ICA with new President and Board Members

A new leadership team at ICA, the International Cotton Association, following its annual general meeting, which took place during the association’s Liverpool 2016 trade event

The new Top Team at ICAJürg Reinhart (Chairman, Paul Reinhart AG, Switzerland) takes on the role of ICA President. Jürg will be supported by Mr Salman Ispahani (Managing Director, Pahartali Textiles) as First Vice President and Mr Bill Ballenden (General Manager, Louis Dreyfus Company Suisse) as Second Vice President.

New to the board are Mr Manish Chawla (Global Material Manager, H&M); Mr Minghong Chen (General Manager, Chinatex Cotton Import and Export Corporation); Mr Jerry Marshall (President, Yiyang Company); Mr Alan McClay (CEO, Better Cotton Initiative); Mr Tim North (Export Manager, Ecom USA); Mr Leon Picon (Cotton Purchasing Director, Orta Anadolu); Mr Mohit Shah (Director, Gill & Co).

On accepting the role of President, Jürg delivered a powerful speech that touched on the ICA’s remarkable history and sent a message of engagement and collaboration to strengthen contract sanctity and to support sustainable and safe trading practices:

ICA President“Standing here at this podium is a very special moment for me. I have attended more than 20 ICA trade events, but I never imagined in my remotest thoughts that I would stand here one night to address you as your President. I am delighted and deeply honoured, even more so as we are celebrating the 175th Anniversary of our Association.

“The increasing complexity of globalized trade, the ongoing increase of worldwide regulations and laws have left its mark in our rules and bylaws, which have been constantly amended and reformed over the years. Our top target has always been and remains to have a rule book which is clear, precise, consistent in itself, but also fair and impartial.

“But we must also recognize that there is a need for stability. Rules cannot be changed constantly. Overly detailed regulation can easily become counterproductive…Our way forward needs to be one of consolidation and digestion. Let us shift a gear lower and try to reach out to our members and users in a concentrated and collaborative effort. Even the best set of rules needs to be understood and internalized, in order to be effective.

“While the long-term common interests of all members is best served when everybody adheres to the rules, occasionally the short-term interests of a single member make it seemingly attractive to cut some corners. I would like to state very strongly that it is imperative for the entire industry, to prevent such corner-cutting…Without sanctity of contracts, our business is dead. We have to be strict against violators in the common interest of us all; and I ask you ALL for your unconditional support.”

Jürg, together with his cousin Thomas Reinhart, own Paul Reinhart AG, the family cotton trading company founded in 1788 and headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland. Jürg graduated from the University of Zurich in 1984 with a Master of Law. He began his trading career working for Marc Rich AG and Phibro Energy in Switzerland and abroad before joining the family company in 1989, where he now holds the position of Managing Director. Jürg was appointed to the ICA Board of Directors in 2010. He lives in Winterthur with his wife Johanna and they have three children, Lorenz, Adrian and Helen.

Now comprising 24 members, the new board line-up continues to represent the ICA’s global membership across all sectors of the supply chain and builds on its commitment to engage the entire global cotton community.


Coats appoints new Group CEO

Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market announces that Rajiv Sharma, currently Executive Director and Global CEO, Industrial, is appointed Group Chief Executive with effect from January 1, 2017

Current Group Chief Executive, Paul Forman, is to leave Coats on 31 December 2016 by mutual consent and take up the role of Chief Executive at Essentra plc, a FTSE 250 company and a leading global provider of essential components and solutions.  

CoatsRajiv Sharma joined Coats in November 2010 and is responsible for the global Industrial business, which accounted for approximately 80 % of Group revenues in 2015.  Under his leadership, it has built new commercial and operational capabilities to deliver a strong track record of profitable sales growth.  It has been at the forefront of product and service innovation for the global apparel and footwear industries and Rajiv has overseen the expansion of the Speciality business into emerging applications such as fibre optic cables and value added engineered yarns used in composites and conductive products.  Rajiv was appointed an Executive Director of Coats in March 2015.  Prior to joining Coats he worked at Honeywell, GE and Shell, amongst others.  His experience spans multiple disciplines, including M&A, digital and leading large complex businesses, in a range of industries, across five continents.  

Rajiv Sharma said: ‘I am energised and excited to be taking on this new role.  Paul is passing me the baton of a company in a market leading position, holding a strong strategic hand of cards.  Superior customer experiences, motivated employees, innovation, digital and technology will be the pillars of our continuing profitable sales journey within a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace.  I look forward to guiding Coats through its next positive chapter.’

Commenting on the announcement, Mike Clasper, Chairman, said: ‘Paul has been working closely with me and the Board in order to identify the most appropriate time to step down and prepare for a seamless transition.  In light of this Coats has been considering both external and internal candidates and identified Rajiv as the best suited individual for the role.  He has strong leadership skills; a proven track record of running our core Industrial business and increasing its profitability; and has been fully involved in developing our corporate strategy.  

‘The Board would like to extend its thanks to Paul for the outstanding contribution that he has made to Coats over the last seven years.  Under his stewardship Coats has evolved from being one of many diverse investments of its former holding company, Guinness Peat Group, to re-establishing itself successfully as a standalone listed entity, due in no small part to his trademark energy and dynamism.  He has also driven material improvements in financial performance.  We wish him every success in the future.’ 

Paul became Group Chief Executive of Coats on 31 December 2009.  Before joining he was Group Chief Executive of Low & Bonar PLC, a global performance materials group, quoted on the London Stock Exchange, and prior to that, MD at Unipart International the leading European automotive aftermarket supplier.  Paul is a Non-Executive Director at Tate & Lyle PLC.

Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market. At home in more than 60 countries, Coats employs 19000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2015 were USD1.5bn.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company leads the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; applying innovative techniques to develop high technology Speciality threads and yarns in areas such as automotive and fibre optics; and extending the crafts offer into new markets and online.

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