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Leadership in EMEA

Nick Powell, President Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) & Asia Pacific

Mr. Powell became President of the Company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) & Asia Pacific (APAC) business segment in March 2019 following Univar’s acquisition of Nexeo Solutions. He is an industry veteran with nearly 30 years in the chemical industry. He joined Univar in 2009, establishing the company’s Middle East and Africa businesses and grew its footprint including by leading the acquisition of our Turkey business. In 2014, Mr. Powell assumed leadership of EMEA’s Focused Industries where he has taken those businesses to new growth levels. In addition to EMEA, he continues to lead Univar’s APAC operations, which he successfully returned to profitability after assuming their leadership in late 2015. Prior to joining Univar, Mr. Powell has spent more than 20 years in the chemicals industry, primarily in the water treatment chemicals and construction chemicals fields.


Sabine Duyfjes, Vice President & Associate General Counsel EMEA & APAC

Ms. Duyfjes joined Univar in November 2009 as Vice President and Associate General Counsel EMEA & APAC. From October 2007 to October 2009, she served as Chief Legal Officer Europe and Managing Director of the Swiss holding company Eolia AG, a developer of renewable energy projects. She also served as Managing Director of the German operating company of Eolia Group, an affiliate of the Spanish private equity fund called N+1. Prior to this, she held European Counsel positions for the General Electric Wind Energy group and GE Bayer Silicones GmbH & Co. KG. Ms. Duyfjes graduated from the Universität Göttingen as a lawyer and as an advocate from the University of Munich. She is also a specialized solicitor in German tax.


Paul Bryant, Vice President, Finance EMEA

Mr. Bryant joined Univar in 1997 and has held various Finance roles in the intervening years. Starting in 2007, Mr. Bryant became Finance Director for Ireland, in 2010 he became Finance Director United Kingdom & Ireland, and in 2012 his role expanded to cover Northern Europe as a Regional Finance Director. From 2013, Mr. Bryant held the role of FP&A Director — EMEA, and in 2014 he was named to his current position VP Finance EMEA. Mr. Bryant earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from Sheffield University and his MBA from the University of Bradford. He is a CIMA Qualified Accountant and completed the SEP programme at London Business School in 2016.


Matthew Ottaway, Vice President Focused Industries EMEA

Dr. Ottaway is Vice President of Univar EMEA Focused Industries (Food Ingredients, Personal Care, Pharma and Coatings). In 2014, he rejoined Univar as Industry Director EMEA for Personal Care, where he led the turnaround of the business to phenomenal growth. During almost 20 years in the chemical and ingredients industry, Dr. Ottaway has worked in the coatings, plastics, food, pharma and general chemical sectors for companies including ISP, Blagden, and Avery Dennison, primarily in sales and commercial leadership roles. Dr. Ottaway has built and executed on a people-led strategy designed to deliver value to both our customers and suppliers. He has an organic chemistry PhD and has spent his career on the commercial side of business’.


Sharon Beardmore, Vice President Human Resources EMEA

Ms. Beardmore joined Univar in 2017 as Vice President, Human Resources EMEA. Prior to joining Univar, Ms. Beardmore held HR leadership roles in a number of multinational organizations across a diverse range of industries, including distribution and biotech, as well as IT and automotive. Passionate about developing talent and firmly believing that HR should be proactive, strategic, and embedded, Ms. Beardmore has developed HR strategy to support business growth both locally and across the globe. She earned a bachelor of science degree with honors in English from Birmingham University and a master's degree in personnel management and business from Aston University.


Nigel Hayes, Regional Vice President EMEA 

Mr. Hayes joined Univar in 2002 in an International Corporate Sales role, before serving as Regional Manager in the United Kingdom. In 2005, Mr. Hayes became Sales Director United Kingdom and Ireland. Mr. Hayes has recently acquired responsibility for Univar's polymer division, Distrupol Ltd. Prior to joining Univar, Mr. Hayes held senior sales positions in international companies in the plastics industry, before heading up an industry consortium dot-com as General Manager for the United Kingdom & Nordics.


Phil Hockaday, Vice President Global Environmental Health and Safety

Mr. Hockaday joined Univar via Cargo Fleet Chemicals in 1977, and has served as a General Manager, a Country Manager, an Operational Leader and a Functional Expert within Univar EMEA. Mr. Hockaday was recently promoted to the position of Vice President, Global Environmental Health and Safety; however, he retains his existing EHSQ responsibilities in the Univar Solutions EMEA region. Mr. Hockaday earned an MBA and a master of science degree in environmental health and safety.

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