Executive Profiles

Lee Jon Newman

Lee Jon Newman – Group Chief Executive Officer

  • Lee joined The VPS Group as CEO in March 2018 having held a number of senior positions including:
  • Chairman – RSD Group – Sector specialist search & consultancy firm
  • CEO of Elliott Group — UK’s leading provider of re-locatable buildings
  • Co-founding CEO of ilke Homes, the UK modular house builder
  • Managing Director of Wolseley UK Commerical & Industrial division, the largest distribution business in the heating and cooling products industry
  • Group Operations Director at HSS Hire, the UK & Ireland’s national supplier of equipment and tool hire

Prior to his corporate life, Lee spent 14 years as an International Athlete representing Wales and Great Britain in Shot Put and Discus throw

Richard Jones

Richard Jones – Group Chief Financial Officer 

  • Richard joined The VPS Group in July 2018 as UK Finance Director, before being promoted to Chief Financial Officer in January 2019.
  • Richard started his career at Alstom before joining Jewson, a building and construction materials supplier, where he held numerous finance roles over the course of thirteen years. 

Richard then joined Wolseley UK — Pipe & Climate Center, the largest distribution business in the heating and cooling products industry, where he was Finance Director, before moving on to Elliot Group, the UK’s leading provider of re-locatable buildings, where he was appointed Chief Financial Officer.

Suzy Hardyman

Suzy Hardyman — Group Chief Legal, People and Corporate Development Officer

  • Suzy joined VPS in March 2016 as Group General Counsel and Company Secretary. In addition to heading up the Group’s Legal team, Suzy is the Executive Sponsor for the Group-wide ESG agenda and her role expanded in January 2020 to be Executive Lead for People.
  • Suzy started her career at Allen & Overy, where she qualified into the Banking team and became a Senior Associate before moving in-house to the legal team at Credit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank.
Jody Appleton

Jody Appleton, Group Chief of Staff

  • Jody joined the VPS Group in November 2019 as Group IT & Change Director, with accountability for delivering a significant IT transformation. Since joining her role has expanded to include Health & Safety, Incident Management, Risk, Compliance, Audit & Internal Communications.
  • Jody joined the VPS Group after a successful career in Financial Services at Aviva and Chubb. 
  • At Aviva Jody defined, implemented and operated a large PMO and Portfolio Management function, leading the organisation through a large transformation, following which Jody took on a broader role as Chief of Staff to the Global CIO.
  • In this role Jody delivered a significant digital and cultural transformation, before moving to Chubb as Vice-President of IT Strategy and Transformation.
Craig Robb

Craig Robb, Group Chief Commercial Officer and Interim UK and Ireland Managing Director

  • Craig joined The VPS Group in September 2022 as Group Chief Commercial Officer 
  • In February 2023, Craig was appointed to the interim role of UK and Ireland Managing Director
  • Craig started his career at Brinks before joining Reliance Security and then Securitas, the world’s largest security solutions company. During his tenure he held several senior roles in both operations and commercial, latterly Chief Commercial Officer (UK).
Jean-Christophe Chwat

Jean-Christophe Chwat —  Europe-South President

  • Jean-Christophe joined The VPS Group in March 2013 as Président of VPS France. While serving in this capacity he was responsible for the Guardians business in France achieving certification and has built a reputation as a recognized industry leader.
  • Prior to The VPS Group, he has held various roles including Marketing Director in charge of strategy and development at De La Rue, the first private banknote printing company; Vice President – EMEA at The Brink’s Company, the world’s largest cash management company; and Président Director General at Neo Security, a 5000 people French security company.
Jeroen Van Der Poel

Jeroen van der Poel – Europe-North Managing Director

  • Jeroen joined the VPS Group in June 2016 as the Managing Director of VPS Netherlands and was instrumental in the development of the European Guardians business.
  • Jeroen held marketing and communications roles before moving into the Security Industry, working for Securicor and G4S, holding senior roles across Marketing and Sales. He joined the Dutch Executive Board of G4S in 2012 as Business Development Director responsible for Sales, Business Development and Acquisitions.

Jeroen holds Masters Degrees in International Relations and Business Administration from the Universities of Utrecht and Bradford.

Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis — Evander Managing Director

  • Paul joined Evander as Managing Director in September 2018 and has led the leadership team to deliver its realignment and subsequent growth over the past two years.
  • Paul has previously served as Chief Commercial Officer at Industrial Cleaning Equipment Ltd, the UKs largest independent industrial cleaning equipment specialist.

Paul started his career working in the facilities management sector before joining HSS Hire, the UK & Ireland’s largest national supplier of equipment and tool hire where he held a number of sales and operational roles including Group Sales Director and Managing Director of the group’s cleaning equipment rental division (Reintec).

Marc Stanton

Marc Stanton, Nexus Managing Director

  • Marc joined The VPS group as part of the acquisition of Nexus National Security Network in July 2022.
  • Marc started his security career in 2008 before joining G4S, the worlds leading Security company.
  • Marc co-founded Nexus in 2011 identifying a niche in the market for specialist security outsourcing and the company rapidly grew to become the largest provider in the UK before he excited his shareholding and joined the VPS Executive team in 2022.
Julie Newman

Julie Newman, Group Programme Manager

  • Julie joined The VPS group in September 2019 to support the Group CEO, driving project management disciplines across the international Group Executive Team and ensuring timely and effective delivery of key Group initiatives.
  • Julie joined Wolseley UK, the leading plumbing, heating and cooling infrastructure trade specialist merchant in the UK, in February 1995
  • Throughout her 24 year tenure she held various roles, with the last position being Field Operational Lead – Wolseley Operations, where her responsibilities were to maximise the profitability of the business through improved processes; identifying and implementing operational efficiency; managing strategic changes to the operating model and supporting key stakeholders within the business as the key link between HQ and the Branch Network.