David Riley, the Cowes Harbour Commissioner responsible for Finance and Governance is a practising Chartered Accountant with over 35 years experience, now working as a partner with a mid-sized London firm and as director of an international association of accountants and lawyers.
David trained as an auditor and over the last 20 years has been responsible for the audit of a number of quoted companies in a period where the Combined Code on Corporate Governance has continued to develop. Today, his specific expertise lies in the creation of efficient corporate structures.
He has owned a house in West Cowes since 1988 and for the last 10 years has spent most of his time there when not at work. A competitive racing sailor since his childhood on the east coast, he owns and occasionally races a 33 foot, locally designed racer/cruiser.
David said: “For a public body, transparency in finance and governance matters is essential. Since my appointment in 2009 Cowes Harbour Commission has made great strides in moving towards full compliance with the guidance on governance issued by the Department for Transport. This guidance also expects the Commission to make a commercially acceptable rate of return on its assets, neither exploiting its status to undercut the market nor abusing its dominant position. The surpluses we make should be used to support the long term viability of the port and thus for the benefit of stakeholders.
“Like many residents of Cowes who originate from the mainland I see the uniqueness of the town. In the 24 years since I’ve been here there have been many changes and improvements to the harbour, paid for from a number of sources including surpluses generated by the Commission. These improvements are necessary to enable Cowes to continue to attract tourists arriving by their own boats, ferries, or even cruise ships. Like it or not, such tourists are essential to the economic health of the town.
“The proposed new harbour breakwater is another improvement and will stretch the finances of the Commission considerably, with the promised outside support from a Government agency essential for its completion.
“One of the reasons I was proud to be appointed a Commissioner was because I felt I could assist in the financial structuring relating to the breakwater project and I look forward to its completion by the time I complete my second three-year term as a Commissioner in 2015.”
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