Meet our team of experts

Gavin Lyons – Chairman

Gavin has had a distinguished career over 25 years in the TMT sector specialising in software, services and telecoms. Gavin has experience of running both public and privately owned companies focused on growth. For the last six years, Gavin has been CEO for Tax Systems, a leading provider of corporation tax software backed by Bowmark Capital. He has also been an operating partner at MXC Capital, the tech-focused merchant bank, CEO at Accumuli, an AIM listed cybersecurity business, Head of Telecoms and Utilities at SAP and Vice President of Sales and Alliances at Trend Micro, a global data and cybersecurity business. Gavin holds an MBA from Henley Management College, awarded in 2005.

Martin Sutherland – Chief Executive Officer

Martin has spent 30 years in the security and technology sectors, building and diversifying businesses. He started his early career with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and BT, before spending 18 years with Detica, a specialist national security and cyber security business. He helped to grow the business to over £400m in revenue over that time, becoming Managing Director for 6 years when Detica was acquired by BAE Systems and rebranded Applied Intelligence. Most recently he has been the CEO of De La Rue plc. Martin holds a Masters degree in Physics from Oxford University, and a Masters degree in Remote Sensing from University College and Imperial College London.

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Mark Gascoigne – Chief Operating Officer

Mark has 20 years of experience across a range of sectors including security, technology, defence and aviation with the common themes being a focus on operational excellence, business management, service delivery and building high performing teams.

Mark initially worked for British Airways Engineering and Thales as a software engineer after leaving university before joining Detica, a specialist national security and cyber security business where he spent almost ten years in various roles including Operations Director for the global cyber security business post the acquisition of Detica by BAE Systems. Mark has held a number of leadership and management roles in other companies including UK Services Director at Digital Barriers, Global Sales Operations Director at De La Rue and most recently as European Managing Director for Gama Aviation Plc. Mark holds a Masters degree in Avionics Engineering from Bristol University.

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James Dyson – Chief Customer Officer

James joins us with 20 years of experience in network, security and cloud environments combining a great operational background with a strong belief that it’s the people that make the organisation successful.

James built his skills as a network architect building banking solutions before moving to management and taking on a number of operational and transformational roles. He joins the team with a long history of transforming, building and running operational teams working with all sizes of business from startups through international MSPs. With teams from 20 to 200+ James has managed a huge range of customers from financial, government and corporate institutions through to international trading and retail.

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Chris Gould - Chief Consulting Officer

With over 30 years’ experience as an information and cyber risk professional, Chris is an expert in helping organisations around the world to navigate technology risks, particularly relating to information and business continuity. As the former global practice leader for cyber incident response for a Big Four consultancy, Chris leads the technical aspects of incident response while supporting business leadership and the board through a legal, regulatory and stakeholder management approach.

Working across multiple industries including financial services, energy and retail, Chris has developed cyber security strategies and led complex, multi-regional, security transformation projects for a number of large clients.

Simon Hodgkinson – Senior Development Director/Board Advisor

Simon has 35 years of experience in technology and security within the software, financial services, and energy sector. He spent 18 years working for bp in a variety of global roles, including the Group Chief Information Security Officer and VP of Global Infrastructure.

He has been recognised for his advocacy of diversity and inclusion with several nominations as a top Corporate Ally. Simon has served as an advisor to Natural History Museum on cyber security.

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Stephen Ball – Senior Independent Director

Throughout his career in technology Stephen Ball has been noted for his substantial experience with turnaround and strategic growth in both private and public sector businesses.

During his time as CEO at Lockheed Martin, Stephen advanced their organic growth and acquisition of people as well as increasing their compound annual sales growth whilst shaping strategic advisory Boards for key countries in International portfolios. Previously, Stephen had been CEO at HMGCC were he implemented an imaginative business plan, enhancing core technical capability and sharpening focus on cost control. Stephen is an Honorary Doctor of Science.

Reliance acsn has an advisory board comprised of experts and influencers from the cyber security and infosec domain, the board meets regularly with the leadership team, and provides advice, support and steerage to a broad range of topics across the strategic execution of the business.

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Advisory Board

Reliance acsn has an advisory board comprising experts and influencers from the cyber security and InfoSec domain. The board meets regularly with the leadership team and provides advice, support and steerage on a broad range of topics across the strategic execution of the business.

Paul Winstanley – Advisory Board Member

Paul started his career as a research scientist in the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). On the privatisation of the MoD research laboratories to QinetiQ Paul took on a wider technical leadership role and was later promoted to become QinetiQ’s youngest ever Technical Director.

Paul’s final role in QinetiQ was as the President and CEO of QinetiQ Inc. Paul decided to repatriate to the UK and create his own strategic development consultancy. Here Paul’s focus is on the creation of new business and value realization from market diversification in the defence and security sectors and internationally (UK, Europe and USA). Paul now combines advisory and executive operational roles, the combination of interests that underpinned his desire to form Alazen.

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Tarquin Folliss OBE - Advisory Board Member

Tarquin Folliss served in government for over 30 years, first in the military and then, for 27 years, in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He finished his career as a senior diplomat focusing on national security policy. He served overseas in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. In 2013 he retired and has worked since in the private sector, predominantly with technology companies.

Headshot of Tarquin Folliss OBE

John Noble – Advisory Board Member

John Noble is an experienced senior leader with a strong track record for operational delivery and strategic business change, formerly the Director of Incident Management at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), where he led on nearly 800 major cyber incidents; This work has given him unrivalled experience in dealing with and understanding the causes of cyber issues. Prior to that, John spent four years at the British Embassy in Washington, USA.

During more than 40 years of government service, John has built collaborative, diverse and high performing teams and has excelled at creating effective partnerships.. For his work in creating effective partnerships in the run up to the London Olympics, he was awarded a CBE in 2012.

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Dr Victoria Baines – Advisory Board Member

Victoria Baines is Principal and Founder of Cartimandua Insight, and is a leading author and speaker in the field of cybersecurity. She regularly appears in major broadcast media as an authority on the misuse of emerging technologies.

Until 2017, Victoria was Facebook’s Trust & Safety Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before this, Victoria led Strategy & Prevention at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), and was responsible for the European Union’s cyber threat analysis. Victoria is a Visiting Associate of the Oxford Internet Institute, and a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University’s School of Computing.

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Nick Jennings – Advisory Board Member

Professor Nick Jennings CB, FREng is the Vice-Chancellor and President of Loughborough University. He is an internationally-recognized authority in the areas of artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and cybersecurity. He has previously been the VP for Research and Enterprise at Imperial College London, the UK Government’s inaugural Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security and the UK’s first Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

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Marcus Willett – Advisory Board Member

During a 33-year career, Marcus rose to become Deputy Head of GCHQ, and its first Director of Cyber.

He has established and led major UK Cyber programmes, and has also held posts across the wider UK intelligence and security community.

Marcus is currently the Senior Adviser for Cyber at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a world-leading authority on global security political risk and military conflict.

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Carole Drape – Advisory Board Member

Carole is a global IT leader with over 30 years of experience. Currently in post at the John Lewis Partnership, she is the first ever Director of Security and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), defining the role by setting the cyber security strategy for the business, running the organisation’s Security Operations Centre, and leading the wider IT team. Carole previously spent 29 years working for multinational energy company BP, in roles including Vice President of Infrastructure and Integration and Head of Delivery Services across the whole group.

Carole also works closely with the NCSC and major retailers to share cyber security policy and is an active member of the governing body of the UK-wide CISO community run by Evanta.

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