BOARD OF DIRECTORS
As the son of a pilot, Chris Leach has always had aviation in his blood. Starting out with Saturn Airways in the 1970s Chris has experience of almost every aspect of the aviation business from dealing with passenger flights all over Europe, to his role in Sudan in the early 80’s with Transamerica airlines, where he co-ordinated aircraft during the great famine transporting personnel and aid. He founded Air Charter Service in 1990 from the basement of his home in Kingston. His knowledge of the aviation market won him several key contracts for passenger and cargo flights with organisations such as the United Nations. Deciding never to take a bank loan, but instead to grow the business organically, Chris re-invested heavily in the business and grew it from its humble beginnings to the leading global company that it is today. His key beliefs have always remained that personal service is what the airline industry is all about and that if you go the extra mile for the customer, they will always come back and as a result the business will grow.
COMPANY TREASURER AND SECRETARY
Christine began her career in the aviation business with Lear Siegler (American Avitron) and British Aerospace. Christine has worked in all administrative areas of ACS and has been a Director and Company Secretary since its inception. Until the arrival of Stewart Pitt in 2007, she ran the Finance Department, setting up the company’s accounting structure, payroll and later managing the computerisation of the accounts system. Until the creation of the Legal Department, she was also responsible for the corporate legal work, setting up overseas subsidiary companies in readiness for global expansion. With the ever increasing number of subsidiary companies to administer, she is now concentrating on her position as Group Company Secretary. She also chairs the ACS Charity Committee and participates in the company’s endeavours to develop its Corporate Social Responsibility.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
You would be hard pressed to find anyone more enthusiastic about aviation than Justin. Famed for his encyclopaedic knowledge of aircraft and a keen pilot in his spare time, Justin has been one of the most trusted and successful air charter experts in Europe over the past 20 years. A true professional, Justin keeps a close eye on every account manager in the company and is driven by the desire for perfection in all aspects of the business. Justin is a business graduate who has been working for ACS his entire career and is a key member of the ACS board.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Ruan has been with Air Charter Service for more than 15 years and has held a number of key management roles since joining. Initially in the London cargo department he then diversified his knowledge and worked on the executive jets side of the business. In 2004 Ruan became President of North American operations before moving back to the UK and taking on the role of International Development Director, before moving on to become Group Director of Executive Jets. Having worked cross-functionally across global markets and a spectrum of departments, and with such an impressive and diverse range of knowledge, Ruan was appointed COO of Air Charter Service in 2013.
GROUP COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR
Justin is a highly experienced charter expert who counts some of the biggest names in the industry amongst his clients. He started out in the charter world in the former ACS operations base in Ostend, where he became an expert in the ground operations essential to running a successful charter. He then moved to the sales side of the business where this experience was used to great effect and his practical knowledge has proved extremely valuable to the ACS board. Justin was appointed Group Commercial Director in 2013.
GROUP EXECUTIVE JETS DIRECTOR
Since joining the company in 2004 Andrew has been instrumental in the growth of both the private charter division and the North American offices. Originally working in the London office, Andrew moved to New York in 2008 where he initially was head of the local private charter team, before being promoted to president of ACS North America, with responsibility for all four regional offices on the continent, accounting for over $150m of the company’s annual revenue. In 2014 Andrew returned to ACS Headquarters in London to take charge of all private aircraft operations worldwide.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Stewart Pitt is another hugely experienced member of the ACS management team. Stewart qualified as an ACA with KPMG in 1997 and since then has held positions as Finance Manager at British Airways and as a senior business accountant at the London Stock Exchange where he managed financial planning and forecasting processes as well as being involved in several bid defence projects. Stewart’s knowledge and experience has proved invaluable since his arrival and has resulted in ACS being one of the most financially secure charter companies in the country.
GROUP MARKETING DIRECTOR
Having worked in all three main divisions at ACS - the Private, Group and Cargo departments – in both operations and account management, James moved to the Marketing department in 2007. He was appointed Group Marketing Director in 2011 and has grown the department in both size and effect exponentially. James is responsible for all marketing strategies, including the implementation of new customer technology.
GROUP LEGAL DIRECTOR
Since joining the company in 2013, Omar has further streamlined and built upon the group’s diligent and thorough compliance procedures. He continues to play an important role in maintaining service quality as ACS continues to grow globally.
Charles was a Managing Director at Fitch Ratings, where he worked for 30 years, prior to retiring in August 2013; he now has a consulting role with Fitch. He was Managing Director responsible for the management and operations of Fitch’s credit ratings of global Financial Institutions. Charles played an important role in the international development of the company and was responsible for Fitch’s analytical and business activities in Latin America for 25 years. Charles is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA), having qualified with Champness, Corderoy, Beesley & Co. before becoming an Audit Manager at Coopers & Lybrand.
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