About Our People

From seasoned veterans with decades of experience in automotive research, to up-and-coming talent with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, our team is united by a shared passion for excellence, integrity, and innovation.

Our Leadership

We believe that strong leadership is key to success. Our dedicated team of leaders bring a wealth of experience and expertise, in addition to a shared vision to inspire and guide our organisation towards excellence and innovation. They empower individuals, foster a culture of continuous learning and create an environment where everyone can thrive and reach their full potential. 

Our leaders navigate complex challenges and seize opportunities, driving our company towards sustainable growth and market leadership. 

The Thatcham Research Management Board
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Jonathan Hewett
Chief Executive Officer
Photo of Richard Billyeald
Richard Billyeald
Chief Research & Operations Officer
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Miller Crockart
Chief Commercial Officer
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Ruth McRitchie
Director Of Finance
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Daniel Payne
Chief Product & Data Officer
Susie
Susie Meikle
General Counsel and Company Secretary
The Thatcham Research Board

Drawn from a cross section of our member companies our Executive Board directs overall strategy and direction, ensuring our work is relevant and up-to-date and remains in line with the current requirements of the insurance industry.

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Jonathan Hewett
Chief Executive Officer
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Ruth McRitchie
Director Of Finance
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Mark Baker
Head of Claims Supply Chain, RSA Insurance
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Robert Harper
Head of Claims Procurement, Admiral Group
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David Nichols
Chief Claims Officer, Zurich Insurance
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Simon Smith
Managing Director, Solus & Aviva Repair Lead
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Mike Bell
Group Strategy & Transformation Director, Ricardo plc
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Sarah-Jayne Williams
Director, Global Product Partnerships- Geo- EMEA at Google
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Stephen Linklater
Claims Director, Ageas
Susie
Susie Meikle
General Counsel and Company Secretary
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Graham Gibson
Chief Claims Officer – Allianz Insurance
Gareth-McChesney
Gareth McChesney
Commercial Underwriting Director, Hastings Direct
Helen.Cooper
Helen Cooper
Chief Risk and Legal Officer, esure
Stephen-Long
Stephen Long
Claims & Operations Director, Covea Insurance
Key Contacts
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Jonathan Hewett
Chief Executive Officer

Jonathan has led Thatcham Research since 2019 following a career spanning financial services (Barclays, Sainsbury’s Bank, Post Office), Insurance (AIG) and technology (Octo Telematics, Dealflo). Since the early ‘90s, Jonathan has been using data to make better business decisions and achieve optimal outcomes for consumers. He possesses an entrepreneurial spirit, growth mindset and relentless inquisitiveness. Jonathan is responsible for strategy, execution and supporting the team in living the Thatcham Research values. Besides the corporate success, Jonathan, hailing from a motor trade family, is a petrolhead at heart and has been washing cars since the age of 13.

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Miller Crockart
Chief Commercial Officer

Miller manages the team responsible for all revenue generation at Thatcham Research, be that from our Member levy, commercial engagements – data sales, repair sector services – and our active and passive automotive testing. Miller is also responsible for our participation in government, or third-party funded initiatives related to key automotive topics such as electrification, automation and sustainability. Miller has a uniquely international background from both his personal and professional life. Born in Zimbabwe and speaking Japanese, French and German fluently, he represents a blend of cultures and international business approaches, while carrying many injuries from his rugby career in the early days of the sport’s professional era.

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Daniel Payne
Chief Product & Data Officer

With over 25 years’ experience working in IT, software, product and data development, Dan’s role reflects the strategic importance our digital products play in realising Member and customer success. Dan joined as a software engineer in the late ‘90s having just completed a year 2000 project for HMG (remember the nerves about planes flying upside down?) and is a great example of someone progressing through the Thatcham Research ranks to lead a team of over 60 professionals.

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ADRIAN WATSON
Head of Research

Adrian is responsible for delivering our ACE+ research agenda and ensuring a flow of risk intelligence into our downstream product and service development. He also leads our insurability team of subject matter experts. Adrian has 30 years’ experience in maritime, rail, safety and process automation. He also has extensive experience in data analytics, cloud technologies, and digital transformation, and understands how rapidly changing technology can affect businesses and people alike. A lifelong musician and multi-instrumentalist, Adrian enjoys accompanying people in concerts and music exams when he is not mending clocks.

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BEN TOWNSEND
Head of Automotive

Ben has been at Thatcham Research since January 2017, and as our Head of Automotive is responsible for ensuring our automotive products and services are appropriate to serve the needs of our stakeholders. With over 20 years’ experience in the engineering industry, ranging from aerospace, defence (Martin Baker Aircraft) and automotive (Jaguar Land Rover), Ben is also a fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer. Looking after the delivery of our Insurability by Design, passive and active safety testing, and security products, Ben is a great first point of contact for automotive sector customers. With a large family, Ben has little time to do much else, but when he finds spare time, he likes to tinker with a 1960s Jaguar and spends as much of the summer as possible next to a cricket pitch.

