Board of Directors

Francesco Gardin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Francesco graduated in Theoretical Physics at Padova University in 1979, before undertaking a UK Government research project at Exeter University (UK) from 1980 to 1982. In 1983 he was employed by the Italian National Research Council and from 1984 to 1985 he worked at the European Union Research Centre in Ispra, Italy as Co-ordinator of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.  In 1983, Francesco Gardin founded AISoftw@re SpA to develop and distribute Artificial Intelligence systems within Italy, which he took public which on NASDAQ Europe in 1999 and Milan Stock Exchange in 2000. He sold the company in 2005 through a merger and agreed to remain as non executive Chairman until March 2008.  The company is now called Exprivia and when he left it employed more than 1,400 people with revenues in excess of £70m.

In February 2002 Professor Gardin became Chairman of The Company and although he resigned from the Board in February 2011 he has continued to provide advice to the Board without payment for his services.

Since 2006 he has also worked extensively in China, and in March 2007 became CEO of China IPO Group plc, wholly owned by Brainspark plc, focusing on investments in China. In March 2008 he became a Board Member of IPO Beijing Investment Consulting Company Ltd., the China IPO Group plc Chinese subsidiary, with offices in Beijing and Xi’an. The company was subsequently demerged from Brainspark in December 2009.  On 18 December 2008 he was appointed executive Director of London Asia Capital plc, a UK company investing in Asia, to review and maximize the returns of  the investment portfolio. He resigned in July 2013.  On 2nd October 2013 he was appointed to the board of Pan European Terminals PLC, listed on AIM of the London Stock Exchange. He resigned in July 2014 following a successful June bid for the company, which was then taken private.  In December 2014 he founded, together with a business partner, First IPO Capital Ltd, a UK company aiming at financing IPO  costs to companies listing on the London AIM market.

During the last twenty years, he has been Director of almost fifty companies in Italy, UK, USA, Israel, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Mauritius and  Jersey.  Since 1984 to 2014, he has been Research Associate Professor at Udine, Milano and Siena University lecturing  Artificial Intelligence, Theory and Application of Computation, and Virtual Reality. His academic papers include more than 50 individual and joint publications and three books on the subject of Artificial Intelligence as editor.

 

Reginald George Eccles,  Non Executive Director

Reginald has sat on the boards of a number of public and private companies over the past four decades, including most recently, Toledo Mining Corporation plc where he acted as Chairman and Pan European Terminals plc as Senior Independent Director. He began his career at Anglo American Corporation of South Africa as a business analyst, deputy Chief Economist and finally, Corporate and Financial Planning Director based in Johannesburg. In 1979, he co-founded Claspbourne Ltd, a consultancy and publishing company, with offices in the UK and Australia, which he sold in 1988. Subsequently he held senior positions at a number of investment banks, including,  Ord Minnett, (now part of J P Morgan) as Managing Director, Europe and SBC Warburg and ABN Amro, where he was Global Head of Mining Equities.