Chair - Milford Haven Port Authority

Body: Milford Haven Port Authority
Appointing Department: Department for Transport
Sector: Transport
Location: Pembrokeshire, west Wales
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £45,000 + expenses
Time Requirements: 2-3 days per month


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

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Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The current Chair, Mr Peter Jones, is due to retire at the end of July 2017 having served 4 years on the Board. The Port is thus seeking a successful and experienced candidate to succeed the current Chair. As the biggest port in Wales, and one of the largest in the UK, the Port fulfils a critical role in enabling the delivery of up to a third of the UK’s seaborne energy supplies. As well as being a vital services provider for the major energy companies located in the Haven, the Port is home to South Wales’ largest ferry service to Ireland, Wales’ largest fish docks and is owner of a key waterfront property portfolio with exciting plans for regeneration and investment in the growth of tourism revenues.

Achievement of its objectives will necessarily involve close partnership working between the Port of Milford Haven as an independent infrastructure and trading business and other key local and regional players including the Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire County Council.

Under the terms of the Port’s constitution, the Chair is appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport and will be expected to meet Ministers on a regular basis, but is required to be independent. A time commitment equivalent to 2-3 full days per month is expected and the remuneration on offer reflects this.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Leading and directing the board to develop and set strategy based on a high level of personal business acumen and experience.
  • Playing a central role with the Chief Executive in the development and maintenance of strong and effective working relationships with key stakeholders, including UK, Welsh, and local government bodies.
  • Ensuring that the Port adheres to the highest standards of governance and controls, to successfully achieve business and stakeholder objectives whilst controlling risk.

The successful candidate will be:

  • A strategic thinker with a proven executive track record demonstrating business acumen and leadership within a substantial commercial organisation.
  • Able to act as a figurehead for the organisation.
  • Able to contribute to the development of a mutually supportive and collaborative relationship with a wide range of stakeholders in order to help realise Port objectives.

The Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities of the Chair of MHPA are as follows:

Chairing the Board

The Chair leads and manages the business of the Board, which is the key decision making and ownership body of the Port, to provide clear direction, cohesion and focus. He or she sets the agenda, style and tone of board discussions to promote open debate, effective decisions, and strong levels of mutual trust, team working and collective accountability. The Chair will be responsible for ensuring the Board provides the right degree of constructive challenge to the management team and assists the organisation’s continued strength and success. The Chair will be responsible for board member performance and development, succession planning and recruitment to structure an effective Board with the right skills mix to meet the needs of the business.

Working in partnership with the Chief Executive

The Chair must establish a positive, challenging and supportive relationship with the Chief Executive and other senior members of the management team.

Business Performance

The Chair leads the Board in overseeing the delivery of the required business performance and in ensuring that actions and plans are aligned with a coherent long term strategy. He or she will ensure that the board contributes fully to agreeing the strategic direction and will make certain that the Board has sufficient and appropriate information to monitor performance effectively. While recognising the difference between the role of the non-executive board and the executive team, he or she will also ensure that strong levels of strategic direction, customer focus commercial performance, safety and technical excellence are sustained and developed.


The Chair is a key figurehead within the organisation and as such will play a key role with the Chief Executive in developing and sustaining effective stakeholder relations and representing the Board and the Port. Stakeholders include: governmental bodies within the context of a complex regulatory environment and a changing devolution settlement; international and local commercial organisations; and a wide variety of local communities and other interested parties.


The Chair will be required to lead the organisation in maintaining the highest possible standards of integrity and probity. He or she will ensure a transparent and robust governance framework, with strong internal controls and audit, risk management and Health, Safety and Environmental management processes.

Person Specification

Commercial experience and acumen

  • Board-level executive experience within a substantial private sector business ideally from a relevant environment, which may include: maritime, property, regeneration, leisure and tourism.
  • Non-executive or Chair experience as part of a commercial board.

Strategic and decision making ability

  • Ability to drive the development and implementation of strategy within a major commercial business.
  • Ability to see the strengths and weaknesses of MHPA and how decisions will impact on the organisation and its potential future.
  • Ability to identify and act upon opportunities and threats.
  • Ability to judge correctly and act on the political impact of actions and statements.
  • Strong track record of making informed business, strategic and financial decisions on a basis that takes due account of and mitigates risk.

Board leadership

  • Ability to anticipate the needs of the business and develop accordingly an effective Board with the right skills mix.
  • Ability to facilitate constructive board discussion and lead the Board in successful team working, ensuring that all contribute to the fullest extent of their ability and knowledge.
  • Ability to ensure the Board maintains strong collective responsibility and cohesion while recognising the difference between the non-executive and executive roles.


  • An understanding of the difference between governance and management issues.
  • A strong track record of ensuring the highest standards of governance in a large commercial organisation are achieved where accountability to stakeholders is a key issue as well as accountability for financial performance.
  • Experience of managing operational (including safety) commercial, financial and other risks within an organisation.

Stakeholder relationships and personal network

  • Ability to build and establish effective relationships and networks at a senior level with a complex range of stakeholders demonstrating successful personal and organisational engagement strategies.
  • Experience and ability to build effective relationships with key players and influencers in relation to national and local government including understanding of Welsh devolution issues.
  • Personal standing to represent the board and the Port.

Personal commitment, integrity and independence

  • Ability to focus on achievements and outcomes.
  • Integrity in all personal and business dealings.
  • Proven ability to maintain personal and board independence from any single or multiple sets of stakeholders.
  • Ability to be objective about what is best for MHPA and its business.


  • Ability to recognise the motivations of, and relate to, a wide variety of players including: government bodies, customers, owners, competitors, employees and other groups/port users.
  • Develop rational and logical positions with the ability to listen, process, understand and contribute articulately to debate.
  • Ability to communicate with external and internal parties clearly, concisely and with conviction and through such communication to influence and persuade others.


How to Apply

To find out more or to download a candidate brief, containing application instructions, please go to or contact us by email at

For enquiries please call Jemma Terry or Dr Marc Pollentine at the Odgers’ Wales office on 02920 783050. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 7th February 2017. Final Panel interviews will take place on Friday 19thMay 2017.

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