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TOM LEGGETT
Vehicle Technology Manager

As our vehicle technology specialist, Tom is responsible for gathering insight and intelligence regarding current and future vehicle technology. This could relate to automation, connectivity, safety, repair, manufacturing, electrification and security. Working closely with vehicle manufacturers, technology suppliers and legislators Tom deciphers the meaning of new technologies to inform and guide our research agenda. His work is focused on building and maintaining Thatcham Research’s external influence, which is underpinned by identifying the latest technology innovations, and differentiating between hype and real-world impact. Outside of automotive, Tom is a keen, if not so consistent golfer. Also guided by his love for food, he enjoys travelling to new places to sample local cuisine and delicacies.

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DOUG WOODLEY
Head of Insurance and Strategic Insight

Doug leads our insurer focus, closely aligning our work with the requirements of our insurer Member’s needs, both now and in the future, feeding into and shaping business strategy in response to the ever-evolving insurance and mobility landscapes. Doug is from a family of aviation enthusiasts and can be found at air shows and museums when time permits. He also has plans to buy a roadster for the weekends… maybe next year?

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DEAN LANDER
Head of Repair Sector Services

Dean leads on deployment and support for our collision repair sector products and services. He is responsible for heading up the renowned Automotive academy and our customer services, while representing the sector’s interests on several key industry committees and groups. 

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DARREN BRIGHT
Principal Engineer - Automotive Repair

Darren has been at Thatcham Research since February 2017, and is our subject matter expert for automotive repair. He has over 20 years’ experience of the automotive repair sector, predominantly as a prestige vehicle repair and restoration specialist but also in vehicle damage assessment, body shop management and latterly as a technical analyst for Direct Line Group. Darren’s deep repair sector knowledge enables him to be our unique insurability lens for sustainable repair. Darren enjoys a keen interest in anything that has an engine and wheels, and began his journey into automotive repair when his dad taught him to weld at the age of seven.

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ALEX THOMPSON
Principal Engineer - Automotive Safety

Alex is Thatcham Research’s leading expert in vehicle safety, with over 20 years’ experience in crash testing and Euro NCAP safety assessments. He is an accredited Euro NCAP lead inspector and an active member of several Euro NCAP working groups, helping to set the future direction of European safety test procedures. He is also a keen cyclist, covering 12,000 miles in the last six years, safely and with no crashes!

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STEVE LAUNCHBURY
Principal Engineer - Automotive Security

Steve is our subject matter expert for automotive security. Through our security lens, Steve identifies theft trends at the earliest opportunity along with understanding the future theft risk of new vehicle technologies. Working with insights gained from insurer Members, law enforcement agencies, vehicle manufacturers and 1st tier suppliers, Steve provides new theft measures into our security assessment programme. Steve has worked for Thatcham Research for 25 years, operating at the heart of our security agenda. Prior to this, Steve qualified as an auto electrician in his early career, before moving into a security-focused role at Lamborghini UK, before moving onto the Reg Vardy Group Ford Dealership where he grew a broader understanding of vehicle manufacturer security systems. When not tinkering with cars and technology Steve is a keen campervan renovator and loves watching Speedway.

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ROY DARCH
Accounts Director - Insurance Data & Services

Roy leads commercial operations around our vehicle risk data offering, working closely with a varied group of motor insurance industry stakeholders to understand their data needs, helping to optimise their use of our unique vehicle risk data offering. Having worked within the financial services and insurance industry for many years, Roy has gained a comprehensive working knowledge of the complex data flows and processes that power the industry. Roy is also a talented photographer and golfer.

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GILES BROOKS
Business Development Manager

Develops both existing and future business partnerships to ensure the repair industry are aware of our products and services and where appropriate, able to access and benefit from them.Working with the UK and Global body repair industry at T.R. since 2009. When not at work, Giles can be found getting dirty on my mountain bike or in the garden pottering… and believes “football IS coming home…I hope one day in my life time!”

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PHIL JAGOE
Head of Insurance Product

Phil leads our automotive risk and repair data acquisition and working closely with vehicle manufacturers and insurers, manages the Group Rating function on behalf of the UK motor insurance industry. With a deep understanding of the automotive industry and its intricate dynamics, Phil strives to ensure that accurate and comprehensive data is available to empower insurance professionals and enhance decision-making processes. Phil is also a culinary enthusiast. Whether he is uncovering hidden insights in complex datasets or experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, he brings the same level of dedication and attention to detail to every endeavour.

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TOM FLISHER
PR Manager

Tom devises and delivers our strategic communications campaigns, connecting the world’s media to our research and expert spokespeople. With 20 years of experience in public relations across a wide range of sectors and clients, from award-winning international brand activation campaigns for 7UP, Hewlett Packard and Gillette to B2B technology brand building, Tom has an innate understanding of the media landscape and how to create impact content that delivers against strategic business objectives. Outside of work, Tom enjoys a vicarious Lego obsession via his 13-year-old son Milo, can still make things happen on a football pitch – just more slowly than he could previously – and is a confident and largely competent skier.

