Directors

Meet JFD's Senior Leadership Team who head up the departments across the company.

 

   
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Managing Director

Giovanni Corbetta

Gio took on the role of Managing Director in August 2015. Gio is based at the Westhill office in Aberdeen. Despite the downturn and subsequent challenges this has brought to the industry, Gio has continued to successfully drive forwards JFD’s growth and development.

Gio is a chartered aeronautical engineer and started his career in the late 80s’ as an Air Force Officer in the Engineering Corp looking after the Tornado aircraft. Following a short spell as one of the designers for the Typhoon aircraft engine he decided that the subsea world was more interesting than air. He became a Subsea Robotics Engineer and enjoyed few years designing systems and tools for use at great depths, where he earned the company two international patents, one of which is still utilised.

Following three years in Norway, he moved to Aberdeen in 1996. Gio held a number of different roles, all in the subsea contracting world: Proposals Manager, Project Manager, Engineering Manager, Operations Manager, Projects Director, Divisional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa and finally Managing Director for two different subsea contracting companies before joining JFD.

 

   
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Finance Director

Martin Marsh

Martin joined the business in December 2006 to work closely alongside the Managing Directors through a period of significant project growth with overall control and responsibility for all financial aspects of the company. The remit has continued to expand on a global scale following the recent business acquisitions.

Martin is required to be organised and precise and he isn’t afraid to ensure Gio keeps the rest of the team in check with their meal expenses!

Martin is a chartered accountant and spent the preceding 10 years in public practice in South Africa, with his career progressing from an audit trainee with various promotions through the years to the final position of audit manager before being offered partnership in the practice in 2004.

  

   
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Director – Asia Pacific

Doug Austin

As Asia Pacific Director, Doug is responsible for business development in the whole Asia Pacific region. Developing close relationships with both commercial and government clients in the region is Doug’s main focus, ensuring JFD is able to offer technical solutions based on their current needs.

The region is growing rapidly, and a significant part of JFD’s order book is generated in Asia Pacific. JFD recently acquired  Singapore-based saturation diving company, LEXMAR. This acquisition improves the company’s capability and offering of specialist diving equipment services to the Asia Pacific market, enhances the production capacity and customer support in this area, as well as strengthening our support to the Singaporean Navy for all activities related to submarine rescue. JFD has also recently entered into a joint venture agreement with a Chinese diving equipment manufacturer to form a company called Wuhu Divex Systems Ltd which it is hoped will consolidate our position in China and enable JFD to fully capitalise on future opportunities there. Doug was instrumental in leading both the acquisition and joint venture endeavours in order to increase the region’s capability.

Having graduated from Aberdeen University after studying English, Doug secured a job at Divex in 1987. In 1998, he emigrated to Australia as part owner of a new Australian diving equipment company. He re-joined Divex in 2003 to open the Asia Pacific office in Perth, which he ran until Divex was bought by James Fisher in 2013 and became the hugely successful JFD.

 

   
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Business Execution Director

Ben Sharples

JFD undertakes a wide variety of large scale commercial and defence projects and services. Managing the project effectively through its life cycle from acquisition to completion is essential to ensure JFD can deliver the high quality service for which it is renowned, on time and on budget, as Business Execution Director this is Ben’s role. 

Ben joined Rumic in 1996 which was later bought by James Fisher. He was part of the offshore maintenance and operations team as Design Lead for the LR5 Submarine Rescue vehicle when it was upgraded in 2000 and Project Manager for the development of what has become the current Australian Submarine Rescue System. In 2004, Ben moved to Barrow to work for the James Fisher Group where he helped set up James Fisher Defence and won the Korean and Singaporean Rescue System contracts.

He became Managing Director of James Fisher Defence in 2012 and during his time within this position increased the business’s turnover from £1.2m per annum to £22m as the company became established in Sweden, Korea, Australia and Singapore.

Ben has been a member of the SLT since JFD’s formation in 2013 serving as Strategy Development and Implementation Director, India Project Director and now Business Execution Director.

“I’ve been at JFD for nearly 20 years primarily because I learn something new every day, I enjoy the rich mix of customers, working practices, environments and technology that our global business brings and I’m supported by a great team”

 

   
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Products & Support Director

Danny Gray

Danny is responsible for the Delivery of all JFD Products and Support to our customers, ensuring compliance, safety and quality is delivered throughout our Global product and Service capability, including NHC. JFD also offers an ongoing Product support service to both Commercial and Military customers providing resource and Management throughout the product’s lifecycle, providing a responsive and cost effective global maintenance solution.  

Danny started his career as an Apprentice Mechanic and began working within the diving industry in 1982 with Oceaneering he then joined Gas Services Offshore (which became Divex) as a Technician in 1985. During the past 30 years within the company Danny has predominately worked within the production environment enjoying roles of Workshop Manager and Production & General Manager. In addition, he has also managed a number of support functions including Product Engineering, Business Systems and HR.

Following the recent expansion of JFD, Danny’s remit has expanded rapidly with the addition of many new products and services, making Danny a very busy man. Danny is apprehensive when receiving orders from Doug, which this year has included the manufacture of one of the deepest Saturation Diving System in the world -  posing many a challenge for him and his team!

 

   
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Business Acquisition Director

Valerio Percoco

Maintaining and developing a strong global presence and promoting the variety of products and services JFD can offer is core to the Business Acquisition department’s focus. Within the past year this department has travelled extensively in order to support its customers and promote JFD’s continuously enhancing capability as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for a variety of subsea requirements.

Valerio is a chartered Mechanical Engineer and MBA, and has lived in the UK for over 12 years – he is a native Italian. He has covered many directorship roles in multiple countries including 3 years in China. His experience is diverse having worked in food, import/export, telecommunications, superconductivity and the Oil and Gas industries.

Valerio is a pragmatic, evidence based and numerical professional who has a rational approach to management but also has a warm and personable touch.

Valerio joined JFD at the end of 2015 as part of the SLT leading the Bids, Marketing and Sales activities, and since hasn’t had a moments rest as Ben is ever ready and waiting, pushing him to take in as many new and exciting projects as he can!

 

   

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Business Operations Director

John Paul McCarroll

Responsible for the provision and delivery of all internal functions, John Paul ensures JFD works efficiently and effectively in order to maintain high quality standards and resources.

A qualified chartered accountant, John Paul spent his formative years working in public practice specialising in accounting, auditing, taxation and corporate finance. He joined James Fisher Defence in 2010 as Finance and Commercial Director.

Following the merger in 2013, John Paul took on the role of Commercial Director which has subsequently transitioned into Business Operations Director.

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