logistics, Digital Start-Up’s, Charity Sector

Professional Background

WH Smith, Connect Group plc, Rascal Solutions, Tuffnells Parcels Express, Ascona Group

Education
Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing, BSc (Hons) Business Studies, University of Bradford, 

Awards

2015: Winner of SAP Europe, Middle East & Africa Awards in Mobility Innovation, 2013: Sir Simon Hornby Trophy for Inter-Charity Co-operation

Contact Number
+44 01646 233 123
Email
rw@asconagroup.co.uk
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Richard Webb
NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Bio
Richard Webb

Richard has specialist expertise in highly availability mission critical supply chains.

Ascona board of directors.

Ascona has an accomplished board of directors.

Patrick Hudson

Chairman

Darren Briggs

Managing Director / CEO

Shane Higgon

Group Finance Director

Duncan Morris

Group Property Director

Catherine MacLeod

Chief Legal Officer & Group Company Secretary

Paul Evans

Non-Executive Director

Alex Buchanan

Non-Executive Director

Jonathan Redman

Non-Executive Director

Richard Webb

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Along with our 676 team members.

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