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MARK CALDER
Customer Service Manager

Mark joined Thatcham Research in 2004 as a technical author in the Repair Technology Centre. Mark has a technical background and now leads the customer service team supporting repair sector services based in our Automotive Academy. He is responsible for ensuring that all Thatcham Research customers receive the best possible service, whether they are visiting the Academy in person or subscribing to our online training products. Mark enjoys all motorsport and has recently rekindled his love for motorbikes.

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KASIA WITKOWSKA
Head of Data and Analytics

Kasia is responsible for our data strategy and data culture. She’s accountable for ensuring we have the right data in the right place, to meet the needs of our business, Members and customers. Kasia also looks after our analytical insights and leads a blended team of experts focused on shaping our data products and is responsible for data-sharing initiatives with our Members and external stakeholders. Kasia has spent all her professional life working in various data roles and before joining Thatcham Research was head of data at Allianz Insurance. Kasia has been lucky enough to live in four different countries, having been born in Poland, studied in Italy, worked in Prague and finally, followed her heart to the UK.

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DAVID ALDER
Principal Product Manager

David is responsible for our vehicle risk products and data attributes, which are vital to effective motor insurance in the UK. David has been working with vehicle data for around 20 years, integrating manufacturer data into dealership software. David joined in 2019 and has since greatly broadened his vehicle insurance experience. David’s spare time revolves around training and coaching judo, despite the multiple injuries that he incurs!

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KAREN JAKES
Group Product Manager- Automotive & Repair

Karen is responsible for repair sector services product development, working closely with customers to help overcome issues and challenges. Karen is keen to listen and promote the voice of the customer, ensuring that they are at the centre of all product developments, and sits on the BSI Automotive Services (SVS/20) Committee. Karen has a strong product and marketing background having previously worked in the automotive, insurance and financial services industries. She is an enthusiastic athlete, inspires others to achieve their goals through coaching, and is always looking for the next challenge, adventure or travel destination.

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Ruth McRitchie
Director Of Finance And Company Secretary

Ruth joined Thatcham Research in 2009 and has been a key part of the main board and its committees since that date, having been appointed as a full director in March 2022. She is a qualified accountant having trained and worked at KPMG for 11 years before moving in-house to work in a number of companies, both AIM listed and privately owned. The role at Thatcham Research provides her with an interesting mix – PLC level governance alongside medium sized company issues. She is responsible for the company’s support services including finance, HR, project management, facilities and procurement. She has championed the company’s focus on colleague recognition, engagement and diversity as well as keeping a tight hold over the company’s finances. Outside of work, Ruth enjoys her garden – working on it and sitting in it (when the British weather allows). She also enjoys competitive badminton, having played within her local leagues for over 40 years and now alongside her children.

Mark Fry
Research Manager

Mark joined Thatcham in 2020 following a number of years working as a test and development engineer for various vehicle manufacturers, including visiting Thatcham Research as a customer. Mark leads a team of research engineers from a diverse range of backgrounds who are responsible for delivering research into the ACE+ agendas identified by the insurability team and commercial research for customers. Away from work Mark enjoys playing and watching various sports and spending time outside.

Susie
Susie Meikle
General Counsel and Company Secretary

Susie has been at Thatcham Research since 2014 and, as general counsel and company secretary,  provides both technical and strategic advice to the board and the management team, as well as being responsible for the legal affairs of the company. She is a qualified solicitor and worked in private practice and then in-house for a FTSE 100 company before finding her perfect role at Thatcham Research. Susie leads a team of legal, quality, risk and compliance professionals who work to ensure that Thatcham Research adheres to both external rules and our own internal controls. Susie is a passionate champion for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

CharlotteGreenacre
Charlotte Greenacre
Senior Manager - Member Success

Charlotte leads our Member Success team, who work to build bridges between our members and ourselves, helping the members to access the right people and insight, and Thatcham the right experience and support within the membership.  She joined Thatcham in 2023 after 15 years in the insurance industry, starting at Sabre, learning in detail about motor risk and specialist vehicle insurance, and with her latest role at DLG as a motor technical underwriting manager with a special interest in the future of the car and its effect on the changing risk landscape.  Charlotte also has a PhD in Ancient History, can regale you ad infinitum with facts about Ancient Rome, and will, given half a chance.

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Richard Billyeald
Chief Research & Operations Officer

Richard oversees the research activities that sit at the heart of our business. He leads our multi-disciplinary research teams in identifying the new features and technology driving the rapidly accelerating development of the global car parc. His team provide the insurance lens that focuses on how this new technology will affect the risk of vehicles across safety, security and sustainable repair, ensuring that our vehicle risk model remains current and accurate. Richard is also accountable for our operational capabilities across our Repair Technology Centre, security team, vehicle impact laboratory and track testing facility. Prior to joining Thatcham Research in 2017, Richard spent 20 years working in Formula 1 and other top-level racing series, and his passion for all things motorsport remains. He also recently qualified for his private pilot’s licence and enjoys exploring the UK and beyond from the air.

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