David Buttress today announced the three new directors who have joined him to make up the new Dragons board.

Katie Vizard | 19/10/2017

The former Just Eat Chief Executive and co-founder was appointed as Chairman of the Dragons last month (9th September) and has moved quickly to establish a new governance structure to lead the Gwent rugby region into a new era.

David Reynolds, a former financial analyst and Royal Marine Officer who is now chief financial officer of one of the UK’s fastest growing technologies companies, Brandwatch, joins the board alongside two senior figures from the Welsh Rugby Union.

Ian Jeffery is the current WRU Board representative for Gwent, a director of Persimmon Homes and an experienced property developer and the WRU Group Finance Director Steve Phillips – a member of the WRU’s Executive Board – completes the new board set-up.

“The new Dragons board has strong independent representation sitting alongside key WRU personnel and is reflective of how aligned we are at senior level,” said Mr Buttress.

“Our collective primary purpose is to build a great example of regional rugby both on and off the pitch and we are united in this aim.

“We will be continually engaging with supporters, players, coaches the local rugby clubs around the region as we look forward to a new era and we will be directly addressing issues such as the redevelopment of Rodney Parade, growth in commercial revenues and new partnerships which are critical for the Dragons, in the coming months.”

The new Dragons board has already had its first meeting, earlier this month, when the new members were welcomed to Rodney Parade.

“I have known David (Reynolds) for a number of years from his time as a top financial analyst in the City and he brings with him drive, expertise and business acumen which will be a great asset to the Dragons,” added Mr Buttress.  

“It is obviously important to us to ensure that the WRU, after taking ownership of the Dragons and Rodney Parade, is represented at Board level and in Steve and Ian we have two individuals who are highly respected through the game and the business world.”

David Reynolds commented:

“Our next step is to grow a comprehensive and cohesive strategy to build a strong commercial sporting enterprise in the region.

Ian Jeffery said:

“We want the Dragons to be one of the most attractive destinations in the game for top players and coaches to come to work and we will also work hard on developing top local talent from clubs throughout the Gwent region.

Steve Phillips added:

“It is important for us to establish that the Dragons are a strong independent commercial entity that is aligned to the WRU, but not defined by that alignment.”

The new Dragons Board:

David Buttress is the Dragons chairman.

The former Just Eat Chief Executive and co-founder is from Cwmbran in Gwent.
The entrepreneur and business graduate was as recently as January recognised as one of the UK’s 500 most influential people by Debretts and is currently a member of joint venture capital firm 83North

He played for Croesyceiliog RFC and was educated at Croesyceiliog comprehensive school before leaving for Middlesex University and embarking on a business career which has seen him earn a host of accolades and awards, including the 2015 Entrepreneur Wales award.

Steve Phillips joined the WRU Group in 2008 from TBI, which was one of the largest regional airport owners in the world after ten years with the company.

He trained with KPMG and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1989.

He played rugby for Amman Valley Comprehensive School, Imperial College London, University of London and Amman United, where he captained the first XV.

Ian Jeffery joined the WRU Board in 2015. He has enjoyed a progressive career in the construction and private development sectors, holding positions on the boards of three national house builders, recently joining Persimmon & Charles Church Homes as Regional Commercial Director.

He started playing rugby at 11 years of age and commenced his senior rugby in Exeter, moving to the Gloucester leagues before joining Usk in 2004 and finally retiring from the game in 2011.

Whilst playing he also served on club committees for 24 years, joining the District A meetings in 2010 as a representative of Usk.

David Reynolds is currently Chief Financial Officer at Brandwatch and a former financial analyst at Jefferies & Company. He was voted number one ranked stock picker by the Reuters Starmine Awards, in the Non-Food Retail sector in 2017 and in Media in 2016.

Previously he had been head of a new European Technology franchise and led the research effort in Software and IT Services at JP Morgan Chase & Co for eight years.

He studied at Swansea University and has also been a maths teacher and served with the Royal Marines in South America, Western Africa and the Middle East and is a Chartered Accountant. 

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