Our Board of directors

Steve Johnson

Non-Executive Chairman

Steve was appointed as Non-Executive Chairman in July 2018 and is an Asset Manager Director at Infracapital, a leading European infrastructure investor. Steve has 35 years of experience in the energy and utility sectors and was CEO of Electricity North West for eight years. Prior to this he was Managing Director of Morrison Utility Services, which followed 17 years at United Utilities. Steve has also held positions as Non–Executive Director of South West Water and Chairman of Energy Networks Association from 2011 to 2014. Steve was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to energy networks.


Peter Antolik

Non-executive Director and Arjun Infrastructure Partners Representative

Peter was appointed to the Board in July 2018. Peter is a Partner of Arjun Infrastructure Partners (AIP) and his background covers regulated companies, transport regulation, and the management of infrastructure funds and investments. Peter joined AIP from the Office of Rail and Road and was previously the Strategy and Regulation Director of Thames Water. Peter has previously worked with Macquarie Bank, creating and managing the European infrastructure funds. He was also an Executive Director in JP Morgan’s Infrastructure Investment Fund and started his career with Accenture.


Keith Harris

Non-executive Director and Arjun Infrastructure Partners Representative

Appointed as an Independent Non-executive Director and Arjun Infrastructure Partners Representative on 20 October 2020, Keith is the owner of the advisory business Lorraine House and spent 20 years at Wessex Water, including a period of time at ENRON/AZURIX, where he was global Head of Regulation. At Wessex Water he held various senior executive and Board positions, including CFO and deputy CEO, and brings strong financial and regulatory experience to the Board.


Toby Buscombe

Non-executive Director and Arjun Infrastructure Partners Representative

Toby was appointed to the Board in November 2022. He serves as Deputy Managing Partner and Head of Asset Management at Arjun Infrastructure Partners, having joined in 2022. Prior to this, Toby was the Deputy CIO and Head of Matching Plus at BAE Pension Funds Investment Management. In this position, he led the roll-out of the newly created Matching Plus strategy across a range of private market asset types spanning both equity and debt and supported the management of the wider investment portfolio. Toby has also previously held positions as a Partner and Global Head of Real Assets at Mercer Investments, overseeing a global team responsible for the management of over US$4.5 billion in AUM and committed AUA across real asset equity and debt investments globally, and a Partner, Director and Head of UK & Europe for Access Capital Advisers, a global infrastructure asset manager. Toby holds a BEc (First Class Hons) in Economics from the Australian National University and is a CFA Charterholder.


Phil Newland

Group Chief Executive

Appointed as Group Chief Executive in April 2020, having previously been Managing Director of South Staffs Water since 2014 and, prior to this, Managing Director of Echo Managed Services since 2006. Prior to joining Echo, Phil was a Management Consultant with Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and Terence Chapman Associates.


Rob O’Malley

Group Chief Financial Officer

Appointed CFO of South Staffordshire Plc in March 2020 having previously held senior finance roles in energy networks and utilities. He is responsible for the Group’s central support services operation, which includes Group Finance and IT services. Prior to joining, Rob was formerly Group Treasurer at Cadent Gas and Head of Corporate Finance at Electricity North West. Earlier in his career he was with United Utilities and NatWest.